Identity, Branding and Logo Design
I began sketching and brainstorming initial ideas while also gathering reference and images to take inspiration from. I mixed between sketching ideas on paper and digitally, occasionally taking an idea from paper into Photoshop or Illustrator in order to see whether it works in practice or not.
When brainstorming ideas for a type face based on geometry, it occured to me that the letter ‘W’ is visible in the edges of an Icosahedron. I thought it may work well to base the logo on a single Icosahedron with the ‘W’ highlighted along the edges. In the sketches above you can see some attempts at visualising how this could work, as well as experimenting with the faces of the shape ‘exploding’ outwards and the ‘W’ being revealed in the gaps.
It then became apparent that each letter could be made from various combinations of edges. This idea instantly stood out to me, with a strong geometric foundation that’s closely linked to the shapes and themes of the game. The shapes of the letterforms are very similar to the stylistic nature I had in mind and are reminiscent of the “futuristic cave painting” style alphabet I designed for the in-game world.
It’s important to me that the design has a strong, meaningful foundation – even if implicit evidence of that is subtle in the final design. I want the design to have solid grounding and reasoning. Details such as this are what drew me to this concept.
Initially, I intended to keep the 3D images of the Icosahedra behind the letters in order to show the viewer where the letter shapes actually come from. However, I wanted to also experiment with the type being isolated from the Icosahedra. This will allow for a more minimal design which is always important when it comes to identity and logo design; I want to keep it minimal while also injecting as much personality as possible. I was concerned that the varying dimensions would make the logotype look unbalanced, but this actually functions quite well for the concept as I wanted to represent a feeling of imbalance – the main concept of the game revolves around a universal and environmental imbalance that Weedy journeys to fix, so it makes sense for a sense of this to come through in the design.
I experimented with various different stroke styles and weights for the letters before settling on the medium weight above. I wanted a fairly chunky logotype that would give enough substance to work with and display well at a variety of sizes (bearing in mind the likely display on small mobile screens).
I utilised some of my previous text ideas to experiment with how to handle the rest of the title. The type above uses letters made entirely from the lines of an isomeric cube, continuing the theme of type created from geometric forms. My inspiration from this comes from Sol Lewitt’s Variations of Incomplete Open Cubes, 1974 and other artists’ subsequently inspired works.
Typeface Sol was created as a continuation of Sol LeWitt’s 1974 project entitled ‘122 variations on incomplete open cubes’ which consisted of 122 views of unfinished cubes constructed from wooden planks. The character set of Sol is defined by the spatial potential of a cube. The new definitions are dependent on the viewer’s imagination and ability to recognize letters in seemingly abstract composition.
Although I do really like the concept, the actual visual result wasn’t working well for me – the varying angles between the heading and the subtext were clashing and the geometry didn’t flow or seem balanced and harmonious. I continued to experiment with other ideas.
I wanted to use ‘Weedy’ as the main type with ‘the seadragon’ supporting it as sub-text (see examples above). This creates a strong, memorable association with the main protagonist while also providing some more context on the theme. By using just one short word (Weedy) as the main stylistic element, it means I can work more into the design of this one word without it becoming too complex and long – as it would if I tried to design the other three words as stylistically.
I decided to leave the sub-text for the time being and focused on the main type. This would allow me to focus more on shape and form and then create sub-text to match later on, which is a more logical way of approaching it. I took inspiration from the glitchy, melting text in my earlier Mood board and experimented with how I could recreate this effect in Illustrator. I iterated until I was happy with the overall weight and form. I was aiming for a piece of text that evoked a sense of liquid and water while also retaining its original geometric nature.
Once I had the ‘Water’ element in place, I also wanted to add the ‘Glitch’. I broke up, fragmented and further distorted the type to create the result above. I then moved on to create the rest of the text in a style that would complement it.
I decided to proceed with the third design and begin iterating on it further. I wanted to mock the design up in different settings so I could ensure it would be versatile. When designing logos, I always bear in mind a few fundamental rules:
- Always begin designing in solid black only
The design should always be able to function in one solid colour, allowing it to be perfectly versatile well into the future. As well as this, trying to implement colours, shading, gradients and other decorative effects in the early stages only distracts from the core design itself.
- Always ensure the design works equally well at both very small and very large sizes
The design should be versatile for any application – whether it’s the size of a postage stamp, on a mobile phone screen or on a billboard.
- Keep it simple (simple is effective and helps the design meet the other criteria)
- Memorable (brands don’t have a long time to make an impression)
- Distinct (it must be instantly recognisable and unique)
- Focused (don’t try to fit in too many features or ideas)
This kind of theory knowledge I have adopted over time from studying the work and reading the books of designers such as David Airey (in particular, his book Logo Design Love), Paul Rand, Alan Fletcher, etc.
At this stage, I feel like I have created some strong designs, but I will need to gather feedback to help get a better idea of which is the most effective.