News

Logo design for the Deep House Cat show

posted by Veerle Pieters
01 March 2010

It doesn't always happen that you get the chance to work on something that you personally use a lot. This time we had the opportunity to create a new logo for The Deep House Cat show.

What is The Deep House Cat show?

The Deep House Cat is an internationally streamed radio show created by "philE" from Chicago. You can listen to the Deep House Cat show on such radio stations as SSRadio, DI.fm, Housebox, Gabz FM and many more FM/AM and online outlets. Another way is by subscribing in iTunes like we do. This way you are sure you don't miss an episode.

Thinking process

The previous Deep House Cat logo was in use for almost 3 years and the client felt it had become a bit bland. When talking about this in more detail we discovered a bit of a roadblock. The client explained:

When we started the radio show we only played Deep House. This has changed over the years and we now play other sub-genres as well. The brand "Deep House Cat" however is widely being recognized and I would hate to see it go, because I do not want to start building a brand from scratch again. A new logo should incorporate the idea of toning down the "Deep" in "Deep House Cat", BUT not losing it completely.

The client did give us a few suggestions of what he thought the logo should look like. He suggested a stylized big cat (e.g. tiger, lion, jaguar, or panther). This was a good sign because we were already thinking along those lines as well. Other remarks were that it should also be recognizable in a smaller version such as an avatar or a social network user image.

Proposal 1

In the first version I tried to create a stylized cat using mostly straight lines. I ended up with a very male look which was my intention. The shape of the head and pointy ears made me also think a bit of a bat, which I also liked in a way. As for the typeface, I tried to reflect the same straight lines but added some personality to it by altering the 'H', 'E' and' A'. The word 'Deep' is treated as a separate element. This way 'House Cat' can stand on its own and 'Deep' can be removed when the time is right.

PROPOSAL 1:
Using mostly straight lines, which gives a very stylized male look

Proposal 2

For the second proposal I've drawn a classic cat, using round shapes which is also reflected in the typeface. I ended up with a logo that is way more female than I wanted it to be, but I liked its pose and elegant gracious look. So I decided to add this proposal, even though I expected the logo to be too feminine.

PROPOSAL 2:
Working with round shapes, which shows the more an elegant, feminine and gracious look of a cat.

Proposal 3

For the third proposal I wanted to try a tiger, or more preferably a panther so I would end up with a male looking logo. After looking at a lot of photos of panthers and tigers, I decided the face of a panther would fit best. When experimenting on how I would incorporate the 'Deep' part, I ended up with a circle surrounding the cat's face, which also makes it a perfect fit for an avatar or small icon. It could remind you of a record, or even the seventies Afro wigs disco style :) Somehow I felt this link with music, because I know that a lot of deep house music has disco influences into it.

As for the name, I was thinking of using a heavy sans serif typeface as it feels more male and gives the right balance to the logo. Gotham Ultra felt like the perfect choice in combination with the narrow Neon Extra Condensed for the 'Deep' part which adds this nice typographical contrast. Playing around with the letters 'C' and 'A' in combination with a different color, resulted in a different separation of the 2 words instead of using a space in between.

PROPOSAL 3:
Trying to find a balance between the female elegance, while making sure the cat looks male, which ended up in the face of a panther.

Feedback

The client liked proposal 2 and 3, but requested some changes before he could make a definite choice between one of them. As I kind of expected, I had to try to make proposal 2 a bit more male like. As for for proposal 3, the client suggested to show the panther's teeth as he looked a bit too friendly. For proposal 2, I did tried to make the cat more male looking by changing the eyes and the way he looks, smart and gracious. I've also added some subtle gradient effects. It was hard not to loose the charm of this logo and still make it look male, while changing proposal 3 was way more doable. The friendly looking cat was turned into roaring panther exactly what the client suggested and it did the trick. The last change I did was squinting the eyes a bit so the roaring looks more natural.

finalizing the chosen logo

FINALIZING the logo:
Turning the friendly cat into a roaring panther by showing its teeth and squinting the eyes.

Final & approved design proposal

The roaring panther makes it more interesting, plus judged by geometrics, also better balanced. The tough edge makes it a more appealing logo.

Comments

  1. 1 John Robinson Mon Mar 1, 2010 at 03.54 pm

    Really like this. Very polished and well considered. Nice work.

  2. 2 Andrew Ingram Mon Mar 1, 2010 at 04.12 pm

    Looks great!

    If you don’t mind my asking, what’s the font you used in proposal 2?

  3. 3 Rochelle Dancel Mon Mar 1, 2010 at 04.14 pm

    Thank you very much for sharing your design process.  I love the symmetry of your final logo.

  4. 4 Veerle Pieters Mon Mar 1, 2010 at 04.20 pm

    Andrew Ingram said:

    If you don’t mind my asking, what’s the font you used in proposal 2?

    The font in proposal 2 is based on Capone Light, but I tweaked it a lot.

  5. 5 David Mon Mar 1, 2010 at 05.08 pm

    Lovely design - and a good background into the process. Great work.

  6. 6 Nicolas Chevallier Mon Mar 1, 2010 at 05.10 pm

    I love the final version, quite dynamic.
    Can you publish the old logo that was used for 3 years?

  7. 7 Jeremy Mon Mar 1, 2010 at 05.14 pm

    Veerle, I love your work and your blog. At first glance the final logo looked like a panther with an afro ... just a humorous observation on my part ;)

  8. 8 Sulcalibur Mon Mar 1, 2010 at 05.58 pm

    Afro cat - Groovy!

    To be honest it kind of looks sporty to me. Like it’s the logo for the Boston Afro Cats chess team or something :p

  9. 9 Tom Mon Mar 1, 2010 at 06.23 pm

    Hm… I always loved your work, but I don’t like that logotype… especially the colors and also the typeface aren’t very well.

  10. 10 Veerle Pieters Mon Mar 1, 2010 at 06.32 pm

    Nicolas Chevallier said:

    Can you publish the old logo that was used for 3 years?

    I’m afraid I don’t have that logo.

  11. 11 David A Mon Mar 1, 2010 at 10.01 pm

    Your final version is just excellent. The evolution of the artwork is a great example of why designers need to be given (and paid for) the extra time to polish a design. I also like that the text and illustration work well together, yet will stand on their own.

  12. 12 Mohamed Mansour Tue Mar 2, 2010 at 09.11 am

    I really like how you approached solving this design. Very talented and unique!

  13. 13 Keeling Tue Mar 2, 2010 at 09.13 am

    Thanks for sharing.

    Your final design is excellent work. But if you have a look at the The Deep House Cat website, then one recognizes the importance of having Corporate Identity standards. One needs to establish guidelines on how to use the logo, otherwise the logo will get hacked and butchered.

  14. 14 alyssa Goch Fri Mar 5, 2010 at 02.48 pm

    I clicked the link from your Flickr, and I have to tell you how awesome this blog page is! So creative and colorful!!

    Oh and the quote on the side of the page is my most favorite!  Paul Rand said it best! :D

  15. 15 Nauman Akhtar Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 03.26 pm

    Hi, wow al the logos are great, specially the approved one, great job done :thumbsup: