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Brand Identity for Gae Savannah

This project is a branding practice in a class of School of Visual Arts. I chose an artist as my client and designed her logo as well as other collaterals she needs. The shape, material, and gesture work together as an entire system, which reflects Gae's core concept of her sculptures.

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Who Is Gae Savannah

Gae Savannah is a New York-based artist, writer, thinker and instructor in School of Visual Arts. She fashions sculpture in plastics, fabric, and light. (hair clips, vinyl, cellophane, beads, plexiglass, mylar, etc.)

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What's Her Work About

Gae was born in the decade when American pop culture was leading the fashion. However, the experiences of traveling shaped her perspective on issues about poverty, discrimination, health care and environment. These factors gave her a sharp perspective on American culture in where she found the emptiness and superficiality in the fabricated fancy dreams. On the other hand, through learning the history of eastern countries, Gae was obsessed by the profoundness, modesty, and simplicity in their culture. This big contrast enlights her idea and gave birth to her works. 

The stool is Gae’s signature whose surface separates the space into two that represents different meanings. It’s clear to see, the bottom space is represented by the feet of the stool, which represents the simple appearance and rich content of eastern culture; the upper space is fully decorated by cheesy, slick materials of melange color. The magniloquent shell is hiding the empty inside. The structure not only shows the contrast between American pop culture and eastern culture, but expresses Gae’s satire on how the world operates — America has overtopped the third world countries, but cannot stand without the foundation. American pop culture is like foam, splashing, but disillusion overnights.

Gae’s work is as the famous writer Jamey Hecht commented:

The sculptures of Gae Savannah are not what they appear to be. Loud and bright, they couldn't be more conspicuous; and yet they also hide, cherishing a lonesome interiority under a veil of spectacle. Their psychic work on the viewer is subtle and slow; at first, the large sculptures seem imposingly grandiose and saccharine, while the smaller ones look like pretty, innocent objects dart, what used to be called "conversation pieces." But a half-hour in their presence has us caught in a revaluation of our aesthetics and a re-experiencing of our vexed culture of makeup and models and ornaments.

 

  AMERICAN POP CULTURE outside: exuberant, intriguing inside: empty  EASTERN CULTURE outside: understated inside: profound


AMERICAN POP CULTURE
outside: exuberant, intriguing
inside: empty

EASTERN CULTURE
outside: understated
inside: profound

Approaching


proposals

I tried to apply different elements that mentioned in her introduction: hair clips, vinyl, cellophane, beads, plexiglass, mylar:

 
 the side view of hair clip with over decorated surface; looks like an elegant female body

the side view of hair clip with over decorated surface;
looks like an elegant female body

 hair clips   

hair clips

 

 the negative stool represents the missing culture

the negative stool represents the missing culture

 Comic Sans = lowbrow culture; Chinese stroke = stool

Comic Sans = lowbrow culture;
Chinese stroke = stool

 
 G+A+E; filled with texture from her works

G+A+E;
filled with texture from her works

 a ‘G’ in Chinese pattern

a ‘G’ in Chinese pattern

 Chinese stroke = stool; western character = decoration

Chinese stroke = stool;
western character = decoration

 盖 reads gài = Gae 盖 = cap of container 皿 = container(empty inside)

盖 reads gài = Gae
盖 = cap of container
皿 = container(empty inside)

 

Feedback

  • instead of designing a mark, she prefers to branding  herself in her full name
  • She likes the idea that the logo could represent her works of separating spaces
 
 

Solution


concept

I started from the beginning and found stools in her name. Hence, the goal is to pursue a way to make the stools recognizable but not too loud to strike the eye. In the meanwhile, find an icon to represent the upper space.

The hierarchy of the logo should be:

  • Name
  • Separated spaces
  • Infinite possibilities generate from the stool
  • The stool

 

 

System

  • Cut and Contrast: represents separated spaces
  • Gesture: all contents are generated of the stools
  • Iridescent Color: sets up a space for varies contents
  • Plastic: Gae’s experiment on color and light