I designed the Ankh, Shield & Circle logo during my early hip-hop days, to represent ideal synergy/harmony and “the road of life”. My original intent was to symbolize the idea of being your best self or living your most actualized life. The Ankh (ancient Kemetic symbol of eternal life) is in place of a route number on the Shield of a US highway sign, and the Circle provides inherent symbolism of wholeness, karma and the sun. Despite all the esoteric meaning, I wanted to keep the design simple and circular for multiple uses, like my two main influences —Saul Bass’ visionary Bell Telephone logo and Chuck D‘s iconic Public Enemy logo.
I later became conflicted about the Shield, when I realized I had to reconcile its problematic, broader symbolism. The whole logo was almost scrapped, but after some thought, I arrived at a powerful, secondary interpretation. In this unintended context, the Ankh inside the Shield represents the struggle to live —fully and freely— despite systems of oppression (again, recalling the PE logo).
In 2017, I refreshed Ankh, Shield & Circle as its own streetwear brand, with me as CreaDir (Creator + Creative Director), but liberated from my infrequent music output. Since then, it’s become the home of all my designs for various activities like The #DOWNNOW Project, #INTLPLAYER, and 1stOFF / 44=8 (s/o Shepard Fairey). The online #ASCbrand x Threadless shop is now open— click the banners.
I’m a logos and branding enthusiast. Check out these cool articles on logo design | logo color | hidden symbolism | Bob Noorda | Eric Haze | Milton Glaser | Paul Rand | Tom Geismar | 13 AAGDs you should know: part one and part two | car logos | and rap logos. Watch these cool, little videos from PBS Off Book and Vox Media, and the ingenious, animated short film, LOGORAMA —I don’t know how they got away with all the intellectual property (PE cameo at 8:39), but I hope there’s a sequel.