Making magic with Shelly d’Inferno

Photo credits; Model; Shelly d’Inferno Photographer; Richard Wakefield Makeup; Kate Griffiths

Creating an identity fit for a shape-shifter

Who is Shelly d’Inferno?

Shelly d’Inferno is a Swedish alternative model based in London, UK. As well as being an accomplished model, Shelly is also a performer, fashion designer and entrepreneur – an all-round creative powerhouse.

Being such a multi-talented creative, and constantly brimming with new ideas; Shelly often designs a lot of her own products and updates her own websites. In the time that I’ve been working with Shelly, I’ve supported her on various projects – particularly with web and graphic design for her House of Inferno and Magic Markings brands.

As well as my design services, Shelly also commissions me to write articles for her Magic Markings brand. We have opened The Magic Archive on her website where I share the secrets of the symbols she uses for her line.

Identifying the intention

After being impressed with the visual identity work I did for Pyrohex, Shelly asked me to update her logo too, as she was finding her old one wasn’t really versatile enough to use on the many products she creates. Shelly really loved the style of her original logo but needed a shape to work with that could be printed on an array of items, from calendars and prints, to the table cloths she uses when holding meet and greets at events.

Services provided;

  • Logo Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Copywriting

Fig 01; The completed logo that Shelly is now using on her products

The four stages of visual actualisation

01; Melanosis

Also known as putrefication or decomposition. A breaking down of which is necessary in order for new life to be born.

The purpose of this stage was to identify the aspects of Shelly’s original logo that weren’t working for her. She had already mentioned the shape was an issue as the words ‘Shelly’ and ‘d’Inferno’ were on different lines. I knew from this that I had to keep the shape linear so that it could be printed horizontally, but could also be tweaked to be stacked vertically too if necessary. I also decided to simplify the logo to make it more readable, while still retaining ornamental aspects and symbolism.

02; Leucosis

Following the chaos of the previous step, a purification takes place, bringing light and clarity to the project.

In this stage, I had an idea of which aspects worked that I could include in the logo refresh. This allowed me to think of shapes as well as being able to research different typeface styles that I could potentially work with. I tried out different fonts over images of Shelly from her photoshoots, being sure to test them over her diverse range of visual styles.

It was also at this stage that I began to simplify the ornamental flourishes and the symbolism – sketching and rough mockups gave me a base to work from.

03; Xanthosis

This is the stage of transmutation, and where the tangible work begins. Bringing the pieces together to create the whole.

From the results of the previous stages, I chose a blackletter typeface as a base to create Shelly’s new logo, which beautifully compliments the diversity of Shelly’s portfolio. I juxtaposed the flowing calligraphy style of the font with some horn and spike shaped details which provided contrast to work over Shelly’s edgier looks; but also her softer, feminine ones. That merging of opposites is a defining theme in Shelly’s work, and I wanted to create an identity that would communicate that style further.

I also incorporated plenty of ornamental detail, and some distinctive symbols into her logo that were present in its previous incarnation, but this time, I made them more abstract. The ‘o’ in ‘Inferno’ contains a sun symbol and a sai blade; both of which are meaningful to Shelly and represent her vision and aesthetic. Shelly also wanted to include some crescent moons which I added in as little flourishes.

04; Iosis

The stage of alchemical success, and the end of the Great Work. The project has been actualised into the world.

I delivered a beautiful logo, imbued with symbolism that is meaningful to Shelly, and I also created a set of social media graphics for her to use on her various platforms. Her new visual identity is distinctly ‘Shelly’, and the logo I created compliments the diversity of her work, vision, and aesthetic. Shelly is delighted with her new logo and has already been hard at work creating new calendars to sell in her online shop – proving that the design is flexible enough to work with any of the looks she creates during her photoshoots.

The alchemical process is complete

The logo I designed for Shelly d’Inferno laid over a photo of her from an alien-themed photoshoot.

Fig 02; The logo over a photo of Shelly

The logo printed on a t-shirt featuring a photo of Shelly.

Fig 03; The logo printed on a t-shirt

An emblem version of the logo created using the abstract sun symbol and sai sword with the words Shelly d’Inferno beneath.

Fig 04; An emblem version created using the abstract sun symbol and sai sword

A social media profile banner I designed for Shelly to use on her various platforms.

Fig 05; I also created a set of social media graphics for Shelly to use on her various platforms