Wordmark project (replacing logo)

tam7875's picture

I posted this in another section, but this area seems to get a little more traffic, so after a little bit of additional work, I thought I'd re-post here. To be honest, I'm getting to the point where I've been looking at it for so long that I can't where things are and aren't working.

I am currently working on a wordmark project for a faculty within a university. They have used a logo previously, but have decided to get rid of the logo as it was cumbersome to incorporate two logos (the university's logo is required and standardized across campus) all the time. The budget does not allow for a custom font.

The focus is intentionally shifted to emphasize "graduate studies" in order to distinguish them from not only the university as a singular entity, but also from other faculties within the university.

I am by no means a highly experienced typographer, so I would love to get some feedback with regards to what we have so far. The powers that be seem pleased with it overall, but I would rather be nit-picky and ask the experts now rather than once it's too late. Thanks muchly!

formal version

aluminum's picture

I'd tighten up 'graduate' a bit. Also, maybe try not justifying the top and bottom lines. Bring the UBC to the right a bit and studies to the left a bit.

ebensorkin's picture


Also, reduce the space between the R and A in graduate.

Reduce slightly the space between the T & U in 'studies'.

Maybe Make the word studies a bit smaller & ( maybe ) open it up a little afterwards. The smallest letters ( UBC etc) have big spacing & Graduate less so - so 'studies' should maybe be in between 'Graduate' & 'UBC...' spacing.

I tried to show you what I mean ( roughly )

Ideally you might slightly increase the weight of Studies too so it ties into Graduate better. That would be tough without some training though! And this is a little bit postmodern in design anyway so maybe it doesn't matter at all.

my 2cents.

squeeze's picture

I would apply ALL of the counsel you've received so far

dan's picture

Have you explored: 1. moving UBC

tam7875's picture

Thanks so much for the quick response!

To be honest, I'm not sure just how subtle/dramatic some of these suggestions are meant to be.

I agree that "studies" is a bit underweight, so to speak. No matter how much I wish I did, I do not have the training to adjust the weight of the font so that it better ties with "graduate." Given that, I'm concerned that bringing down the size of "studies" just exacerbates the balance problem. Not sure how to grapple with it, though.

At any rate... is either of these looking better?

edits take 1

ebensorkin's picture


B looks confused to me - or maybe just too casual.

Maybe push the Studies back out a tiny tiny bit. The advice I gave about moving the word had to do with getting the type to be optically even on the right which is a judgement call ( rather than litterally or actually mathematically even ).

I thought of 2 ways to deal with the weight issue without becoming a type designer ( or hiring one - you can't can you?)

Use a multiple master type face. Then you can specify the weight for gradulate & studies in small increments until it looks right to you? Not sure what this is? Seach on the board or at adobe or google.

The other possibility ( evenb easier) is to use a Font with Small caps. Use regular CAPS for graduate & the SC - small caps ( already designed to be used together ) for the Studies.

Does the font you are using have a small cap?

Really though I think you have done a decent job!

tam7875's picture

The font is Stone Sans and Informal. It has a small caps, and that is a suggestion (we don't currently have the full family, but will be getting it shortly) that I will definitely try. Thanks! I never would have thought to try that on my own.

Definitely no budget to hire a type designer.

I can't find anywhere that talks about an MM version of Stone, but if anyone knows of one, let me know!

ebensorkin's picture

Cool. I didn't recognise the face & had benn wondering.

I should also say that you may need to make the face 1 or 5 point sizes bigger or smaller to get the feeling you are looking for ( when using the Small caps) but hopefully it should be just right at the same point size!

tam7875's picture

Here is is using small caps for "studies". I think it really helped balance with "graduate" so much better.

C uses a slightly smaller point size with more spacing, D uses the equivalent point size, with tighter spacing. I think I prefer C.

small caps version

squeeze's picture

I think you could be more aggresive with your positioning of the top and bottom lines. It was suggested to nudge UBC in from the left and Studies in from the right, but I think it can be done significantly more to dramatize the logo. It still feels a little too rigid for me, then again, this is faculty we're talking about.

ebensorkin's picture


This is better in general & I agree that C is better.

I have been going back & forth to look at the differences & at first glance they seem quite similar but the *feel* different. Why?

I think in tightening up the spacing some of the relationship between the UBC & the Graduate Studies has been lost. The fonts are different ( obviously ) but there was a subtly implied realtionship between UBC & Gradualte because of the spacing - which I liked. Don't get me wrong it isn't ruined or anything but I miss the connection.

Here is my suggestion: What if you took Graduate down by 3 pts & Studies by 1pt & opened the spacing slightly. Keep watching the alignment of studies. I think it might need a *slight* push to the right. It will feel a bit more refined & shout less.

tam7875's picture

Thanks Scott and Eben for the additional feedback.

E: I made some subtle changes in the spacing. Perhaps too stubtle, but when I took it any further, it seemed to become too loose.

F: I played with pushing in the top and bottom more and although I like the effect, part of me wonders if it's too casual. Maybe a rigid look is more appropriate for the offical wordmark of a university faculty? I'm uncertain.

fgs wordmarks

Hildebrant's picture

The only thing that really sticks out to me is that UBC F... seems to be too far to the left. It feels like it is going to drop off that cliff that is the G. Could you play with moving it to the right some?


squeeze's picture

Yah, I think Kyle's right. Look at how the individual letterforms relate vertically as well as horizontally. Moving the top line to the right a little more will help the U-G relationship, but it should also help with how the F (in OF) relates to the U-A. Also, nudge the STUDIES back and forth to see how the E-S fits best with the T-E above it. I like where your logotype is going.


tam7875's picture

This seemingly suicidal "U" is turning into the bane of my existence!

Ok, I'm working quickly since I'm on deadline... but I think the U to G relationship is more solid now.

I also played with shoving "studies" way farther left after Scott's comment about seeing how the E-S fits best with the T-E. Is it crazy that despite my "too casual" concerns previously that I am attracted to the triangulation effect in H between the T-E and S?

more FGS

squeeze's picture

I'm liking this a lot better.

sim's picture

Some suggestions:



ebensorkin's picture

2 more

squeeze's picture


tam7875's picture

Well, the final decision was made late yesterday afternoon, and with the exception of some very minute adjustments, version H is what has gotten the offical go-ahead.

A million thanks to everyone who provided such invaluable suggestions. What a great first experience here! :-)


ebensorkin's picture


Hildebrant's picture


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