A case study of a recent logo design commission for a swing band.
To create a logo in the form of a monogram incorporating an early 1920s aesthetic, and to embody a classy and professional style; at the same time to be simple enough to undergo any scaling necessary and unique enough to be easily recognisable.
To create script lettering to surround the monogram and for the two pieces to function together and independently of each other in white on black and black on white contexts.
Direction & Style
I started out with exploring as many Art Deco and non Art Deco ideas for the monogram as possible, to discover ways in which the letter forms interact with each other in different styles. From there, I could begin to apply what I had found to create a custom style that satisfied the criteria while remaining unique to the project.
To better steer the project, I researched examples of logotypes, typography and monogram/cypher usage in the 1920s-40s, as well as the principles behind the Art Deco movement. The geometrical influence that guided the movement, particularly in its expression through typography was something I incorporated into the design while still retaining forms that are quickly and easily recognisable in the context of modern typographic principles. A modern audience will perceive the Art Deco aesthetic but will not be distracted by any jarring elements, creating an effective use of the logo while still conveying what was originally intentioned.
Revisions and Refinements
After vectorization, the last part of the process is to make numerous revisions and refinements to both the monogram and the script text to make sure they they are not only the most fitting in terms of style, but also scalability, simplicity and legibility for a contemporary audience. During this process I ensured that the monogram functions well in different contexts including the possibility of use for social media branding.
Versatility of the design elements
The two elements of the piece were designed not only to be used independently of each other, but also to be able to interact with each other in a variety of ways. Below are a few examples of how the elements can be used in conjunction with each other in a variety of contexts.
CD Case Layout Examples
Uniqueness & Memorability
One of the most important aspects of a monogram for these purposes is a clean and simple design. This piece is designed to be memorable and individual, while still staying true to an authentic aesthetic and classy, clear cut style.
So, new pieces every Monday. Where’s today’s piece then? It’s up there, at the top of the page! It’s part of my personal branding project that I’ve been working on, which includes the new banner and the monogram for social media platforms that I posted a couple of weeks ago. Not only does it give me a new logo (the old one needed a revamp) but it also showcases the kind of work I do much better than what I had before. Now when you come to my website, it’s much easier to get an instant idea of what I do and what this site is about.
So what was wrong with the old one? Firstly, it was part of Thing a Day. That means that it was a piece that was conceived and executed in only one day. Secondly, I started doing Thing a Day almost as soon as I discovered what lettering was, meaning that they were all beginner’s pieces. Since I started, I’ve learnt a lot about lettering, logo design and calligraphy, all of which I’ve implemented in this piece. Being in the place I am on my journey to becoming ultimate lettering master of the world, I’m a lot better equipped to apply what I’ve learnt. Designers often say that they find it the easiest thing in the world to design a logo for a client, but when it comes to designing one for themselves, they come to an impasse. Thankfully, after some time thinking about what I wanted out of this piece, I came to some pretty strong conclusions as to how I wanted it to look.
First of all, I wanted a monogram made of my initials. A monogram makes the ideal logo for a letterer, as being a logo made of letters it encompasses the aspects of letters and logos perfectly. I had tried several times in the past to make some monograms out of my initials, and ended up with pages of different ideas. No dice. However, this time, with the clear goal of making myself a new logo, I found a solution that worked much better than my previous ideas.
Second, I wanted the piece accompanying the logo to fit into a banner shape to replace the old banner on my website, and to explain what it is I do, but also showcase the brush lettering style of copperplate-inspired calligraphy that I employ in pieces. I originally thought to have the words “Logo Design” and “Hand Lettering” be very different from each other, having “Logo Design” as a thick small caps sans serif. However, with my name in Roman serif, “Hand Lettering” in brush pen calligraphy and “Logo Design” in sans overall made too much type soup, so I gave the two lines a similar flavour, albeit with a different spice to each one.