Richard Kadrey

Logo for Aqua Regia, Hell’s favorite rotgut and nectar—click on image to enlarge

Logo for James Stark’s favorite punk tiki bar, the Bamboo House of Dolls—click to enlarge

Logo for James Stark’s video store of choice, Max Overdrive Video—click on image to enlarge

Logo for the place James Stark gets his apple fritters, a doughnut store, Donut Universe—click on image to enlarge

The “Sandman Slim” logo: seems like everyone in the world is aiming for his heart—click on image to enlarge

The Client

New York Times best-selling author Richard Kadrey has a series of successful novels whose main character is James Stark, aka Sandman Slim. Stark is a half-human, half-angel hitman escaped from Hell and seeking revenge in a gritty, otherworldly Los Angeles. Several fictional businesses and products appear prominently in the Sandman Slim novels: a doughnut store, Donut Universe; a punk tiki bar, the Bamboo House of Dolls; a video store, Max Overdrive Video; and Aqua Regia, Hell’s favorite drink. Also featured is the “Sandman Slim” logo: a shooting target of a man with wings and an anatomical heart.

The Challenge

I had previously designed Mr. Kadrey’s previous WordPress website, as well as a current SquareSpace website. Working closely, we decided to capitalize on his novels’ success by creating brand logos to use on a clothing and housewares line.

The Solution

I decided to create logos in a simple, two-color format, with black and red the brand colors. Brooding black and dark red served as the palette for Hell’s drink, a brighter red denoting the energy of the bar and video store, and—the exception that proves the rule—a whimsical pink and blue for the doughnut store. I also wrote the text on the “Store” page, and sourced and managed an illustrator for the Donut Universe logo.

Mr. Kadrey’s website offers the items for sale on Zazzle and Redbubble. 2019 sales of T-shirts, mugs, coasters, flasks, and stickers totaled over $8,800.