Graphic logo for Friend Club Records, an independent record label specializing in cassette tape and vinyl releases. In the intervening time since creating this logo, I have gone on to join the label as Head of Art.

When Rob at Friend Club Records and I first discussed this project, he gave me one main directive: MEAT IT UP!

It took a bit of back and forth, but once he settled on the idea of using an angel as the main graphic element – with my background in monument design – I knew what I had to do.

For those new here, my mother’s trade was monument design and manufacture, which is a fancy way of saying my mother made grave stones. I spent a lot of time in cemeteries and the shop with her as a child, and my love of typography and design has its roots in those days.

Although my professional time in the monument industry gives me an interesting perspective, I’m frankly just a weird goth who loves cemeteries. I have an image of William Westmore Story’s “Angel of Grief” on my goddamn debit card for fuck’s sake, so I was ready for this.

As I gathered my reference material and my ideas for the graphic began to take shape, I had to decide what to do with the typography. Not content to use just any typeface, I cast my mind back to my time in the monument shop and the analog way my mother set type before the advent of digital plotters. It is probably a detail lost to the ages at this point, but before computers did the heavy lifting, setting type was a lot more hands-on. Some of my earliest memories are of helping my mother arrange metal letters to create a pattern that would be used to make a stencil for cutting the stone, a process that probably seems horribly arcane by today’s standards.

I settled on using Spacerite’s Modified Monument Roman as a starting point for the lettering, which is described by the Monument Lettering Project as “the quintessential monument font […] the style which almost all other modified roman alphabets were based.”

I’ve outlined my process a bit below, from concept sketch to final product:

First loose pencil concept drawing (I said LOOSE. Stop judging my hands!)
Clockwise from left: Digital hand study, First digital sketch outline, final digital sketch with shadows

Overall, this is one of my favorite logo projects to date, and I am beyond thrilled with how it came out. I feel like I really MEATed it up, but don’t take my word for it. Let’s see what the client thinks:

“I came to the Meatyard with barely a sketch of a vision. After a few conversations he iterated from neon-punk to the classic angel we settled on. Giving way more than I ever thought possible he took a few snippets of art into a hand drawn sketch to the final digital image. Knowing I was concerned about font licenses he drew all the lettering by hand. After completing the work he was meticulous in follow up to make sure I had everything I needed. Meatyard went above and beyond with this project and I will be back to the yard for more.”

– Rob Froese

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