"La Brujula" college magazine header

gabssnake's picture

Hey, Im currently with a comitee whom will be working on a magazine for my college (University Jorge Tadeo Lozano. Bogotá, Colombia).

[ Please view the image before reading more, so you can get a *clean* first impression ]

It is going to be called "La Brújula", which in spanish means compass; and is meant to represent the one artifact pointing a desired direction, the intention of going that specific somewhere, as well as an existing architectural "spot" in the college called that way (were students wait between classes, read, talk, get together, etc).

It is meant to be a young but still institutional publication (will be writen and design by students only), showing the variety of characters in students and the collage 's will to be in constant change, for the good. It was created so students start to feel more like a community.

After some discussion, we'll be using Afga Rotis "family" for the publication (Serif, Semi-Serif, Semi-Sans & Sans-Serif, with their variations), so I started from the semi-serif. There is a version for small sizes, in which "La" is bolder; just an idea.

Critics, comments, suggestions: All welcome.

PD: This first version is a collab between Daniel Sarmiento and me, not yet official.

labrujula.jpg25.07 KB
labrujula02.jpg65.38 KB
Lex Kominek's picture

I'm usually not a big Rotis fan, but I like how this looks.

To me, a compass is signified by an arrow pointing north. I see you've got an arrow in there, but it's pointing west.

Does the spot on campus called La Brújula have some sort of recognizable landmark that could be worked into the logo?

- Lex

gabssnake's picture

Hi lex,

Well, the spot on the campus is actually a compass, made out of bricks rising about 30-40 cms as a flat circled surface of a 2-2.5m diameter, having a compass drawn (incrusted metal of some sort) on its top. I'll try to get a picture soon.

I see what you mean about the arrow. We were trying to make it more typographic rather than analogical (didn't wanted to show an actual compass), we only intended to show direction (notice oneway serifs), but the fact that it is "pointing" west I haven't realized.

Right now I can't think of something to solve that, is it too bad, what do you think? Suggestions? We previously tried something with the descendant of the J; Ill post it with the pic of the campus' spot.


This are some photographs of the spot in the campus, they aren't so good, sorry for that; Im not that of a photographer.


satya's picture

gabssnake, the header is really looking good. But i think you need some minor modifications. May be you can wait for the feedback from other typophilies..here are my thoughts.

>>. 1
The counter space between B,r and u is too wide..and because of this the over all header is looking weaker at this part.
>>. 2
The centre horizontal bar..which is coming out from the '-B' is not going with the serifs of the typeface and not even looking visually good(According to me)
>>. 3
The triangular thing(between B and r)is really looking bad...may be bacause its separate from both the letters. You can Identify the B without that also.
>>. 4
Why the both U's are different from each other?

These are just my thoughts...wait for real comments from the other senior members.

Student, Graphic Design
National Institute of Design
Ahmedabad, India

gabssnake's picture

Thank you very much for your comments, I'll try to answer them as good as I can.

I now see the uneven space there between the "bru", specially the "ru" pairs. I honestly don't know what to do about it, I can't close it more beacause of the serif in the U. Maybe I could separate everything a little bit to make it look more consistent, but I'm worried about losing solidness.

I'll be trying a different "arrow" for the B, stay close so you can further comment.

I'll try a version without the black form, I only left it because I thought it would loss some recognition.

I took the serif out of the first U because it was looking too "heavy" whith the acute accent. I'll post the previous version for you guys to see. By the way, is this looking odd? Most people don't even notice.



gabssnake's picture


I tried to work around some of the suggestions, also added some things I've promissed.

0 - The first one I posted
a - The variation of the B's arrow
b - Arrow not pointing west ;)

All revisions: 1) added a ligature on "RU" pair, 2) discard the black form left from the circle, 3) same Us: added a serif to the first one.

a1 - just added the revisions.
a2 - modified R serif to try to match B
a3 - R with no serif
ab1 - both arrows implemented
b1 - no arrow on the B
b2 - a variaton of b1, contaning a rombus in the B

Thanks for your comments already, I'm still working on this.


satya's picture

gabssnake , I think last one is looking pretty nice, balanced and stylish too. excellent work. Liked the way you joined the r and u to resolve the whitespace problem between them. Go with this.

It will also looks nice if you dont have that arrow at the bottom of the 'j'..like in a3.

Nice work gabssnake.


Lex Kominek's picture

Just a thought - I don't speak Spanish, so I don't know if this will work.

What if you took the shape of the compass arrow from your photograph (the circle with the diamond shape) and used it instead of the accent on the 'ú'? It would probably work best if pointed straight up, but if that won't read properly in Spanish, try angling it to the right. You probably won't need any other arrow shapes in this case, so base it off of version b1, with the 'j' from version a.

This is just a thought, it may or may not work.

- Lex

lapiak's picture

The string 'rúj' is looking crowded, but overall, it's a great improvement over the original. Optically, it may seem the ú could be slightly expanded.

satya: Your avatar monogram is gorgeous. I can't keep my eyes off of it! :)

satya's picture

cyanide, thanks you liked it:)
plz visit here if u wanna know more abt this avatar.

timd's picture

I have reservations about the ru ligature, certainly there is a white area in the original, but that is part of the nature of the characters and I think that it is important to keep them seperate, in order to address the uneven white space I would suggest kerning the other characters further apart and redrawing the loop of the j to compensate (though without the arrow). I would also consider dropping any pictorial reference to a compass, there is enough in the name and I assume nearly all the students would make the connection. For the La the unicase style isn't working for me could you make them the same point size and nestle the a in the angle of the L. I find the accent a little stunted as if it is cut off before it reaches a point, the purpose would I guess have been to make it work within Rotis at text sizes, I think you could make it lean more to the horizontal more sympathetic to the angle of the serifs and finish it with a narrower end and return to the cropped off serif, you could even consider removing the dot of the j.

gabssnake's picture

I didn't post since a long time friends, and a lot of things happened to the header... First, terrible thing to say, is that the magazine crew didn't like it a all (we went with one of the above with slight mods), and I mean, AT ALL.

We had to totally change it, this time they wanted something more "product-like", "according to current aesthetic tendencies", not so "classic" or "boring" they sayd. We'll, what can I say...

We had to redo it, all the way from the drawingboard.
This time I took advantage of my partner and did it by myself.
The concepts were "variety/diversty" and "change (constant movement)", refering to the aspects which we presume identify the community.

We didn't had so mucho time, so this was only one first intent and one small correction. Then it went straight to the plates (30,000 on magazines already, also some posters/advertising).

There have been released 3 numbers of the magazine, and we're planning to improve some things for the next year. I would like to start from the header. Then I remembered how supportive you guys were with the first one. ;)

Don't go soft with critics/observations. I know we've got a lot to improve. Regards,

PS: I'll be posting/linking some of the covers/pages of the magazine so you can check them out ;)
Btw, UJTL is short for "Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano".


adnix's picture

That's sad to hear about the original logo. Do you think that they will be open to changing the logo now that 3 issues have already appeared?

I think the one they went with is almost illegible, and looks very dated like what was in style in the US 8-10 years ago. Funny how they didn't want anything classic or boring, and yet the logo is made up of parts of "classic" scripts and "boring" sans serifs.

I would advise coming up with 3 different concepts to present, not just variations on 1 concept like what you posted earlier in the thread.

timd's picture

I think you should use either all uppercase or initial uppercase and lowercase for the rest of the mark, the a is not working for me at all.

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