Heroic Hollywood Secret Origin

“What kind of design you looking for?”

In June of 2012 I responded with the above tweet to (at the time) Latino Review’s El Mayimbe (Umberto Gonzalez). For those that don’t know, El Mayimbe is one of the more popular and outspoken internet journalists around. Mayimbe excels at getting superhero movie scoops (stuff you don’t find elsewhere) and so following him is a no brainer if you’re like me. He’s extremely well respected in that industry and I responded with the above to a tweet he sent looking for an artist.

In the years since, I’ve done a number of projects with Umberto ranging from invites to Kickstarter stuff. The longest and most involved though has been for his site HEROIC HOLLYWOOD (see I had a point to this long winded post). About a year ago, after the dust from Comic Con had settled, I got a text asking about my thoughts on the name and if I had ideas for a logo. I didn’t. Loved the name but had no idea what a logo for that would look like. The only instruction I was given was that it needed to be dynamic and eye catching (and better than other sites’ logos… no pressure). I started sketching ideas but (as I’m sure he’d tell you too) they were all pretty terrible. I went in a completely wrong direction drawing exaggerated superhero types lifting the Hollywood sign. There were a few of characters bursting through the word Hollywood. Weird negative space stuff too, if I remember correctly. It was all wrong and all pretty bad. After a month or two I finally asked for more detail on what the site was going to be like. His response was that it was an old school scoop site. Something simple and classic. This was extremely helpful as I knew I could go super simple for the logo. At that point I decided it was going to be just the initials. I started writing out “H’s” on a Post-Its (the only thing I had on hand at the time) and I eventually came up with an idea. Using an older deco style (simple/classic) I came up with a fairly generic looking hero character and used him to tie the two H’s together.

It’s been said it looks like Iron Man or something like that, but it really isn’t any one hero in particular. He loved the final version though and (unbeknownst to me at the time) I would spend the next year doing a LOT more work on it.

I’ve seen some of my designs on store fronts and gift cards and it’s always a bit surreal to see it go from your computer (or in this case sticky note) to something else. There’s no guarantee that when you’re hired to create a logo that you’ll see it again (businesses fall apart or they just don’t use it prominently). HH however, has been very different for me. I spent literally months going back and forth (again, I’m sure Umberto would agree with that) coming up with the logo, the color scheme and the fonts. After all of that time it’s been really rewarding seeing it plastered all over the internet, trades, news outlets, etc. It’s a logo I’m quite proud of and (at least I think) it satisfies all of the initial instructions given to me.

So moral? Ummm… I got nothing. But I will say that I’m always glad I responded to that tweet a few years ago. The person on the other end turned out to be extremely awesome and has been wildly supportive of my work everyday since. So a big thanks goes out to Umberto for that.

Next post I’ll dig into the HH Calendar. Probably less wordy. We’ll see.