Behind The Logos Pt. 2: We Came As Romans, Coheed And Cambria and Alternative Press - Features - Alternative Press




Behind The Logos Pt. 2: We Came As Romans, Coheed And Cambria and Alternative Press

September 02 2013, 9:27 AM EDT By AltPress

Whether you’re starting a tour, band, media company or business, design is something to be considered. It establishes your brand, gives you a stamp to smack on stickers, pins and T-shirt and—more importantly, it creates a symbol people will internalize and connect with you. Sometimes, logos are so great that they become beacons for culture.

In this series, we get the stories behind highly recognized icons within our community from the people who created them.
PART ONE: The Wonder Years, Warped Tour, Equal Vision and Sumerian Records

Brittany Moseley [BM]
Cassie Whitt [CW]

Coheed And Cambria Keywork symbolCOHEED AND CAMBRIA "KEYWORK" SYMBOL
(As told by Equal Vision Records' art director, Bill Scoville)

In the months leading up to the release of In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3, I spent quite a bit of time talking to [vocalist/guitarist] Claudio Sanchez about the story behind the record and picking his brain to see where he saw the artwork going. One note I had written down from our first conversation was a brief description of the galaxy where this chunk of the story was taking place. A galaxy called "The Keywork,” which comprises 78 planets, surrounding seven stars that were connected by a beam of light. Still, this bit of info was almost completely overlooked during the art creation process. It sat on my desk for weeks.

The album was amazing, the art was coming along nicely, and the story was really interesting, but I felt like the CD layout needed something more—something for the fans to really attach themselves to. I went back to my notes and came across the Keywork reference Claudio made a few months earlier and it hit me: “I should make a graphic to represent this galaxy.” It was actually the last piece of art I made for the IKSSE:3 layout. The seven circles represent the stars, and the triangle represents the beam of light that connect them.

The Coheed And Cambria story has always been interesting to me because some parts seem to be very futuristic while others seem almost primitive. I felt the Keywork should reflect that. I wanted it to be balanced and well put-together, but not too polished and perfect. It should look old and worn while still embodying this futuristic world.

Out of all the artwork I have done for bands, this is hands down the piece I am most proud of. PRESS
We always like those moments when we can slip a little AP history into a story, and this ongoing series was the perfect chance to tell the story behind the AP logo. “The very first AP logo was done originally by a Cleveland Institute of Art student named Marty Ackley,” explains founder and CEO, Mike Shea. “It was essentially pointillism and had a very underground, punk-rock motif to it.” Shameless self-promotion: You can purchase shirts featuring the original logo on our webstore.

So how did we get to our current logo? “The second, now traditional AP logo debuted with issue No. 3 and was created by my then brother-in-law who was a graphic artist,” says Shea. “I used to have a subscription to Variety back then, and every so often they would send these huge issues that were foreign distributors showcasing all of these international movies that were to be released over the next year. They had tons of B-movies advertised, and there was this one sci-fi movie from some foreign country that had this really cool, modern font that was edgy but also more ‘presentable’ to advertisers, so we'd be taken more seriously. I showed that font to my brother-in-law and he took that font and modified it.”

Old AP logos | Alternative Press

AP Logo | Issue 38, CoilAs with most art-related matters, the AP logo kept evolving. “When I was interviewing for a summer art assistant position, Mike had me do a cover redesign as part of my interview,” recalls art director Christopher Benton. “My college roommate and I were fans of the magazine and we and everyone we knew who knew the magazine called it AP not Alternative Press. So for my redesign, I took the “A” and “P” from the logo type and had it anchor the logo. Then I ran the full “Alternative Press” logo type smaller around it. Mike Shea and Co. liked it, I got the summer job, and we started using this version on AP 38.” Throughout the years, Benton has given the logo little tweaks, but don’t expect some massive overhaul here at AP. “It always came up to completely change the logo, but each time it was decided against in favor of logo recognition and continuity.” [BM]


(As told by Equal Vision Records' art director, Bill Scoville)

When the band first came to me with the idea to make a symbol to include in the video for the song "Hope" I focused on two things: How the symbol would make sense in the context of a video and how the symbol related to the song itself. To me, "Hope" was an anthem for everyone who felt held down—a song about rising up and being heard. I wanted the symbol to capture that. I wanted it to be a symbol of protest.

I knew for the video it needed to be bold and in-your-face. There would be shots of it being drawn on paper as well as shots of it on banners in the background. My mind immediately went to graffiti. Something quick and not too complex that could be scrawled on walls, clothes, banners or anywhere it needed to be, in seconds.

Making the final symbol was daunting. Finding a balance between simple and interesting took time. I went through many different versions that all started with the circle. When I hit the version that would eventually go on to be the Hope symbol, I knew I loved it.


The diagonal slash through the circle captured the protest vibe I was going for while still remaining unique to We Came As Romans. Even though I thought it was the one, I still kept working on a few more and waited a couple days to show the band. I wanted to live with it for a bit and if I still loved it at the end of that time, I figured it was safe to send on to the guys.

This project ended up being one of my favorites and will hopefully be something We Came As Romans can use for years to come.