Heavy Metal Typography

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Jared Benson's picture
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Heavy Metal Typography
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A friend of mine has asked to design the logo for his new band, “Gutterbäll” — His only criteria is that the logo should look “very heavy metal.”

I certainly have some ideas of how to proceed, but before I post some examples, I wanted to open it up for discussion. What typographic treatments lend themselves for effective heavy metal-ness?

Feel free to post examples, or throw out ideas. And Yes, they have an umlaut over the “a”, just for kicks.

jb

Tiffany Wardle's picture
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One thing comes instantly to mind. (the obvious first, right?)— Headbanger’s Ball — The “gnarliest” black letter you can find — and less rotunda-schwabacher shapes more textura-fraktur — the more mediaeval the better. or on second thought what about more of an “einsturzende neubauten” approach?

are they heavy metal ala WASP/Judas Priest, Poison/Ratt, Motley Crue/Can’t think of one, Black Sabbath (60s 70s)/Blue Oyster Cult/Led Zeppelin? Seems to me the Speed Metal bands were always a little more “evil” in their “look” while heavy metal bands seemed to have their tongues more in their cheeks. I might look at the early seventies stuff — Zep, BOC, Black Sabbath

Stuart Sandler's picture
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Forget the ‘tt’ ligature, create a dagger + dagger ligature! Don’t forget to use the umlat u like Motley Crüe

Totally Kick Ass!

steve paxton's picture
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»interesting debate though, would be, is elitism positive or not
What would be the point of that, since you insist that elitism is unavoidable

»some to excel and others to parish
The first time I assumed it was a typo — twice in succession, maybe you don’t know that the word you’re looking for is ‘perish’

(Oh bugger, I’ve done it again)

jay wilkinson's picture
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darrel,

> That’s not really how we should perceive ourselves (or how any industry should perceive themselves, other than maybe royal families or evil dictators.)

i think it’s a knee jerk reaction to vilify elitism. there are many elitists who are healthy happy friendly people. elitists are not evil fascists.

i’m talking about design generally which applies to graphic design as well. design is subjective in general and in it’s details. can you think of an area where it’s not (without reverting to the typographic legibility line)?

> Maybe I’m not understanding your definition.

i guess this is part of the problem. with elitism can come arrogance, rudeness, etc. but not necessarily. not all elitists are arrogant. but most are. all good things have bad things about them and all bad things have good things about them. i’m just focusing on the positive elements of elitism.

emotionally no one likes being talked down to. but when it happens to you or you’re placed in that position it pushes you in one of two ways. 1-you make changes in yourself and strive for something higher. 2-you do nothing. this is illustrated well in school. there are those that fight the elitism found with in and remain ignorant. then there are those who rise to the challenge and learn new things becoming elitists themselves. our american society today is too quick to try and deny social hierarchies and elitism because it’s not p.c.. i think most all the great things in culture owe themselves to elitism. art, design, typography are just a few of them.

jay wilkinson's picture
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steve, perish is correct… thanks

Tiffany Wardle's picture
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Elitism is avoidable. It’s called humility. Being talented doesn’t mean you have to be an elitist. It is possible to have pride in one’s work without being arrogant. It is also possible to know with strong conviction that you have successfully answered the clients problems through your design without being elitist about it.

I think perhaps what can be said is that designers do need humble confidence, not arrogant pride.

Here’s a good quote for you: Elitism is the subconscious assumption that worthy persons must be built up, and unworthy persons must be degraded. It includes the assumption that such a dichotomy is objective, necessary and virtuous.

jay wilkinson's picture
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> It is possible to have pride in one’s work without being arrogant.

but it’s still elitism and a form of social hierarchy.

> solve clients problems through your design without being elitist about it.

you as the designer and they as the client automatically puts you in a position of elitism.

humility is a form of etiquette that social covers up it’s root, which is elitism. just because someone is humble does not mean they aren’t elitist. look at eastern culture if you need an example of this. we just wear it on our sleeves in the west. you can’t escape it. it’s hard wired.

great quote, though i’d say it’s very conscious.

Tiffany Wardle's picture
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Forgive me. I couldn’t help myself.

jay wilkinson's picture
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good… so what?

Tiffany Wardle's picture
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The above. If we must say we are elitist, I thought it would be nice to introduce a few more words that we can possibly use as well. And did you know there is a personality disorder attached?

Tiffany Wardle's picture
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Jay you are wrong. Look at the antonyms. Perhaps I’m leaning too far in the other direction, but you are wrong.

steve paxton's picture
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»emotionally no one likes being talked down to. but when it happens to you or you’re placed in that position it pushes you in one of two ways. 1-you make changes in yourself and strive for something higher. 2-you do nothing. this is illustrated well in school. there are those that fight the elitism found with in and remain ignorant. then there are those who rise to the challenge and learn new things becoming elitists themselves.

Jay, surely even you cannot think that talking down to someone automatically makes you (or anyone) right.
Therefore, when someone talks down to you, you still have to decide if they are correct or not, and act on their words or reject their words accordingly.
What you appear to be saying is that any of your students who disagree with your views are ignorant, whereas those who think you’re right become little carbon copies of you.

Still you have described how elitists are made — when someone is talked down to by an elitist, and is too weak to think for themselves, they rise to the challenge of becoming patronising elitists themselves

Explains quite alot really…

Kevin L. Jones's picture
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» Gutterball sounds like an cross between Guttermouth and Butterball, so that’ll be an oven-ready pre-basted punk band?


AHAHAHAHA!!

steve paxton's picture
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»you as the designer and they as the client automatically puts you in a position of elitism.

If this is true, then what if you’re designing something for a company who makes the paper you buy in the course of your work?
Step outside of the office and into their shop, now you’re not in the elitist role in a designer client relationship, they are in the elitist role in a paper manufacturer client relationship.

jay wilkinson's picture
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steve,

> What you appear to be saying is that any of your students who disagree with your views are ignorant,

c’mon steve i’m not that naive… of course they have the option.

> whereas those who think you’re right become little carbon copies of you.

c’mon?…. people are in part a collection of many things they come across.

> Still you have described how elitists are made — when someone is talked down to by an elitist, and is too weak to think for themselves, they rise to the challenge of becoming patronizing elitists themselves

not really steve, they just become arrogant. arrogance and elitism are two different things.

> If this is true, then what if you’re designing something for a company who makes the paper you buy in the course of your work? Step outside of the office and into their shop, now you’re not in the elitist role in a designer client relationship, they are in the elitist role in a paper manufacturer client relationship.

now your kinda getting it. though the fact is it goes the other way. the paper company regards the designer as the consumer who they need to impress, so they will buy their product. the designer is put in the power position. i don’t know the last time you went to a paper or print house as a designer but you most likely got the red carpet.

steve paxton's picture
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So the designer is in an elitist position as a purchaser, because the manufacturer needs to impress the designer to gain their custom.
And the designer is in the elitist position when dealing with their clients (the purchasers of design work) because they understand design better.
Is that what you’re saying?

jay wilkinson's picture
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tiffany, elitist is not interchangeable with any of the words you listed. that’s why these words have different definitions. they may get close in grey areas but are not the same thing. i think you’ve missed the point. arrogance is not elitism. arrogance is unfounded and naive condescension. please stop trying to lump them together.

jay wilkinson's picture
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steve, yes that’s a big part of what i’m saying. just as a lawyer is in the upper position when you have a legal problem. it’s a give and take but someone always has the upper hand. that’s the way the human social system works. it’s the dance all human cultures share.

Héctor Muñoz Huerta's picture
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i

jay wilkinson's picture
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hector, why’d you read this thread and then waste even more of your time posting to it? look at the top of your browser there’s a back button.

here are a couple of parts from a few reviews i thought some of you might be interested in. it’s for a book by William A. Henry, titled “in defense of elitism”.

Published prior to the crescendo of criticism against affirmative action and related programs, William Henry’s new book suggests an interesting interpretive framework. Put off by the excesses that result from extending good causes to the extreme, Henry focuses attention upon the dialectic between elitism and egalitarianism since World War II. In his view, egalitarianism has triumphed, thereby eliminating the creative tension between the two that fuels progress in American society and culture. To quote him, “the positive side of egalitarianism, the will to tolerance, [must be] coupled with the positive side of elitism, the intellectual suppleness to tolerate and accept diverse elements in society while holding firmly to one’s own values’ ” to sustain the balance (194). With no check on its egalitarian tendencies, American culture loses the capacity to distinguish or to judge among alternatives.

William Henry was a two time winner of the Pulitzer Prize (once for reporting, once for criticism) and served as Time Magazine’s culture critic.

David Thometz's picture
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Jay:

All of that might have been appropriate under a topic of “elitism in design” or something such. But this thread has gotten so far off topic as to be laughable.

Further, when anyone calls you on a point, such as justifying your definition of “logo” vs. “logotype” — based only on your stated opinion against my three definitions (dictionary, historical context and Paul Rand’s description), you rather deftly change the subject rather than meet the challenge.

This thread was about Heavy Metal Typography, but you have subverted it along a twisted path of rudeness, pseudo logic and unsubstantiated assertions.

Hector’s point is well taken. I, too, am tired of this. Hand drawing a logo for a heavy metal garage band will hardly have any effect on “the problems that continue to plague American society.” Your shifting of the discussion to a defense of elitism and its effect the work ethic in the world economy is simply a bizarre attempt to justify your rude, insulting, unwarranted and rather ludicrous holier-than-thou original post.

If anyone cares to review the entire thread, it’s rather humorous to chart the twists and turns Jay has taken to avoid answering for himself, especially taking into account the original purpose of Jared’s first post.

I doubt that Jay would accept such poor argument development (and run-on logic) in a paper by any of his students.

jay wilkinson's picture
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david, get over it. this thread has turned into something else. it happens.

i don’t think you’ve been reading. i’ve spoken to the logo / trademark issue. i’ll post it again…

1) it’s a low brow term. that does not mean that logotype solutions themselves are low brow.
2) just because the dictionary has adopted the incorrect term and defined it does not mean it’s correct. many notable identity designers would agree.
3) paul rand was producing work when the abbreviations “logo” was coming to power as a word. this does not make it a correct term either.
4) i do agree that it has become a common term though and that is the reality of it. i don’t chastise people over it only people that should know better. my effort was to expose the reality of the term. i think you guys are way to entrenched in an improper blanket term.

open your eyes david.

>If anyone cares to review the entire thread, it’s rather humorous to chart the twists and turns Jay has taken to avoid answering for himself, especially taking into account the original purpose of Jared’s first post.

c’mon david you have to be more on the ball than this. i’ve been very diligent in answering all attacks on my posts. i believe very strongly in doing so. obviously more so then most other individuals on this thread. look at the sheer number of posts i have here… try again.

steve paxton's picture
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Jay you are so far out of your depth I really shouldn’t bother, but here goes…

You tell Tiffany that ‘arrogance is unfounded and naive condescension

A few posts later you decide to paste in some comments about a book by William Henry, dealing with elitism.
Not any of the major players on the elitism scene — Mosca, Pareto, Michels etc, but William Henry for f*cks sake!
He may have won awards for his writing, but prose and social analysis are two different things. In terms of his views on the state of contemporary society, Henry was a just a tired old hack with no more authority than the guy in the pub.

Much more accomplished theorists than Henry have defended elitism, and much more accomplished theorists heve denounced it. Surely from your own elitist position, you would have to rate the opinions of these trained and talented professionals above the rantings of an ill-informed amateur hack.
(Although, you hold your own opinion on the definition of common words as a higher authority than any dictionary, so maybe I should expect you to value Henry’s views above anyone else’s).



To post these reviews of Henry’s book is condescending because you ought to assume that the people reading the post are capable of finding out for themselves what elitism is, without having to be told by you.

To post these reviews is naive, because it demonstrates that your understanding of political and social issues is based not on an informed appreciation of relevant debates but on the populist rantings of hacks.

Your naive condescension is unfounded because your post makes it clear that the level of your social and political awareness is several steps below that of many of the contributors to this board, particularly those people who you have aimed your comments at.

Hmm…unfounded and naive condescension…what does that add up to?

David Thometz's picture
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Fun ideas, all….

Apologies that this is so late. I tried some ligature experiments:

GutterbällHefeweizen.jpg

Hrant H Papazian's picture
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> why’d you read this thread

I don’t know about H

David Holman's picture
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“i’ve been very diligent in answering all attacks on my
posts. i believe very strongly in doing so. obviously
more so then most other individuals on this thread.
look at the sheer number of posts i have here… try
again.”

he’s obviously not getting it, folks; can we move on
now?

“more so then most”

Jay, it’s *than*. for some reason that particular
recurring error has been driving me nuts!

darrel's picture
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Jay…where did you get your dictionary?

You are obviously using one that is completely foreign to anyone else in here.

I just realized that this entire thread is a debate about a few words that you define in a completely different manner than the rest of the populace.

Knowing that, I now realize the debate is no longer fun and lacking any merit in terms of actually anyone coming to a conclusion.

‘Doh! I’m so gullible.

jay wilkinson's picture
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well, it’s been a good debate. i have to sit back and laugh. the fact is that the group of you are as elitist and arrogant a bunch of a$$holes as i have ever seen. i respect that. i think it’s pretty apparent that you hold elitist ideals as well. if you didn’t you wouldn’t be pursuing a craft like typography or design. my hat goes off to you for that. for awhile i was afraid you guys were all a bunch of egalitarian zombies but i’m glad to see elitism is still going strong.

darrel's picture
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“if you didn’t you wouldn’t be pursuing a craft like typography or design.”

Again, I’m really confused as to how you define ‘elitist’.

Paul Yamagata-Madlon's picture
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I would like to be the first to wish this thread a very happy one year anniversary!

(…and I’d like to surreptitiously keep it open to see what kind of heck it will unleash in its second year!)

Colin Hartnett's picture
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david, get over it. this thread has turned into something else. it happens.

BUT THIS THREAD CAN’T TURN INTO SOMETHING ELSE!

Hell, if things could evolve, some words might start out having one meaning, and then TURN INTO SOMETHING ELSE, and we all know that doesn’t happen.

Anonymous's picture
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Some would say “touch

David Roughs's picture
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Hey.

Wotta coinky-dink! I was directed to this site by a friend in Seattle who’s currently also working towards being a graphic designer. We were comparing schools and after hearing gush about her typography class (which apparently was taught by Jay Wilkinson, it was the exact same exercises and the same principles), I was jealous as hell. My typography lessons were a couple weeks doing a letterform and a glossary sheet defining “serif” and “x-height” in an intro to graphic design class.

So I may not know a heckuva lot about type (but am taking recommendations for New Orleans area classes/schools), but I do know about umlauts. Well, rock ‘n’ roll umlauts anyway. Where in any other media an umlaut is a symbol denoting pronunciation (or at least that it is a foreign-@ss word yer looking at), in R ‘n’ R it simply means that the umlauted band is making claims to RAWK! No pronunciation changes need apply.

David Roughs

Anonymous's picture
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Hello, this is my first post and I’d like to say hello to everyone. Also I’d like to encourage people back to the original topic, without so many words and more images. There’s a Swedish band named Opeth and I kind of like their logo. May this serve as eye candy to go back to the Gutterb

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David — I like the third one down in the left column. :)

Jared — are you going to show us any prelims?

Here is Gutterball set in Hrant’s Brutaal.

gutter.jpg

aeolist's picture
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is this where is should post my new pancake recipe?

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I hope you’re making those pancakes from scratch…

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http://www.mymindwriting.com

Handwriting is mind writing, expert personality development analysis, improving professional Trades of handwriting,
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oral lesson help plan, Study worksheets, Make money without tears, Learn tips for mind, Change practice for kid, Serious child grow, Global paper seminars, recognition with anonymous writing, improve skill therapy specialist.

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Hrant H Papazian's picture
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Hey, nice triple-umlaut! (And it even goes with the three finger holes on the ball.)

hhp

pogono's picture
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being swedish, its always fun too see that our too often forgotten lettors å, ä, and ö is still considered heavy metal. the letter å is pronounced similar too the a in ball. with an ä its more like “gutterbell”.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
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Like a tinkerbell who hits rock bottom?  ;-)
Anyway, how do you pronounce the “a” with *three* dots?

hhp

Tiffany Wardle's picture
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Ooh Yeah. I like the one BJ posted! — David what if the dagger part of the daggers (so eloquent) were made to look more like crucifixes?

Jacques Le Bailly's picture
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BJ, I just have seen The Lord of the Ring part 1 again on big screen. Hrants type combined with 3 dots gives a similar impression as the type used in the film. (Which is not bad, by the way, even after reading the 5 times….)

Jacques

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I like the one BJ posted too! (Nice font, Hrant — fun to see it used like this!)

Tiffany: I had the thought about the crucifixes as well. On BJ’s look, what if the bowling ball was made to look like a skull?

(Metal projects can be fun, no? :D )

David “Nigel” Thometz

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ratt`s Typography does exist? the font, any one?

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ratt‘s Typography does exist? the font, any one?

Ratt’s logo is definitely custom drawn, although if you trawl the free font web sites you might be able to find something based on it.

Tiffany Wardle's picture
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http://labyrinth.georgetown.edu/ Great resource for looking into manuscripts (etc.)

Hrant H Papazian's picture
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> fun to see it used like this!

Fun to see it used, period.  :-)

hhp

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I didn’t do nuthin’. Hrant’s font was like a scrubbing bubble.

Hrant, what were you thinking, seriously, when you were making Brutaal?

Jared, does the band have a website, some downloadable music…what have you come up with? The Gutterball fan club wants some news, eh?

bj

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to my knowledge, not yet. They’re just starting out. They have half a dozen songs, and I’ve seen them play, but I don’t think they’ve made any recordings yet… I’ll ask.

I still need to post the version I’m working on, which is set in Fette Fraktur, if I recall correctly…