A Simple Custom Logotype

Jacob MorrisonJacob Morrison Posts: 4
edited January 2019 in Type Design Critiques
Hi there! 

I recently had a day to design some custom type to complement a new logo mark my company is using. Just for background, I've been studying and practicing type design and lettering for the last year and a half or so. I wanted to share where I'm at with the logotype and ask for any critique / advice since I know I still have a lot to learn. The mark itself is going to stay as is so I'm mostly asking for advice regarding the type itself (proportions, weight, curves, etc.) I wanted to create something mildly humanistic but still geometric enough to complement the sharp corners of the mark. I've also attached a copy using a custom /A I drew before we decided to incorporate the mark into the logotype itself. If anyone has any thoughts or critique I'd really appreciate it!



  • Adam LaddAdam Ladd Posts: 240
    The /a looks like it needs to be quite a bit tighter to the /k, also the /i a little tighter to the /m.

    The cap /A in the bottom image looks a little too tall. Maybe could be more in line with the ascender height or even slightly below it. (I guess that could apply to the mark in the first image as well.)

    If the mark is staying as the /A in the logotype, it looks like the bottom left corner of it is floating above the baseline. Optically it may need to be pulled down a bit or even a touch below the baseline because of the sharp point (like an overshoot compensation).
  • Thanks for the feedback @Adam Ladd! I'll take another look at the spacing and see what I can change about the mark. I appreciate the help :thumbsup:
  • The /m is very narrow. Opening it up a bit might help to balance the proportions of the whole wordmark. The /a could be a touch wider, too.
  • Michelle BDMichelle BD Posts: 1
    edited January 2019
    You could try using the custom /A and set /lkami in all caps (i.e. custom /ALKAMI). The details of the lowercase compete with the unique qualities of the logo 'A'. 
  • Thanks for the suggestions all! I will definitely try them all. We did already explore an all-caps variant but leadership preferred this direction.

  • I agree with all comments given & I couldn't help myself by showing you my version—feel free to use.
  • Perhaps adding an angled do to the i might make it a bit more dynamic.

  • You could also play up the angle dynamic like this. Good suggestion John.

  • Or, even this variation on the logo. Raised bar on A, lowered ascenders & reduced height slightly in m + i. IMHO, I think this one looks most polished & visually pleasing.
  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 1,348
    edited January 2019
    I think crit boards work better with suggestions explained to the poster rather than done for them. 
  • Both methods are effective. I prefer to illustrate by example. No harm done. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. I think Jacob might agree. Besides many on these posts have offered Illustrations and actual scripting FontLab code to illustrate and be helpful. Whatever helps in the learning process ;-)
  • Jacob Morrison — I recently had a day to design some custom type to complement a new logo mark my company is using.
    Long answer follows — sorry.

    Your question is more about designing a logotype to match the A logo, but addressing that question is difficult without, first, addressing some issues with the A itself.

    The mark — the stylized A — doesn't fully embrace what it's trying to be. Instead, it comes across as a standard A that's been tweaked by the addition of some oddities that don't match the personality of the glyph they've been grafted onto. Second, as has already been mentioned, the pointed left leg of the A doesn't extend below the baseline, which makes the entire left side of the A look weak, too short and appear to be falling over. Thirdly, the attempts at 3-dimensionality, by means of the white, ink trap-like shadows, aren't working given that part of the A looks three-dimensional, while other parts do not. They also create picky little details that will likely be lost when reproduced at small sizes, like on a uncoated business card stock or as a website address bar favicon. Finally, the A is just full of sharp points that, although intentional, add up to a likely unintentional personality that suggests something sharp, cutting, slicing, stabbing and subliminally dangerous.

    But given that it's not the mark that's in question, and given that it's the rest of the glyphs you're asking about, I think your original type works quite well — assuming you close up that excessive space between the k and the a. I'm also questioning the way the pointy cross bar part of the A mark is jabbing the adjacent l (again, those sharp, stabbing points).

    If it were me, and if the A logo can't be altered, I'd be inclined to design the rest of the letters in ways that complemented and/or contrasted with the A rather than matched it too closely. I think the glyphs you designed complement the character of the A mark nicely while minimizing its less-than-ideal quirks. However, I'm slightly less less certain about the pointy parts of your k and a. Both letters pick up on the sharp angles of the A mark, which might normally be a very good thing. In this case, however, I just might be inclined to explore ways of not doing that.

    For what it's worth, I've attached an example of an actual logotype used by Capitol One Bank that likely came with problems very similar to those you're addressing. I'm not suggesting the designer solved the problem perfectly. I am saying, however, that many of the problems are close enough that it could be worth noting how the designer addressed them.

  • Dang thank you all for the great feedback! @Cory Maylett You hit the nail on the head — I'm really just trying to design letters that complement the mark but don't overwhelm it. I'll fix the spacing between the /k and /a and move forward. Thanks so much everyone!
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