The two images seen above is another designed piece from the KFTC brand that I have been collaborating on with one of my current clients. Considering the theme of this brand is crassness and boldness (whether they are blatant or somewhat hidden in meaning), my client wanted to stick with the monochrome theme that is well known within crass artwork, but also add a splash of effective color (kind of like the “Socialism or Extinction” bumper sticker I’ve done for him, prior).
RUN DMC is one of the most popular Hip Hop groups ever to come out of North America, and spoke against injustices of the state and those employed by it (among other topics of interest to myself and my client). Karl Marx was also against certain powers that be and their corrupting ideologies, and I assume my client saw this connection and the idea for this sticker arose from that. Many iterations were created until the final versions above came to be, mostly because we didn’t want to have to buy rights to the RUN DMC font (which is basically a variation of Franklin Gothic Heavy), and wanted the font to be perfect, to give off that same feeling as RUN DMC does to the psyche of those that know of them. The other big problem we faced was choosing whether or not we wanted to use the name Karl Marx in its entirety, or slim it down to 3 letters each to better resemble the original design. We couldn’t determine which version would be the most effective, so I decided to just go ahead and create both, and we could figure it out in the near future.
I have been creating pieces for the KFTC brand for over a year now, and I feel I am finally getting the hang of dealing with clients, and being able to successfully transcribe their projects from mere ideas to fleshed-out realities. As per usual, when it comes to this specific brand, I was tasked with yet another “in your face” logo/sticker, one that hopes to get people to question the silly things they have done their entire lives: like eating the flesh and bodies of decaying animal carcasses, even though we have more than enough resources to create foods that don’t need to be taken from other living beings.
Considering I do not have Adobe Illustrator anymore (for now), I had to fool around in Photoshop, trying to figure out how to vectorize my images and words. After a few failed attempts, I believe I have found the correct techniques that should allow me to vectorize raster images, so the point of having Illustrator might become moot (considering I used it, more often that not, for printed pieces – which always needs to be vectorized). This was probably one of the easiest KFTC brand pieces I’ve created to date, mostly because I have done this sort of thing before, and it mostly consisted of taking an already created stencil image of a lamb, and putting it into Photoshop, cleaning up stray pixels and the like.
In helping my KFTC client (which stands for “Kill For The Cause,” if anyone was wondering), he wanted me to transcribe another idea of his onto the digital screen. In going with the same type of monochrome, crass-punk style, he wanted to use a popular line from a show called “The Wire,” about a man – named Omar – who runs around Baltimore, being a sort of superhero to the meek and downtrodden. This line comes up when he is entering a scene, shotgun in hand, ready to deal some justice to those who stole from his people.
Surprisingly for me, something this simple wasn’t as simple as I had thought. I went through several iterations (some being completely different, others having slight variations to this one) before my client and I settled on this one, and another variant with a rounder apostrophe (which I left it up to him to choose which one he’ll stick with). I feel having Omar’s name bigger than the second word signifies dominance in his character. Adding in the apostrophe wasn’t an initial idea, but I felt it gave the piece a better overall consistency. Also, turning both words diagonal, signifying movement and action, completely summed up what we were wanting to say with this!
While I attended BCTC for my Associate’s degree, I was accepted into a national honor society known as Alpha Phi Kappa (or PTK – Phi Theta Kappa – as it’s known overall) for my consistently perfect grades and attendance. As being a part of this group, I took vows to make sure I could do all I could for my chapter (and others, if feasible). With that in mind, I had conversed with the current chapter president at the time, and we came up with some ideas to help market our honor society better (considering we were a 1-star chapter at the time, and didn’t have much in members, sadly).
One of the first ideas was to get our name out there as quick as possible, and with very little money and effort. After a few days, we figured we’d “stick” to something small, but could be seen everywhere, and thought that a simple, yet impactful sticker would be exactly what we needed. Eventually settling with a very simple template, and a 2-color palette, we decided on the Honor Society name as a whole, and added the small detail of the word “Bluegrass” to signify which chapter we were, specifically, with a nice bordering ring to keep the focus on the inside area. With this, we could see them on cars, folders, laptops, lamp posts, wherever our marketing would take us!