Last Friday we had a critique session to help each other to improve our designs and see if we were in the right direction.
I thought I probably had some aspects of the design to be improved, but surprisingly I got mostly positive feedback from my peers and Danny:
- 'Definitely works better than the previous one'
- 'I would not change the logotype, but it's clear they want to move on from old times'.
- 'Interesting reference to Games of Thrones'.
Although I was happy I was in the right direction I made some questions to see if any of them had something to say:
- What do you guys think about the 'O' replacement?
They told me they think it was appropriate to replace for the symbol of the Age of Sigmar and it still perfectly legible.
- And the bevel and emboss effect?
I asked this question showing them how it worked without that effect, and they also thought this time my decision was right. A three dimensional logo enhance the purpose of the company much better than a two dimensional one.
- Does the 'R' with the long leg works for you? Do you have another solution for it?".
My peers told me it was not a problem at all, that it fitted quite well into the whole design. Although, Danny suggested me to have a look at a very interesting book called 'Marcus Aurelius - Meditations' whose title was written in a very interesting and ancient roman way which allowed to trick the kerning with a technique consisting in re-sizing or merging some letters to make them look like one single character.
I experimented a little bit with this but I concluded this is an useful technique to be used with a longer text, as I almost had no letters to modify, just the 'R', and this modification takes all the attention in the logo as it is taking place right in the center.
Another interesting recommendation from Danny was to check the Mason font designed by Jonathan Barnbrook. I would have liked to try this one but it is not free and it costs £43.99 pounds, but I tried on the website to see what it looked like and to know if it would be a suitable typeface for the design.
After taking a screenshot and re-ordering the words (sorry Jonathan) to have a preview of what it would look like I liked how the text looked more modern and it reminded me at the typeface you can see in a medieval book. Although, it was clearly less forceful, even in bold and serif bold, and I reckon it would suit much more appropriately in something specifically related to the medieval age, as Trajan is more subtle in shapes, and maybe because of that more adaptable.
A final comment from Danny was to check the artist Dave McKean and check his work with typeface. I was able to see straight away how he used Mason typeface quite often and the modifications he has done to it depending on the context. In the first picture it is very interesting to see how he keep a close kerning with different sized letters. As my design is most likely going to be three dimensional it could be interesting to see how different letters could work as a block, so I decided to give it a go.
After some experimentation re-sizing and merging letters trying to follow McKean's logic (something I found extremely difficult) but also trying to think by myself how to deal with the problem with this solution I realised that the logotype I designed has infinite variations but many restrictions if the general aesthetic of the typeface is wanted to be kept. Despite I liked how the new modifications worked the purpose of the logotype as an image for a company was a bit distorted, looking as a film title or something similar now, as this is the kind of lettering found in this sector, like in the film title "Pan's Labyrinth", even more noticeable in its original version in Spanish. This time I decided to stick to Vignelli's canon of not modifying typography (we have to be careful of pollution nowadays) unless is totally necessary.
Despite I tried to implement the ideas given during the critiques I believe the logotype previously designed is the right choice because of the problems explained earlier. Even though, without this recommendation from Danny I would have not been able to experiment the logotype in this line and see the possibilities a typeface like Trajan and others similar to it offer when lettering is being carried out.