Expertise on font type and placement please

Citizen Ave's picture


My name is Tony and I'm half of a northwest hip hop group, we're called Citizen Ave. We're in the middle of the business plan and developing the logo has been next to nerve wrecking. Below is what we have currently. We're happy with the bold/heaviness of the image, however, we're struggling with the font -

We have been downloading endless fonts online. To compromise, we need to have uniformity and a freehand look. Nothing we've downloaded translates that. Can I jog the collective rolodex for a font that might work. :-)

Also, what is your opinion of the placement of the name? Thank you for your insight!


Citizen Ave's picture

Sorry, JPG didn't come across.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

If you're looking for free fonts – you might wanna take a look at AUdimat by Jack Usine. The uppercase is lovely.

Citizen Ave's picture

Thank for your input; I'll check out the font.

nvhladek's picture

You're asking about font choices when you should be asking about the very core of the design. When I look at this, I don't think of hip hop at all. I mean, not at all. I think outdoor suburban theme mall. Or, with that quaint little lamp, some hackneyed recreation of a 19th century London street corner in Disneyland. Is this at all what your group is into?

From a technical point of view, I can't imagine this looking good when it's scaled down to small applications, such as business cards, letterhead, CD covers, etc. Also, this would be a hot mess in black and white. Finally, what was your process on this? Did you start on paper and then get it into the computer? If it didn't start on the page, then go back and start there.

I don't mean to be harsh, it's just that this design fails on so many levels, I need to encourage you to go back to the drawing board. Start looking at some logo designs (perhaps, more helpfully, hip hop designs) that inspire you and pay attention to the balance of simplicity and impact. I mean, I'm not really into hip hop, but I know it's a Wu Tang production when I see some iteration of that W symbol. That's what you need to be going for.

Maverick18x's picture

HA! You said hot mess.

It does look more like a tee shirt design, CD cover or web banner than an actual logo, but then again bands have a little more leeway to go that route and tend to rebrand themselves with every major CD release anyway. If you don't plan to use this in print much (biz cards, letterhead, anything at a small size) you might be able to get away with it.

I don't know many free fonts, but when I think hip-hop I think of Aerotype's graffiti selection. I like Gamestreet for it's readability.

Citizen Ave's picture

Thanks to nvhladek for driving your point home. LOL The funny thing is, our first point of reference was the Wu logo. Second was Gangstarr, and third was Aerosmith. To answer Maverick, we are definitely looking for something that can trancsend to apparel. Back to Nvhladek, the more we look at it, the more we're starting to see Euro movie trailer than anything else.

I think the tagline makes it look really quick - and for all intents and purposes, not too many people are going to see the logo with tag. However, once we began pulling elements away, it starts to look kind of blah.

I guess number one problem is, we understand the concept of weight and balance, but we're not typographers/designers. We're musicians -- we're trying to own as much of our product as possible, though. Any tips/angles would be helpful. Thanks again!

nvhladek's picture

If you pull elements away and it starts to look blah, then it means that your design is not succeeding. With a good design, the idea should be to remove elements until you get down to the core; when you get down to the "a-ha, there is nothing more to take away, nothing more to add" moment, then you've got it.

Good for you for making an attempt, however. Here are some leading questions to help your process:

What are the themes that inspire and form the content of your music?
What emotions, ideas, actions does your music attempt to evoke from the listener?
How does your location, age, identity, etc. shape your music?
What are some images and symbols that represent your music?

Your music is the inspiration for the logo. From words and sounds, let your imagination generate images. This will lead you to THE image that will be your logo.

Citizen Ave's picture

WOW!! Where were these questions when we first ventured to develop a logo? This has been extremely helpful and I'm sure we'll have something cooked up by the end of the week. Thanks for facilitating!!


Lex Kominek's picture

>Where were these questions when we first ventured to develop a logo?

Inside the head of the professional graphic designer you didn't hire. That's why people pay us the big bucks :-)

- Lex

Jonathan Clede's picture

If you want a freehand look, why not draw the letters yourself? Or hire someone who understands both typography and street art.

nvhladek's picture

Glad to be of service. I'll be excited to see the ideas you cook up.

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