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I've developed a logo for a web and app-based music service. I'm pretty happy with the shape of the icon, it's very close to what I envisaged before making it.

However, I can't seem to find a comfortable placement for it next to the name and slogan. I'm hoping you guys can show me a way to place it, with a good reason for aligning like that.

I can't make the name public, so I've given you three out of the 9 letters, and one of the two slogan words. I hope it's enough for you to see the shape I'm working with.

The slogan can go anywhere and can be increased/decreased in size slightly, I don't mind at all. I've mostly finished the graphical elements, I'm just trying to make them coexist together comfortably.

I don't want to set specific rules about any of the elements, because I'm hoping you guys can look at it and go "that goes there, that there, shrink that a bit.. et voila!".

As a bonus question, is the sharp tail thingy on the 'e' comfortable, or might it draw attention unnecessarily, considering that none of the other letter have a curve that meets at a point (except one other e)?

I'm including a large enough image that if you want to help you can easily cut, move, resize and paste the elements with almost any graphic software.

I'll be happy to add a rep bonus to any and all extra helpful answers. Thank you in advance.

enter image description here

I have taken some of the advice on board, fixed the E, and I'm trying a close up of the symbol version.

I was tired when I posted this and forgot to explain that I'm trying to arrange the logo in a square context, for the app icon, facebook, twitter etc. I have a horizontal logo that I'm pretty happy with. Here's an update of what I'm thinking with this at the moment, the colours are temporary, and likely to be beyond my control, that's why I'm working with grey at the moment.

enter image description here

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All the points and sharp edges, to me, say "angry" and "hostile" -- not certain if that's your intention. –  Scott Jul 23 '14 at 1:58
@Scott I have considered that (and deemed it borderline acceptable), if I could share the name and purpose of the company with you, you'd see how appropriate it is, all I can say is "trust me". The concept behind the icon is "sound spectrums coming together". Do you have any suggestions for making it appear less hostile? –  DumbNic Jul 23 '14 at 2:02
For me, it is very, very, very, hard to offer any direction without knowing more. I can judge the partial, censored, image (which I'm not overly found of myself) but without fully understanding the app, the user, the goal - I find it impossible to state how I may handle things or even if the direction is what I would consider wise. All I can say for certain is.... if a ninja throwing star and the concept of enmity or rancor fits the app/concept then you're on the right track. –  Scott Jul 23 '14 at 6:00
I have to agree with Scott on the hostility, to me it currently looks like a death metal label. –  Emilie Jul 23 '14 at 12:48
You may not want the name in your icons. For example, reduce that down to a phone icon size and you'll see that the name disappears. I'd suggest coming up with the logo first, then come up with a secondary mark/arrangement specifically for icon usage. –  DA01 Jul 23 '14 at 20:58

3 Answers 3

General reaction to things that I can see:

  • The mark is forceful and strong. I also get a very gothic 'death metal' type of vibe from it. Depending on the type of music we're talking about, that might be good, might be bad.

  • The type doesn't seem to fit the mark at all, nor does it seem to contrast enough. In its current state, it feels that it's fighting the mark rather than getting along with it.

  • The 'T' vs. 'e'. Without seeing the rest, this is hard to fully judge fairly, but I don't see a connection. The T is bold and uppercase, the e is thin and has an odd point at the tip. They're not fitting together for me.

As for where to place the icon in relation to the type, I don't think the issue you are having is placement. It's just that they don't go together well. I'd consider rethinking the type to bring it in better alignment theme-wise with the icon, or simplify the icon to bring it in-line with the type.

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First off, thanks for the edit and this advice. I got a comment b4 that it is 'powerful', similar to your first comment. I'm going to fix the E and make it like the rest, though the weight of the T's will stay the same, to highlight the alliteration, and the fact that it is both one word (a name), and two words (a pretty spot on description, hopefully very catchy). Definitely going to normalise the E though. I chose the typeface 'Kalinga' for it's simplicity, to contrast against the complexity of the logo, and modified it probably beyond recognition, but then I went a little too far with the E –  DumbNic Jul 23 '14 at 12:09
If you're heavily modifying the typeface, that's perhaps where it's fighting the mark too much. I'd consider trying it with the 'standard' typeface. Let the focus be the mark, let the type assist, rather than compete. –  DA01 Jul 23 '14 at 15:06
Hopefully, once I've fixed the E, nobody should be able to see that the font has been modified, the rest of the letters are pretty comfortable, and there's a great deal of thought that went into the modifications, not just to make something that looks cool. What I'm trying to say is the composition of the typeface has reasoning behind it, it might still need tweaks, but I don't want to go with a standard typeface for all of the reasons that make customising a typeface a good idea. The E is the only part that was really concerning me, and you guys have confirmed my doubts on that. –  DumbNic Jul 23 '14 at 20:25
Well, customizing a face isn't always a good idea. A lot of thought already went into the initial design of the typeface by the type designer. And while I can appreciate the thought and reasoning that may have gone in to your modifications, my point isn't that it wasn't thoughtful, but that it might be just 'too much' given out much is going on with your mark already. Just trying to help you find the balance between the two. We can get lost in our own tweaking sometimes and take things a bit too far. Would love to see updates as you progress. –  DA01 Jul 23 '14 at 20:55
I'm laying it to rest for tonight, but it's an ongoing project and I'll try to update without being annoying or abusing the site soon. –  DumbNic Jul 23 '14 at 22:15

As much as I understand the confidentiality issue, it will be difficult to critique the positioning and type without seeing the whole thing.

The E: With what I see right now, I don't get the e. It seems really top heavy and the curve at the bottom is weird (I'm guessing it's where you might have modified it?) Technically, I would be careful with the tail ending so pointy, it might not reproduce well at small sizes. If you're going to play with points, I would reproduce a style similar to what you have on your icon. Also, it looks aligned to the T top and baseline but since it's a curved letter, it should be slightly bigger on both sides.

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Some good points, thanks. Yes, the E is slightly top heavy, it's middle bar is where all of the letters align their middle elements. I will have to see how it works in small sizes once I've set the positioning guidelines. I'm not sure what you mean when you say "reproduce a style similar to what you have on your icon", I can't imagine it, can you elaborate to help me? –  DumbNic Jul 23 '14 at 1:39
@MrE.Upvoter Meaning that if you're going to muck about with the tail of the E, make it look like one of the soundwave points on your ninja star. –  Lauren Ipsum Jul 23 '14 at 11:18
@LaurenIpsum summed up my thoughts exactly :-) –  Emilie Jul 23 '14 at 12:40

Aside from the ouch that hurts visual aesthetic everyone else has noted, part of your problem is that the ninja star has a lot of white space around it purely by nature. You've essentially created a big square forcefield around your thin logo. That's what's bothering you.

If all that air is what's tripping you up, then you need to change something else.

1) Can you break the logo word in half and stack it?


That makes your logo word much shorter, so putting it under the ninja star on top of "music TKTK" creates a nice vertical block.

2) Can you make the ninja star very small, to be the same height as the capital T, and put it on the left or right?

1 + 2) If that makes the star too small for legibility (which I think it will), can you break and stack the logo and put the ninja star on the left or right of the block of text? That would give you a kind of square.

3) Can your logo text run 90 degrees vertically? That is, could you shrink the logo text to the be same width as the ninja star's arms and then turn the whole thing on its side?

4) Can you break the forcefield? Can you stick the text inside the armpit of the ninja star, as it were?

(If any of these are unclear, leave a comment and I'll quickly run them out in PS.)


Thought of another one.

5) Does the ninja star have to stand alone? What if you tinted it back to 25% or so and put the text on top of it? Either as one line aligning with the center brace or stacked over the entire star? (If you do it in color, you could have colors which contrast enough to work, or maybe the word is white with black outlines.)

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Thanks Lauren, some good points here and I like the terms you've used. I'm going to accept it's nickname 'ninja star', and enjoy saying forcefield. When I tried it small the symbol just didn't have any impact at all, but my best positioning so far has been making the text the same size as the innermost soundwave. I've thought about stacking it but haven't actually tried, the name needs to be said as one word, to build the brand yada yada [..read more..] –  DumbNic Jul 23 '14 at 12:01
[..continued..] I've also thought about breaking the forcefield and putting the text in the 'armpit' (haha!), but have only made a few weak attempts at it. Finally, I've imagined a few rotations, but can't really see a way to justify such a decision. I'm working on some new positions now and I'll update it soon. –  DumbNic Jul 23 '14 at 12:02
Your new edit is exactly what I'm experimenting on at the moment. I forgot to mention before that I'm trying to make it work for social networks and all the various square contexts that I have to accommodate for web and app development. –  DumbNic Jul 23 '14 at 13:23

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