Speaking the language of tribal Borneo

One of the oldest tattoo studios in Lithuania teams up with monotwo to develop a unified visual identity for a well known brand and enable to spread the voice of an opinion leader in modern mediums.

The context

Angis Tattoo is an original tattoo studio, well known locally as a brand with strong values and respect for traditional tattooing. As an opinion leader, it is very important to be able to spread the message to the growing tattoo scene. Even though Angis Tattoo has long been well known, the problem was that the studio had no unified visual brand identity and appeared different throughout every medium, making it hard for people to associate the brand with its' story.

We were asked to create a brand-mark which would serve as a pivotal part of the whole brand and its' history, that could help maintain a consistent look and feel no matter where the brand is experienced. We knew that earning the trust of the very top noch tattoo artists, who are very sensitive with each and every one of the smallest details, would be a challenge, but we took that as an inspiration for the whole project and delved into the world that Angis Tattoo was breathing.

Angis Tattoo studio interior
The challenge

Right from the first moment you step in the studio, you get a feeling of a tribal-like micro village. The surrounding studio interior is filled with tribal & traditional Borneo masks, drawings and other bits and pieces, coupled, ofcourse, with shelves full of tattoo books.

For us to convey that experience using something that would be visually appealing, easy to understand and remember and also easy to adapt to various modern mediums, we had to look into the core inspiration behind the studio and the culture that permeats everything that has to do with Angis Tattoo.

The approach

While listening to tribal music, that was playing at our office for a while, we dug deep into the origins of the core inspiration of Angis Tattoo. This brought us to Borneo, third-largest island in the world, and its' tribal culture. Iban and Dayak tribes that have been living in the Borneo island for a long time, had a long history of tribal tattoos, which were and still are a big part of their traditional living.

One tattoo design that we kept seeing tattooed on tribesmen, was the "Borneo Rose" (a.k.a. "Bunga Teruong"). It was a rose with thorns between its petals, with spirals in the middle. The spirals in the middle are meant to symbolise the life cycle. Some villages say that it originally came from the spirals on the belly of tadpoles. This tattoo design was always done in pairs and was meant to protect the wearer from evil spirits.

Iban & Dayak tribes, the original inspiration.

Iban & Dayak tribes, the original inspiration.

The work

We took the design of the "Borneo Rose" as an inspiration and explored simillar forms and styles. After narrowing down the potential form factors for the rose silhouette from about 30 to just one, we began working with the centerpiece of the design. We knew that we wanted to keep the theme of spirals, which had meaning and were an integral part of the original design.

We also wanted to look a bit more modern, original, strict and easier to process visually, as to make it easier to remember. That's why we decided to base the original Angis Tattoo spiral design on an Archimedean spiral, which is also known as an arithmetic spiral, as it met all our requirements, thus the Angis Tattoo logo was born.

The process and final design of Angis Tattoo logo.

The process and final design of Angis Tattoo logo.

Yes. We made more things.

View our other work