logo/ci for furniture design company

_fertig's picture

hi,

coming from a manufacturing/architecture background rather than from the design side, i never got in touch with typography, so far. now i'm at the point, where i think about selling some of the furniture, that i have created over the years. i put together a first concept of a logo/brochure, but looked at the whole thing once too often and need some skilled advice. here are some of my thoughts, that are behind the logo and everyhting (no need to read it, but may explain what i wanted to do):

the logo:
my name, 'fertig', means something like 'done/finished' in german. i wanted to play with that and make it a statement, as i'm going to offer a finished product, a series of furniture, that reflects my ideas and rather pragmatic lifestyle. no custom orders wanted. hence, the period sign. as two dots in the logo looked too much and playful, i removed the tittle on the i. the claim should be self explanatory.
choosing a typeface was a bit of a problem, as none seems to offer a decent solution for an rt-ligature. some create a faux ligature when reducing the tracking, but that looked even worse to me, and i wanted to add some individual appearance to the standard font. as a result i came up with what you see, and am quite satisfied with it.

the brochure:
the two pages are printed on an a4 sheet, folded in half, and folded again into a z-booklet. i intentionally left 2 pages blank to give it some more room, but have the feeling that the frontpage looks too empty. if i increase the size of the picture, i loose my alignment with the text. moving the text up, too, eliminates the headroom and makes it look squished to the top. further enlargment of the logo makes it too dark for my taste. comments?

the typeface:
i wanted a clean and technical layout, but found futura to 70s and too harsh in its appearance. looking for a smoother, yet geometrical typeface, i soon stumbled upon avenir and found my match.
i tried to combine it with other fonts, but jumping on the 5-typefaces-in-10-styles-train, that you often see online recently, didn't really serve the purpose in my eyes.
the brochures will have individual colors for the different pieces of furniture, so in combination it gives you a nice palette that will lighten up the website. i'm thinking about a light gradient on the colored strips.

the problem:
i think i overdid it with the cleanliness, to the point where it gets boring. unfortunately, i don't see a way of adding some more tone and personality to the whole thing. criticism, comments and suggestions are highly appreciated!

sorry for that monster of a first post. looking forward to your opinions and ideas.

best,
lukas

AttachmentSize
gfx_001_03_logo_subline_avenir_01.pdf11.25 KB
doc_001_03_brochure_cabinet_01.pdf747.08 KB
bojev's picture

Nice clean designs - looks good to me.

hrant's picture

I think you're very close to a great solution, but you need a professional to tighten it all up.

hhp

JamesM's picture

> i think i overdid it with the cleanliness,
> to the point where it gets boring.

I like layouts that show restraint and subtlety, but I think your layout goes a little too far in that direction, with the majority of the space on the pages being white space. Especially since you're talking about how much the cabinet holds, but are showing it using rather small photos.

Also, although I like the quirkiness of the copy, it needs some polishing. On page two you've got one long sentence with around 11 commas and semicolons. Are you using a professional copywriter? If not you might want to bring one into the project.

Not sure I'm clear on how it folds. Could you post a simple sketch showing how it folds?

_fertig's picture

thanks for the feedback!

about the copy, it has not seen any work, yet .i just needed something and didn't want to use the lorem stuff.. 'tightening it up' sounds like what it needs. the elements feel lost on the pages. maybe i'll need to look at a couple more other designs to find out how.

a4_folded

that's the way it folds. the inside, i intend to use for either a technical detail sketch that communicates dimensions etc, or for a personalized cover letter. might as well leave it blank. duplex printing it on a single a5 sheet is not an option, as it feels too fiddly in your hands.

another thing, that's bugging me, is the imprint. the size of the 'thank you' as well as the 'fine furniture' breaks the logic (or is it just me?). decreasing it looks strange, though. how about the size and spacing in general? i think the color of the copy is ok, but the headline a bit too large. what do you think?

JamesM's picture

Thanks for posting the sketch. Do pages 1 and 2 of the PDF both print on the same side of the paper (leaving the other side blank)? Or does page 1 of the PDF print on the front and page 2 on the back?

_fertig's picture

thanks for looking into this JamesM =).

they're all printed on the same page, as you can see in the document attached.

i spent some time this evening, trying to develop a more lively layout, using the basic elements i already had. i also changed the order of the text blocks, as i noticed that many people, whom i showed it to, opened it another way than i thought. it still has a lot of whitespace on the back, but i alread have an idea of what i'm going to use it for.
all in all, i think, some parts really improved, but the logo is too large (maybe only half-sized in bottom corner?), the grey background could be replaced by full scale pictures etc. etc.... i didn't have the time to get those done today, though.. already quite late.

best,
L.

JamesM's picture

Thanks for posting the layout, sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

If I understand correctly, you're printing on one side only and the brochure is folded to make the printing appear on both sides. Is that correct? I wouldn't do it that way as it'll look amateurish. Are you planning to print this yourself?

It should be printed on both sides, either using a 1/2-size sheet, or else print 2-up per page (like 2 fronts on one side and 2 backs on the other) and then cut them apart after printing. If you want the extra heft of a folded page, just use heavier weight paper instead.

Or am I misunderstanding your diagram?

Birdseeding's picture

The area where the r meets the t has the slight illusion of being swollen, something like the bone effect (http://66.147.242.192/~operinan/2/2.3.2a/2.3.2.06.illusion.htm) but not quite. I think you might need to work on your curves there to get it opticlly straighter, perhaps narrow it a bit.

asphyxiation's picture

I agree with the above post, and I also think "fine furniture" isn't integrated with the rest of the logo as well as it could be. I would tighten the leading and also do something about the space between the tag line and the "g". This would help the logo feel more unified.

You might even consider changing the font of the tag line altogether. Personally, I think a contrasting font always looks better than using the same font. It's also somewhat awkward how the "f" in "furniture" and "fine" line up. Not only because of the visual repetition, but also because it's hard to tell if they're both left aligned. It looks as if "fine furniture" might be slightly indented, but I can't tell if it actually is or if it's an illusion.

The strength of this logo is that its simplicity is consistent with the clean, minimalist style of the brochure and the product. I also enjoy your solution with the period. It looks as if the dot on the "i" has been re-appropriated, which adds just enough playfulness to keep the logo from being bland in its simplicity.

The first thing that I notice about the brochure is that the image directs your eye *off* the page, by having the shelf sticking out "point" off to the right side. If you moved the image to the left side of the page, you could make the shelf "point" to the text. Then the reader's eyes would go directly to the right place (the copy).

I think it would look nice if the paragraph were framed by the right angle created by the cabinet and the shelf. Then the image and the text would be integrated in an interesting way. I don't know if I'm getting the image across very well, so this is what I mean: imagine the text box sitting on top of the shelf. But instead of having the words actually touch the shelf, leave a wide margin (both on the left side of the text to separate it from the cabinet, and under the last line of text to separate it from the shelf). Let the image act as a frame for your body copy.

Of course, you have to play around with that idea to see if it actually works. It seems like a good idea in my mind, but might not work very well on paper. It would also leave even more white space, but you could use that white space for more text and imagery. Though I get that you're going for a minimalist look, the brochure as is looks too empty, so you'll either have to add more content or use a more compact layout that you can fill with the content you have.

Hierarchy could be emphasized more. Your headings could stand to be a lot bigger. Don't be afraid to really exaggerate the differences between the heading and the body copy. This is what energizes a design, not to mention makes it easier to read. Again, contrasting fonts go a long way too. I recommend keeping the font you have for the heading, but blowing it up to a much bigger size, and using a contrasting font for the body copy. Maybe a serif font. And the all-lowercase motif doesn't really need to be carried over into the body text, because it makes the logo/headers look less distinct. And again, contrast is what really energizes a design.

I hope this helps! If I sound super nit-picky, it's because I think even the best designs can always be improved.

_fertig's picture

hi there,

thank you for the extensive comments, which are very helpful to me. no, you're not super picky. in fact, many people tend to say something nice, in order not to offend you, but i think criticism, inspiration and and continuous practise is what gets you to there in the end. unfortunately i haven't had much time to play around and bring up new ideas during the last two weeks, just wanted to say thank you at this point. i'll post an update once i'm a step further.

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