Logo for African Drum-Builder

Anke Gaksch's picture

hello all,

i am creating a logo for a guy who builds high quality african drums.
for those who know more, they are called djembes and dununs.

my first samples for him included more "african" fonts, bolder and more playful.

he really likes the Trajan and wants to go with a font like the Trajan.

My Questions to you:

A) What is your overall impression if you see these logos? Does it look like high-quality drums? does it still look like he is selling affordable drums? do you think it needs a more "african/ethnic" touch?

B) Which version do you like best?

C) Any suggestions for another font and general comments.

Thank you.

trajan.gif11.59 KB
ben_archer's picture

Hi Anke

Reading your post I was thinking '...ohhh this will be another job set in Neuland', so I'm happy to see otherwise on the samples. Trajan has a historical 'high-quality' association in the West, and maybe in other parts too, so it's a good pick on your clients' part. It appears to me that the brush drawn illustration is trying to do two things at the same time – be approachable/good value and be upmarket. My advice is to settle for one or the other.

I prefer version A for the relationships between the image and the type.

You really don't need to hyphenate 'custom-drums' (the fact that they are custom, and that there are many of them, will stand as it is, with only a wordspace between the two).

Note that you can always get titling capitals to look classier (and therefore more upmarket) by letterspacing generously.

Lex Kominek's picture

I like the drum from version A better than the one from version B. The drawing is a little less rigid-looking.

I'd increase the white around the bottom of the 'J' (where it overlaps the drum) just a little bit. Remember that if this logo is reproduced in one-colour at a small size (say in a faxed letterhead) the 'J' may become one with the drum. I'd also recommend creating a second version of the logo without the subtitle for this kind of purpose.

I second Ben's suggestion to dehyphenate "custom drums".

Overall, it looks very clean and connotes "high quality" to me. Good job.

- Lex

Reed Reibstein's picture

I like them! I think that your drum logo in A is terrific -- B is still good, but A and C have more flowing and therefore musical feels to them. The abstractness of the drum shape makes it seem like your client got someone to design the logo for him (which he did), which suggests that he has high-quality products.

I think that the illustration is strong enought to convey the message regardless of the typography (although I can scarcely believe that I'm saying this, especially here). That said, I'm not sure if Trajan is a great match -- Trajan connotes Roman statues, not African music. I'd think that a modern, flowing sans-serif might work better, to combine with the clean, sleek lines of the drum. But if the client is set on Trajan, as Ben and Lex said, it still looks quite elegant and different.

Anke Gaksch's picture

THANK YOU FOR YOUR OPINIONS! it definitely helped a bit and i feel clearer about what i did. i will continue tweak around with font, kerning and form, although i think i am pretty close to the final version.

@auricfuzz: the original drawing from him (and he did it by himself) looked kind of like a wine glass, see samples (only the drum drawing is from him): http://www.cokomanie.de/fontsamples1.gif (not MY homepage btw.)
this is one of the first version, were i also used a more "ethnic" font, or however you wanna call that kind.

i changed the form to what it is now, which is the drumshell of a certain african drum (bamena-shell), so it doesn't look like a wine glass anymore.

i kind of like that font more, because it's warmer, but it definitely looks less "upmarket", and not so professional i guess. and he wants to go with sth. like trajan.

ANYWAY, thanks again and feel free to post more comments :-)

Anke Gaksch's picture

my creative juices are flowing right now, so i posted the first drafts of the business cards. the background shall simulate a thick, recycled and untreated looking paper.


i think through a paper like that it fits into the subject of drums, made of wood, hand carved etc.
the little drawing is just a brief illustration of an african drum group.

subtitle font is FF Kievit.

after that, i won't beg for opinions anymore ;-)


Reed Reibstein's picture

I'm actually not a huge fan of either Trajan or the old "ethnic" font -- Trajan seems more appropriate for a wine bottle or movie poster and the sans seems too wiggly, suggesting more a toy store than anything else. I do like the illustrations you did on the capital letters, although in the end it might prove to be an unnecessary extra flourish.

My suggestion is to go somewhere more in the middle. A humanist sans-serif, maybe one based on a seriffed roman (like StormType's John Sans and Amor Sans, although those aren't great for your project -- maybe someone more familiar with humanist sans-serifs could help out?) would be good, combining the new with the old. But I think any fun, humanist sans-serif (but not too whimsical a sans) could be perfect. However, as I mentioned, Trajan is fine if it has to stay.

Da Kine's picture

I prefer "C," but I actually think they are all quite nice! I also think that Trajan works as a nice "stable/rigid" counterpoint to the fluid design of the drum. Good work!

Ratbaggy's picture

‘…ohhh this will be another job set in Neuland’

hahahah. same here.

Paul Ducco
Design, Melbourne
Little Mischief

timd's picture

For your business card I would consider centring the type on the JebeBara side and have the drum illustration hanging off to the left. On the reverse I would drop the zigzag and knockback drum and some of the drummers, the zigzag could cause problems to the printer when it comes to trimming and doesn't seriously add to the design, however if you needed/wanted to keep it consider moving it away from the edge, the knockback drum also doesn't add to the design, while your logo is a combination of brush illustration and elegant type the reverse is a little overpopulated, the illustrations are charming, however, some of them look a little like drafts for the others and one of them looks like a banjo player, while the central figure resembles a butler, stiff posture and not as fluid as the others. Finally why print the texture and not use a proper textured stock?

Anke Gaksch's picture

hello all,
again, thank you so much for your inspiration.
it really helped and i am glad forums like that exist and help junior designers improve their work.

that was actually the plan, i wouldn't print the background, it is just to simulate the paper. i would go with a stock that really looks like recycled very natural paper, without any background color printed on it.
i kind of like the zickzack, since this gives the design a little more of an african touch.
you are right, it could cause problems with trimming, i'll try other options.

i'll have a look into the fonts you proposed :-)


Reed Reibstein's picture

You can take a look at the fonts I proposed, but I didn't think either them were actually especially appropriate for your design -- but the type of font (a sans-serif created from a serif) is. I can't quite remember any others, but maybe someone else can help out. If you like the concept, you might want to poke around the forums to see if you can find some.

Anke Gaksch's picture

auricfuzz, sorry for that, i actually was understanding what you meant, but just wrote my reply a bit sloppy ;-)

ginenyira's picture

Hi - i'm trying to find someone to create a logo for me. I like the clean lines of this djembe. I want something very simple with the outline of a drummer playing the djembe and a dancer dancing in front of him and the name of our group Samato. I can find photo to show the idea, but i want it very simple and clean. I can't afford a lot, but am willing to pay.

Syndicate content Syndicate content