my own logo - please review

mncz's picture

In the light of recent events I have decided to go on and create my own company which would do quality graphic design. Of course, I need my own ID, so there it is.
The message I want to get across is that we are very good, very classic design agency, so all our ID materials will be about that. So I have designed my own logo according to that message. I took Warnock as a base for the letterforms. I still have issues with the lc r, which seems to be from whole another planet, but I don't know how to make the rt look good together.

Any thoughts appreciated :).

CA logo.jpg32.89 KB
James Arboghast's picture


Replacement "r" matches "i" dot. Proportion of diamond ball is not right. I'm sure you can make a better one  :^]

To integrate the new "r" more, raise the stem of "t" up a small amount.

j a m e s

timd's picture

Warnock has a lot of qualities, but I don't think it lends itself to the graceful/classic characteristics you have created in your amended characters, so bravo for starting from there, I think you have many minor modifications to make (and being a personal identity this can turn into a life's work).

Regarding your question about the rt, first I would lower the arm of the r (it seems too proud of the x-height) and then slightly reduce the length of the arm to bring the terminal more into the stem (to reduce the space under the arm) and give the terminal an edgier* character, maybe developing it from the dot above the i, then you could experiment with the curve so that the terminal will fit under the lefthand arm of the t (which I think you will need to replace). I would also look at the kerning of the it combination, I think loosening that would make more sense of the rt combination.

Hope this helps and isn't discouraging.
*I mean edgy in the sense of having edges.

{edit: Sorry, cross post with James}

mncz's picture

I feel much better about the "r" now :). Spacing still is an issue. I have this innate thing about having to put all the letters closely together. Something feels wrong here, but I obviously lack experience to put a finger to it.
All the letters need some polishing too, I will do that later.

PS the dragon was mighty nice, thanks, James.

James Arboghast's picture

^ With the words separated the original r matches the "t" in "art" and my eye no longer compares the "r" to the angular "y".

Restricting the wavy swash to one keeps things neat. Coloring it red makes it like a penant or flag, or a flame.

L e t t e r  s p a c i n g
Greek classical architecture was founded on the horizontal principal. The Greeks built their temples very wide and exagerrated the horizontal aspect by placing lots of columns along the sides of their buildings. The columns in rows also exaggerated the sense of perspective.

Hellenistic/Roman classicism. The Romans emphasized the vertical more than the Greeks, but they kept the horizontal theme alive. Lettering on Roman buildings echoed this with long horizontal freizes divided by spaced capitals.

Renaissance neo-classicism. When Venice became the center of printing in Europe the Italian printers continuted the classical tradition with their letter-spaced Antiqua type. Western typography was more or less founded on this recurring principal dating back to Greek temple architecture.

Letters are still (more or less) spaced out in book typography. For display typography the trend has been (aince the mid to late 1970's) to use tight spacing, and for good reason; the extra space loses its original function at display sizes. Visually and design-wise it makes sense, and isn't really "wrong".

There is a reverse trend going now for spaced-out setting in display typography.
The effect makes more sense if the glyphs are spaced out a fair bit as in renaissance book typography, or very spacey like the classicism of antiquity.

You could letter space this logo to evoke a classical tone, or keep it tight and rely on the constructed classical letter forms for classical chic. Go for one extreme or the other, depending which flavour of classical you're after.

very good, very classic design agency


j a m e s

timd's picture

If you take 'ty' and 'Ar' as they are currently, as your base to work from you do need to increase the spaces between the other characters 'Ci' needs only a slight increase, while 'it' needs more than that, 'rt' needs slightly more than 'it'. I must admit that I find the difference in t's intrusive, have you tried removing the righthand arm of the first t?
Your 'r' is looking much better, while you are polishing, you could look at the top serifs of the 'iy & r' they seem too small and the where the vertical meets the curve of the inside of the 't's is too abrupt a transition.

James Arboghast's picture

Suggested spacing schemes.

To make the white space between "t-y" closer to the spaces between the other pairs---without crashing the serif of "y" into the "t" bar---I shortened the bar. The alternatives are to crash "t" into "y", or hack off the "y" serif.

Do both t's have to be identical? If you value consistency to the exclusion of all else and can't tolerate the slightest aberration, sure. If they're not identical does that make it inferior design? Allowing them to be different adds an interesting quirk.

...look at the top serifs of the ‘iy & r’ they seem too small and the where the vertical meets the curve of the inside of the ‘t’s is too abrupt a transition.

Whoa there. Making every detail perfectly consistent could make this logo predictable and boring. Its art, not science. The top serifs being smaller doesn't neccessarily make them inferior---just different. Surely the designer of Warnock made them that way on purpose, as an act of artful design. The same rationale can apply to the "t". The abrupt transition could be an imperfection by design to give the "t" character.

Appologies if it seems I'm giving you a hard time Tim. I'm only arguing aesthetics. It isn't meant personally.

j a m e s

timd's picture

I suggest you look at Warnock, Maija has used it for a base but it is now it's a separate entity, I agree that making every detail consistent isn't necessary, I just feel that at small size those serifs will be too small, likewise the t's don't have to be identical I think the addition of a small crossbar will help the kerning.
Please don't worry about giving me a hard time, the object is to help produce a good piece of work not to keep me sweet. And in the final analysis these are only our views and Maija will have her own and that is what makes design (in a simplified way of speaking).

James Arboghast's picture

Paratype won't show me a sample of Warnock big enuff to compare details with this logo, and I don't own a copy of the font, so I can't look at it at sufficient size to make comparisons.

I am treating the logo as a separate entity in the first place.

...I just feel that at small size those serifs will be too small...

And start to disappear---at small sizes. Bah. Not worth worrying about. At small sizes, with a type design like this small details tend to become casualties. A decision could be made based on how the logo will be reproduced, and at what sizes.

Still, I think overall effect is what counts. Isn't it more fun when things don't behave as we expect them to?

Design by comittee is silly :^)

j a m e s

timd's picture

To compare Warnock Light Display

type design like this small details tend to become casualties
Since the type design is a light display weight it probably wasn't designed to be used at small sizes. As for being more fun, there are times when that is good but I would prefer not to be surprised too much when dealing with a corporate identity.

A horse designed by committee is a camel:)


mncz's picture

Thank you for your great comments, that gave me a lot to think about.
As for the spacing, I intend to keep the letters together and crashing the t into y was intended and I would not like to give it up. I would like to keep the differen t's too, because of the feeling they provide, but I agree it looks awkward. So I made two versions to look at. Generally I try to maket things either very different or exactly the same, so the small difference between the two t's is somewhat bothering me.

I would like to keep the two "flags" on the top of the A. I initially put them just for fun ie - without any justification, but then my partner pointed out that they look just like Latvian flag which has three stripes of similar proportion: wide red-narrower white-wide red, so I decided that it's a good thing after all and should stay that way.

I made the top serifs a bit bigger and corrected the spacing. I think it looks a lot better now. The logo won't be reproduced in very small sizes generally, so I don't care much about serif loss. I tried to abandon the serifs altogether, but the result turned out to be something faceless and closer to Optima than I would like to.

James: classic as not exactly classy, but rather good-craft-oriented. As a suit, you know: black, but from Armani.

timd's picture

As you know I prefer the crossbar, so I would say that the first is looking good, (in the second the t has that Optima feel that you describe) enigmatic rather than very different. I would say that the combined serifs of Ar is a bit heavy.
Hope it produces the work you are after.

James Arboghast's picture

Since the type design is a light display weight it probably wasn’t designed to be used at small sizes.

Good point. That was what I thought anyway :)

As for being more fun, there are times when that is good but I would prefer not to be surprised too much when dealing with a corporate identity.

Yes. Different people see these things differently. I think we're very lucky to be part of a design community that tolerates differing points of view. As I have noted on other threads recently, I seem to enjoy being surprized a bit more than most.

Anyway, one solution for reproducing this logo at smaller sizes is to make a version with reinforced details for use at small sizes only.

As for the spacing, I intend to keep the letters together and crashing the t into y was intended and I would not like to give it up.

It forms a ligature, and you could take that as an opportunity to introduce an additional detail, on the cusp of the left stroke of y, as a finishing touch---artistic flair;

I raised the arm of "r" a tiny bit to give it some overshoot, to make it optically aligned with the x-line.

One other small detail I changed earlier: compare my first drawing to the second and third under "suggested spacing schemes". Reduced the thickness of the "A" bar to bring it closer to the "t" bars. This is to add elegance rather than modularizing.

Generally I try to maket things either very different or exactly the same, so the small difference between the two t’s is somewhat bothering me.

That's a familiar experience :) Perhaps if you show the designs to a few people with good taste who are not designers to get a non-designer's prespective, that may help you decide.


Crafted, hand-crafted etc, is the feel I was trying to evoke with the letter spaced versions. You could suggest craft-oriented another way---by adding subtle flair details like the one I put on the "t-y" bar/serif above, which is much like the flair Robert Slimbach put on the original Warnock "A". Thanks for showing the sample Tim.

As a suit, you know: black, but from Armani.

I know exactly what you mean. I paid a small fortune for 3 black Armani suits fives years ago, which I wear every day. The design, cut and workmanship are so beautiful I bought Armani spectacles to compliment.

Take care,
j a m e s

aheep's picture

I still find the swashes distracting and to me, they look like eyebrows. I think a single swoosh is much more elegant looking.

The top swoosh makes your eye stop and move forward instead of reading through the logo.

James Arboghast's picture

That's one reason why I recommend using just the lower one, flowing to the right, in the direction of the text. The other reason is simplicity. Simple isn't always best, and less isn't always more, but in certain situations simplicity simply works. Aye! :^)

j a m e s

jlg4104's picture

The type is looking sharp. I worry about the "brush stroke" thingies, though. Look a bit like two halves of a moustache. I'm not trying to be cute. Well, maybe a little. But they still bother me a bit. Any thought on changing those? Something like a more circular swish stroke, or different positioning? Also reminds me of little flags, like a cruise line logo, more than paintbrush strokes.

Tom Cannon's picture


The brush strokes do appear to be an afterthought. The shapes themselves don't match the type. The type is unyielding and sharp. The strokes flow and curve. What makes them worse is that you have mounted them to the top of the "A" for no reason. You may be able to make them work by arranging them in a different manner, but I don't think they work where they are.

I like the type, but I agree with James on the serif on the left of the stem of the "r" (from the 13th of feb.) looks better removed. That way you can place it closer to the "A".

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