Splash Design

timfm's picture

Hi Typophiles,

After incessant delays, I'm finally getting around to working on my own studio's logotype. I previously conducted exhaustive typeface research, surveying the sans landscape for fresh and worthy entries into that classification.

Considering the studio's core capabilities are user experience consulting and interaction/information design for screen-based media, I was looking for a typeface inspired by screen and with a single-story "a" and "g."

The main goal of the studio is to provide superlative online experiences through interaction/information and visual design, by way of customer-centered methodologies and Web standards. I would also like to focus on type direction for corporate/brand identity, and logotypes in particular.

As far as usage of the logotype, again, it will mainly be screen-based and for basic Corporate ID materials.

I have happily settled on Our Type's/Fred Smeijers' (http://www.ourtype.be/) excellent Sansa/Sansa Condensed. Our very own Hrant cemented the deal for me, remarking:

"I just took another look at that design, and I had to smile at how much it seems to be inspired by the screen! :-)"

Yes, he did use an explanation point and an emoticon. :)

I've done some sketching and exploration of the forms, and decided to set the logotype in all caps for a couple of reasons that will become apparent. My present agenda is twofold, to decide between Sansa and Sansa Condensed and to choose a weight -- or a weight between weights. I have yet to purchase the fonts, so the gifs are not the final outlines, but generated by way of Our Type's (innovative, yet slightly unwieldy) Flash GUI and screen captures.

I'll begin work on a more polished sketch of the primary concept after choosing a width and weight. To explain it literally, I'm seeing an all caps setting with no spaces between the words, and an "HD" ligature. Additionally, I want to shape either the "D" itself or it's counter to resemble a droplet ala/originating from "SPLASH." I'm also visualizing "SPLASH" and "DESIGN" in different colors, probably blue (think tropical water) and gray respectively. Other considerations are the possibility of lowercase forms for "e" and/or "n" in DeSIGn, but this remains to be seen as it may distract the eye from the central "HD" focus.

So, tell me what your eyes like for width and weight Typophiles...

As always, I look forward to all of your input, tutelage, humor, criticism, sketches and anything else you'd like to throw at the wall.


sansa.gif53.93 KB
sansa-cond.gif63.67 KB
hrant's picture

I'm getting this vibe that you should do something with the "A"; give it some subtle movement, and hopefully get rid of the hole in "LA" at the same time. Maybe look at the alternate "A"s in Avant Garde to get ideas?


timfm's picture

Hi Hrant,

I agree. There's definitely opportunity to close down the "LA" kerning, as hinted at in the lighter weights (esp. at smaller sizes) of Sansa Condensed. I hadn't thought of it, but I guess the A's counter offers the possibility to introduce the droplet concept as well.

What do you mean by "subtle" movement? Perhaps I'll know after inspecting Avant Garde alternates. I think I'll have a look at Mark's Proxima Nova alternates as well.


anticowboyism's picture

I like the bold version in standard width.

hrant's picture

> What do you mean by “subtle” movement?

Just nothing too literal.


timfm's picture


I like bold too, or maybe somewhere between bold and black, but I'm still not sure about regular vs. condensed. Although, at the moment I'm tending towards the latter.


> Just nothing too literal.

Okay, but that's not literal enough. I took a look at Avante Garde and Proxima's "A" alternates thinking something might jump out at me or that I might "see" to what your alluding, but alas nothing.



timfm's picture


Still soliciting feedback as regards to width and weight on which to base the logotype (see 1st post). Attached is both widths at 36pt in regular, bold, and black on normal and reversed grounds.

Attachment: sansa-sansa-cond.gif

timfm's picture

Okay, I'm now tending towards Sansa Regular bold as a starting point for sketches. Anyone?


markatos's picture

sansa bold for sure to jump in.

timfm's picture

Hi Typos -- I've emailed OurType three times with questions about Sansa and they have failed to reply. I'm not too excited about buying a typeface from them if they are unable to so much as reply to my mails. Perhaps it's a glitch with their Flash interface?

This got me to perusing specimens again, and I came across an interesting face by Thomas Mettendorf called Fono in the Indie Fonts 2 book.

I really like the character of this font. I think it might work even better than Sansa for my purposes (screen-based logotype and headlines/corporate identity. I'm not sure how it would do as a text face, but I can always choose another with which to pair it.

What do you think of Fono? Is it too funky?

Dan Weaver's picture

Tim explore upper and lowercase to avoid the LA problem. Any face will give you that problem. I like Fono but you might also like Vista from Emigre.

hrant's picture

I've noticed that, ironically, most Dutch tend to be as good
at type design as they are lacking in personal communication...
But I guess he could be on a really long Summer vacation.


timfm's picture


Will do inre "LA." Not too worried about this though. Probably will stick with UC "A" so I can make the counter into a droplet.

Vista is nice, but not quite right. Fono just seems, well, more Splashy.


lol, even if he is on the annual European extended holiday, one shouldn't leave one's potential customers hanging. A simple auto reply or notification on the site would suffice.

Comments on Fono?

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