markatos's picture

This ID project is well under way, but I wanted to get some feed back on it before it gets published.

I'm especially curious to see whether anymore/anyless can be done to the logotype. Something doesn't seem entirely right.

Vital provides Life Services to AIDS patients. So the mark is taking the AIDS ribbon and flipping it over into a V. We want to stay away from Red, so we went with a fluorescent blue.

Your comments are always appreciated.


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sim's picture

I lilke the color you choose. I wonder if it's efficient to cross the ruban in back of the V.

Did you try to reverse the aids ruban? I join a rough Sketch of what I want to say.

I don't know if it has a TM on this ruban on anykind of use.

The typeface is also a good choice, though I think it would be better to have a horizontal cut on the top of the V stem or an angle on only one side.

Keep going

markatos's picture

Hi Sim,
Good suggestions. We did try flipping the AIDS ribbon as you illustrated, but decided that it was too close to some other AIDS organizations (Walk for AIDS being one of them) to pick that mark.

I will experiment with having the angle be on one side of the V. Probably the right.


Dan Weaver's picture

My first thoughts looking at your logo. It could be for a hardware manufacturer. Its not warm or accessible. Shouldn't the type, and color reflect "care" and "understanding" rather than "corporate" and "cold". I would look at other typefaces and not use all caps and I'd use a warm color. As for the ribbon why not use the accepted symbol for Aids awareness? Why do you feel you have to recreate the wheel? I bet who ever invented it in the first place would be happy to let you use it and it already has a history and an idenity.

markatos's picture

We definetly explored warmer colors. Greens especially. But the client felt a vibrant blue had the life they were looking for.

As for the mark, they are in a tricky position of being and AIDS services instituion but not to pigeon-hole themselves as such. Getting funding for solely AIDS is very difficult. So it's fine balance. Hence the subversion of the AIDS ribbon.

Besides I don't think it would be very originial or distinguishing to use the AIDS ribbon.

We also presented all lower case type treatments, but they weren't bold enough for them. They really want 'bold' and 'vital'. We almost went with a V-like dove treatment, but they felt that was too Non-Profit and wimpy looking.

Thanks for the feedback though.

Dan Weaver's picture

The whole point of using the AIDS ribbon is it isn't original or distinguished, but it has instant recognition to the general public. Who cares if you use of the AIDS ribbon, I bet only you.

You need to go back to the client and fight for your warmer choices in colors. Blues = Cold

As for the type why not try leaving the name in caps and make the slogan something like a script. Strong and warm.

aheep's picture

I would definately try to push a vibrant spring fresh alive green. This blue isn't winter cold, but I think it could give off that connotation. I don't agree with having to use the AIDS ribbon. Do all company's aimed at breast cancer have to use a pink ribbon? Or one's for teachers use an apple and books? No, it gets old and is too generic. I agree that it does pigeonhole the company, who may branch out to other things in the future and would be stuck with the ribbon sympbol. Some people may also unrightfully associate the AIDS ribbon only with the gay community and not seek the company's services.
I don't like the curves on the ends of some of the letters, it's not on all the letters so it kind of detracts from the overall look once you notice it.

Chris Rugen's picture

Possibly what doesn't seem entirely right is that you've created a slightly abstracted pretzel. In spite of that, I like the mark. Perhaps the ribbons in the back could be outlines, rather than solid shapes? This will emphasize the 'V' more and play down the pretzel thing.

As for the blue, it says 'healthcare provider' to me, so that's good. But it also says 'faceless HMO'. So there's that.

What I really don't understand is this statement: "As for the mark, they are in a tricky position of being and AIDS services instituion but not to pigeon-hole themselves as such. Getting funding for solely AIDS is very difficult. So it’s fine balance. Hence the subversion of the AIDS ribbon." If their sole service is AIDS life services, how would marking them as an AIDS-only institution be putting them in a "pigeon-hole"? That is all they do. Right?

All-in-all, I think it works. But some tweaks may be necessary to take it to the next level.

aluminum's picture

I like it. I would agree it seems a bit more 'corporate' than maybe the client wants to communicate, but, then again, if a big part of the identity is presenting a certain face to those that fund them, perhaps this is an ideal logo.

ebensorkin's picture

I really like the mark, I have a sew suggestions for improving it & adding warmth/humanity.

- I wonder if the V-ness of the mark wouldn't be enhanced by using some old fashioned engraving lines behind the main V to shadow the bandage/ribbon behind the V. The lines could be just lines ( very sixties/seventies ) , or they could be ornate like on Currency or something in between. This hatching would feel warmer & would clarify the V without requiring a second color.

- You could go with a second color, a green or a two blue

- I wonder how an A ( the A in vitAl ) which is rounded on top would feel. I bet it would feel warmer.

Here is a rough


Of course you would want the A to line up properly and I think a finer pattern would be better in the ribbon but there it is.

aluminum's picture

Eben is on to something there with the shadow idea...

Eric_West's picture

It looks like an inverted pentagram. I like it. But maybe not for what you're doing.

Chris Rugen's picture

The shading is a good call, Eben. Anything to punch up the 'V' in the mark.

ebensorkin's picture

There are a ton of ways to do the shading. Getting the shading to not compete would be the trick. My shading is sort of too interesting or attention grabbing I think. I think that the mark is really strong - it just needs that one last step to make the V pop. I would have suggested a 2nd color but it's not a big corp & also I think logos *should* work in one color first. I'd like to see the finnished product however it's done.

markatos's picture

thanks for all the comments folks.

daniel: I tried again to change their mind on the color. I did talk them out of the blue, but into Blue 072u! This wasn't intentional of course. My client is 5 women who run this organizaton and during this recent meeting they grabbed my pantone book and went nuts. I thought I was doomed. But they miraculously chose the same color.

72u is more of an unique color for an organization, but I am not sure it is any better than 801u. It isn't warm and perhaps even colder than the initial choice, but I guess it is earthy. They definetly want something that isn't "the straight and narrow." Which is why they liked the flourescent 801 first, and why they like the indigo.

Gave them a few reasons as to why this may not be the way to go, but focussed on how I think this is color has a "down emotion" instead of something up and lively.

They did say I could recommend something else. One caveat though, the Executive Coordinator said,"I can't stand Greens, don't like oranges or mustards, and we don't want any kind of pink."

So if any of you can think of something warm that isn't the above, then PLEASE let me know.

Great ideas on the mark. And yes, they are an AIDS org but due to the rapidly evaporating AIDS funding, they need to position themselves as LIFE SERVICES for all the critically ill, with a specialty in AIDS patients I guess. So they absolutely do not want and AIDS ribbon, and that is why they were into the inverting of the AIDS ribbon concept.

I told them I want to step back a bit since their deadline isn't as hard now. I am going to look into these shading ideas Eben suggested (thanks). I am also going to try and render Sim's idea as I think it is much more simple, but also more of a direct reference to the AIDS ribbon so it might not fly.

I also think making it a little more 'flowy' might lighten things up a bit.

Nice type idea on the A.

I'm going to posting my edits here in the next few days. Please stay tuned.


Dav's picture

I really like this one, but, I may second Dans remarks about the logotype being slightly '.."corporate" and "cold"..'.. ( But, I also think the ideas Eben posted about the shaded 'V' and the rounded 'A' may be nice additional details, as well.. What about creating a more rounded wordmark for 'VITAL', over all.? Like a slightly rounded lower part of the 'V', top of the 'A', and left lower edge of the 'L'.? )

markatos's picture

Good ideas, formlos.

I'll post where I get to end of day today.

Dan Weaver's picture

Markatos, did you run a teal color by your clients? I've never met a woman client who didn't love teal. You could use the teal color as an accent color and keep the metalic blue.

ebensorkin's picture

I would also make sure that they are looking at a black & white version too since this is going to be xeroxed too I bet - and nobody like a surprise.

That's another reson to watch your shading carefully & come up with something that is likely to xerox well. If there is going to be shading you might even make a small medium & large with slightly different shading to address that potential weakness in shading. Otherwise, if you are going with just one shading version - test test test.

I know you want to stay away from red & pink - but - what about a cochineal? It's mexican red pink kind of color.

It does sound like they want the logo to feel like authori-tay. Indigo would be good for that. Also, the heavy contrast will look good.

Flourescent 90's/emergency orange is STILL a fav of mine after all this time but I doubt they would go for it.

I'm psyched to see what you come up with.

markatos's picture

Not sure why I couldn't add attachment to new post, but look at my first post for my attachment (is that the way it is now?)

These are executing SIMS idea. They are kind of rough, but I don't know if this is too close to what these guys are doing:


Working on original mark shading next.

ebensorkin's picture

Psyched to see it.

markatos's picture

Not done. But this is the shading idea that I think will work best.

The other ideas (half tone, currency-like shading, vertical and horizontal lines) don't reduce well and moire on screen (they are making a DVD to go with their press kit).

I'll post some finalzed stuff tomorrow.

See link to file up above (shadingComps.gif)

Eric_West's picture

I really like what you have active right now, love the solution to the shading, but the ends of the ribbon shading look kind of like claws. Maybe try make the ends of those lines a little smoother, less hooked. ?

markatos's picture

I can see what you are saying. Though I am torn. The other ideas I tried (shadingCompsV2.gif uptop) don't seem as soft as the ends that bough outward.

The straight vertical ends I think work best, but when placed with type it might create too rigid a lockup.

Thoughts, folks?

ebensorkin's picture

In terms of the shapes I like the inward & active best. Honestly it took a while before I noticed the difference. I think the biggest issue is how best to shade the thing. I think what you have works but I wonder if more difference between the thick & thin might give the mark more sparkle or life. What other angles did you try? Too bad that cross shading won't work. Did you ever seriously consider 3 versions for different sizes? I'd like to see what straight vertical looks like. With difference in stroke shape that might be very cool.

Dav's picture

I may second Eben, out of these I also prefer the 'Inward' version.. ( I dont know how small the logotype will be used, but you may still loose some of the 'shady' details :), when reducing / resizing the logotype.. Maybe try even less than five 'stripes', for the shading.? )

markatos's picture

Have a look. Even on my computer screen I get a moire pattern if I zoom out.

I could create different vertical patterns for different sizes, but I generally don't like to create special case marks unless absolutely necessary.

ebensorkin's picture

Good point. Four stripes may reduce better too. Reemebr it's not the number of stripes it's how you use them. - sorry.

markatos's picture

Implementing some of Formlos' logotype ideas uptop. I think those were good suggestions, wondering if I need to go further or stop where I am...

Also not sure I have the top of the T optically adjusted correctly. A strange dilema since both the I and the A have rounded tops.

aluminum's picture

I like the shading, but not the implementation with the 'sliced' ribbons.

How often will this be used in one-color black? If it's not a lot, I'd go with a color shading and let it me. Maybe use a coarse line-screen halftone for a black/white version.

ebensorkin's picture

RE: the T. I think you could take the heigh of the cross bar of the top of the T up a little so that it is slightly thicker. I am assuming that the rounded ones are new.... right? I really like the type so far.

RE: The verticals. What formloss was saying about fewer thicker stokes is right. I think if you go with verticals you will definitely need to use thicker ones - and also, I think that variable width stokes would look better - maybe even pen-like strokes with slight curves. That's what I meant by 'With difference in stroke shape that might be very cool.'. I think straight lines are not going to work.

This is going to be a really nice logo. You might want to walk away from it & take a walk & come back to see it when your mind is fresh.

markatos's picture

Check the rough sketch, curvedVerticalShading.gif.

Is that what you are talking about?

ebensorkin's picture

Yes, thats the sort of thing. But I would use fewer & thicker strokes. Right now it feels a little mechanical - It is working, but it isn't as interesting or compelling as I think it could be.

I am not sure how to explain what I man - but maybe this will help. Take a dollar bill out of your pocket. Look at the side that says 'ONE' not the side with washington's portrait. Look at the Eagle in the circle on the right, To the right of it is an ornament that points to the right. See the lines that come out there? They are thicker & closer together near the eagle & they spread out & get thinner as they move away.

I am suggesting that with 10 lines not 20 if you go vertically, or with 4 or 5 lines if you fallow the path of the ribbon you could shade the ribbon. I think using more than that will as you know create moire patterns.

To do it well I bet you would have to draw it by hand.

I also wonder if the white lines that indicate the bends would look better if they were thicker & had thick & thin parts.

Probably it would be best if I drew you what I meant, but I can't do that today. How is the type comming?

markatos's picture

That was a fun trip around the dollar bill :)

I'm not feeling the vertical line shading. I think it goes against the flow of the ribbon. That said, I'd be curious to see how your execution for "following the path" of the ribbon would look. The lines on the ribbon right now do go from thick to thin, but perhaps you mean more exagerated, more caligriphic....if I have time I'll delve into that, though I have to show this to client first thing tomorrow.

I think the type is done. See pdf above.

markatos's picture

your dollar bill idea led me to add more of a dynamic stroke to those stripes.

Eric_West's picture


shadingComps_v3.gif ... v7 is sparkling to me, no more meat hooks, nice and clean.

ebensorkin's picture

Yeah, v7 is sweet! I agree the paralell lines work much better.

Dav's picture

( Off Topic.: Whats wrong with Typophile not letting me see / download .pdf files.? Am I the only one getting a 'File Not Found' error when trying to access the 'vital.pdf' file.? )

I also think the shading on 'v7' is well done.. :)

ebensorkin's picture

I don't know - I have the same problem.

aluminum's picture

I think the issue with the shading is that it's actually lighter than the foreground ribbon. Sort of the opposite of what you are after.

That said, the latest version is definitely an improvement.

markatos's picture

Thanks guys.

Aluminum, I want the back to be lighter and less bold, the front to be bolder. If I was using color, the back parts would be a tint of the forground color. So I think this translates that also flows into the V, which I think makes sense metaphorically.

Gonna try and sell the client right now.

Don't know why the pdf isn't working.

Here, have a close look at the type and let me know what needs to be fixed. I'm sure you'll have suggestions ;)

Thanks for your help again. You've pushed this further than I would have gone on my own.


ebensorkin's picture

The text is pretty sweet. I still really like it. Too bad it's not on a T-shirt... I think to improve it I would make the horizontal leg or the far right 'L' a little thicker, like on the crossbar of the T.

I would also look at making the round parts even rounder. Right now the letters look like the are straining. Maybe that's good. Really good. But I would look at it some aditional ways too.

This PDF worked for me BTW.

Dav's picture

I think the type is nice, but I also liked the type treatment ideas Eben previously posted ( ), so here is a scribble of what I had in mind, when posting '..slightly rounded lower part of the ‘V’, top of the ‘A’, and left lower edge of the ‘L’..'.:
( But, looking at it again, that may well be too much.. :)

ebensorkin's picture

Formloss, That is tasty. Just what I was wondering about. I think the top of the A would have to be a bit talller & oivershoot the line a little to look right. The Leg on the should be thicker too probably... The New 'I' is really interesting. It makes the whole thing feel very different. Like a brand of Skis or a sports drink... ;-) hee hee. But really, I think this kind of play with the letter shapes is really really good.

Dav's picture

> I think the top of the A would have to be a bit talller & oivershoot the line a little to look right..

Sure, Ill may second that, as well.. :)
( As I stated, that was just a quick sketch, because of my 'disability' to write down and tell my original thoughts, in proper, readable English.. :) Seeing is believing.. :)

ebensorkin's picture


markatos's picture

Thanks guys. Those type ideas are really nice, but I do have to keep this subtle. THey can't look too fancy or else no one will fund them! (and I am kind of sneaking type changes under the radar at this point).

I definetly will beef up the L and possibly play with rounding things a bit more (probably on the L corner).

So they liked the shading to the mark, or at least half of them did. the other half (the older ladies) thought it was too busy. I can see this. So I am going to have to achieve the same, but with less.

I'll post revisions later today.

You guys have been very helpful.

Dan Weaver's picture

Markatos, look at Vista from Emigre this face is one you might want to use as text with the logo you are developing. I like the shading but be careful if you are going to print it in small sizes. You might have to develop a small logo and a large logo.

markatos's picture

man, I would love to use vista, but there isn't the budget.

we're going with frutiger and meridian.

new stuff coming soon.

markatos's picture

Here are the drafts I showed to client. They saw the 4 line and some of them thought it was too busy.

So I went down to 3 line shading, and played with the reverse. Would still need some revision, but you get the idea.

And yes, indigo won out over the other color ideas.

Daniel, had another client of mine choose Vista for their project, so I may be able to use it on this. yay.

ebensorkin's picture

The three line does look really strong. Just to be persnickety, I would maybe adjust the 3 lines so they are slightly thinker in the middle bit. I hope you show us the final version. Cheers!

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