Logotype for a software company

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David Pache's picture
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Joined: 12 Nov 2009 - 10:12am
Logotype for a software company
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Hi,

I am looking for some assistance with the lettering on a project I am working on. The symbol itself is unconfirmed for now but I would like to take the typographical elements further. I would love all and any feedback to improve upon this.

I ask that we not mention the client just for search engines.

Thanks!

Regards,
David Pache

Riccardo Sartori's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 - 4:20am
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The overall effect is a bit messy.
The letters don't get along well.
"d" and "p" are too heavy/wide, the "s"s are too thin, the "e"s too round, "a" and "k" have a too thick vertical stroke.
Given the subject, I think you could try a more monospaced kind of feeling.

MrKikkoman's picture
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Joined: 2 Aug 2008 - 11:18am
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ya, I think wider spacing between the letters could look great. As a developer, I'm used to using/seeing Monaco so you can explore those kind of typefaces.

So, did you custom letter that..because it looks rough? Along with what riccard said, the 'p' and 'a' have some funkyness going on with it, like little indentations.

Ratbaggy's picture
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Joined: 30 May 2006 - 10:17pm
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3rd chime in.

the stroke and letter weights are all over the place

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Paul
Design Studio Melbourne

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Fonts should be tweaked only by type designers. Otherwise the delicate balances that necessarily exist within and among the letterforms of a font unfailingly suffer. If you're not a type designer, instead of tweaking a font just use a good font that works for the job. Maybe something as accessible as Consolas.

hhp

Ratbaggy's picture
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Joined: 30 May 2006 - 10:17pm
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while I don't totally disagree you hrant, with that mentality no one learns anything new. type/font tweaking is not speacial area reserved for only a select few.
there is no harm in trying and experimenting.

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Paul
Design Studio Melbourne

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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OK, I was a bit abrupt.
Definitely try your hand at type design, or just tweaking letterforms.
But until you learn enough, don't use it on a client! :-)

hhp

Ratbaggy's picture
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Joined: 30 May 2006 - 10:17pm
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hear hear

in fact...don't do anything ON a client.
;-)

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Paul
Design Studio Melbourne

David Pache's picture
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Joined: 12 Nov 2009 - 10:12am
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I believe there may have been a misunderstanding, there is no font tweaking here at all, it is all hand made by myself. This explains why for now it seems somewhat messy. Again I apologize for not being clearer on that I consider this nothing more than a sketch.

I am still working on the lettering and should have an update on the project soon.

Thank you for the feedback and constructive criticism, it sincerely helps.

David Pache's picture
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Joined: 12 Nov 2009 - 10:12am
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What I have been working on recently is having one stroke throughout while still using my original idea and also improving the geometry. I think the 'a' is the worst of the set. Any feedback is welcome :^)

Thanks!

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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It's great to see scratch work instead of tweaking - it's the best way to really grasp how letterforms work. I might advise working on this as a whole font (and submitting it to Typophile's critique forum) separate from this logo work; on the other hand you only need 7-8 glyphs to do this job, so maybe you can in fact do the logo first (and actually many fonts start life as a logo).

I'm not sure what you mean by "having one stroke throughout". You probably mean expanding letterform skeletons, but -although that's instinctive- it doesn't really work, as it looks like you're realizing since you're having to do major adjustments, especially in your "a" and "k". It's better -although decidedly more difficult- to think of letters as black-white shapes, where what you're actually determining is the edge/border of the black-white. In fact on the computer what we actually do is define the border anyway, but the "skeleton" persists with us stubbornly; we have to bury the thing! :-)

Your new version is better. First thing I'd do is not bother with the small curve and resultant tiny aperture at the bottom-rights of "d" and "a" and the top-left of "p"; try just making those flat. The other problem is the "s" - almost always a tricky letter; it's hard to tell at this small size, but I think the bottom curve might be the only problem. Lastly, I might make the bottom bowl of the "a" slightly shorter (lower the top of that bowl).

hhp

Jeremiah's picture
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Joined: 23 Jun 2008 - 6:10pm
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I think it's starting to work, I especially like it rendered at smaller sizes. I agree “a” needs some work, it looks like it's a different family all together. I'm really interested in how you created this. What do you use to draw the letters/glyphs? If you could elaborate on the process it would be greatly appreciated.

Ratbaggy's picture
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Joined: 30 May 2006 - 10:17pm
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that's a vast improvement, and some very good advice from hrant.

looking great helvib

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Paul
Design Studio Melbourne

David Pache's picture
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Joined: 12 Nov 2009 - 10:12am
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Thanks to you all for your comments and advice.

To hrant - this is extremely helpful and I have developed it further now. I may look at developing a whole font in the future but for the time being, I need to work on finalising my identity work. :-) I attach the latest rendition as it stands now. Again, any comments are welcome.

To Jeremiah - I have hand drawn the font to start and then use Adobe Illustrator to tweak.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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I prefer the top one - although the bottom one could still work with a better "a" and "k". I think the top one is better because it looks more code-y.

In the top one, I'd make the "d", "p" and "a" narrower. The "a" would especially benefit from this since its lower bowl is too squat.

In either one the "k" is out of character. I would try making one of the arms curved (maybe like in Licko's Tarzana).

BTW, you might consider showing a PDF (or a very large bitmap rendering) to better catch smaller problems.

hhp

Ratbaggy's picture
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Joined: 30 May 2006 - 10:17pm
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I too like the 'squarer' version better, that said I don't DISlike the rounded one...I just think it's a bit round in the lower right corners.

looking good helvi, having fun?

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Paul
Design Studio Melbourne

David Pache's picture
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Joined: 12 Nov 2009 - 10:12am
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Thanks again for the great feedback guys. I too have a preference for the more angular version as it will also work better with the symbol (when it gets confirmed).

Paul, it is always a fun process to create for me :-)

hrant, thanks for commenting. I think your points are all of interest and the narrower letters can be seen below. I have also done some variants on the “k” but I am not too sure on it for now. Thanks for the advice on the PDF, I have added it at http://www.helveticbrands.ch/cs.pdf

Thank you for having a look and as always any feedback is welcome.

David Pache's picture
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Joined: 12 Nov 2009 - 10:12am
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I now have the symbol confirmed and have continued working on making the “k” more harmonious with the other glyphs. I'm close to wrapping up on the project now but welcome any feedback for improvements.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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The type is looking good (but do keep trying a softer "k"). I only worry about the "s", but we can't see much at this resolution. Also, I'm now wondering if the shears -at the ends of horizontal terminals- should be cut vertically instead of perpendicularly.

I'll leave more qualified people to comment on the non-text aspects of the logo. I'd only point out that the thing on top isn't centered, visually.

hhp

Eos's picture
Eos
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Joined: 13 Nov 2009 - 4:21pm
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About the non txt stuff. Try swapping it 90 degrees to the right. I think you have more balance in the logo by doing that. I also guess it suits better if the swirl is left from the logotype. Its too heavy on top in my opinion. Good luck puzzling :).

Nina Stössinger's picture
Joined: 19 Jun 2006 - 3:01pm
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The symbol looks nice I think. A potential problem however (especially since this is for software) is that it's reminiscent of the animated "waiting…" thing in OS X,

…except it's also "turning" counterclockwise = backwards. That's like a double negative message. :-/

Type: The bowl of the "a" looks unhappy to me, but it's hard to tell at this size.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Of course Apple didn't invent that.
(And frankly I don't know what they have invented...)

hhp

Nina Stössinger's picture
Joined: 19 Jun 2006 - 3:01pm
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Well no matter who invented that spinning thing,* my point is that it's a visual cue for "waiting" that some people have "learned" (Apple or elsewhere). It is all about associations…

* I couldn't research that – I wouldn't have a clue what to call that thing. :)

Ratbaggy's picture
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Joined: 30 May 2006 - 10:17pm
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snappy snap snap! can't remember the words "apple invented it" being used. Either way, the loading cursor/symbol was the first thing I thought of too.

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Paul
Design Studio Melbourne

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Well, this is for a software company, and software loads.

hhp

Ratbaggy's picture
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Joined: 30 May 2006 - 10:17pm
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yes, software does load.
it's the connotation of waiting that gets me. the actual symbol can definitely work, i just think it needs to be taken away from the "please wait" reference.

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Paul
Design Studio Melbourne

Nina Stössinger's picture
Joined: 19 Jun 2006 - 3:01pm
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What Paul said.

I'm not sure about the combination of mark and type. I don't know about you guys, but apart from the fact that the size relationship is off, I think I woulda picked a more geometric/rounder font to go with this mark, less "techy"/squircular. :-\
But maybe that's just me; I'm no expert, on anything really.

Alex Pankratov's picture
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Joined: 24 Nov 2008 - 11:50pm
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I had the exact same objection when David posted his earlier draft on another site for comments. It's an "ajax loading icon". But now in retrospect I think it actually works. It makes the logo memorable exactly because it resembles the loading icon.

One thing that I would probably try is change the weight of the strokes in the mark to match that of the type. This may or may not work, but it's kind of an obvious tweak to try.

Oh, and "k" does look a bit pointy compared to other letters.

David Pache's picture
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Joined: 12 Nov 2009 - 10:12am
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Thank you all for the great feedback. Regarding seeing the letters at a larger size; a large sized PDF (from earlier) can be seen at http://www.helveticbrands.ch/cs2.pdf

hrant, I found the shears worked better with the symbol when they mimicked its 30°/60° angles. You are very right about how it is centred, mathematically for now - thanks for this.

Eos thanks for the feedback, I have attached a variant below of how the symbol looks next to the type. I find it may be a bit too long in this way.

altaira, interesting view point! When talking with the client we discussed this very issue and came to the conclusion that the idea of “loading” is a positive and relevant association if perceived at all. The loading icon did not even factor into my initial concepts. It was originally inspired by the barcode and the speech bubble funnily enough.

Thanks again for the comments, very interesting and definitely thought provoking.

epsilicon, the symbol at the moment has double the stroke of the type. I found that especially in the vertical version it needed to have more impact. I did research having all the same stroke however and have inserted the image below.

I appreciate your comments everyone, thank you all.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Wow, great idea with the speech bubble! It would be nice if you could make it more noticeable (right now it isn't at all) without making the turning bars too cluttered.

Looking at the PDF:
- Your idea for the "k" is interesting, and I think it can work if you make the curve bigger; and you should curve in the top of the stem-arm join too.
- The "s" can be rigid that like, but it's also pretty choppy in its curve transitions. It's a very difficult shape to get right, and it's not easy to verbalize how to possibly fix it. That said, you might be able to get away with leaving it mostly like this, but just improving the "internal" straight-to-curve transitions*: bottom-left of the top counter and top-right of the bottom counter.
- Since the bar-circle has to go left, I would align the bottom-center bar with the space between the "s" and the "p".
- Should the bars in the bar-circle be thicker?

* Make the straight segment shorter and start the curve earlier.

hhp

David Pache's picture
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Joined: 12 Nov 2009 - 10:12am
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Thanks for the brilliant feedback hrant.

You gave me things to think about and it is greatly appreciated. I definitely think the “k” looks better with curvy join and the “s” needed some attention to detail. I also aligned the centre bar with the “s” and “p”. PDF version can be seen at http://www.helveticbrands.ch/cs4.pdf

David Pache's picture
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Joined: 12 Nov 2009 - 10:12am
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Since I have last posted I have been considering a few more options for the size of the symbol. In reducing the size so that it matches the stroke of the type, I feel it works better, how about you guys?

On a side note, the lettering has become a full typeface ( lowercase only ) for headlines and I have included it below as well for any interested.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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I think the logo looks good (but I'm no expert on that stuff).

The font: it really needs its own thread.

hhp