The Urban Orb

Second in my series of “What was going on a month ago” is a post about the a bigger project that I did. The client wanted 3 things: first, a logo for a series of youtube videos consisting of the words “The Urban Orb”, second, the text “Next Episode” to be shown at the end of each episode during the preview of what will happen next time, and third, a large number of quotations and phrases to be edited into the videos, but to be done in calligraphy, not lettering.

The Urban Orb

The Urban Orb is a streamer who usually broadcasts himself through streaming websites like twitch.tv, but in this case, he wanted to have a series consisting of a challenge run through of the game Dark Souls uploaded to youtube. Though he was unsure exactly which colouring/texture was going to work out best once the videos were edited, we settled on the outline of the project, and I started work. In the end, the client received several different versions to test out on the final videos, allowing for legibility, unobtrusiveness, and thematic consistency. The logo was designed to be easily read, unique in its ligatures, and styled to match the feel of the game it is used to watermark. In the end, to blend unobtrusiveness and legibility against all backgrounds, the final version consisted of a solid black outline with a semi-transparent white fill, allowing the logo to be constantly visible, but never stand out harshly in the way that a solid colour would do.

Next Episode

The Next Episode text was done in a similar style to The Urban Orb logo, but was designed to fit a much larger space. The text was originally intended to be in a calligraphic style that would interact with the ornamentation around it, and though it was sad to leave some of the calligraphic designs by the wayside, I think that the increased legibility and thematic consistency is worth more than the ornamentation’s interaction with the text. As it stands, the text is nested within the ornamentation, which also continues up to surround the in-game interface, thereby integrating the text with the aspects of the game.

Nietzsche Quote Blog Upload

Executing the calligraphy was a very different task to the design and execution of the lettering. To start with, calligraphy is more of an all-or-nothing process, where one mistake in a quotation can mean that you must start again. Some quotations were much longer than these three, so a mistakes could mean that double or triple the time would be needed to get it correct. I used traditional dip nibs and ink to write these – black ink on white paper. Once they were completed, I scanned them into the computer and colourised them digitally, though they are not vectorised, of course, which would take more than one man’s patience worth, I think.

In all, this project was wonderful to work on, not least because I was exposed to so many inspiring quotations, some of which I had read before, but many of which were new to me. Most were on the topic of perseverance, success and failure, which certainly helped me continue past making a mistake towards the end of a long quotation!

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