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Tale of the Logo

Nearly every company in the world has a logo that identifies their brand and we are no different in that regard. But our logo has had its own journey that is fun for us to reveal.

In 2018, when Hellcat Productions was born, we felt that it was important to create a logo that instantly reflected our mission. For me, it was a no-brainer. See if we could get Hank Caruso to allow us to use his art. I have had a Hank Caruso print hanging on my wall since 1988. It would be difficult to find a Naval Aviator from the ’80s on that wouldn’t recognize Hank’s art and associate the drawing with Naval Aviation.

I found Hank’s website and called the contact number hoping that whoever answered would be able to get a message to him. Imagine my surprise when the voice on the other end was Hank himself! That’s right; Honorary Naval Aviator #27 answered his phone!

He listened as I explained our mission and how we decided to use Hellcat as our brand because one of our first interview subjects was Dick Pace, presently 99 years old, who had flown the F6F in World War II. We wanted to honor his service. Hank told me that he didn’t have an F6F, just hadn’t felt the need for one, but we could use the F4F Wildcat. I was elated! Who would care? It’s an ‘aerocature’ after all.

Click Image to Enlarge

Hank Caruso's original F4F Artwork
Hank Caruso's original F4F Artwork
Hanks Caruso's Original art with Background Removed.
Hanks Caruso's Original art with Background Removed.
First Logo Using Hanks Art.
First Logo Using Hanks Art.

Well, in fact, some people did notice and teasingly called me out. But I didn’t care, we had a Hank Caruso logo! At some point, it must have been on his mind, or maybe his ears were burning, but I got a message from Hank inquiring if anyone had mentioned that it wasn’t a Hellcat. I told him, as a matter of fact, it had been noticed but I was still very happy to use what we had. It wasn’t long after that I received an email with a pencil sketch of an F6F Hellcat.

Hank had gone back to the drawing board to create new art for a World War II airplane that literally dominated the skies in the Pacific and in the process provided us with exactly what we were looking for! He said, “If you like it…” I laughed out loud…of course, we like it!

Click Image to Enlarge

First Rough Sketch of Hellcat F6F by Hank Caruso.
First Rough Sketch of Hellcat F6F by Hank Caruso.
Hank Caruso's original sketch of Hellcat F6F
Hank Caruso's original sketch of Hellcat F6F
Final of Hellcat F6F  before a background was added by Hank Caruso.
Final of Hellcat F6F before a background was added by Hank Caruso.
Final Logo using Hank Caruso's plane and our inserter background and patch design.
Final Logo using Hank Caruso's plane and our inserter background and patch design.

Needless to say, we are pleased and so proud to have Hank’s art represent our company. You may want to visit his website: http://www.aerocatures.com and see all the other incredible airplanes that Hank has done over the years. We will be interviewing Hank soon, so stay tuned for the announcement!

David Van Der Like

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