Illustration for GW Logo 2002-2010Design
“Engraved” Portrait of George Washington
The George Washington University
The Rembrandt Peale’s portrait of the first president (circa 1850) is part of The George Washington University’s Permanent Collection. This painting was central to the University’s visual identity that launched in 2002 and remained in use until 2010.
The full color portrait was incorporated into 4-color versions of the University’s logo. One- and two-color logos with an “engraved” version of the portrait were developed for use on stationery and signage. To simulate and engraving, a photograph of the Peale painting was run through rendering software. The result was not a complete disaster, but the image needed a lot of work before it could be incorporated into the brand. George’s eyes and nose looked like they had been run through a meat slicer. Pixel by pixel, I had to recreate the details in George’s clothing and hair, and his iconic face. I had to not only capture his likeness but be faithful to the original Peale portrait. The illustration was used over an eight-year period for the University letterhead, business cards, banners, and plaques.