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Corporate Identity
Typography & Lettering

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DC Cool

Last year I was approached by Washington DC Tourism to assist them with a campaign that’s currently running called “DC Cool”. When most people (especially outsiders) think of Washington DC images of The White House or politics pop up in your mind. This campaign was to promote the “cool” aspect of Washington DC as a place to live.

Whether it’s monuments by moonlight, experiencing a unique art exhibit, sipping a local craft brew or savoring a dish from the hottest new neighborhood eatery, you can discover your own “DC Cool” moment in the nation’s capital.

My involvement was to come up with the lettering of the word “cool” to accompany the “DC” logo which was no easy task. You cannot force cool on something. Either something is cool or it isn’t and when you try to be cool, you certainly aren’t. So for this task I tried a couple approaches. One being to capture “effortless cool” and the other a more “organic cool”.

To see most of my attempts be sure to view the project as there’s stacks to see.

Below is the logo they went for on a series of posters that went all around the city. As the campaign rolls out I will populate this page with more printed examples.

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Their website design

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In no particular order the below are concepts that I presented with a few comments along the way.


(A) One more attempt at something that felt “effortless” cool.


(C) A flicky, more edgy style. Extra stroke on the “C” could be removed.


(E) Another style that’s inspired to look “effortless” cool. Once vectored, this would look silky smooth.

(F) This style is my attempt to do something a bit more edgy and original, more raw. The pen used is a Ruling Pen, used to dip in ink.

(G) Here you can see the pen and the ink. It’s a very cool tool and the results are definitely more true and unpolished.What could be nice with this style would be to do a unique version of the lettering for every poster. There are subtle and not so subtle differences every time I write it with this pen and it would give a sense of personalisation on each poster.

(H) With this version I found the underline gives the “l” a duality as being lower case and upper case.











(S) There’s also a “1” appearing in the “L” if you look for it.

(T) My favourite from the previous batch



(T-2) With this version I have focused on loosing a few of the “coke” motifs that were causing the similarity in appearance.


(U) These thumbnail sketches are also an attempt to capture the imperfect side of cool. Raw and unpolished. Non pretentious. Come as you are. Little thumbnail sketches that could be done as a series. If this was a direction consideration I would want to work on them a bit.


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