...and raising up Wonder City Studio!

We wanted to have a name and look that felt equal to our evolution. "Illustration" didn't tell the whole story. "Cape Horn" didn't either. Katie's ceramics are now a key pillar of our studio. And we wanted a more focused mission, more polished look, a fresh start. We felt especially energized to make this change as we've built our new physical studio space.

About the name and logo
"Wonder City" is a little-used nickname for Chicago. We think its origins date to a book written to be released for the World's Fair in 1893, kind of a boosterist book filled with big stories and facts about the then-up-and-coming city. We bought the first edition on eBay, and that's pictured below.

We thought that "Wonder City" was a perfect way to describe what we do. We get a sense of wonder of the architecture and history of the city around us, and we want to inspire others to feel the same way about their own city, neighborhood, home.

The bottom line: We create artwork that honors the architecture and history of places worth preserving, with a special love for Chicago. We help our clients honor cherished homes, buildings, neighborhoods, cities; and we partner with organizations with similar missions.

The logo makes a few references:
  • The iconic three towers of the 1933 World's Fair, the Century of Progress.
  • Looking overhead at the tops of cottage roofs, which you can see in so many neighborhoods.
  • The tips of ink pens. A nod to our origins in ink but more generally, to our arts-based focus.

Many thanks to Steve Shanabruch for creating this logo! We loved working with him.

We've given our website a fresh look and are changing things top to bottom, from postcards to the sign on our door. It's amazing just how many things there are to change, and you will probably see signs of "Cape Horn Illustration" for some time to come, but eventually it'll be all Wonder City Studio.

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January 04, 2021 — Phil Thompson