designing a tri-lingual logo for myself

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Yaronimus Maximus's picture
Joined: 11 Sep 2005 - 12:38am
designing a tri-lingual logo for myself

hello, salam, shalom :)

excuse me if this text is too long and exhausting, i have much to say:
(see a shortened version below)

I'm currently designing my logo. i am a designer and artist.
when approaching the design, i decided on some values (i'll write the basic ones) -

i see myself as a combination of east and west,
living in a place (and leave politics aside) which has both.

i am also a typographer and i create calligraphy, mainly in Hebrew.
i also love to experience other languages typography too, and i sometimes i touch Arabic and English too.

i decided to use HEBREW, English, and also Arabic in my logo.

i know the dangers, the negative association of many Israelis with the Arabic language (which may harm my commercial work). i already experienced the harsh criticism just because i used the Arabic letters.
also I'm aware of the problems that occurre with combining three different languages in one form, that should function as a legible logo.

I'm trying to do something different, which i totally believe in.
i did not think people will shout at me (people close to me) because I'm using Arabic, but i think that after the shock i am becoming a bit stronger. i believe in culture exchange, peace, bridging the gaps.

i decided to use the blackletter style and a shape of an "ogive arch" because they appear in my artistic works. the arch is an architectonic shape that can be found in Gothic cathedrals, Arabic buildings (a bit different), and even in israel. thus being the perfect example of something shared by different cultures. in my art it symbolises an "inner world" too.

i also use blackletter in my works too. my professional name "yaronimus" is an extension of my real name - Yaron ("will rejoice" in Hebrew), with a kind of Latin or Greko-roman ending to it "imus" (like hieronimus:). the name implies on my admiration of history, (medieval times especially, hence my love for blackletter). i love the german blackletter and the Grimm tales.

what i wrote here may or may nor be historically accurate, but to me it all connects.
it is a long way i have made with my art and design, and these associations are the fruit of my works.

the sketch attached here will function as a basis for calligraphy work, which may look different (for example - more fluidity, different style and identical hebraic serifs for all)

shortened version :
a sketch of my logo - combining east and west by using three languages and the arch shape (same in Islamic and Gothic architecture). this sk is a basis for calligraphy lettering of the logo later in the process.

this sketch is something that was refined after much work, and i think this might be it, but i feel there is much to be improved:

1.i'm afraid the kerning is not good(especially in the arabic)(who is afraid of kerning?).
2.what do i do in the right part?
3.the S letter is stretched just for demonstration, please don't kill me :) it too cluttered and stuffy? should i try using lighter weight? with arabic:
a. i need help with arabic
b. need a recommendation for a free arabic font for the lower text, that will look good with some sans serif font.
6. help with blackletter
7. is helvetica good for the lower text?
i know i can make the lower text made in calligraphy too, but i think it's too much.
8. Hebrew lower text font will be replaced later on.

sorry for the long text :)

general idea:

my original logo (hebrew and english) plus a matching arabic font:

my latest sketch:

sorry for the bad quality.
thanks for all who will help me!!

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am

Yaron, you have the best challenges!

I need time.


William Berkson's picture
Joined: 26 Feb 2003 - 11:00am

The top three line go together very nicely. The bottom, not so well. I don't know Arabic script. Your mem in 'yaronimus' didn't read like a 'mem' at first, but my Hebrew is not so good. If others have no problem, that's fine, but I would ask.

Yaronimus Maximus's picture
Joined: 11 Sep 2005 - 12:38am

thanks hrant - take your time. for me, i have to print the logo in a business card by the 25th for my art installation in an exhibition, but i imagine i will continue improving it. for now i need the basics letters legible (ha! what a great task), so i can make calligraphy out of them.

william - yea, the mem is not so good, and i already have several ideas for fixing it.
by the way - isn't there a better alternative for the lower text than helvetica? something as legible in small sizes, sans, cristal clear, reliable (sounds like the ultimate text type.

what do you think - i decided using sans for the lower text because i think that the upper part is complicated enough, so that the basic info will be easy to read.
the problem is that sans may look too detached and alien to the upper part.

your views are greatly appreciated :)

William Berkson's picture
Joined: 26 Feb 2003 - 11:00am

On the bottom part, it is a question of getting the three scripts of similar color and length of line (or a pattern) to match.

You might consider doing it by hand with a smaller width pen, as you've made that work well on top--but with simpler script. Is the Arabic at the bottom actual text? I ask because the last three words look the same. A lot of the issue is the width of the thing in relation to the top, and also getting the lines the same height and color.

Now your Arabic line--which actually works better with the above--is less tall and darker. If the Arabic is really that long, then you might consider putting the English and Hebrew on one line, with narrower, darker letters. Meta, for example, is narrower. Consider narrow all caps as a possibility also...

Another way: have the words for 'design' or 'graphic design' repeated in all three scripts on one line, and 'art' in three scripts on the other.

Yaronimus Maximus's picture
Joined: 11 Sep 2005 - 12:38am

william - i am still waiting for someone to translate "graphic designer and artist" into arabic, so for now it's gibberish.

i will try making the lower texts in calligraphy, but latin text is a bit hard for me in calligraphy, so i was thinking about rotunda style. but, i have no matching fonts.

i will try making just sans serif letters with calligraphy.

i know there are several arabic fonts that go well with latin and sans type, but i don't know names. i need the arabic font to be plain and not calligraphic.

you said: "Another way: have the words for ’design’ or ’graphic design’ repeated in all three scripts on one line, and ’art’ in three scripts on the other."
i will try it, but it may have too many detailes to be legible in small size.


James Deux's picture
Joined: 16 Sep 2008 - 7:47pm

Yaronimus, this is fantastic. I commend you on really challenging yourself.

I cannot fully appreciate this because the detail on the arabic/hebrew is both minute and specific meaning everything appears as it NEEDS to appear (I'm assuming). So I don't quite have the knowledge to fully comment.

But as for the English at the end: Have you tried other fonts? Helvetica I feel really mitigates the beauty of the calligraphy. I cannot imagine another good font to use though.