From the DesignBranding Team

Apr 4, 2019

The S.S. Monstro: A Portrait of Underbelly

By Brad Edwards

Every season we put together a non-denominational-winter-festivities gift package for our friends and clients. It can get gloomy in the winter and we like to do what we can to brighten people’s spirits with a token of appreciation. This most recent holiday gift included custom bottles from MiiR. I was tasked with heading up the designs for these bottles. We saw this as an opportunity to get a little weird, have some fun, and give people a better glimpse into who we really are.

A little about Underbelly: many of us are obsessed with the ocean. This is unfortunate considering the closest thing to the briny deep near Underbelly headquarters is a toxically salty lake that looks more like the surface of Mars than a vibrant living ocean. Despite the distance our love is strong, and don’t worry, we have world-class mountains as consolation.

In addition to big bodies of water, we have a fondness for film. Wes Anderson’s Jacque Cousteau inspired comedy, The Life Aquatic, is a team favorite. Between the cast, the soundtrack, and the beautiful visuals, it’s like candy to us. So when we came across a piece of fan art by the talented Alex Pearson depicting Team Zissou’s ship, The Belafonte, we got inspired. We decided to create a cross-section illustration of The S.S. Monstro, a portrait of Underbelly as a ridiculous imaginary ship.

I worked with the team here at Underbelly to identify different professional and cultural aspects of our company that we wanted to feature. We created a long list of potential visuals including pop-culture references, personal interests, service offerings, and some dumb gags that made us laugh. With our imagery defined, the S.S. Monstro took shape; first as thumbnails on paper, then as a more detailed digital drawing. Finally, I traced the sketch in Adobe Illustrator to create a clean vector rendering.