Australian Type Club logo

James Arboghast's picture

What can be done to this to make it a
typographic logo truly worthy of a
national type society?

The red-orange color is meant to evoke the "red center" of Australia with ---->the rock Uluru<---- being our national icon.

It's probably very fortunate that the profile of the rock happens to resemble the profile of the Sydney Opera House as well as the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I also designed a typeface known as The Angel of the Odd (ultrabold version below Jellybrush in this sample) a number of years ago. It has an extreme shape in it which happens to look a lot like the Opera House. Should we consider using the Angel for ATC? Or would that amount to grandstanding and proprietizing the ATC with my own personal typo motif too strongly?

About this current logo attempt: Should the letter outlines be tighter? Give them a high-tension effect?

Oh the ink traps on the t! Well, you see, Evert Bloemsma invented that. I love it because look, look at that, look at the tiny 150 x 150 pixel and 100 x 100 pixel small versions. Those traps are only about 12 units wide on 1000 unit per em characters. But they keep working even at tiny reproduction sizes. I love that effect because it proves how powerful the design principles Evert was working on really are. A triumph for Dutch type design.

What else?

What else would you do to it?

Anything else?

That's all I could come up with in three hours.

[Edit: I just removed "ghosts that sell memories" from the thread title. Had to get your attention somehow ;^)]

j a m e s

hrant's picture

James, I like it. That in-your-face trapping will be a great conversation-starter, and alludes nicely to the fact that type design is a craft. Minor: you might make the top-left trap a little bit smaller since the original angle is larger than the other three.

The only thing that jumps at me is that the "a" has a nice wonkiness, but the "t" and especially the "c" are a bit too tame in comparison.

One other thing: "australian type club" isn't properly centered under "atc".

> Evert Bloemsma invented that.

Evert was a singularly inventive designer*, but I don't think we can give him credit for inventing trapping, even in the special case I suspect you mean: showing off trapping.

* Legato is the most significant font in centuries.

hhp

Miss Tiffany's picture

The cream color looks faded compared to the orange and black. I would just use white and be done with it. Or you could try using a gray instead of black. Not sure.

I'd also consider making the box a bit bigger on the left. It almost looks like a mistake.

I'd stick with this typeface. A little less of a time stamp on it.

Florian Hardwig's picture

Hello James,

I really like the colours.

Hrant said the “t” and especially the “c” are a bit too tame in comparison.
I second that.

The whole thing is not centered within the square, but also not decidedly right-aligned. I’d either center it, or make the square bigger, to the left.

The t with ink traps – is that the Crux australis? ;-) Like it.

A minor thing: the ‘ra’ combination in Australian looks unfortunate and could be fixed in a logo.

The TGA logo (Typographic Society of Austria) comes to my mind: it has also three lowercase letters. They comment on it as follows:

t — Thesis (state of the art in the founding year of tga)
g — Garamond (historic, timeless)
a — Herbert Bayer (Austria’s only noteworthy contribution to the history of type design)
The metal type impression is anachronistic detail and reminiscence.

Quite interesting, no?

James Arboghast's picture

Hrant --- I suppose I should call them "white spots". They're ink traps yes, and Evert can no more be credited with having invented such things than anyone else. But he was inventive in the way he deployed them on things like lower t's and other kinds of cruciform joints by using exaggerated or high-concept traps to replicate the functions of serifs but in reverse, functioning as whitespots.

I'll send you a sample of the kind of thing I've been working on for Linda Cunningham. Itemulates the gaps in the bowls of Vincent Connare's Magpie with exaggerated taper on bowl joints.

Legzto, yes, I think you are accurate in characterizing it as Legato is the single-most significant font in centuries.

j a m e s

James Arboghast's picture

Florian---the ra is ruff and I need to tidy that area up.

The t with ink traps – is that the Crux australis? ;-) Like it.

I actually call that a "cruciform" joint. If you examine the 100 x 100 bitmap at 3x zoom --- amazing how those things translate to aliased pixels at tiny size.

The tga logo I hadn't seen before. Thanks for that. Um, the forms I built for this were Thesis-influenced, yes. De Goot is kind-of unavoidable, so influential on so many of us.

Garamond, yes, there is an element Garamond-like bending in the hood of the a and the cursiveness in the t and c.

Bayer I'm not greatly influenced by, altho I do love what I was able to do to Bayer Universal / Bauhaus and get away with it : ^ ) Benguiat is probably more influential on the sentinel design canon. I've used the principle of the quarter round in a few faces now. The original was Midnight Kernboy. The thesis / signature version is known as the Angel, and Amity is the commercial version, a "soft" angel.

There are cross-cultural design connections everywhere and I gues a lot of those things are put there specially for us to find.

eeblet's picture

I feel strongly that there should be more a bit more whitespace (er, burntorangespace?) on the left and top - but otherwise, I think it's super! I disagree about the cream looking weak; I'd stick with it.

---
eeblet.com

aluminum's picture

just a thought: what if you set 'atc' in the box, but the full tag line beneath the box?

eliason's picture

If the t in "australian" is going to have the traps, should other letters, too (e.g. the y in "type")? For consistency you might want to have either
- traps only in the big letters (that is, the big t)
- traps only in the big letters and the initials (that is, the t in type but not in australian)
- traps everywhere they make sense (any stroke intersection? any acute stroke intersection? not sure what the "rule" would be)

Xavez's picture

I like it. Although I would consider widening the margin between the wordmark and the left and top border. I like your idea of positioning it in the bottom right corner though. As for the colours: I think you'd either want to make the cream colour a bit darker, or the black a bit lighter, or maybe add a speck of brown to it. I'd also take a look at the r<>a in Australian and at the c<>l<>u in club. Nevertheless, I think you did an awesome job!

--
LGDU&Me

James Arboghast's picture

Yes folks the kerning of the tagline is very ruff :^) Hee, moo, etcetera. I neglected to explain too that the whole typeface I'm using for this is quite ruff 'n ready. It's a quickie bold made using a fotnlab's bold filter. I only put traps on the t to begin with. The type needs refinement.

Yes, the proportional ratio of the mark to the left margin is a problem. Its bite has been deemed uncertain.

Darrel---I've experimented with the tagline benath the box and felt it reduced the simplicity. The advantage of doing that way, the tagline ends up larger and the logo will reproduce even smaller. Another thing I experimented with was a tagline going the whole width of the box but still inside it, and letterspaced. Letterspacing the tagline I thought could be a way of evoking the vast opens spaces and distances between population centers characteristic of Oz. Unfortunately the letterspaced versions look like crap at small sizes and I don't even want to post them.

Another reference for the cruciform t---the Southern Cross constellation. That's handy.

j a m e s

James Arboghast's picture

Also I'm not happy with the spacing and letterfit of the tagline at large sizes. It doesn't look right, isn't biting the way it seems it ought to.

j a m e s

James Arboghast's picture

The cream white. Oh that.

The anuerysm I had last year left me permanently sight-impaired. I still have a very light blothcy moire pattern overlaid in my feild of vision, and this means looking at high contrast images is not so easy. My eyes and my brain get tired having to compensate for the distortion. One way of alleviating the malady is to work on cream and light gray paper. My paper color wound up being the white here. I think it's a good choice because it helps suggest yellow without actually using yellow.

j a m e s

bvfonts's picture

James, this is excellent. The type is beautiful. I like the colors, even the bit of cream, it makes a difference.

Ratbaggy's picture

nice one.

is this actually happening or are you just playing?

very exciting if it's a go ahead.

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Paul Ducco
Graphic Design Melbourne

russellm's picture

Nice James.

The stroke thickness of the "a" could maybe be adjusted to to either appear deliberately bolder than the "tc" or made slightly lighter to counter the optical illusion that the light coloured shape is thicker than the black ones appear to be the same weight.

I like the slightly off-white off white colour & I like the rhythm & sort of progression the tails of the "atc". I could maybe be played with a bit?

I agree with others that there could be more space at top and left. (But just a smidgen)

-=®=-

Graham McArthur's picture

Will there be an alternative?

James Arboghast's picture

Graham---I'm flexible about it, now and in the future. If you have ideas for this now is the time to put them forward. I'm trying to finalize this as an initial logo design, but of course other people may have ideas in future years which will be up for consideration.

I think we may end up using numerous different ATC logos for different purposes, and the design of each can be an integral part of club-goings-on. For example, if we decide to devote one year to calligraphic lettering then we'll need a caligraphic version of the ATC logo for that year. Another year it might be a celebration of the renaissance Italian roots of book roman type, and whoever is most enthusiatic can design an exaggerated Jenson-esque ATC logo for that year. And so on.

Paul---yes ATC is full steam ahead as of now. We're not just playing. You have to give it time to gain momentum and be patient while we organize and acquire the resources needed to incorporate. Once it's incorporated we will have access to serious funding and the fun can really begin.

Russell---yep, the a does appear optically larger than the dark type. See latest version, in which the big white a has lost some height to compensate.

. . .I could maybe be played with a bit?

You're welcome to play with it and make new iterations. Start with the newest large bitmap below. You want vector files? Erm, I can let you have it as EPS, I suppose.

===================================================

The body text in this sample uses a dark bown ink. The new logo comps have the same dark brown color for the t - c.

I'm too busy to do any more to this until Friday / the weekend. Meanwhile please feel free to leave further crits and suggestions.

j a m e s

Tell's picture

Hey James, definitely the all in one design. I think the type could use a little more air around it though, right now it wants to jump out of that box. Any thoughts on one colour application? Straight reverse?

Miss Tiffany's picture

The brown is much better, but I wouldn't put the formal name outside the box. It starts to fall apart...and I wouldn't align the box with the formal name either.

Ratbaggy's picture

how about including a kangaroo to make it really australian?

*joke*

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Paul Ducco
Graphic Design Melbourne

russellm's picture

@ Arbo: You’re welcome to play with it and make new iterations. Start with the newest large bitmap below. You want vector files? Erm, I can let you have it as EPS, I suppose.

oops
Typo-city, James :o) I meant to type "it"

-=®=-

Tell's picture

@ Paul: Yeah let's stick the rat and chook in there!!

Tom Cannon's picture

I would put the tagline under the block and tighten the "atc". The idea of including traps is clever, but I don't think it aesthetically works. It looks like a mistake to those who are not type-oriented and even then, it is only the "t" that has that treatment. I would keep it all clean. If not, then make the box more organic to fit the "t".

Tom

James Arboghast's picture

(much laughter) I was hoping some Aussies would make a few joke suggestions like that :^) Thanks guys.

Three motifs we can rule out categorically: coat of arms, kangaroos, outline of Australian sland slab. It's interesting how the kangaroo works for Quantas. "It helps that" the Quantas 'roo is stylized and usually seen on the tail fin of jumbos.

The square logo --- looks like we're going for the self-contained one.

Milton—I'm still experimenting with the spacing. "atc" and the tagline in first version looked a bit loose. Now I've gone too tight. For a color application I think dark type on an orange square will work fine. We can try a straight inverse treatment with light type on orange too, to see how that looks.

@Tiffany: ...and I wouldn’t align the box with the formal name either.

Can you expand on what you're getting at there for me? Thanks.

====================================================
The font I'm making for this will very likely be posted in the sans serif critique forum, and when it's finished I'm thinking of releasing it as a free font to help promote ATC and solicit users of the font for cash donations to help fund ATC.

j a m e s

Graham McArthur's picture

If you are not going with the roo, emu, or koala; you must include eucalyptus leaves, wattle and a goanna.

Tell's picture

Sorry James, I was actually meaning one colour black applications - whether you go with a straight white out of a black square rather than going with a tint.

I think Qantas gets away with the roo because they've been saying it so loudly and consistently for so long.

At least we've got Vegemite brown in there.

Ratbaggy's picture

cracker dipped in vegemite anyone?

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Paul Ducco
Graphic Design Melbourne

James Arboghast's picture

Sorry James, I was actually meaning one colour black applications - whether you go with a straight white out of a black square rather than going with a tint.

Right. Got it. Thanks :^)

Yes Vegemite brown, that's a good reference for that color. It's one of out national icons.

Paul—your vegemite has turned black ;^)

j a m e s

James Arboghast's picture

@Tom: I would put the tagline under the block and tighten the “atc”. The idea of including traps is clever, but I don’t think it aesthetically works. It looks like a mistake to those who are not type-oriented and even then, it is only the “t” that has that treatment. I would keep it all clean. If not, then make the box more organic to fit the “t”.

I tested this on a dozen people at work today who aren't type-oriented, and none of them saw the traps as a mistake. Half of them didn't even notice the traps are there.

I think consistency in design is vastly overrated, or at least overvalued by designers. Typographic design and typeface design are unlike buildings and automobiles in the sense that a typeface is a team of individual players that combine the strengths and weaknesses of each character. Logo design tends to overlook or neglect this vital aspect of typeface design. I'd like to keep some inconsistency in this logo as a reference to the philosophical side of type design.

Why does every element have to have the same treatment (why do we all have to think this way)? Integration of form and finish is one thing. Humanism is something else.

There are practical reasons for not putting the same style of traps on the a and c. They won't go on the c because there's nowhere to put them on the c without having it look unnatural. I could suggest or emulate them with kinks on the inner profile, but somehow anticipate that will look contrived. In the second iteration the traps on the a were exaggerated, but they can be even more exaggerated and still look natural so I'll try that.

My rationale for why the t can have such pronounced traps has to do with its structure. Of the three letters present, only the t has a four way cruciform joint. Each letter is individual and has its own requirements.

j a m e s

James Arboghast's picture

One thing about this logo I'm not satisfied with—it's boring and isn't memorable. I'm glad people here like it, but it has to communicate to people outside the typosphere, so I'm thinking of scrapping this design and doing something with an animal or a tree or some other natural motif.

Feel free to suggest motifs that might work. I want something suitable for a typographic treatment.

j a m e s

Ratbaggy's picture

why is it trying to communicate with no typosherians?

it is bland ... agreed. and that was my initial reaction ... but it has an almost no pomp timeless "government body" feel to it. Which is how I imagine the logo will get most of it's placement ... i.e, as a sponsor or supporter of an event, publication etc.

I'd be happy to throw a couple of ideas up - that was probably the wrong phrasing to use ... as was typing what I thought and actually leaving the original. Yes ... it's Friday!

HOORAY!

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Paul Ducco
Graphic Design Melbourne

hrant's picture

There's a difference between bland and subtle, with the latter being "subvisible", until one learns to see it. And subtlety is a cornerstone of type design. James just has to have the right amount of it.

hhp

phattexta's picture

Hey James, greatly looking forward to being involved with the ATC once it is up and running mate. Let me know if I can be of any help.

http://davethedesigner.net

Ratbaggy's picture

great work dave

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Paul Ducco
Graphic Design Melbourne

Lasko Dzurovski's picture

Hello James,

I send you one proposal for ATC logo.

Best Regards,
Lasko

jonsel's picture

A triumph for Dutch type design.

That's great and all, and I love the crazy inkwells, but if you are working to communicate the AUSTRALIAN type club, then any Dutch-ness would seem to have little relevance. Just sayin'.

I can't say I've seen too many different type club logos. Society for Typographic Arts in Chicago uses a simply monogram in a box. I think the type changes with application, which makes it more intereting. The Type Directors Club seal has always said "typography" to me because of the unique relationship of the drawn letters. Simply typing out "TDC" or "ATC" or any monogram doesn't really say much about the organization beyond "we've got a keyboard and we're not afraid to use it".

hrant's picture

Trapping is not Dutch!

hhp

kris's picture

Perhaps you could incorporate boomerangs, or even a kangaroo?

--K

hrant's picture

Yes, a kangaroo, stepping on, and crushing, a kiwi.

hhp

Ratbaggy's picture

hah.
Kiwiland is great. No knocking it!

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Paul Ducco
Graphic Design Melbourne

kris's picture

Ha! That's really quite funny Hrant! What about a compromise, like boomerang-shaped inktraps?

--K

Arcturus's picture

"You call that a slab-serif?..."

Ratbaggy's picture

hahahaha.

WIN!

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Paul Ducco
Graphic Design Melbourne

phattexta's picture

I actually agree with jonsel about the TDC being a mark that echos the sentiments of the club. Perhaps something more obviously crafted?

http://davethedesigner.net

Ratbaggy's picture

this one?

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Paul Ducco
Graphic Design Melbourne

jayyy's picture

how about including a kangaroo to make it really australian?

Kangaroos are too obvious Paul - go with a Koala - way more 2009!

hrant's picture

Koalas cannot squash kiwis.

hhp

guifa's picture

If they fell they might be able to... Thought that might be more of squishing than squashing.

«El futuro es una línea tan fina que apenas nos damos cuenta de pintarla nosotros mismos». (La Luz Oscura, por Javier Guerrero)

Ratbaggy's picture

and don't confuse koalas with drop bears. they're totally different!

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Paul Ducco
Logo Design Melbourne

Tell's picture

1: Koalas are more competitive than you think. I'd back them in a cage match with a kiwi, even if it did have a better reach. A Wombat would wipe the floor with either.

2: Not fair to include Drop Bears Paul, carnivores are off limits.

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