So I have a personal logo that I have recently design, a monogram based on the initials J and S using the Caslon typeface. I am a graphic designer and web developer, and I am going for a professional, timeless look that doesn't follow trends and values usefulness and the bigger picture over unnecessary details. Could anyone give me their critique of this logo? Thank you!
I agree with @user287001's answer that after a quick image search, I found very similar results to yours. You mentioned "timeless" as part of your image and I think using a serif font like Caslon was effective. And you kept it simple, which is always good design. It's great you're asking for critique!
Here are just some suggestions:
My name also begins with a 'J' so I also understand playing around with the letter can be quite interesting. At least with an 'S', you have possibilities to tinker with the descender of the 'J' and the spur/spine of the 'S' (if that sounded confusing, here is a visual guide of the anatomy of a character). Essentially, with J's and S's, I've seen very creative monograms being manipulated with those parts of the letters.
Also, if you haven't yet, I would:
- Look at resources like Dribbble and Behance, especially the feedback there.
- Play around with different typefaces, sizes, negative space, color, rotation.
- Add a third shape or letter, maybe incorporate a symbol? (if necessary and that's not too literal, as @user287001 suggested)
These two articles help me a lot during my own process. Hopefully they'll be of some use for you as well:
If this is your final logo, Gestalt is always useful. It looks that you center both characters on the S vertical axis, this provide many unequal or disproportionate optical blank spaces. A good practice to fix it is to see the logo upside-down. This is just for formal aspects.
Remember Caslon font was one of the first typography constructed over a grid, maybe you should put both character on a grid to fix proportions.
Image search for JS and SJ give so many resembling versions that you should seriously consider to add a third shape, which is unique. Exact match is not yet found, but S and J at the same place, only vertically shifted =yes.
ADD due a comment:
A massive third element can make it unique. An example:
I believe this isn't of your style. This shows only the size what I mean.
Another possiblity: Give to the letters some non-obvious apparent geometric space placements, maybe actually impossible or false. Then you do not need extras. Here's a geometrically possible example and one impossible, too:
Though I don't find for the most part that logos need to communicate explicitly the area of expertise of the firm, it can be helpful for smaller groups, technical or design groups - have you considered intersecting the logotype idea with your area of expertise?
Quick throwaway idea - still captures JS and adds a layer of reference to coding; I've not put any effort into proportionality, whitespace equivalence, optical balance etc - just a concept sketch.
I also agree with the comment above about a unifying element - so another approach might be to take the classic typography you have and combine it with a clean, contemporary geometric element, and thus develop something which is truly timeless as it doesn't look like an attempt to just look "classic", which is a risk with a serif-heavy typographic monogram.
As with my other quickie, this is not intended as a serious design effort - just a directional spark to get other ideation flowing.
Or even a variant where you play with the J to S relationship to break the obvious "$" reference.
I think you need some basic ideation still, is my point.
Good luck - hope everyone's thinking helps!