Custom Minion Pro Logotype

smrvl's picture

The following is a logo for a blog/forum/chat/customer-connector found at the website of an educational publishing company. The tagline is "teaching | learning | growing | TOGETHER." The desire for an organic community led to this connected and bracketed Minion Pro (our corporate font).

Does it work at all? Does one weight work better than another? Have I made any egregious errors? I welcome all thoughts, broad and nitpicky.

PS - It will be seen first in the context of our new front page,, in the place of "LampstandLive."

hrant's picture

Where's the squirrels?! ;-)
Seriously: just one leaf would be much better. Either the ear of the "g" as you have it, or on the "r" I'd make it the beak itself. And join the "th" only at the bottom or the top, not both.


smrvl's picture

Good thoughts. Here's the old and the new with your edits entered. I like it much more.

I had a concern about merely reducing the logotype and placing it on the web navigation, which is fairly minute. Let me show you what I mean...

See there? The rest of the identities are quite tame. Placing something that different in the middle makes me want to start singing songs from Sesame Street.

What do y'all think of keeping the above edit as the main logotype, but putting a toned-down version on the navigation, as seen below?

toog's picture

Toned down looks great on the menubar to me. I really like it.

litera's picture

You could also try and make the leaf a bit bigger for the small logo size's sake. Just make sure it doesn't interfere with Minion's contrast.

The latest is a great improvement. Great stuff David.

WhitePepper's picture

I agree - much nicer!

Lex Kominek's picture

I prefer the unconnected logo.

- Lex

P.S. Your 'e's in the connected logo are grey, not black.

litera's picture

but connections actually directly apply the "togetherness". It's true I would change the connection between "g" and "e" because it's straight and somehow unnatural, but I'd definitely keep them.

smrvl's picture

Lex - oops, yep! That's fixed now. :0)

Litera - good comment. I hadn't even realized that my eye kept being drawn to that, and not in a nice way. But I see your point, and I'll tweak that as soon as I get into work. Thanks!

smrvl's picture

My astute boss commented that "together" looks underemphasized on the menu bar with the uncapitalized title, and requested that I make a capitalized version. Here it is. I'd love comments on the new connection, as well as my slightly smoothed E and Litera's g-connection.

litera's picture

I like the lower case better because only the "g" gets emphasized with the leaf. With the capital T you get differently weighted logo. If your boss insists on the capital letter I'd lower the cap height. Looks like it can go lower. Half the space between T's serif and "o".

I like the connection between "g" and "e" much better. A bit more curvature would probably do the trick even better. The bottom part of it still makes it look a bit too straight. But if your tests turn out this one is the best I'm satsified with this one too.

Did you also change the connection between the "e" and "t"? Because it does look smaller and it comes at a bigger angle on the "t". I think something in between would be best. The first one has much darker "t", the second one too light.

smrvl's picture

Old version, then new, as usual (for handy-dandy, easy comparison!). Please note altered T (thanks, litera), tweaked g (thanks, litera), and nudged e (thanks, litera).

I'm concerned about the T. How likely is it that Robert Slimbach will come after me with a cudgel for these alterations? I want to make it feel like a part of the whole without compromising the typeface. I'm open to any suggestions.

litera's picture

How likely? I'd say 1 in a million... But there's still a chance. :D

About the capital letter T. It's lower for sure but I guess you've scaled the complete letter not just lower the top bar and making it a bit narrower. Also with smaller size I should be SLIGHTLY more away from "o". But with lowering instead of scaling the larger bottom serif would probably do the trick.

But. Consider another alternative. Keep the big (normal) letter "T" and make the leaf stand out a bit. Some with size, some with angle... To reach higher up. To emphasize it.

But if others would think that the lower "T" works fine I'm satisfied with it. It doesn't look bad to me at all. It actually looks better as I thought it would to my eyes.

BUT. Remember it's going to be you in the end who will decide what is ok and what's not. Don't design as we say. We only gove alternatives and look for flaws that you may not see since you design it.

smrvl's picture

Actually, I did drop the top bar, but then I shrunk the serifs, because I felt that they were too angular, and that bringing them in would soften the effect of the T on the overall design. I like the idea of tweaking the leaf a bit ... I think it could stand to be a bit more eye-catching. But I like the natural eye-swoop from the T to the "th," and the leaf isn't at present competing with that. I wonder if there's a way to maintain that shape without affecting the eye movement too much.

(And don't worry, I actually don't feel compelled to implement every suggestion given. I just like your suggestions. Every lil' bit helps, says I.)

litera's picture

You know what? The more I look at it, the more I think the only thing I'd do is tweak the leaf a bit and see if it can be improved. And keep the rest. I think the leaf can be changed in a way to not interfere with other nice details. I'd just like to emphasize it a bit because it's beautiful and memorable.

I thought at the very beginning this was a very nice logo anyway. It just needed some detail finish.

andymusgrave's picture

This was my first thought:

litera's picture

Oh andy. Where were you until now? :)

Seriously: These two logos do show resemblance because the idea is the same with connecting letters together. And they both use the same word. But the way they do it is different.

The only thing there is for David: This club's logo is one more argument why NOT use the UC "T" in your logo.

timd's picture

I find some of these ligatures too contrived and the leaf too obvious a response to organic. A simpler answer could be to use a single ligature, for example, you could create a th ligature using the loop style of an st ct ligature I feel this could work for your navigation bar too, possibly altered to increase the weight. In an uppercase version the ligature could be the OG although that may set THE BOOKSHeLF apart as the only sans and heaviest.


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