Ishmael Islam

I rap. I write. I make records.

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Common Grounds Wordmark

Hi everyone, I'm going to keep the latest update of the project at the top throughout completion of the work:

Here's the latest build of the design I've arrived at

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There's definitely some further refinement I'd like to do along with working with colors and textures. The branch and leaves serifs to the letters made much more sense to me once I got to an okay place with finessing the forms. I definitely got a refreshing perspective on how to use guides with this class.

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As I'm refining anchor points, the angled guides are becoming helpful in mirroring the points off of them, it's making my shapes of the letterforms cleaner and establishing a more consistent angle for the overall design.

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Working through the digital refinement now. Just roughing out the shapes with the pen tool.

Research

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Common Grounds Coffee House is a local spot in my hometown and birthplace of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. I live across the street from it, and in frequenting the shop, I always get feelings of warmth and welcome. Community is something the shop emphasizes in its service, and that word was carried out in talking to other customers and the staff.

The shop often lends the space to local artists, organizations, and others to host their events, further enhancing the communal aspect. Being inside the neighborhood of BedStuy, admist rapid gentrification of the area and NYC at large, a familiarity and friendliness that the neighborhood has been reputable for is maintained within Common Grounds, no matter how far you have come from. I've visited the shop on days where I met musicians like Devon Evans (one of the original Wailers) who recently retired in BedStuy, along with long time residents and newcomers. We are all well rooted in growing as a community and communicating with each other, because we're now grounded in the same place. The emboldened words are motifs I want to work with in the design.

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Sketches

Their current brand image was an influence to naturally draw from. A tree for an ever-growing community, and its branches being members and residents. Working with that image and the feelings of warmth, closeness and friendliness, my sketch process went as follows:

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After getting a feel for the letterforms, the next decision to make was the weight of the branch feel throughout the words, and its style [image directly above]. *This is a decision I'm still open to suggestions about finalizing (help me lol).

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Building into an overall form of the wordmark, having a larger branch to encase "coffee house, NYC" and to help distribute space made me think more on how to expand the motif of roots and branches for the equity of the brand that Mackey talks about. I thought wrapping the upper leg of the 'd' around the branch was an effective subtlety in that regard.

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So this where I am so far, y'all. Thanks in advance for any critique and feedback! This class is helpful.

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