Isabel Micallef – the Strummin’ Logo Competition winner
Soft-spoken, but bursting with energy and creativity, Isabel greets me with a smile at the ŻĦN premises in Floriana. She’s extactic that she won the logo competition, but it hardly comes as a surprise to me. I’ve known Isabel for some years, after having met her at University during some courses in Communication Studies. I worked alongside her and know the brewing creative that she is. Isabel is a talented designer working mostly on editorial work such as magazines and other printed matter.
One of her logos was the one that took gold with the Strummin’ Committee last May, when they decided the winner of the Strummin’ Logo Competition. The aim of the game was to find a logo that will fit the new Strummin’ brand – one which will be used for a number of years. Several submissions were received, all of which were reviewed by the members of the committee. In the end, the logo chosen had to be flexible enough to take on any theme that future committees would link to it. Isabel’s plectrum logo was chosen due to its flexibility to adapt to several themes and also because of its distinctive typeface.
Isabel tells me she’s very glad to have been chosen, mostly not for having won the prize, but for having her work shown in such a project like Strummin’. Flattered, I lead her into the premises to start working on the brand. Together we work on the new brand polo shirts, plectrums for the guitarists’ use and other goodies for our cast and audience. We brainstorm together about this year’s theme and together we come up with this year’s poster idea.
The 2012 edition of the concert is being given a lush look and feel, with colours revolving around black, gold and purple – in tribute to our generation’s musical royalty. We come up with a glittering poster design this year and set up a photo shoot with Lorleen Farrugia for the poster.
Isabel took some time to answer some of my questions:
Isabel working on the logo for the poster photoshoot. Photo: Lorleen Farrugia
How did you get to know about the Strummin’ logo competition?
Through the Strummin’ Facebook page
Are you an avid music listener?
I love listening to music.
What kind of music do you like?
I prefer listening to rock music but it always depends on my mood.
When did you first start designing?
I started designing at about the age of 13. I started slowly learning photoshop and then progressed to other graphic design software like Indesign and Illustrator.
What’s your favourite medium to design with?
I normally use the mouse or the track pad, but I do sometimes draw a sketch to have a guideline of what I want to achieve. At times I also draw illustrations on paper which I then scan and finalize using illustrator.
Is there a particular designer/design agency you look up to?
As from a young age I was fascinated by Andy Warhol’s pop art due to the bright colours used in most of his work. I then started to read more about the artist and I still look up to him and his work which captures my interest due to its simplicity and yet effective artistic expression. Also interesting to me is the fact that Warhol was one of the pioneers in digital art.
From your portfolio, which is your favourite piece of design work?
To date, my favorite piece of work is the Strummin’ logo. As I normally do when I want to use my creativity at its best, I brainstormed, writing down any idea that came to mind, until I was happy with my choice of concept. Then came the design process… actually putting the idea on paper, or in my case on the computer screen. I started by experimenting with different designs and trying to think outside the box in order to create the logo. A few tweaks here and there, and I got closer and closer to what I wanted to achieve. In the end I had about 3 different versions of the logo and with the help of the Strummin’ team it was narrowed down to the one and final logo.
You can view more of Isabel’s work by checking out her portfolio here.
Isabel is the winner of the Strummin’ Logo Competition which was launched by strumminartists.com in March 2012. She wins 6 tickets to watch Strummin’ Tribute to the Greats (14, 15 September 2012) and a Strummin’ merchandise pack.