JYC Identity

5star's picture

Sometimes I feel like challenging myself ...I challenge myself to see where I am in my abilities as a graphic designer. I go to the streets of capitalism and find some young people, 18-24 or so, who are just starting out in life with their hopes and dreams still intact and offer my services. I find this exercise very interesting and completely invigorating because it is wise to never get comfortable with your accomplishments ...especially when you cross over 35 years of age. Becoming a comfortable fixture of the establishment is never a good idea ...as a designer one must stay vital! And the great thing about this type of marketing technique is that the youth have no trouble telling you your work is shit ...or not.

So I found myself talking to a young wannabe fashion designer who is currently slaving away in a retail box store. Male, 20, Asian Canadian, and as I was to discover ...super talented and sophisticated. This business meeting ...if you will, was conducted in the middle of a show room floor in front of his co-workers and other shoppers milling about ...as informal and non-partial a business meeting as it gets ...completely out of the blue.

I said to him ...I can design your Identity ...and we can build you a brand. All I need from you is your initials and some background. He told his name and his initials JYC and that his parents are from Malaysia. I said awesome! I'll be back with a prospective Identity...

5star's picture

Today I returned with this...



...it blew him away and his co-workers too.

For the stencil version I left the choice as to which one he feels is / J /dominant.

Catharsis's picture

I'm not a professional graphic designer, but my impression is that there's some room for improvement. The basic architecture of the mark, incorporating the three initials, is a good start. The beef I have with it is mostly in the execution.

At what sizes do you intend the logo to be used? The thick strokes of the letters would in principle allow it to work at very small sizes, but then the small-scale parts of the logo (such as the clutter of vertices near the intersections) would be lost. You could get more impact by simplifying those areas a bit and making the white borders thicker. On the other hand, if you intend for the logo to be presented at large sizes, as in these images, then its details need more refinement to withstand scrutiny.

The strokes intersect at a somewhat steeper angle in the bottom crossing than in the top one. Is that intentional? I'd either make the angles the same, or more different. Currently, it looks like it might have happened by accident.

There's a similar issue with the bottom stroke ends. They have a similar width as the verticals of the "waist", but not the same. I suggest you try making them the same width, or making them unambiguously wider.

I'm not quite sure what the hexagons do — I believe the mark would be stronger without them. If you keep them, I'd suggest making them into regular hexagons (currently they're elongated vertically) and enlarging
them so that they don't feel out of place next to the big fat strokes. I could also imagine that upright squares would work even better.

Catharsis's picture

Here's a quick mock-up of what I suggest.

I just noticed the design has some sexual undertones, which I guess is a Good Thing™.

apankrat's picture

IMO, it got this fairly strong paramilitary feel to it. I'm guessing because it looks like a twist of a barbed wire and, more generally, because it's a simple sharp shape, in black and white.

5star's picture

Thanks for your comments!

Catharsis, I appreciate the time and effort you took to explain your view ...and ya, there's a bunch of very strong undertones to this design.

But first I'd like to explain the difference between a grunt of a design ...as yours truly is... and a sophisticated design.

The strokes intersect at a somewhat steeper angle in the bottom crossing than in the top one. Is that intentional?

Firstly, this mark has a harmonious upward movement. The elements which constitute the upward movement actually begin with those three horizontal 'elongated' hexagons, but the stronger visual element is the difference in the segments of stroke angles of the letter shapes themselves. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the visual contrast between the base and middle sections against the upward open upper section.

And those effects are achieved by first establishing strong horizontals. Note the red lines ...they indicate only two of the half dozen or so subtle visual clues which together establish strong (and hence calm) horizontals. Your effort seems unsettlingly wobbly (not to mention the compromise you had to make in the disproportionate amounts of the middle section of the J and C). And your effort is fat, perhaps too dense is the correct phrase, in the middle (a cultural statement?), and that fat arrests the eye and challenges/overpowers the upper section.

There's a similar issue with the bottom stroke ends. ... I suggest you try making them the same width, or making them unambiguously wider.

Wider perhaps ...but not by much. Those elements can't be seen to overstate their position of the fundamental letters in composition as a whole.

I'm not quite sure what the hexagons do — I believe the mark would be stronger without them. If you keep them, I'd suggest making them into regular hexagons (currently they're elongated vertically) and enlarging them so that they don't feel out of place next to the big fat strokes. I could also imagine that upright squares would work even better.

My thoughts of those marks was fourfold. Firstly, they correctly represent the three periods after each letter J.Y.C. ...and secondly they have a rhythmic compliment to all that is above ...and thirdly they are a horizontal base to/of the whole composition. The shape the hexagons is also of the whole, in fact their angles are of the lower part of the letter shapes strokes ...but ya they need not be elongated.

And just one further comment of the undertones ...on the not stencil version ...YO... as in, sup yo???

I'm not saying your effort is pointless Catharsis, please don't get me wrong, and again I thank you for the time and effort, it is my hope that someday you will experience graphic design in broader more meaningful depth ...the world is being reduced to nothing more than collective grunts at an alarming rate.

And one last comment ...about the overall concept. It was a complete fluke that this design was so in tune with a Buddha sitting in the Lotus/Contemplative position. Or about being of the strong and wonderful contribution Asia has given to the world in regards to the weaving of Bamboo ...and the awesome patterns that come from such structures. Or about reference to urban aesthetics such as chain link fences. Or about sexual undertones neither.

And yet ...it's all there ;)

Catharsis's picture

But first I'd like to explain the difference between a grunt of a design ...as yours truly is... and a sophisticated design.

It would be alarming if my 5-minute mockup sketch were to look any less than a "grunt of a design". ;o) Don't worry about the lack of lateral symmetry, it was not part of my suggestion. What was, though, was the fact that widening the white borders around the strokes wider might help make the logo more work better at small sizes and avoid the clutter of vertices at the insides of the intersection

Firstly, this mark has a harmonious upward movement. The elements which constitute the upward movement actually begin with those three horizontal 'elongated' hexagons, but the stronger visual element is the difference in the segments of stroke angles of the letter shapes themselves.

I can see what you mean about the different angles producing an unraveling "motion" upwards. My suggestion was rather based on the assumption that you were going for a "rugged cargo" look (which young streetware labels often go for) rather than a "lotus buddha" look — the black angular strokes evoke iron girders to me. How about smoothing those kinks into curves?

...too pornographic, though? ;o) (Again, don't worry about the poorly matched curvatures at the cut-offs near the intersections; it's still only a 5-minute mockup.)

I disagree about the hexagons, though. To me, they don't harmonize with the strokes, or contribute to their rhythm. They are too flimsy to form a base for the much more massive strokes above; if anything, they evoke a row of nails to me, as if the mark above had been nailed to a wooden board like an elk's head...

I'm not saying your effort is pointless Catharsis, please don't get me wrong, and again I thank you for the time and effort, it is my hope that someday you will experience graphic design in broader more meaningful depth ...

And I appreciate the thought you put into your design, as well as the time you took to explain it to me (albeit in a condescending tone). I don't think it comes across as well as it could, though.

5star's picture

Thanks again Catharsis! 5 minute graphic porn is better than no porn at all ...I prefer the kinky version for now tho ;o)

igor_g's picture

When I look at this logo it looks a little like tribal tattoo or like barbed wire.

5star's picture

Final version text option depending on scale...

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