Making the decisions to proceed with creating a video web-series for the Hearst Castle Ghost and to attend Comic Con International 2019 as one of the main characters, Brad Guy, created a few additional projects for me. One project that stood out for both decisions was that I needed a costume. Not only for Brad Guy, the unofficial head of the tour guides for our fictional version of the Hearst Castle, but also for the other tour guides.
Being that this is a low budget production, lacking a team of costume designers and seamsters, it seemed prudent to keep the tour guide costume simple, using off the shelf garments where possible. Luckily the series is based off a fictional version of a very real place complete with previously existing tour guides. Even more luckily, I had managed to capture several images of the tour guides when Greg and I first visited the Hearst Castle.
If you were to take the time to search the Interwebs for images of Hearst Castle tour guides you might notice there are two main styles of uniforms depicted in these images. Older images show tour guides in the standard California State Parks style ranger uniforms, which means khakis and fishing vests. This makes sense, as the Hearst Castle was deeded to the state of California in January of 1958 and became part of the Department of Parks and Recreation. At some point, and without knowing the internal politics involved, the uniform style changed over to that of a California museum docent. I would hazard a guess that this change corresponded to Hearst Castle literature referring to the park as a museum as well.
I will admit some indecision as to the choice of uniform style for the web series, but we ultimately opted for the more up-to-date museum style. I think this decision had more to do with wanting to use the word “docent” in a script or two than anything else. Just comedy gold.
Regardless of the uniform style, one thing that remained static across all the uniforms worn at the Hearst Castle was inclusion of the California State Parks embroidered patch. Or in the case of Brad Guy – for reasons that will be included as part of various episodes – the California State Parks Volunteer patch.
Being overzealous and wanting to get as much accomplished early-on for both filming the series and appearing at Comic Con, I promptly found the patches for sale online and ordered several quantities of each. One item off my list quickly and easily. Or so I thought.
A problem occurred to me sometime after the patches arrived but prior to attaching them to the various articles of clothing that encompass the docent uniforms. For the sake of filming we are a satirical comedy and thus can impersonate California State Park officials with impunity. For the sake of attending Comic Con International, held in San Diego California, I would be a random guy impersonating a California State Park official while in the state of California. While I am certain our attorney could keep me out of prison, getting arrested or even harassed for appearing as a state employee would in no way benefit the show or my own personal enjoyment of SDCC2019. Effectively, the patches go too far.
A new patch was necessary and as I was already attached to the idea of a slightly different patch for the volunteers (i.e. Brad Guy) I decided to base the fictional patches off the real-life ones. A little design theft, some simple image editing, a dash of advanced Adobe Photoshop, and a smidgen of retweaks gave me the basic patch designs ready to be sent off to the embroiderer.
It was while I was in the process of designing the new patch artwork that I had started work on our Internet presence, namely a YouTube channel and this here website. An emblem, or logo, was needed for both and what would make a better emblem than the patch I was already designing? Back into Photoshop for a little additional tweaking, some consultation with Greg, some more advanced Adobe Photoshop features and a lot of how-to videos. The end result? The Hearst Castle Ghost emblem in all its glory.
There you have the story of the origination for the Hearst Castle Ghost logo. I am considering this a work in process as there are several web and physical print media pieces that will utilize this logo, each having different RGB, CMYK, Pantone and thread index color requirements as well as rasterized resolutions versus vector artwork. I have already had to create a second complete remake of the logo because of one of these physical media requirements, which may or may not pertain to items we’ll be handing out in San Diego in about two weeks’ time (from the date of this post). But, as the Ghost has sworn me to secrecy, I couldn’t possibly comment on that. Enjoy.