Cardinal Shoe Co.

Logo & Brand Identity, Product Design, Fashion, Apparel & Merch Design

Design Request
Create a logo and develop a brand style for a startup/small business, with demographics consisting of teenagers and young adults in an urban, trendy district setting, with key emphasis placed on athletic-leisure and fashionable sporting apparel.
Use the University of Louisville (Cardinals) mascot logo, and artist Kanye West's Yeezy fashion label (shoes) for brand inspiration.
Upon researching existing shoe brands and show supply companies, I created a few design styles that reflected an original icon/identity that fits the core demographic, and lends enough information about the product/model, while still satisfying the client's affinity for an already-licensed (and nationally-known) University athletic brand.  The logo was created in a way that would lead way towards marketing within the apparel industry - something the client mentioned in our meeting.​​​​​​​

The initial (above) concept was rejected, as the client wanted more implication of an actual shoe for the second concept. 
This created a difficult challenge, as the core build was heavily focused on the University of Louisville Cardinal concept.

My solution was to abandon all "cardinal" illustration styles to avoid any and all legality/confusion with the athletics demographic, and pivot to a more-recognizable shoe shape/illustration, which was another huge talking point in our initial meeting. Sometimes clients need to see something visually, in order to gain a better understanding of the actual need of the logo or brand mark.
Another important factor was to create some high-quality digital renderings, and present the new/original concept in a mockup, in hopes that the client could begin to see the benefit of creating an original brand likeness, as opposed to one that could easily be mistaken for another entity. (i.e. original "cardinal head" concept)​​​​​​​
This new concept amazed the client, and subsequently, after seeing the newly-designed concept modeled in full-color, with a custom full-page layout design and custom look-book opened the client's warm reception with full-scale effect. 
Leveraging the support of the initial draft concepts, I was able to finalize the concept, matching the core demographic; thus, completing the core brand identity build.

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