Santiago Logo and Identity Design

July 27, 2017

Deciding on what to include in my portfolio as a freelance graphic designer was more challenging that I initially thought, since much of my work was created while I was working in marketing departments of businesses or while employed at agencies. This automatically means that there could be some grey areas when it came to ownership of artwork even thought technically you are the creator of said artwork. 


 This had led me down the lane of coming up with personal projects which I have found to be an enjoyable experience for several reasons. The first being, you are the sole client and that gives you a free pass to glady like the evolving design even if it does not faithfully cater to the hypothetical brief that you defined for yourself. So you could shift the brief around to fit your design and not the other way around. Don’t look at me like that!


So let me put it out there that much of the content that makes up my online portfolio is purely hypothetical and designed to look good on the page. My real world projects are nicely tucked away in a highly secretive pdf document passed under the table to clients during surreptitious  meetings inside coffeehouses, or just simply emailed out along with my resume and credentials.


This post was simply to introduce my latest personal project Santiago. I’ve wanted to design a logotype for sometime now since I’m a fan of typography- especially of the hand drawn genre.


The result is an amalgamation of several characteristics that influence the look and feel of  typography and graphics in hispanic/latino countries. The color red is used a lot and so are mixed bright color palettes. Also there is a major emphasis on lettering versus other design elements. These typically are a product of signs being hand-painted onto a wall or onto a wooden board giving it fluid-rugged edges. They have a slight old-world characteristic and use a lot of decorative embellishments, serifs and curvilinear strokes.


I chose the name Santiago because the name sort of holds a fascination for me and as an Asian it brings thoughts of an exotic city promising kind and grounded people and otherworldly delicious food. So the brief was to create a logotype and collateral for the tapas bar Santiago, a name common to cities in both Chile and Spain. I’m unaware of any other places named the same however I do know someone who is a namesake.


The initial design was quickly sketched out onto a notebook and transferred onto Illustrator to be outlined and fine tuned. The accompanying line-drawing of staple food-ingredients from Spanish cuisine was also the result of a quick rough sketch which was then honed and fine tuned. 



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