Smoke Family Crest

This was a really fun project! I'm so glad I did it and I'm really happy with how it turned out. Here it is in black and white.


I'll start with some of the reference images I collected. I grew up in Pittsburgh and while I moved away to California when I was 22, I have a very strong cultural connection to the city. My parents and grandparents still live there and black and gold runs deep. I love the blue and white checkered pattern on the City of Pittsburgh's flag. I definitely wanted to incorporate that somehow.


My family is primarily of Croatian descent. Here again is the checkered pattern, this time in red and white. I really wanted to find a way to incorporate both the blue and white and red and white in a way that made sense, paying homage to both my Pittsburgh and Croatian roots.


My grandfather was a part of the Croatian Fraternal Union in Monessen, PA. I really like the way this logo pulls out the lighter blue from the flag.


Like many Pittsburgh families, mine has a long history in the steel industry. Both my grandfather and my great grandfather worked for Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corporation in Monessen, PA. I loved this logo so much that I decided to incorporate it in my crest design.


My dad worked at J&L Steel for a time. I tried to mimic this bold typeface for the Smoke name.


I wanted to incorporate the astroid shape in my design somewhere. Again it ties into the steel heritage as well as every Pittsburgh native's favorite pastime, watching the Steelers.


My grandmother used to make pizzelles all the time. They were a real treat and I would look forward to her bringing them to our house when they would visit.


My first thought was to use this as the basis for my laurels. I loved that the center also had the astroid shape. It ended up being too busy for my liking, and didn't fit the rest of the design, but I was still able to use the astroid in the banner.


Lastly, my family has a long history of eating square cut pizza. It started with a place called Chubby Chucks. Now I look forward to getting my square cuts from Sir Pizza every time I go home to visit.


Ok, so in keeping with the industrial/steel theme, I wanted to keep the crest itself relatively angular with bold, straight lines. The Smoke name is shown within a steel I-Beam. Below I used the Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel logo as the shackle of a crane. The hook and straps divide the crest into three sections and create a triangular shape. This was done because the city of Pittsburgh sits within a triangle at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, which then form the Ohio River. They call this the Golden Triangle.

In the upper left third, there's a pair of "Pooh Socks", a tribute to a game my dad would play with my siblings and I as kids. He would come home from work and change out of his work clothes. When he took of his socks it was game on. He'd throw them at us and yell Pooh! We'd duck for cover and then promptly fire them back, exchanging fire until my mom had had enough of the noise and commotion.

In the upper right hand third is a piece of square cut pepperoni and mushroom pizza. In our family pizza has always tasted better squared.

In the bottom third is a dog, eyeing the pizza nonetheless. For as long as I can remember our family has had at least one dog, and we are all definitely dog lovers, particularly labs. They have brought our family a lot of joy over the years.

I decided to use the checkered patterns in place of laurels. They pay homage to my Croatian and Pittsburgh heritage.


And finally, here it is on a shirt.


And that's it! Thanks DDC for the awesome class!


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