What says "Mercy"?

chompiraz's picture

Hey yall, I was hoping to get some feedback or suggestions. I am currently in the process of creating a logo for a not for profit organization named Mercy Air, that provides helicopters and airplanes so that villages in remote areas of Africa can receive aid and resources, not just the easy to access places. The mark is still being edited, but the basic idea is there. My issue is with the font, I cannot seem to pick a font that says "mercy". I am trying to convey too much? Would it be better to keep it clean/contemporary and use a simple sans serif, or should I try to "fancy" it out? Any comments and suggestions are welcome.

update: http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/1/picture9ue.png

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Nick Shinn's picture

I would suggest an eco font (one with holes) or something unicase (e.g. Panoptica).
The omission of redundant material signifies a carefulness with resources.
Not "mercy", but you already said that in text, and IMO practicality is a more appropriate attitude than pride.

riccard0's picture

Given the "aid" aspect of the logo, I would go for a "reassuring" typeface. Something solid which supports the lightness of the humming bird.
(speaking of which, while a very good idea in itself, I think could be revised to resemble less a crucified penguin... ;-)

chompiraz's picture

Thanks guys, I think the eco font is a good idea, as well as the sans bold unicase that you provided nick. For some reason the dissonance/stress that the upper/lowercase mix creates goes well with the feeling of urgeny I might try to go for. Otherwise I will stick to the solid/reassuring method of a clean simple sans. Any quick hints on what to adjust ricardo? It's not near completion yet, I usually spend ours refining logo paths, just looking for a starting point.


eliason's picture

The +'s for the eyes have to go.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Were you serious about the eco font, Nick? :) I agree on the + (signals death in cartoons). I also tend to pick something with a soft feel to it, and usually something humanistic, whenever the subject of the project is humans.

riccard0's picture

Good connection between unicase and urgency (don't know why, but I think it works).
As for the picture, here a possible inspiration:

As for the cross shape, if needed, you could rather incorporate (or suggest) it in the general shape of the logo.

nina's picture

What Craig said (and Frode). The cross makes the bird look dead, even if that's obviously not the intention.

Type: It's certainly good not to make it too organic or brushy (and no Optima). It might seem over-the-top and potentially tacky (besides not matching the style of the bird). «Mercy» is a strong word and I'm thinking the type might have to be a bit reserved.
So reassuring is good, simple is good, but: don't make it cold, or slick/corporate.
A few of your options could work but maybe you're not entirely there yet… I could well imagine a friendly but serious wedge-serif (for the «reassuring» bit) but with a bit of modulation and some roughness, to make it less monolithic / more human. Something in the general direction of Skolar or Malaga?

And dunno, but I wouldn't put a font with holes on a plane.

.00's picture

Why a bird?

William Berkson's picture

Actually, I think Optima Black will work for you, if it's all caps. The caps of Optima are stronger and less feminine than the lower case, and may strike the right balance for you.

Nick Shinn's picture

Were you serious about the eco font, Nick?

If you're serious about selling your work to the client (the "rationale"), ya gotta walk the talk, or eat your own dogfood, as it it sometimes phrased, or else you're just bullshitting.
Fine artists have been doing this for decades, to the extent that the concept becomes the main focus, and the actual "work" relatively inconsequential.
The eco font is a worthy successor to Chalet and Starling.

chompiraz's picture

Optima for me has a very neutral appeal. Some might see this as a negative, some might see it as a plus in terms of universal acceptance. I closely relate it to a military sense since it is used on war memorials, and in some presidential campaigns. Although I think it works well on its own, I would rather evade these connotations.

Does anyone know of unitype fonts that I can look at? I like the ones that Nick has listed, but I think I need one step bolder and lighter of the sans version.

A wedge serif seams to be a good solution, I am just trying to find some good ones. I have a font called topaz (shown above) but it's all caps, and I don't know if I like that for such a suggestive typeface.

In terms of the symbol, it's a hummingbird because a. it's a bird (flies) b. it hovers (like a helicopter) c. The body is meant to be Africa.

I know it's not really fleshed out yet, but it's only a start.

William Berkson's picture

Honestly, I don't think it has associations with military. Only designers will even remember that McCain used it. It has been used for 60 years on cosmetics, and if anything has more of that association. But I think the caps just look classic, though more gentle than Trajan.

chompiraz's picture

Here is an update. Worked out the mark, and I'm leaning towards this font. Any input is welcome.


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