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Something is amiss about this logo I've made for myself. I am a design student, and soon-to-be graduate. This logo will go on my business card and possibly other promo things in order to allow me to present myself professionally.

In relation to the actual piece - I designed with the theme of elegance in mind, I want to portray myself as a fresh, young but old-school designer that has an appreciation for crisp, clean design, though isn't afraid to go wild.

Logo 1

Logo 1

Logo 2

logo 2: emboldened'A'

My questions are:

  1. Do you think the typography of each logo adequately represents a persona of elegance?
  2. How comfortable is the positioning of text in each logo?
  3. Is the positioning of Logo 1 better than Logo 2?

For the moment I have only designed my logos as black and white but I do plan to add color to it later on.

  • 1
    Hi Ashley, thanks for your question. Critique questions are a bit of a weird fit here, because they don't always match with our intended Q&A format. Please have a peek at our guidelines for critique questions and see whether you can make yours fit those. Thanks! – Vincent Feb 13 '15 at 17:42
  • Are the blue lines part of the design? They seem superfluous. Why is the significance of the 'A' being in a circle? Why Copperplate Gothic? That's a tough face to use as it has some heavy baggage in terms of context. I definitely would call it fresh nor young. What else have you tried? – DA01 Feb 13 '15 at 18:43
  • DA01, I don't believe the blue lines are part of the design- when you hover over or select text objects in Illustrator, that's how they appear. – Leslie P. Feb 13 '15 at 19:11
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    Oops, typo in my comment: I definitely would not call it fresh nor young...(in reference to Coperplate Gothic) – DA01 Feb 13 '15 at 19:28
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I want to portray myself as a fresh, young but old-school designer that has an appreciation for crisp, clean design, though isn't afraid to go wild.

Just my opinion.... take it with a grain of salt.

Nothing about picking a font and adjusting the letter spacing reads "isn't afraid to go wild" or even "crisp and clean". To me (someone with a designer's eye) it reads "lazy". If I can set your logo up from scratch in 5 minutes, by choosing a font and drawing a circle, is it really a good logo for a designer? There's a great deal to be said for simplicity and I don't mean to knock that. But simplicity with purpose is often better.

The uneven letter spacing really causes visual hiccups horizontally. The circle around the A should be treated as an entire character rather than applying kerning then just adding a circle.

Every part of "Martin" is spaced differently....

enter image description here

There's zero continuity.

Spacing each character evenly does a great deal to improve the horizontal rhythm of the word.

enter image description here

enter image description here

Simplicity with purpose. And to be fair, if it were a logo I was designing I may decrease spacing around the circle to give it a little less visual "weight" in the piece.

For this particular font, the small caps is pointless. All you are doing is increasing the first character's height by a bit. There's no added benefit. It still reads as a horizontal bar, only it's percieved (probably unconsciously) as an uneven bar due to that first character. When you add visual "wobble" like this you do more to create a mood of uneasiness or instability than anything else. This is compounded by using a very traditional, historical typeface. There's a contradiction in the visuals which doesn't work. In addition, a visual downward trend is often emotionally percieved as unfavorable. Remove the small caps.

enter image description here

After removing the small cap, side by side there's an immediate difference in the perception of the logo.

enter image description here

None of this is meant to be a definitive statement on how you should design your logo. These are merely areas I look at myself when designing.

As for the line spacing... the bottom one is better, but it doesn't really matter due to the horrible kerning.

Use of the A, for "Ashley" I assume, is clever and a decent path to follow. It's subtle and will convey meaning to those you work with. It will lead to some "ah-ha!" moments most likely, which is never a bad thing.

Conceptually, overall the idea isn't a bad one. However, I don't think it convey's "young and wild" at all. It leans more towards old world and traditional than anything else. This is primarily due to the choice of the typeface and the overall structure - straight uppercase letters. If you want "fresh, young, courageous" I think you need to scrap this and start over.

And reviews may be better if you used screenshots without the blue selection lines, unless you intend them to be part of the logo itself. In which case, yuck.

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    Great answer. I don't like to coment about ideas, but this observations about implementation are great. I would just add the horizontal stroke on the "E" looks too thin. Also there is no visual equilibrium for the "A" inside the circle. You should not use mechanical aligment, but a visual aligment. – Rafael Feb 13 '15 at 20:04
  • I'm guessing that top bar of the E is more a screenshot issue than an actual typeface issue. But yes, the A and circle could also be addressed a bit. – Scott Feb 13 '15 at 20:14
  • One note about 'consistent' spacing. Note that kerning is rarely about mathematically consistent spacing. It's about 'visually' consistent spacing. So the space between an RT and an IN may be technically the same, but visually look very different. – DA01 Feb 13 '15 at 21:15
  • I would pretty much agree, not always for a logo though. Some visual alteration should be taken into account, but logos aren't the same as text one would read as a headline or copy. – Scott Feb 13 '15 at 21:16
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Rather than critiquing your logo specifically, I think it would be more beneficial to give you some more general advice that can apply to any design.

I think this video (Aaron Draplin's logo design workflow) might be enough to get the point across, but the key things you'll want to think about here are:

  • Size. Should some elements of your logo be larger, and some smaller? Typically you want the largest elements to be the most important, and the smaller elements to be less important. Since I would argue that your name is the most important item in your logo, I would reduce the size of the rest.
  • Fonts. Are you happy with the font choices you've made? Splitting up your logo into separate text objects would give you more options here. Try a sans-serif with the second line, maybe.
  • Shapes. I personally like the circle, but your options here are endless- make the circle different sizes, or even make it a different shape entirely.
  • Colors. You might try adding a small, tactical color to your logo. Since you've said you're going for an elegant style, I would either add a very minimal amount of color or, as you have it, go with classic black and white.
  • Visual balance. One thing I've noticed about your logo is that it feels a little unbalanced- the large black circle is on the left, while the right side of your logo lacks anything to draw the attention. I would either move the second line over to the right or bring it up to the top line.

TL:DR; Adjust each element of your logo individually until you're happy with the result. Emphasize important elements, while remembering to deemphasize less important elements.

I'm not sure if any of this was what you were looking for, but hopefully it helps.

  • Doesn't even remotely answer the question. However, +1 good content :) – Scott Feb 13 '15 at 19:11
  • The question was edited after I posted this- but I think I'll leave my answer how it is. Thank you! :) – Leslie P. Feb 13 '15 at 19:13
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I don't like the type but the tighter positioning on the second one is an improvement. I think the letters "RTIN" need to be tighter still to match the "MAR." Not sure what's up with the "E" in Designs but the top is terrible to me, really the font in general isn't something I care for.

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