Monday, October 17, 2011

Anatomy of a Logo: Cougar Growl

My 40-year high school reunion happened this past weekend, but, I wasn't able to attend. The year 1971 was my senior year. From the time I was a freshman, I contributed illustrations and cartoons to the Cougar Growl, the school paper. Being an avid comic book fan and collector, I subscribed to a number of fanzines and prozines, and shared them with my friends, who included Mike Adams, a senior, and Tony Salmons, a freshman. When Jim Steranko launched his company Supergraphics, I ordered copies of the History of Comics and the Mike Hinge Experience, and subscribed to Comixscene. I really liked his Supergraphics logo.

During the summer I used the logo as a model to redo the Cougar Growl logo. I sketched out the logo and discovered a problem with one of the letters. The shadow, cast on the left, did not work with the letter "L"; the strokes were not visible. So, I changed the shadow to fall on the right. My uncle, Allen Chin, an advertising art director in New York, had given some of his old tools to me: compass and ruling pen set, french curves, 24-inch T-square, triangles, pica ruler and ellipse guides. Working on the kitchen table, I finished the lettering in a couple of days.

When school started I convinced the editor, Ken Williams, to use the new logo; below, detail of the logo, and its debut in the paper.

(Next post on Saturday: Timothy Leary)