The Cave Bitches

A hand-lettered, retro-style logomark for a group of geology PhD students based in New Mexico.

HAND LETTERING / ILLUSTRATION / CUSTOM LOGOMARK / MERCH DESIGN
The Cave Bitches logomark blue color paletteThe Cave Bitches logomark tan color paletteThe Cave Bitches logomark pink color palette

The Process: Lettering Styles

The Cave Bitches are badass group of cave explorers completing research together as part of their geology graduate degrees. They approached me seeking a hand-lettered logo to use for custom letterman jackets to celebrate their research team.

After going back and forth with some inspirations and styles, we decided to explore a few different aesthetics representing the group's fun, vibrant, and youthful dynamic.

I began by gathering inspiration and sketching out custom marks in three styles: Modern/Fatface, ITC Avant-Garde-inspired, and 70s brush lettering.

Style 1: Modern/Fatface

Fatface type specimen 1Modern Type Specimen"Cave Bitch" Modern/Fatface sketch

Style 2: ITC Avant-Garde Inspired

ITC Avant Garde Typemark sampleBoney M: Take the Heat off Me Album Cover, "ITC Avant-Garde Inspired" Type Specimen 2ITC Avant-Garde Inspired Sketch

Style 3: 70s Brush Lettering-Inspired

70s Brush Lettering Specimen 170s Brush Lettering Specimen 270s Brush-Style Lettering Sketch

Surprise! Style 4: Edward Johnston-Inspired Calligraphic

Edward Johnston Lettering book page 1Edward Johnston-style lettering sketchEdward Johnston Lettering book page 2

Sometimes it takes a few passes in the sketchbook before you discover the best option. In this case, after not being fully satisfied by the earlier sketches, I decided to try something a little different.

Inspired by Edward Johnston's legendary calligraphy instruction, I created a thick, italicized version of his Foundational Hand. After seeing it, everyone immediately agreed—I had nailed the best style for the group.

The Process: Color

I knew I needed to create a color palette just as vibrant and fun as the group itself. After refining and vectorizing the type, I added in some 70s-inspired color-blocked shading and presented three color palette options to the group: a blue theme, tan/orange theme, and a pink theme.

I quickly received the best feedback you can get on an illustration-focused project: they loved all three options and were evenly split. Eventually, they offered to buy all of them to create three different colorways for their custom jackets.

The Result

The Cave Bitches pink color palette on pink and white letterman jacketThe Cave Bitches blue color palette on blue and white letterman jacketThe Cave Bitches tan color palette on brown and cream letterman jacket

The Cave Bitches

A hand-lettered, retro-style logomark for a group of geology PhD students based in New Mexico.

HAND LETTERING / ILLUSTRATION / CUSTOM LOGOMARK / MERCH DESIGN
The Cave Bitches logomark blue color paletteThe Cave Bitches logomark tan color paletteThe Cave Bitches logomark pink color palette

The Process: Lettering Styles

The Cave Bitches are badass group of cave explorers completing research together as part of their geology graduate degrees. They approached me seeking a hand-lettered logo to use for custom letterman jackets to celebrate their research team.

After going back and forth with some inspirations and styles, we decided to explore a few different aesthetics representing the group's fun, vibrant, and youthful dynamic.

I began by gathering inspiration and sketching out custom marks in three styles: Modern/Fatface, ITC Avant-Garde-inspired, and 70s brush lettering.

Style 1: Modern/Fatface

Modern Type SpecimenFatface type specimen 1"Cave Bitch" Modern/Fatface sketch

Style 2: ITC Avant-Garde Inspired

ITC Avant Garde Typemark sampleBoney M: Take the Heat off Me Album Cover, "ITC Avant-Garde Inspired" Type Specimen 2ITC Avant-Garde Inspired Sketch

Style 3: 70s Brush Lettering-Inspired

70s Brush Lettering Specimen 170s Brush Lettering Specimen 270s Brush-Style Lettering Sketch

Surprise! Style 4: Edward Johnston-Inspired Calligraphic

Sometimes it takes a few passes in the sketchbook before you discover the best option. In this case, after not being fully satisfied by the earlier sketches, I decided to try something a little different.

Inspired by Edward Johnston's legendary calligraphy instruction, I created a thick, italicized version of his Foundational Hand. After seeing it, everyone immediately agreed—I had nailed the best style for the group.

Edward Johnston Lettering book page 1Edward Johnston Lettering book page 2Edward Johnston-style lettering sketch

The Process: Color

I knew I needed to create a color palette just as vibrant and fun as the group itself. After refining and vectorizing the type, I added in some 70s-inspired color-blocked shading and presented three color palette options to the group: a blue theme, tan/orange theme, and a pink theme.

I quickly received the best feedback you can get on an illustration-focused project: they loved all three options and were evenly split. Eventually, they offered to buy all of them to create three different colorways for their custom jackets.

The Result

The Cave Bitches blue color palette on blue and white letterman jacketThe Cave Bitches tan color palette on brown and cream letterman jacketThe Cave Bitches pink color palette on pink and white letterman jacket