peace-core - three languages logo and branding

Yaronimus-Maximus's picture

hi everyone.
i posted here a little in the past, (hopefully more in the future).
my name is yaron and im a 25 years old design student from israel.
im now working on a fake rebranding for a left-wing non-partizan israeli organization that demonstrates for peace, human rights and against the israeli wall.
the original organization, still active in israel is "gush shalom" (something like peace-block) and i have renamed it to "peace core" as in "hard core", but also a core of which peace grows from.

it's an exercise in the design school and not for real, but it's a very interesting
task that combines rebranding, type handling, and advertising.
im now working on the logo that combines three languages - hebrew, arabic and english.

the logo is intended to be united (by using similar graphic language in each font), inseperable (thus naturaly connected by using ligatures between the languages) and strong (by using bold wheights, because the organization is considered a militant [but non violent] organization for peace).
my biggest problem is designing in arabic, sadly i don't know arabic. i don't know what's cool inarabic or what good fonts can assist me. only for the logo, the task is quite hard, as i try to make the connection flow in harmony.

a good guy from lebanon assisted me and found for me an arabic type called "S kira" which can be good with some thickening and adjustments.
the hebrew type is "extrim black".
and the english one is "Futura LT ExtraBold".

im open for any type/composition/linguistic suggestions. i also need names for three good fonts that are good for text (and the slogan below the logo).

previous sketches :
and here:

i have attached a PDF file of the recent sketches.

thank you all.

logo sk1.pdf145.69 KB
nicholasgross's picture

I no nothing about arabic/arabic fonts but the logo is tough man, I really like it. I can see it now spray painted on the side of a white Toyota landcruiser covered with road dust, shimmering in the heat haze,


William Berkson's picture

You have combined the three scripts really well, which is an accomplishment--congratulations.

My only question would be about the very bold letters. Your current logo looks very aggressive, which I think conflicts with the concept of peace. I would think that for the concept you would want something with more balance and repose--more classic in feel rather than aggressive-modern.

hrant's picture

William, it depends whether one thinks this juggernaut of warmongering can best be stopped gently or aggressively. In making this judgement one might take into account how much real effect the most recent round of US voting has had...

Yaron, good call posting this here. I see you've changed things around. One thing I preferred in the old one is the counter-balancing of the ordering of the languages between the main logo and the subtext; in this one I would put the Hebrew first and the Arabic second in the subtext.

Otherwise though this is a nice improvement. Some suggestions:
1) I don't know enough about Hebrew type, but in terms of style it seems well-matched to the Arabic. The English however is too mainstream, not rigid enough; instead of Futura I'd use something like DIN, ot maybe something a little bit softer, and more contemporary, like Klavika*.
2) I would close up the gaps around the Arabic "seen" at the baseline - it's inappropriately unconventional this way. I think the Hebrew (and certainly the English, even if you change it to something like Klavika) is relatively conventional, no?
3) Considering the "tah-marboota" (the last letter of the first word in the Arabic) only occurs as the last letter of a word, I'd close up the wordspace, maybe even completely, or almost completely. The Hebrew and English are enjoying a nice tightness, and the Arabic could too.
4) By being absorbed into the Arabic "meem", isn't the top-left letter in the Hebrew getting lost, causing confusion? Maybe the word is clear enough thanks to context and familiarity however.
5) I know the Arabic font you're using in the main logo has a little bit of a readability issue, but I think you should try to use it in the subtext too - the Hebrew and English fonts are the same after all.
6) In the main logo, the Arabic is too strong - try shortening the ascenders.
7) In the subtext, the English should be a bit darker, and the wordspace greater (or maybe better: lesser in the Arabic and Hebrew).
8) I would right-justify the bottom two lines in the main logo (to get the two "E"s lined up, avoiding that distracting slight difference).

* _
If expense is an issue, you might get Eric to donate an EPS of your setting,
seeing as how it's for a good cause. But it's a great font to own too.

Good luck with the effort, and I don't mean just the logo!


sch2525's picture

I don't know anything about non-english characters, but it's my understanding that even the slightest change could alter their meaning; so I would be cautious of your "multilingual ligatures."

With that said, I do think it's a very powerful mark. I think the aggressiveness that William is talking about is what, to me, makes the logo stand out. It's soaked in irony. In the U.S. especially (thanks to the media), many (ignorant) people see the Middle East as dangerous and threatening. So associating this belief with peace creates a more memorable mark. Much MUCH better than using a dove or an olive branch! ;) It's very masculine, which also sets it apart from the cliche delicate peace logos.

I also agree with Nicholas - I'd love to see it spray painted on the sides of buildings and sidewalks.

Nice work.

hrant's picture

> even the slightest change could alter their meaning

It depends on the script. I wouldn't:
1) characterize it as "slightest change" in general.
2) say that Latin is less susceptible to this than average.

Natural languages have a lot of redundancy (English is like 50%)
so context and familiarity tend to forestall any potential confusion.


William Berkson's picture

It is interesting to compare the logos of the real organizations.

Here is the Hebrew version of the Gush Shalom logo. This combines cursive and square Hebrew letters pretty successfully.

However, the international version is a bit of a mess.

The international logo of the organization Peace Now makes more of an effort, but still is not so good. The serif 'shalom' with the bold sans 'achshav' [now] in Hebrew works, but they don't do the same with the mirrored English, spoiling the balance of the logo.

Your real logo for a fake organization is much better. I think the real ones need you, Yaron!

david h's picture

> the Gush Shalom logo. This combines cursive and square Hebrew letters pretty successfully.

Bill -- I don't think so. This is kinda fine -, ah 'nice' try.

[> The international logo of the organization Peace Now
The link isn't right ]

William Berkson's picture

David, thanks, I fixed the link. You're right of course on the combination of cursive and square letters being weak. I was being too generous, because at least they were trying! 'Nice Try' is much closer to the mark.

david h's picture

No problem :)

> The serif ‘shalom’ with the bold sans ‘achshav’ [now] in Hebrew works,

BTW, the serif is Koren (a forerunner of the full Koren Bible); the bold sans is Haim

Yaronimus-Maximus's picture

wow, thank you all!!

nicholas gross - thank you!! i do feel that the logo has a real problem with the composition, something in it looks to "stacked" rather than really placed in order.

William Berkson - well it's all about the attitude of the organization. they claim to be a militant organization for peace, so the type matches the feel they want to promote. it's a choice i could made between a more smooth and reconciliation feel, and a more "we have to unite and fight (with no violence offcourse) for it".
living in israel, i have to say that the 90's were all about dreams for peace, thus the dove and olive branch. people were hopefull that the next decade will be different. the word peace was used many times. but in time i think both sides got more cinical, apathic, and desperate about the current situation. i personaly feel, that a shout would do more than a wisper. there is an israeli song that goes something like this: "sing, a song for peace, don't whisper a prayer. sing, a song for peace, in a great shout".

hrant - your helping is awesome. you are right about the english type. i think it's boring, it has no "personality" and i believe it will create problems in the future because it has no interesting features to use. however the DIN font has no wheight that is black enough to match the others. i haven't seen any suitable wheights from that family and neither does klavika. any other ideas for an english font would be welcomed.
im working on the the other things you mentioned as well righ now, so i will get back here with the changes as soon as im done.

sch2525 - thank you, that's exactly what i wanted to say in the logo.
i will add and just say that yitzhak rabin, once an israeli prime minister that was assasinated was well known as the "soldier of peace" for his actions for peace. this is a kind of explanation to what i want the logo and the rebranded organization to express. it's all about uniting fiercly and non violently for peace.

a question - is there a way to actualy show the images i attach here, inside the post, (rather than just being a link)?

Yaronimus-Maximus's picture

thank you so much william!!
however, i believe i have much work on it.

it's so strange about the "shalom achshav" logo. it was designed by one of israel's most celebrated designers - dan reisinger. you'd expect to find a better combination in the english and arabic designs. i remember saying that to myself when i did the initial research.

William Berkson's picture

>dan reisinger

He's the fellow who did the wonderful El Al logo, right? That combines Latin and Hebrew script so well. Maybe he did just the Hebrew logo, and the English and Arabic were tacked on later? The full thing is unbalanced.

Yaronimus-Maximus's picture

yep. reisinger the original el al designer. you should see his other designs for el al. some of them are so cool.
but i was miss-informed - the "peace now" ("shalom achshav") logo was designed by another famous israeli designer - david tartakover.

sorry, my bad..

hrant's picture

Very dark weights in a semi-rigid contemporary design: somebody help!

> david tartakover

I think he was once featured in Baseline magazine,
and I remember liking a good deal of his work.


Yaronimus-Maximus's picture

Hi, just a little update, i've tried using a different font for the english, it's called "Aachen". I don't think it's good for this logo though, i think the previous trial was better (with that mainstream font).
any suggestion for a suitable english font? (perhaps slab serif but not condenced looking and offcourse black).

hrant's picture

What happened?! I think this is worse in a bunch of ways, sorry! The hole between the Hebrew and English, the distracting serifs in the English, the collision between the Arabic and English... Retreat! RETREAT!!! :-)


Yaronimus-Maximus's picture

yes sir! :D

sch2525's picture

I agree fully with hrant. The English looks too detatched. And the 2nd Arabic character from the right creates a messy area where it contacts with "C-E" in Peace, unlike where the Arabic connects to the Hebrew, which flows very well.

Yaronimus-Maximus's picture

these are the latest modifications.

still i have a huge problem with the composition, i cannot proceed untill i sort it out. it doesn't align in a nice way.
note the problematic difference between the letter P and the hebrew letter that is attached to it - "gimel". the inner space of the P is not aligned with the letter.

is the arabic changes good HRANT?

still the lower (subtext) part is unfinished. this is rebranding, so i have been thinking of using different fonts for the lower part - more readable fonts, so i'll have a kind of "set" of two fonts for each language - head line font and text font, (that will be kind of consistent throughout the language - hebrew text font will match the english and arabic in form).

Yaronimus-Maximus's picture

why can't i insert pdf's here?

Miss Tiffany's picture

You must edit your original post and insert them there. PDFs only attach in the original post.

Yaronimus-Maximus's picture

hi miss tifany, do you meen in the first message opening this thread?

Miss Tiffany's picture

Hi. Yes that is what I meant.

hrant's picture

> it doesn’t align in a nice way.

Agreed, although alignment shouldn't be allowed to become the goal. Don't aim for perfection; not because it's unattainable, but because it's bad for you.

To me the main alignment issue is that the Arabic is too far to the right, which is exaggerated due to the descender of the "meem". What I would do is push the descender of the meem further out and shorten it to the bottom of the first line of Hebrew/Arabic. Going further, I'd probably move the first word in the Arabic to the left, reducing the length of overlap in the "waaw"-"E" ligation (and yes, breaking the alignment between the lefts of the "waaw" and "E").

> the inner space of the P is not aligned with the letter.

This I don't understand.

> i have been thinking of using different fonts for the lower part

Might be a good idea, although it will be tricky to do it well.
Fonts are like teenagers: beyond a few they become impossible to manage! :-)

Anyway, I suggest focusing on the main logo first.


Something else: I know that previously I had voiced a suspicion that merging the descender of the "meem" with the Yod might cause trouble, but now the Arabic and Hebrew are fully detached... That, coupled with the fact that the Hebrew and English are in such a strong embrace, I think sends a message that would echo general Arab resentment, which I'm sure is contrary to what you want.


Yaronimus-Maximus's picture

>That, coupled with the fact that the Hebrew and English are in such a strong embrace, I think sends a message that would echo general Arab resentment, which I’m sure is contrary to what you want.

yea, i find that true and problematic, perhaps i'll have to turn this over more. im about to go nuts. this is so hard. i think that i tried to make all languages have equal treatment, but maybe another structure will be more suitable, a triangle perhaps (though it's hard to use 6 words in a logo, let alone putting them in a triangle.

>This I don’t understand.
view attached image, look at the red line.

Yaronimus-Maximus's picture

another composition sketch.
this time i adjusted the vertical widths of the strokes of the arabic so they would look like they are equal to the vertical width of the hebrew type.

i aligned them as you can see, and maybe here it's a good start to make some cross language ligatures.
i like it less, it's less brilliant, but it looks promising.
what say you?

(i attach the work process and the latest sketch).

hrant's picture

> this is so hard.

Reminds me of something... :-/

> look at the red line.

I see the line, but not the problem. :-)
But if you really want to you could
make the head of the "P" larger so
the red line bisects the counter.


hrant's picture

The new structure looks decent, and it's much safer/easier.

One thing you might try there is dump the Yod and cut a horizontal slit towards the top of the alif to make a "stub" that's the Yod. Come to think of it you could try that in the original structure too, but on the tail of the "meem".


Yaronimus-Maximus's picture

>One thing you might try there is dump the Yod and cut a horizontal slit towards the top of the alif to make a “stub” that’s the Yod. Come to think of it you could try that in the original structure too, but on the tail of the “meem”

hrant, im having a problem to understand. could you please make a small demonstration?

(btw, here's another composition)
(am i exaggerating here?)

William Berkson's picture

Yaron, I like your earlier version better, in that it knit together. I thought that the multi-lingual ligatures were a good idea.

I don't see the problem of Arabic looking separate. I can't read Arabic script, but I thought that it was integrated with the Hebrew by last Arabic letter merging with the nun sofit and with the English by the first Arabic letter merging with the E. So wasn't the whole thing linked, and nothing slighted?

Your latest look to me like a series of words instead of a coherent design.

hrant's picture

Quick and dirty attempt:

The alignments are unresolved - although I might say that that Arabic "noon" sticking out in the second one represents a person... You know, "it sll starts with the individual". Or something. ;-)


Exagerating? Not sure what you mean.
But I do think: it's a bit too plain; and the Arabic is too far right.

One interesting thing about your last attempt though is that, where previously the English/Futura was out of character with the whole, here it seems to be acting as a nice separator, preventing the three components from merging a little bit too strongly (hindering the reading).


William Berkson's picture

Hrant your re-work left off the nun sofit in 'garin'.

When you said the Arabic and Hebrew were separate I guessed you might have mistaken the nun sofit for only a flourish on the Arabic, but it's not.

Also I don't think readability is the main thing in a logo. The balance of priorities much more toward having it cohere and be aesthetically strong. If you have to look twice at the shin/c ligature, it's no problem for a logo; it just makes it more memorable, providing it looks good.

By the way, in looking up 'garin', I see that it means 'stone, kernel or nucleus'. Is there any connotation of 'nuclear' as in 'nuclear weapon'?

sch2525's picture

Yaronimus, your vertical version looks like a robot to me. Almost like a Transformer; maybe a Peace Core Hummer could turn into the Peace Core logo Transformer? That would make a good flash animation, no? haha

In your sketch that you posted at 6:22pm yesterday, the very top version reads "Peace olgi" to me because my mind wants to continue reading English despite the new characters.

Hrant's new alignment (bottom mark) looks very balanced. Nice job for just something "quick and dirty." ;)

hrant's picture

> left off the nun sofit in ‘garin’.

Oh, yes. Well, you know what I meant. :-) But no, I knew it was a full
letter (as my original complaint about possible illegibility reveals).

> I don’t think readability is the main thing in a logo.

In general I agree, but:
1) You don't want to have letters virtually absent (like the nun sofit in the very first version).
2) When it comes to multi-script logos it's important for a reader to quickly pick out the parts he can read and those he can't. Note how Scott is tempted to read "Peace olgi"! Because I can read Arabic I didn't see that at all at first.

The shin/C ligature on the other hand is definitely OK, I agree.

> Is there any connotation of ‘nuclear’ as in ‘nuclear weapon’?

Yes, we don't want to remind people that Israel has 200 of them ready to go. :-/

> looks like a robot

It can also be seen as a building, assumedly a place of worship.
Probably not good here.


Yaronimus-Maximus's picture

i was so stuck with the logo.
i suddenly remembered the movie "contact" with jody foster. in the movie they recievend some blueprints from aliens in order to build a kind of portal. they couldn't assemble them properly, something wasn't right, untill some character solved the problem by assembling it in a 3d way, instead of the normal 2d blueprint.
anyway, then i realised that i can try using a different angle and assembling. not 3d offcours, but in a different direction.
this logo is so hard. it's like a gigsaw and a peace treaty.

William Berkson's picture

I like 14 best, as it has the visual idea of 'core' with the English and Hebrew words for core at the core. I just worry that it might be too complex and busy.

A simpler solution would be just to put all the 'Peace' words on the top line and the 'core' words on the bottom, with the English starting at the left and the Hebrew at the right and the Arabic in the Middle. This may not work or be boring visually though, I don't know.

The diamond shaped logo with the horizontal lines underneath gives it some pizzaz also.

hrant's picture

I like these explorations. Especially when the Hebrew and Arabic fuse while the English acts like a third party. On the other hand, most of those attempts have one serious problem or other (and in all of them the Arabic too large/dark). Number 1 is nice as an arrow, but too spread out; 2 is kind of a half-baked arrow; 3 and 5 are hard to read; 4 has great potential; 6, 7 and 8 could work, but probably not very well; 9 has potential; the rest are trying too hard, and will be pretty impossible to tame I think.

Number 4 is interesting, dynamic, edgy and balanced except for the Arabic being too strong. I would make this one work. Alternatively 9 has a more classical feel, if you don't mind the centrality of the English (and the somewhat Arabic motif of the diamond). If you go with 9 you need to make the diamond equal-sided (right now it's rectangular) by shortening the top-left and bottom-right sides or lengthening the other two sides*. In the former case the bottom-right is easy (just shorten the alif and lam - the first two letters in the second Arabic word) and the top-left has some room in the last letter of the Hebrew. In the latter case you can easily place a tatweel (apparently a better term than kashida) after the "seen" but I'm not sure how best to lengthen the first word of the Hebrew (maybe by over-shooting the last letter outside the diamond, which might actually be a nice match to the Arabic "meem" which is already doing that).

* Or a combination of both.

All that said, are you sure you want to give up on your previous attempts?

> with the English and Hebrew words for core at the core.

No concern for the Arabic? You could at least wonder
out loud which of the two Arabic words is the "core".

In fact in 14 the Arabic reads out of order.

> I just worry that it might be too complex

Sounds familiar. :-)


William Berkson's picture

>which of the two Arabic words

I assumed it was the bottom right, which puts it not as much at the core, which is a weakness in the design; I don't know how much.

The English words are appropriate because the English and then the Americans have been key power players over the past century, along with the Arabs and the Jews. And all three will have to play a part to create peace--may it come soon.

Hrant, I do think simplicity is generally a virtue in logos. You disagree?

hrant's picture

> the English and then the Americans have been
> key power players over the past century

Because they like Eastern Mediterranean food? My wild guess is it's because they have something to gain (at the expense of others). The Jews are Arabs are the two protagonists here, the ones with life, land and dignity to worry about (as much as the West plays favorites so heavily). The reason to have English in the logo is mostly due to the fact that it's currently the lingua franca of the world.

Simplicity: I think it has a role to play, but too often it becomes a goal in its own right, harming the actual effectiveness of things. More than something you read, a logo is a shape you observe and memorize. In this case for example it might make great sense to have the English carry the burden of legibility while getting the Hebrew and Arabic to make the logo attractive and memorable. This happens to be something 9 does very well.


William Berkson's picture

>9 does very well

Somehow I didn't focus on 9. You're right, it is strong. And I agree with what you say about simplicity here. Also with your comment about the others being hard to 'tame' I think we are of the same mind on this. There is a problem about the English in 9 not quite working visually. Should it be one line instead of two?

hrant's picture

I think if you made it one line it would "wash out" so to speak.
Another option is what 7 is trying, but I think it's totally not working.

One other appropriate thing about 9 that I just realized is that it looks like this
tricky-to-balance thing is pivoting on the English... which is of course entirely
too accurate! :-/


William Berkson's picture

Looking again I think maybe the problem is that if there are two lines the point of diamond should be directly over the apex of the A. I'm not sure, but work on alignment & spacing may make the whole thing click.

Yaronimus-Maximus's picture

thanks for all of the attention and help, results will come soon :)

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