How have we created "Monkfish Brewery" logotype

We have decided to start with a global concept embracing the whole brand visually and verbally with a single meaning, rather than with a single logotype. After a thorough brainstorm we've developed two strong interesting ideas. A description follows.

Conception #1. Sea stories.

Monkfish, sea devil and sea angel, a creature as mythic, as it is real. This idea was developed through sea stories on various creatures.
Here is only a sample list of them: Kraken, The Flying Dutchman, Sirens, The Sea Devil, Lovecraftian beings, Neptune, Leviathan.
We offer to call an each brewing after a certain mythic sea creature. For instance, "Kraken Stout" or "Sirene Lemongrass". Each bottle will be illustrated with this creature pictured in a certain style.
Conception №2. Nostradamus.
We called the second conception after the famous French doctor and astrologer. How do we settled upon this idea? Well, "Monkfish" name is directly connected to seas and oceans. Taste of craft beer, i.e. IPA, largely depends on the fact it was transported at great lengths with ships. Hence we can't avoid theme of seas. How did seamen find their ways — and find nowadays as well? Surely, they look on stars. That's why we decided to take Latin names of constellations as a basis of the second conception.

  1. Aries
  2. Taurus
  3. Gemini
  4. Leo
  5. Virgo
  6. Libra
  7. Scorpio
  8. Sagittarius
  9. Capricorn
  10. Aquarius

We omit Cancer and Pisces for understandable reasons of Russian connotations
and consonances. It would be much too simple to make the whole conception on stars alone; it's a meeting point of many other ideas.
Both starred sky and abysses where monkfish live are dark places.
A star symbolises a light of our fish.
Nostradamus was an alchemist. Brewery is a modern alchemic laboratory.
Every brand is a name of a constellation. For example, "VIRGO Lemongrass" — for ladies, "Sagittarius" — a brand with spicy taste etc. Each name would appear at large size, and colours would be the major distinction. It is an overall conception, which is well perceived.
The client chose the first conception: sea stories.

Hence, we came to the step of designing the sign. Monkfish is a bright image; it would be a pity not to use this highly memorable sign. Let us have a look at a real-life monkfish in nature.
There isn't much beauty. Legends and imagination make a way prettier picture. As the result, our task is to recreate the image in people's minds, not the actual appearance of the fish.

Here is one of the first sketches of our fish. It's worth mentioning that the major difficulty was to put the fish inside a square or a rectangle. Hence, the tail is turned way up.
Let us make another attempt. We put the fish inside a circle: it would be convenient to print on coasters, labels, and it would put as among hundreds of beer brands whose trademarks are round-shaped. We use different style, add aggression, make lines more distinct, and enlarge teeth.
It truly frightens, but do we actually need it?
Let's work further. Another sketch of the fish is as laconic as possible, to find the balance between horror and neutrality. Now it's better, we are coming to an image of a certain mythic monster.
We make a parallel attempt at minimalism, yet cannot find anything special about it.
As the result, we find a balance of character, shape and graphics. Monkfish is recognisable. Attention, however, is focused on its light to smooth the image. The shape of the coat of arms refers to medieval traditions, coated glasses of cathedrals, mythic creatures. The whole graphics is simple, easy to use; it can be made in any manner. It would make a perfect seal, wood engraving, or leather stamping.
The final logotype is 90% similar to the sketch. We have enhanced the lantern of the fish to simplify and order the logotype.
Now we start to look for a proper font for the sign. We have tried more than a hundred of various options; the client sees only the best combinations.

The first one. Grotesk antique, the font combines classical features with modern attempt. This one is good, but it does not quite meet the sign and lacks a bit of aggression.
The second one. Sharp and wide font with aggressive character. Yet we finally dropped it, since its elongation does not seem to suit the vertical sign.
The third option. We think there we have found the best font with proper character, mood, and shape. It combines everything we need in a proper measure: originality, medieval mood, size, width, and height of letters.
Then we have to choose the pair font for labels.
There are two options. The first font was inspired by seamen's tattoos. It is good, though finally we decided this solution is too straight-forward and obvious. Moreover, we didn't want to interfere with grunge and punk.
That's why we've decided the second option to be the most convincing. Accident enough, aggressive enough, and strange enough. The one we've been looking for. Ideally meets the logo.
Having made our mind on the font, we start choosing colours. This task isn't simple too. Our first option follows the coat of arms of Sir Francis Drake, the legendary corsair. Our legend suits this idea just fine. It's a nice option, but we decided it isn't original enough.
We have also prepared several palettes after colours of sea waves, of lantern of our fish, yet finally a different colour range was preferred.
We believe it to be the most interesting.
This combination of colours consists of, as we put it, malty (bronze),
arsenic (dark grey), and sea foam (white).
In some cases, the sign is coloured with all three of them and a diagonal is added. Family coats of arms quite often use such diagonals.
We've also took the liberty of offering a Latin motto. "Sic parvis magna", Thus great things from small things come. It's both a wide-known saying and a motto of Sir Francis Drake. It's a business conception in a nutshell. It's a small lantern of a huge fish.
The final result of the logo and the corporate identity of Monkfish Brewery
is represented in our portfolio.
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