Logo for Portable tree house: handwritten font fine-tuning

shockomotive's picture

Hello eyeryone!
This time my client is an industrial designer who has come up with a cross between a portaledge (in case you have no idea what that is, check this out: ) and a treehouse. A portable treehouse.

The chosen name for this miracle of workmanship is "Cambai", which is an alternate spelling of "Kambai" a tree-living tribe from Indonesia that build their dwellings at a height of vertigo-inducing 30 - 40 feet of the ground and, you probably guessed it, the sound of "come by".

The product is built with rather soft curves, I chose to reflect that in the logo as well. A maple seed is hinted at in the shape of the "b", which is a symbol the designer chose herself. She felt it reflected best the closeness to trees and the idea of being able to move to another location at any given time.

I have had some fun with the letters, but unfortunately I have reached an impass. It is not yet finished, but I can't for the life of me think, what else to change. Your input is therefore very much appreciated!

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timaarts's picture

Wow I like it. I'm not a type pro but I think if you make the 'm', 'b' and 'i' a bit more italic the logotype reads easier and therefore would look better.

Also would tinker on how the letters are connected especially the a - i at the end looks odd to me.

I like what you have done, it has a lot of personality.

JamesM's picture

> A portable treehouse

An intriguing idea. I'm not sure exactly how that would work, but it had better be a foolproof design or they'll spend all their time in court being sued by families who had a child fall.

My brother fell out of a treehouse when he was a child. Needed 6 stitches on his head; he was lucky he wasn't killed.

PublishingMojo's picture

I love the way it looks, but frankly I'm having trouble with the m. My eye keeps reading canibai, caiubai, or cawbai. If this were a familiar word such as camera, I think readers would decode the letter easily from context, but because this is an unfamiliar word, readers must decode it letter by letter, and the m may trip them up.

shockomotive's picture

Hi Victor!
Thank you for your input. I believe that readability problem might be fixed by attaching the foot connectors of the "m" a whole lot higher, will try it out in a bit. My concern is, that it might adversely effect readability in smaller sizes. But hey, let's give it a shot. ^^

shockomotive's picture

Cheers, Tim!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
I have tooled the connections extra sharp on this on, hoping to achieve more clarity in smaller sizes. I have noticed that if I try to connect everything in handwritten letters they way it should be connected - with soft transitions that is - things start looking a little swimmy. Like with this one I designed a while back:

I will try to change the axes as you suggested, I'm curious if that will improve that logos flow.

shockomotive's picture

Howdy, James!
Hope your brother did not suffer any lasting damge from his injuries.
If you are interested in how the finished treehouse looks, you can take a peek at it here:
Cambai Portable Tree House

JamesM's picture

He healed up just fine. Thanks for asking. But his accident is scary to me in retrospect because during my life I've had 2 friends who broke their necks due to falls and both ended up paralyzed. So I'm very wary of falls. Even a relatively small fall can break a neck if you land wrong.

Thanks for the link; your treehouse looks very cool, almost like a space ship. I'm sure kids will like it.

Hard to evaluate safety without examining it in person. I'm glad there is netting over the windows. My main concern might be how well the fabric holds up. The description says "weather resistant", but all fabric deteriorates over time when outside. Even heavy-duty commercial awnings can eventually rip.

But anyway it looks like a nice project; good luck with it.

hrant's picture

What a cool idea.

The "m" seems upside-down, and it should connect to the "b".

Technically, many of the béziers aren't so good.


Luma Vine's picture

The comments above echo my first reactions too. I wonder if you could do something a bit more with the top terminal of the /c/ to make it less like the /a/?

shockomotive's picture

Now this may not look it, but redrawing that m so it connected at the top really turned out to be quite a challenge. Here's what I have so far:

I connected the b to the rest of the logotype, which I had not done initially as its shape was supposed to stand out. The maple seed thing. I changed my mind about that, so now it is connected.

The m is "turned around" as always, I am not entirely sure about the incline. Is there any kind of rule or a guide for finding the axes of something as non-geometrical as this lettering? If so, I would certainly love to read it, this is always giving me a hard time.

Also, Hrant, you mentioned some of the beziers not being so good. Could you elaborate on that a little? I would like to do as good job as I can and if you have any pointers to share I would be keen to hear them!

I have attached the latest version complete with nodes and outlines.
Thanks for your feedback!

Ratbaggy's picture

wow. amazing looking product — looks expensive.
I'm guessing the main target is NOT 'kids' then (as some people have assumed) ?

keen to see where you take the type next.

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