3 Degrees of Inspiration: Chad Michael, Curtis Jinkins & Simon Walker

Editor’s Note: This is part 56 in Emily Potts’ inspirational series. Every other week she features three artists whose work offers fresh, fun, and stimulating creative inspiration. Each artist picks the next link—someone who personally inspires him/her. Check out the fifty-fifth part in the series, featuring Stuart Geddes, James Langdon & Gavin Wade.

We’re starting fresh this week, with one of my favorite logo designers …

Chad Michael

I love Chad’s logo designs, primarily the detailed renderings he does for his spirits clients. Each client has a story, and Chad is able to succinctly tell that story in the design. Every line, letter, and image contributes to the brand legacy, even if it’s a made-up history.

chad michael

Hopes & Dreams is one of those instances, where the story behind the image is better than … err, worse than fiction. The founders initially built their distillery, but due to lack of experience, it accidentally burned to the ground, so Chad included a burning building on the package design that is complimented by the intricate type-based logo.

chad michael

Everything on this label just works. From the hand-crafted lettering, to the barrel renderings, so the logo on the bottle. Beautifully executed.

Chad Michael is well-known in the pages of HOW, earning accolades in our design annuals on a regular basis. The St. Laurent Gin packaging above was recognized in the 2016 International Design Awards. Enter your own work in the 2017 Awards to see your work recognized on a global scale.


Chad Michael is inspired by …

Curtis Jinkins

Curtis has gorgeous work that can be spotted from a mile away. When you can spot a designer just by looking at his work you know they are doing something right. He masters a style few can handle successfully. It’s a hand drawn, roughed yet soft-edge look that if not done perfectly can miss the mark entirely and look like complete shit. I’ve yet to see Curtis miss the mark.

Curtis Jinkins

This is the second deck design to be birthed by Curtis, and it is without a doubt my favorite deck any designer has done to date. This design broke the expected when it comes to luxury deck design, and has a western/handkerchief look that is beautifully balanced and executed. It’s one of those few project you think “Shit, I wish that were in my portfolio.”

Curtis Jinkins

This logo has all the ingredients to make a designer like me drool. It houses some smooth typography, iconic illustration, and finessed detailing that leaves you wanting to stare at it for a long while.

[Related: Read more about the Fifty-Nine Parks poster series, and see what Eric Nyffeler created for it.]


Curtis Jinkins is inspired by …

Simon Walker

Simon has serious range. Envious range. Lubalin-esque with some fresh bubbles and pop, sometimes he hits me with a ligature so subtle that by the time I realize what’s happened, I feel like I’ve been robbed. Just before I call the police, I grin and whisper, “Bravo Simon. You got me again.”

Simon Walker

Anyone who’s attempted a custom script can tell how many hours this typeface (Blackbike) must have taken. Thinking about the amount of combinations and ligatures involved in the entire alphabet is relatively mind boggling and it’s obvious that Simon didn’t cut any corners. The result is classic and clean with a dash of badass. Very well done.

Simon Walker

These concepts for Pepsi products have just that right balance of new and old, embellishment and restraint. Super fresh and yet still somehow familiar. Hopefully these come to fruition. It would be great to see them silkscreened onto some vintage glass soda bottles.

Tune in next time to see who inspires Simon Walker!


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