Designing a Label

With Terrapin Bluffs as the name, I set out designing a logo.  I had defined a few requirements…  I wanted 7 scutes (the plates on a turtles shell) to coincide with the number of diamondback terrapin subspecies.  I needed a reference to bees, since everything I make includes honey.  And that was it.  A pretty large box to work in.

At one point, I even envisioned a turtle whose shell was built of honeycomb, and whose body was dripping with honey as it stepped from location to location, leaving little drops everywhere along the way.  It’s eyes, nose and mouth were the opening to this moving hive. This fully ambulatory honey hive was pretty cool in my head.  However, my art skills aren’t that great, and I wanted something simpler anyway.  The honey turtle may still be a mascot one day, but it wasn’t good for the label.

I eventually decided on a turtle shell with a hexagon border (honeycomb), with the Terrapin Bluffs name wrapping around the shell.

Here are a few of the early label designs, with 7 scutes in entirety.

The first design iterations, from winter 2012.


Early drawings of the turtle shell for the logo (summer 2012)

Now we’re getting closer.  My carved pumpkin for last Halloween (Oct 2012).

Finally I realized I should include the namesake for the brand in the design, and decided to outline the shell in the image based on the shell on a real turtle.  I took the 7 scute idea from the pumpkin carving (1 large central scute outlining the typical 5 scutes down the middle, with 3 scutes on each side depicting where the 4 would normally be).  I started with a photo, and outlined the shell portions I wanted.

Last, it was just adding a layered hexagon, changing some colors, and there you have it, the TBM logo.  Thanks for reading!