Viking Decal Identity

whoisdan's picture

I posted this on another thread about sketches, I think this spot is a better fit.

These are a few initial directions of an identity system for a truck decaling company in NJ. Pretty much they travel the NJ/NY/PA area putting gigantic decals on trucks like FedEx (I worked for them and after staring at that logo for entire summer I no longer see the ingenuity of the "hidden" arrow) and other big names. It's tedious work, blowtorches are involved, and it's blue collar. So that's the background.

I am of course interested in receiving feedback on my work. As most who post their work on these forums, I am very open to criticism.

I only have two jpgs of pencil sketches. My Illustrator sketches are in the preliminary stages.

sketch 1

logo 3

logo type

logo 4

logo 1

logo 2

hrant's picture

The bottom one is great in every way!
Just chop off that appendage off the middle bar of the "E".

Another possibility: try one large "V" (like your first one) where the arms become the horns - or maybe that would get too gothic...


whoisdan's picture

Thanks Hrant.

Yeah, the V with horns didn't work. I had that idea but the sketch looked bad. It was worth a shot. I do live in Chicago...

What do you think about the spacing between letters? I even kerned while viewing it upside down... I'm nervous about the "A L" space and the horizontal position of "DECAL". That appendage on the E is stupid. Oops.

The typeface is some random one that I spent a long time fixing to look like that. I may as well have started from scratch.


whoisdan's picture

Here's another cheezeball idea I had. Since it's a decal-putter-upper company, I tried out a direction where that's incorporated into the design. Get it, the "V" is a sticker? I kinda like it, but I feel like I've joined the Dark Side...logo peel

whoisdan's picture

I redrew the helmet to be a head on from slightly above. The logo is now a square. I'm not sure about the leading now, nor am I completely comfortable with the distance between the type and the sides. I think I'm creating some spacing problems by using an exact square. Then again, I can always redraw the helmet to help me out.

logo posneg

hrant's picture

The straight helmet is stronger, but less interesting.

Spacing: "AL" tighter, and maybe the "IK" slightly too - it's hard to tell at that low resolution.


shreyas's picture

I'd suggest going back to the rotated-helmet concept, but having the higher horn on the left. I would also encourage you to really think about the helmet's shape, and how it would silhouette; I feel like the horns are strangely skewed in your initial drawings.

I'd definitely round the tips of the horns as you did in your most recent image; it makes them more "hornlike", and takes the egde off the counterchanging.

whoisdan's picture

Jolly good. I too think the rotated helmet is a more interesting, dynamic graphic. Thanks for the input Shreyas and Hrant

squeeze's picture

I concur with Hrant regarding the angled view of the helmet, and more specifically with Shreyas' direction of "having the higher horn on the left", or rather the red horn in the white area (whichever side it ends up being on).

Have you explored any solutions "outside of the box", but within the same direction as this concept? Maybe there's no red frame outlining the red area and the type, and red type is to the right of the mark. Perhaps try framing the graphic mark only, then positionig the type somewhere outside of the rectangle. Try creating a random red and white/negative space checker pattern (not a square board) and incorporating the elements (graphic and type) into a portion of that pattern. Just some ideas

whoisdan's picture

Ooh. Good thoughts. Revisions tomorrow (Monday).

drewheffron's picture

Daniel, I think the best thing you have going is your 'cheeseball' decal logo : )

Chris Rugen's picture

I agree with Drew. I'd love to see you develop the peeling sticker logo idea a bit more. Could be really great, if you balance the strong/ bold design with just a little wit. Though, I suppose it could be seen as peeling off, rather than being applied.

I also agree with Hrant. The angled helmet's much more interesting. Personally, I like the one set in the V maybe with some centered type. It's bold and simple but not boring. The strong V makes up for the less impactful shape. (also taking a refined helmet into account)

Of course, this is posted after the weekend, so you've probably moved on. Oh well, 2 cents in.

whoisdan's picture

2 cents gotten. I haven't moved on at all, actually. I was pretty full with other work this weekend, including research and designing this poster for Notre Dame.

I will certainly have updates tonight and tomorrow. Awesome feedback, guys. I too think the applied V could work if I get it right...We'll see.

whoisdan's picture

I didn't have much time to work on this, but here's a little update.

I changed the helmet. It looks better, but it's not great. I messed around with the pos/neg ideas on the computer, results aren't as good as I'd hoped. I'm thinking about combining the peeling-off V with the pos/neg idea. Who knows.

I played around with type/object positioning, but it's not there yet. Any objections to my type choice? Any suggestions? I don't think it looks right if it's not in white with a red backing.

lots of logos

As I previewed this gif I thought of extending the red rectangle all the way left to back up the type, then change the type to white. That could go somewhere.

squeeze's picture

The curved Viking horns reminded me of the "V" in Armada, so I threw it in with your helmet graphic

timfm's picture


I like what you've done with the helmet. I'd like to see your last idea (extend red rectangle left and knock out text to white) executed. It's a strong concept which may pull it all together and allow the type treatment to dominate the visual field.


Chris Rugen's picture

I think the helment is strong, but the pos/neg stuff weakens it.

I like the all-dark helmet. What if the V was in the helmet, rather than the other way around? Perhaps like a V applied on the helmet? (It's a bit sports-ish, though.)

I'm going to throw another idea out there, because it's gnawing at my brain now. What if you gave the helmet a nose guard (example), but in the shape of the counterform of the V or a V itself? Then you might be able to use that straight-on view from before.

whoisdan's picture

I'm about to mess around with type treatment, but here's an update.

Scott, I think Armada is the wrong direction for this one.


hrant's picture

I like the angled shading on the helmet.

Chris, that nose-guard helmet would have helped Ty a lot!

BTW, the Notre Dame poster: do remove the traps from the large[r] letters.


aquatoad's picture

Hi Daniel,

Just put two and two together with your ID thread. I was thinking this was Schwabesque.

A side note about viking helmets: no horns
But you probably want to keep them for recognition since the myth is more recognized than the original. I think you can add some more details and still be simple enough. Perhaps some rivet highlights? Mabe the eye/nose mask? Maybe not?

I'd also try non-horizontal type treatments. Circle, with VIKING between the horns and DECAL below? Maybe a simple U shape below the helm?

Whoops, just got another idea. Second to the viking helmet in recognizability is the viking longship. I think that might make a more compelling image.

For inspiration:

Definitely less clich

aquatoad's picture

This might also help:
Search using the keyword: BOAT

For a better helmet shot try this link:


Chris Rugen's picture

Or beards, Vikings like beards.

Can't you see it? This guy screams Viking Decal to me.


whoisdan's picture

That dude's not screaming, Chris! He's indoctrinating that yes, Viking Decal is indeed where it is at. What a wise sage he is.

Or were you just saying that although he's not currently screaming, he does scream "Viking Decal!" from time to time?

Sweet links.

whoisdan's picture

I'm just tooling around with the helmet. Some time soon I will tool around with the peeling V idea. Also, I want to try out a solid helmet, per Chris's suggestion.

The Viking Ship is the logo for Viking Books. It's a good logo I think, I haven't seen it in a long time and I haven't searched for it online.

My brother wants me to use the pos/neg idea with an actual viking dude, maybe with a sword or something. We'll see if that ever happens. As of now I need to get some feedback from the client. Thanks for the recommendations.


aluminum's picture

I like the solid square with the type + helmet, but I'm not sure if you need the reversed square in's almost too much. Maybe try one with just the white helmet?

The peeling V is also actually quite nice, though it may seem more like it's 'falling off' rather than 'being applied'. Ie, it may look like a shoddy decal that's coming off. Still, I like it.

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