Blacksands Original branding

Blacksands is a California-based streetwear company that appeals to those who identify with urban apparel companies like Obey and Supreme. I worked with founder John Lee to conceptualize the brand. My work consisted of designing a logo and various graphics for the apparel. As the name implies, the Blacksands brand embodies strength and effortless cool, elements I tried to bring out in the visual design.

 

Competitive Analysis

To begin my research, I took a broad overview of the market for streetwear brands. Through popular knowledge, browsing the retail site karmaloop, and social media research, I discovered dominant brands of the streetwear market. My research led to the emergence of a few key motifs in aesthetic and lifestyle, among which are cannibis, provocative imagery of women, and affiliation with rap music. As the Diamond Supply Co. shirt puts succinctly, "sex, drugs, and rap".

The customer image evoked is one that is rebellious and, at the same time, very laid back. Young people (age 14-22) who skate, smoke, are active on social media, and identify closely to being "from the city" or at least near it. 

I created this image grid to give my client a better visual of the competitive landscape.

 

Logo Ideation

The concept art for Blacksands was inspired by obsidian glass

Evolution of the Blacksands brand.

Evolution of the Blacksands brand.

 

Finalized logo

I ended up modifying a version of the last logo sketch. I went with sharp, geometric lines and Helvetica Bold Oblique to pack a bold punch.

The final logo and logotype in black and white.

The final logo and logotype in black and white.

The Blacksands label on the bottom of a shirt.

The Blacksands label on the bottom of a shirt.

 
 

Shirt Designs

Detail of packaging and labels. The graphic plays off of the iconic photograph of Jay-Z lounging on Andy Warhol's red couch, originally photographed by Lenny S. 

Detail of packaging and labels. The graphic plays off of the iconic photograph of Jay-Z lounging on Andy Warhol's red couch, originally photographed by Lenny S

Three other t-shirt designs. The first is an update to the "High Priestess" tarot card, the second is a crisp graphic of a woman's face with the Blacksands logotype, and the third is a botanical drawing of the Venus Fly-trap plant. 

Three other t-shirt designs. The first is an update to the "High Priestess" tarot card, the second is a crisp graphic of a woman's face with the Blacksands logotype, and the third is a botanical drawing of the Venus Fly-trap plant. 

White on black Jay-Z design

White on black Jay-Z design

A variation on the woman's face. This design showcases three iterations of the sketch.

A variation on the woman's face. This design showcases three iterations of the sketch.