Behind The Design - The Codfather
This is our first installment of Behind The Design. In this series we will take a more in depth look at what went into each design and provide insight into the little innuendos you may have missed.
Before we even get into the design, let’s talk about The Godfather for a moment. The cast alone is unreal. Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, and Robert Duvall just to name a few. According to IMDB that’s 7 Oscar wins, 223 other awards and another 340 nominations between those six cast members alone. Talk about an all-star cast!
Now don’t even get us started with Rotten Tomatoes. It’s absolutely absurd that it has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 98% but ranks a mere 26th on their list of Top 100 Movies of All Time. You bet your baguette we’ll be writing a letter to complain about that.
Moving beyond the cast and our disdain of the Rotten Tomatoes ranking, the trilogy is one we’ve watched time and time again. We get so excited about it that I wouldn't even know where to begin. All I can say is the scene where Michael kills Sollozzo and McCluskey is pure gold. Even when I rewatch it, it gives me goosebumps.
Now let’s jump right into the design. Anthony (Tony) Carmeci III of Carmeci Design absolutely killed it. Let’s see how many of the details you were able to figure out on your own. We bet you didn’t realize the last one!
Let’s start with the logo. We’ve seen The Godfather logo with the puppeteer hand and strings time and time again in plenty of designs where the artist simply changes the wording to suit. Not us! We spare no detail! Note the hand and strings have been replaced by fishing poles, lines and hooks. A subtle difference but it sends the same message: once you’re on the line, you’re no longer in control.
Now to the meat and potatoes of the design. The cod with a dress shirt, suspenders and bowtie holding the newspaper with a blood stain. The cod is pretty self-explanatory. The attire, however, is a nod to the well-dressed men of The Godfather trilogy. Throughout the majority of the series the men wore a suit and tie since after all the mafia is run like a business and not just a gang of street thugs. Furthermore, the blood on the newspaper is a stark reminder that if you don’t stay in line with the mafia, then you are expendable.
Lastly, comes the speech bubble, “Orca Brasi sleeps with quell’uomo indifeso…” What’s “quell’uomo indifeso” you might ask. It’s Italian for “that helpless man”. So the entire quote is “Orca Brasi sleeps with that helpless man…” Get your heads out of the gutters! As you can recall, Orca Brasi aka the large and in charge Luca Brasi has an untimely death:
“To draw out rival mobster Virgil Sollozzo, Don Corleone orders Brasi to feign dissatisfaction in his work for the Corleones, and a desire to switch allegiances. Don Tattaglia, hearing this, arranges a meeting between Brasi and Sollozzo. Brasi arrives, wearing a bulletproof vest. Sollozzo, unfooled by the ruse, has him killed, then sends the vest stuffed with dead fish to the Corleones, an old Sicilian message saying that Brasi, "sleeps with the fishes." ~ Wikipedia
So why not simply make it “Orca Brasi sleeps with the fishes…”? Well, like I said, we spare no detail and so the plot thickens. Who is that helpless man? Let’s recall what Connie says to Michael in The Godfather Part II:
“Michael, I hated you for so many years. I think that I did things to myself, to hurt myself so that you'd know - that I could hurt you. You were just being strong for all of us the way Papa was. And I forgive you. Can't you forgive Fredo? He's so sweet and helpless without you. You need me, Michael. I want to take care of you now." via FANDOM powered by Wikia
So Fredo is that helpless man! Now what the hell does that have to do with Orca Brasi? Let’s recall what happens to Fredo. Near the end of The Godfather Part II, while Fredo and Neri are fishing on Lake Tahoe, Neri executes Fredo as he is reciting the Hail Mary prayer, and as Michael watches from his house.
The scene then cuts and you could say it is safe to assume that they simply dumped the body in Lake Tahoe. There is no need to speculate as this is actually confirmed in Mark Winegardner's novel The Godfather Returns in which it states that Neri returns alone.
So now that helpless man, aka Fredo, has found his final resting place at the bottom of Lake Tahoe. Orca Brasi, being the marine mammal that he is, would too presumably find his final resting place underwater. Therefore, the headlines read “Orca Brasi sleeps with that helpless man…” or “Orca Brasi sleeps with quell’uomo indifeso…” to tie in with the Italian theme throughout the trilogy.
Tony sure did make us think long and hard about that one! So, without further ado, we give you The Codfather!
"We have known each other many tides, but this is the first time you've come to me for coral or for kelp. I can't remember the last time you invited me to your reef for some fish flakes, even though my wife is codmother to your only fingerling. But let's be frank here. You never wanted my finship. And you feared to be in my net."
If you like these in depth looks at our designs be on the look out for more in the near future! Also, don’t forget to pick up your own tee below or at The Codfather collection page and drop us a comment to let us know what you think about The Codfather!