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MixOne Sound, Mission Viejo, CA

While working on a recording project for Orangehart Records (identity work to be posted in weeks to come) in Mission Viejo, I managed to pick up a great new client: MixOne Sound.

Owned and run by Spenser Bishop, this great, little studio has already put out some great records, including the newest from Ernie Halter. Not quite happy with their current branding (seen below), Spencer had expressed interest in creating something more recognizable with a stronger brand presence.

Existing Mix One Studio, Brandmark

Excited to start working, I began sketching on the long flight home with some good starting points. Check back for project updates.

Sketchbook Photo, Erik Hartley


The Strutt; Kalamazoo, MI

The Strutt Bar, Kalamazoo, MI

A popular bar and cafe in south-west Michigan, The Strutt presented this project as an open call. The chosen identity would be rewarded with free drinks; quantity to be determined. Obviously, I couldn't pass up the chance.

The Strutt Brandmark, 2009

Presented to the small establishment, the rooster translation was used in reference to a large aluminum sculpture placed inside the Strutt bar area. The obvious relationship being that roosters are known to strut. The typeface and colors were selected to mirror interior design elements and style. The branding was simplified to “Strutt,” in order to simplify the visual presence.

Concept A

This variation divides the selected brandmark into two distinctive parts; the logo and the type. This allows for a more versatile and easily recognizable visual. Using two equally impactive parts gives designers the opportunity to use the mark individually or both pieces together to create more interesting branding compositions without compromising viewer recall.

Concept B

The Strutt uses it’s front house as a cafe, giving locals a comfortable environment to relax and grab a cup of coffee, while the back area serves alcohol and has built a reputation for great live music. 'Concept B,' is intended to reflect each alternate personality of the Strutt while also hinting at the widely recognized triangular shape of the building.

Concept C

Though a complex translation, the use of a peacock feather in 'Concept C,' was another attempt to create a visual representation for the act of strutting. Similar to the rooster, the peacock is also known to strut about, making noise and showing off it’s colors. A bold, simple typeface was chosen to balance the complexity of the feather.

Zuma Bar; Kalamazoo, MI

Zuma Brandmark, 2009

Named after the California beach made famous by Neil Young, this logo was chosen for it’s masculinity and architectural accents. Though initially presented in a different palette, the colors were changed later
in the process to reflect the hotel’s existing interior design motif.

Concept A

This variation expands on the bar’s intended “class upgrade,” by utilizing a more dignified font choice and pairing that with a translation of wine pouring into an empty glass. As a brandmark, it creates iconic recognition while quickly establishing the nature of the environment.

Concept B

Creating this dimensional option gives depth to the mark and expands the color palette without creating an overly complex design. The playful interaction of shapes in this logo was intended to mimic light gels used on a dance floor while highlighting the boxy nature of the bars interior.

Concept C

Following the fluid nature of the selected brandmark, this less organic option contains defined edges and crisp corners. It’s angled lines invoke action while drawing the viewer’s eyes back to the logo’s center. Together, with the bold, stable interior structure, they balance the mark visually, while still retaining some ambiguity to draw the viewer in.