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The Nine Lives of Boo Cat

| By: Katie Hileman
Katie Hileman

After last night’s packed-house opening of the Boo Cat Club, we thought it’d be interesting to take a look back at how the Boo Cat identity came to be.

Our work with Boo Cat Club started eight months ago (see Nate’s post for some background on the project), and as part of our discovery work, we developed two mood boards to help narrow down the concept direction. One grouping was modern, high contrast, experimental and fresh, while the other (pictured) was more dark, intimate, rich, curious and textural. In a workshop session with the client, we removed and combined images/words from the two boards to settle on a particular direction. The client loved the imagery of the brass details and door knockers, rich colors and textures and the curious nature of the second mood board. That direction also made sense with the historical nature of the building. 

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After wrapping up the mood board session we got to work right away. The name alone is a dream: BOO CAT. It instantly developed a personality. Several concepts we played around with revolved around the idea of Boo Cat as a secret club. Not pretentious or exclusive necessarily, but elusive in the fact that if you happened to discover this place, it was destined to be. Boo Cat was made for the type of people who appreciate the unexpected and the curious.

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This idea is where the keyhole concept developed. We explored many different styles—some modern, bold and streamlined and some fussy with decoration and type. 

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We also took this concept a step further and pulled inspiration from some of the original elements in the building (begun in 1907 by St. Louis architect Louis Spiering) like these radiators. There are so many cool and unique details in this building. The inspiration was endless. The typeface we were using at this time lent itself to the detail of the cat’s ears. We also had a tail on there at one point, but I can’t bring myself to unleash it on the public.

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After many rounds of edits we decided on a mark and presented the concept below (along with two others) to the client. They were instantly drawn to the keyhole and decided that was the direction they wanted to move towards (with some edits of course!).

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After additional consideration, we felt the stand-alone mark was so strong on its own that we removed all the decorated type and flourishes. The final  mark uses a very classic, simple sans serif typeface. When it came time to print materials, we made sure the mark would pop by using double hits of both black and metallic gold ink. The resulting mark is iconic but versatile, with all three elements of the logo—the keyhole, the word mark and tagline—able to be used in a variety of combinations or all as stand alone graphics.

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It’s been an honor to work with Boo Cat, and we look forward to seeing their space become one of the city’s premier venues.

To read more about Boo Cat and our process, visit our project page.