How I (with the help of friends!) created my Bruce Mississippi Johnson logo.
When I first started getting more involved in myself as a brand, I knew that I would need a logo. While working on my CD cover photo for "The Deal Baby" I enlisted my friend and photographer Nicola Cipriani to shoot the picture. Nicola and I met during my many years of working in his hometown of Bari, a southern Italian seaside city located on the heel of the boot which is Italy. He and I sat down and discussed blues music, photography and finally what kind of photo I was looking for and then he gave me some location ideas all of which I liked! We shot in the old city of Bari where the CD cover photo was taken and where the bones of Saint Nicolas (Santa Claus) can be found, then we relocated to the nearby port and finally we ended up on an abandoned railroad track that ran through the centre of town. I initially thought of a shot where I would be walking near the tracks with a beautiful Italian model friend of mine in tow carrying her suitcase as if our train had broken down and we were footing it to the nearest town under the sweltering hot southern Italian sun. We decided to shot at the train tracks but on the first day that we went to shoot we were chased off the tracks by security but we persisted and returned at another time but without my model friend unfortunately and Nicola shot me walking alone on the tracks. The tracks for me represented a blues theme of getting away from misery which in hindsight I translate into looking for a better life while leaving the old one behind. When I saw the photos I found several that I liked but I didn't get the strong impact that I was hoping for and that was mainly because I was wearing sunglasses, my choice, which hid my eyes. This faux pas made me realise that I wanted my eyes and intention to be seen and examined so we decided to go for a portrait session which ended up giving me a cover shot that I absolutely believed in. The CD cover was on it's way to being finalised but I continued to be drawn to a particular photo from the railroad session which I had used from time to time but not in a lasting way. Fast forward in time and my logo idea is at the forefront of my mind and that railroad session photo is still hovering over me but this time I see it as a silhouette of my body walking near the tracks. I bought a couple of apps and started playing with that photo until I could get a rough silhouette which I liked and then I contacted Nicola to ask for his help in cutting out the silhouette properly which he did and then I started looking for fonts and asked myself how would I put my full 23 character artistic name onto a logo? While working on the silhouette I had to decide what to include from the original photo and how to make my name work. I had the options of one or two train tracks to my right and/or a bush to my left which was embedded into my shadow. At one point my aunt and I were speaking about characteristic Mississippian symbols which led us to our state flower the Magnolia and then she mentioned cotton. I personally didn't see a problem with transforming that bush on my left into a cotton bud as cotton buds are beautiful and weirdly enough that bush resembled a cotton bud minus the buds but an American friend of mine expressed his feelings about cotton being too associated with slavery which naturally and personally I could understand. I wanted something that helped situate the location of the photo since my intention was simply to say that I was leaving Mississippi (which is known to have cotton) for a better place. Not having that cotton bud be a part of my logo because of what it might wrongly communicate was a no brainer. Railroad tracks or not then depended on where I would place my fonts and more importantly which fonts and fonts size I would use. Fonts selection and making my name for me was the hardest part of the process. The friend I mentioned earlier suggested my initials but I was against that idea because I wasn't feeling initials. One day while returning from an acting audition I ran across a movie poster and the picture and fonts and placement spoke to my logo idea and once I got home I went looking for that feeling that I got from that poster! After a bit of searching I ran across something that worked and Bruce Mississippi Johnson became B Mississippi J. I finally decided to lose the tracks and Nicola added his artistic touch to transform my shadow and bush into the stroke of a painter's brush which looks as you see like a flame or a black curtain blowing in the wind! My logo was born! If you like my logo and/or how it came to be and want to be a part of my musical journey you can purchase your first ever limited edition tee shirts here! https://everpress.com/bruce-mississippi-johnson-ts