Need critique on experimental-ish letterforms for my personal brand.

edited July 7 in Type Design Critiques

Hi Type Drawers!! Love to be back with another project.

Not going to lie, I've counted the weeks I was absent. Life got in the way in different ways. However, that didn't stop me on  geeking on letterforms and type design :p
So, I have some projects I would like to show you in three different posts. Here is the most recent one: my own brand logotype.
For a year I've used the logo that's in my profile picture for my graphic design brand. In that moment It felt appropiate, but having explored my style further I feel like it doesn't represents my approach anymore, which now is by experimenting a bit with type. Besides, red is my favorite color.

This is my current outdated logo.
And this is the one that I feel it represents me the most as for today. I'm super happy with the result!

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Are there any refinements you guys can point out?
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PS: I started to specialize in typography for logo design aproximatly eight months ago, right here on Type Drawers! Bare with me and my lack of expertise.

Comments


  • Are there any refinements you guys can point out?



  • Thanks! What about the letterforms themselves? Are they in an Ok margin despite having some weird proportions?

  • Nick CurtisNick Curtis Posts: 27
    It looks a lot like a Chinese chop— https://www.thoughtco.com/chinese-chops-seals-2278409 .

  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 999
    It looks a lot like a Chinese chop— https://www.thoughtco.com/chinese-chops-seals-2278409 .

    So much so that I would say if that association isn't intended or warranted you should go in a different direction. 
  • Philipp SchumannPhilipp Schumann Posts: 15
    edited July 8
    While /C, /i and /S are fairly normal and recognizable, /R is very much deformed.
    But the solution isn't that far away: Just let the /R stand for itself and move the /i down a level, left to the /S. In my imagination that would look quite good, since the S would be less extended, thus also a little bit lighter overall, and more fitting overall. You'd also have a cool and more apparent progression from condensed (/C) to extended (/S). Hope I could help!

    PS: One more thing. With the /i on the lower level, the whole thing would fit better on a grid, making it look cleaner and, in my opinion, better in small sizes, also quite nice for spacing.
  • edited July 14
    Hey! Sorry for ghosting (again). The past 6 days have been really long.
    It looks a lot like a Chinese chop— https://www.thoughtco.com/chinese-chops-seals-2278409 .

    Funny thing is that I tested it with a logo finder, and the logos it found similar looking where Chinese/Japanese ones hah. I dismissed it thinking "nah, they won't". Seems I was wrong.
    Despite that, I quite like the Chinese/Japanese vibe it has. The only thing that comes to mind is that clients could think I have an approach similar to such associations.


    So much so that I would say if that association isn't intended or warranted you should go in a different direction. 
    I will heavly keep that in mind, but I'm so in love with the result. It will be hard to discard another concept :S

  • While /C, /i and /S are fairly normal and recognizable, /R is very much deformed.
    But the solution isn't that far away: Just let the /R stand for itself and move the /i down a level, left to the /S. In my imagination that would look quite good, since the S would be less extended, thus also a little bit lighter overall, and more fitting overall. You'd also have a cool and more apparent progression from condensed (/C) to extended (/S). Hope I could help!

    PS: One more thing. With the /i on the lower level, the whole thing would fit better on a grid, making it look cleaner and, in my opinion, better in small sizes, also quite nice for spacing.

    Nice observations! I applied the changes as you said.
    I like the overall spacing it has now, but I think the scanability it's a bit more confusing  with the /i extending downards. Indeed it looks better in smaller sizes, but the reading pattern changed. And, honestly, I'm all about readability and optimal scanability.
    What do you think?
  • Philipp SchumannPhilipp Schumann Posts: 15
    edited July 14
    Yeah, although that looks very interesting, that's not really what I had in mind, originally. So may I present, my sketch of supreme quality:  :D


    Of course, the leg of the /R can stay bent, it doesn't have to be straight. But now you at least have the visual space to really play with it and find the preferred shape.
  • Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 552
    edited July 15
    I vote for a variant between the last two posts. Set the /i underneath, but let it have the dot.
  • I dislike how the C creates a lot of negative space on the left side of your logo. I feel it should be equalized to the other letters. I’ve sketched out a version in which the counters of each letter are roughly the same, and which doesn’t radically alter forms.

    Just my two cents, do with them as you please.
  • K PeaseK Pease Posts: 75
    On a finer level, I would say the C dips below the baseline defined by S a little too much.
    As regards these full rearrangements, keep in mind that open critique can naturally fall into a trap of normalizing everything distinctive, leaving something very boring if you follow it all. This is a brand logo and it's all right for the R to be of proportions unbecoming a general-purpose typeface.
  • edited July 21
    I dislike how the C creates a lot of negative space on the left side of your logo. I feel it should be equalized to the other letters. I’ve sketched out a version in which the counters of each letter are roughly the same, and which doesn’t radically alter forms.

    Just my two cents, do with them as you please.
    That's the intent, it's made like that for scannability reasons! I wanted the C to have a lot of negative space so it's the first thing you notice. With the intent to then go to the /R, then the /i, and lastly the /S. At least that's how I scan the logo. In fact, I was consdiering on making the C negative space even bigger, to make sure it's the very first everyone notices hah :D
    Making them even like you suggested I notice first the /R, then the /S.
    Yeah, although that looks very interesting, that's not really what I had in mind, originally. So may I present, my sketch of supreme quality:  :D

    (...)

    Of course, the leg of the /R can stay bent, it doesn't have to be straight. But now you at least have the visual space to really play with it and find the preferred shape.
    I vote for a variant between the last two posts. Set the /i underneath, but let it have the dot.
    I have adressed these observations, however I'm not digging it too much. Tell me what you think.

    K Pease said:
    On a finer level, I would say the C dips below the baseline defined by S a little too much.
    As regards these full rearrangements, keep in mind that open critique can naturally fall into a trap of normalizing everything distinctive, leaving something very boring if you follow it all. This is a brand logo and it's all right for the R to be of proportions unbecoming a general-purpose typeface.
    YES! Couldn't have said it any better. These observations are handy indeed to see what could work for the brand. They are good suggestions but they are quite restricting the weird proportions I originally had in mind.
    PS: Nice cathc on the C overshoot. I did originally notice, but wasn't really sure if it was too much or not. I corrected it along with the upper overshoot aswell.
  •  Here are the changes:
    • Retouched the /C overshoot
    • Experimented with suggested rearrangements. The second one (highlighted) is the one that I personally think it works the best. My main focus is the hierarchy in which you can scan the letters. Below there is a representation of the visual hierarchy I'm trying to achieve.
     Having done some minor adjustments, besides the most noticable rearrangements, I'm rooting for the second one from the first row.



  • Yeah, I can definitely see it now; the full arrangements are quite boring in comparison. The /i cutting into the /S is indeed a nice and personal touch, and adds the right amount of quirkiness to the /S that was previously missing. Have to agree, second one from the first row looks the most unique and interesting. Good job addressing and comparing all the variants though, very helpful!
  • I agree that the second one from row 1 is the best. I'm wondering, though, if it might look better if you reduce the "horizontal overshoot" (if that is indeed a term) of the R and S — not so much as to make the i visibly jut out, but enough to slightly downplay the exaggerated bowl of the R.
  • K PeaseK Pease Posts: 75
    Adam's suggestion seems to really help reinforce the clockwise direction of reading. I guess it's because the aperture represents the place to scan right from.
  • edited July 23
    I agree that the second one from row 1 is the best. I'm wondering, though, if it might look better if you reduce the "horizontal overshoot" (if that is indeed a term) of the R and S — not so much as to make the i visibly jut out, but enough to slightly downplay the exaggerated bowl of the R.
    Oh yeah, my bad on a small writing error. I mean the first one from the second row. The one with the /i heh.
    Usually how much overshoot is just enough? So far I have no visual trained eye for it.
    Adam Ladd said:
    Nice... though the C kind of seems a bit too open/loose compared to other three letters being more compact and more tightly woven together.

    I wonder if the terminals of the C get extended a bit so that the bottom one aligns with the top edge of the S (rather than the bottom edge).

    Quick mock on right (was curious :)

    Makes sense! Made the changes.

  • edited July 23
    New changes!
    It may come down to personal prefference, but the extended /C terminals feel a bit weird for me.
    Also I was feeling to experiment a bit more with the /R leg. I like both of them; the preious version has a bit more Japanese/quirky feel, and the newer one feels a bit more solid, yet not boring.
    What do you guys think?



  • Marc OxborrowMarc Oxborrow Posts: 154
    I still think there's merit to a suggestion others have made: reduce the width of the C, so the interior spaces of the letters, and the overall rhythm of the mark, feel more unified.

  • I still think there's merit to a suggestion others have made: reduce the width of the C, so the interior spaces of the letters, and the overall rhythm of the mark, feel more unified.

    As I've said, I'm not really aiming to reduce the C negative space. Doing so changes the visual heriarchy I'm trying to achieve. And I'm neither trying that all of the letterforms have a compact feel.
  • I agree that the second one from row 1 is the best. I'm wondering, though, if it might look better if you reduce the "horizontal overshoot" (if that is indeed a term) of the R and S — not so much as to make the i visibly jut out, but enough to slightly downplay the exaggerated bowl of the R.
    Oh yeah, my bad on a small writing error. I mean the first one from the second row. The one with the /i heh.
    Usually how much overshoot is just enough? So far I have no visual trained eye for it.
    I think what I am really suggesting is to bring in the bowl of the R a bit even if it eliminates the "overshoot" ("rightshoot"?) altogether (or even leads to slightly negative "overshoot"). My main reason for this suggestion is simply the fact that the exaggerated bowl of the R is the one thing about the logo which I find a bit jarring (not massively jarring, just a wee bit). So I'm trying to think of ways that would make that bowl a bit shorter while still maintaining the overall feel.
  • Marc OxborrowMarc Oxborrow Posts: 154
    As I've said, I'm not really aiming to reduce the C negative space. Doing so changes the visual heriarchy I'm trying to achieve. And I'm neither trying that all of the letterforms have a compact feel.

    It's your personal mark, so you should definitely ignore any advice (like mine) that doesn't fit your vision!
  • It seems to me that the "C" has a greater height than the "R" and "S" combined. Perhaps adjust it such that it is resting on the same line as the "R" and "S"?
  • It seems to me that the "C" has a greater height than the "R" and "S" combined. Perhaps adjust it such that it is resting on the same line as the "R" and "S"?
    Hmm I don't quite understand. I'm more of a visual learner, can you explain it with paint? heh
    I think what I am really suggesting is to bring in the bowl of the R a bit even if it eliminates the "overshoot" ("rightshoot"?) altogether (or even leads to slightly negative "overshoot"). My main reason for this suggestion is simply the fact that the exaggerated bowl of the R is the one thing about the logo which I find a bit jarring (not massively jarring, just a wee bit). So I'm trying to think of ways that would make that bowl a bit shorter while still maintaining the overall feel.
    Tested it. I'm kinda digging it. I guess it could come to personal preference.

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