Capturing The Spirit of California's Heartland
Illustrator, Photoshop, Lightroom
The Greatest Valley is a lifestyle brand and platform that celebrates California's Central Valley communities. I was asked to create a logo along with a set of apparel graphics that represented the heritage of these small-town communities.
As a native of California's Central Valley, the client talked a lot about how her fond memories of the region didn't always match up with how people talked about the area. While she remembered great food, history, and natural beauty, she heard people talk about about blinding tulefog, hot weather, and desolation. Our challenge was to create an aesthetic that would embrace and celebrate all of these unique qualities about the communities in this part of the Golden State.
A Typography-Based Emblem
In my research, I came across the region's nickname, "California's Heartland" — something I was eager to incorporate into the design. I tied in the tagline "capturing the spirit of California's Heartland" as the circle around a vintage-inspired diagonal treatment of the brand's name.
Leaning into history and the spirit of #IYKYK
When researching the area, I browsed through lots of images of vintage signage, postcards, hotel matchbooks, and produce boxes. I decided to lean heavily into the history of the Central Valley communities and pick up on the subtle details that comprised the fabric of the region's one-of-a-kind history.
We started with the main logo and concepts for the community of Merced, a small town with a state university, a mysterious history with fairy shrimp, and key placement near Yosemite Valley. The latter concept ended up driving the final Merced tee design.
After the initial drop of tees featuring the logo and the final Merced design, we added a few more designs. I created travel journal-inspired spreads for the first few tee designs to tell a story behind the shirts — and revisit some of the fun sketches from early iterations.
The Greatest Valley Tote and Valley Tee were featured on KSEE24 News, Central Valley's local news channel!