Mattikdesign Logotype

mattik's picture

Please critique my Mattikdesign logotype (image below). I have done publication design, now do mostly Web design, but have little experience with logotypes. This one is for my own design company, in which I want to focus on more sophisticated, subtle (less flashy) Flash design.

The logotype uses ITC New Baskerville. I added the "tti" ligature, and altered the descender on the "g." And because it has to look good on screen, I flattened the bottoms of the baseline serifs (to avoid blurry little curves). I'm not sure about my kerning, or if my modifications have broken any rules of good typographic design. Any feedback would be truly appreciated.

Note: Please be patient if it takes some time for me to reply to your response. Thanks!
Mattikdesign Logotype

hrant's picture

Do you really want to convey such a conservative attitude? If you do, I think Baskerville is a great choice. But you might consider livening it up, maybe by doing something with the descender of the "g" (noting that it's the only descender). But please no swoosh. :-)

The bar in the "tti" ligature looks a bit stiff. Try making it taper, thinner on the left, and (optically) matching the normal head serif shape on the right.

The dot(s) on the "i"(s) are too high, and maybe slightly too small.

I think I like the "k", but I'm not sure.

Spacing: Looks OK. Tighten up the "gn" a bit (maybe while raising the ear), and loosen the "at" a hair.


mattik's picture

Thanks so much, Hrant, for the thoughtful and useful feedback. I couldn't get the "tti" ligature taper to look right, but I did make it thinner. The image below incorporates most of your suggestions...mattiklogo2
The result is very pleasing to me, and I just may go with this as my logotype, for I think it conveys sophistication, and the ability to use traditional elements in contemporary ways.

I don't want to appear boring or uncreative, however, so I tried a multitude of approaches to liven it up, including many variations on the descender of the "g" (avoiding swashes). Everything looked contrived, and any additional element detracted from the beauty of the letterforms.

Finally, I tried merely moving one element: the dot on the 2nd "i":
This definitely adds playfulness and interest, but I wonder if it's too cute, or if it too closely resembles another logo. I think it implies an examining eye, which is foundational to good design. It would also lend itself to a Flash treatment, which is appropriate for a designer seeking to specialize in Flash websites. But does it look good? Forgive me if this diverges too much from typography to graphic design and other considerations...

Anyway, I'd be grateful for any additional feedback or suggestions--from you or from any others in the forums--regarding either of the above logotypes, or alternate suggestions for adding interest/distinction to my basic logotype. Thanks so much! --Jim

PS: This was my first new forum, and I think Typophile has created an amazing community resource. May they keep up the good work!

tomzl's picture

I like the "dot play", too. But I am afraid that merging of the q's stroke and the dot makes the left part of this character too heavy and therefore destroys the rythm of the whole. Maybe at smaller sizes the dot even won't be visible and just a weird distorted "g" will remain. A possible solution could be to move the dot slightly to the right, but I am not sure if there is enough place to do that (the dot in the centre of the counter probably wouldn't work so well). Another solution: Make the dot black. This solution makes some troubles too: what will happpen at B&W reproduction...

A suggestion: maybe the dot could just "jump" towards the "g" but remain above it. It would of course spoil the eye effect, but may suggest movement > animation > interacitvity > flash...

aeolist's picture

i guess that even with the dot (which i fancy) it still looks conservative
what about the yellow? i guess it adds to that sterile feeling

mattik's picture

Thank you Yves, Matjaz and Alex. You've convinced me that although my "eye" design has problems, working with the dot is the right direction. As my focus is online (and that's where the first marketing contact will often be--without the use of spam, of course), I'm thinking the dot can be an animated character that does different things, to add playfulness and interest.

The print version (less important for me), could be the "plain" logotype, but ideally would have something that indicates animation (as Matjaz suggested).

For print, what does anyone think of the following? (now without color, until the design is finalized):

mattik's picture

...or a version that's "one frame" simpler:
mattiklogo-animated dot ("4-frame")

hawk's picture

1. keep it simple

2. what do you want to achieve with your logo?

3. how do you think your client perceives you?

4. why the "tti" ? "cool"/cool things are not always ""

so - no "visual swill"

aeolist's picture

oi loik
unsure about the colors

tsprowl's picture

I'm kind'a thinking the dot on the i, swooshing and animated or not might be a bit too obvious to play with. go back to the g.

hrant's picture

I like the eye idea, but it's not rendered well there.
I don't like the swooshy dot thing.

I also think you can leave the dots (both of them) off your main logo, and use them as a secondary animated effect, in fact maybe as eyes.


tsprowl's picture

haha Mr. Peters.

but really - I'm serious I think its been done - its do you say...umm "dotty" add circular motion and its all of a sudden kind'a "dotcommy"

then when this logo gets reduced those dots are just gonna go swoochy what with the gradient too.

hrants suggestion works - just subtle enough if the logo's primary presense is web.

hawk's picture


Adrian - clubtype UK - wrote you about his FontFitter

David Hamuel )

hrant's picture

Oh... Thanks!
(I'm on digest there.)


tomzl's picture

> which I want to focus on more sophisticated, subtle (less flashy) Flash design.

I really didn't mean that you will present animation that litterate. I thought it will be just a little "mistake" of the dot position in an overall clean and classic-look logo. (a secondary animated effect, as Hrant suggests) That would suggest movement, but you could still archieve a bit more serious and sophisticated, LESS FLASHY design... It was the purpose, wasn't it?

tsprowl's picture


the only two extended ascenders - k | d flip the serif on the k to face inwards to the d. would create harmonious effect between the two indifferent words and won't draw attention to popular industry fields names (such as design) but rather illustrate togetherness

mattik's picture

Wow -- A lot of weekend posts! Thanks to all of you for your input. Yes, the very literal representation of animation in my previous version was annoying, but I thought it might lead somewhere better.

And please forgive me for not catching on (lack of sleep?), but I don't think I understood Hrant's suggestion (which Tanya and Matjaz seemed to like) to leave both dots off, or the meaning of "a secondary animated effect." Maybe it's to keep the "straight" form for print, and save playing with the dots for online animation? Or was it really to take all the dots off for print, like this?:
mattiklogo - no dots
Or was something altogether different being suggested?

I did try the "slightly off" idea of Matjaz, but the results of that irritated me too. (Though maybe in more skilled hands...?)

Perhaps I'm being indulgent messing with these dots; my original intent was for a clean, simple, appealing logotype, and now I'm trying to get it to do too much. If I really want to imply animation in print, I should probably design a logo from scratch for that purpose.

So, unless there's a good idea I haven't explored, it seems I should just stop messing with the dots for print, and go with the straightforward version. If I can find an appropriate way online to introduce animation (and I now see several possibilities), I can do that later, and can change it more easily than the printed stuff. (But if anyone still wants to give/clarify dot suggestions, I'll of course consider them.)

What I'd finally like to ask--and this is actually why I originally started this forum, so pardon the dot sidetracking--is if anyone sees any *typographic* problems remaining with the logotype. Hrant and a few friends have helped me get some of my major problems fixed, so from a purely typographic standpoint, is it good to go?

David Hamuel wondered why I did the "tti" ligature. Maybe for any of you to evaluate what I've done, it would be good for me to show the "raw" type (1, below) so you can compare it with what I've done (2, below). The raw type is ITC New Baskerville, set in Illustrator with reduced tracking, but no hand kerning. Here they are:
mattiklogo -process
So, keeping in mind that on-screen appearance takes priority, is there anything else you hard-core type experts see in this thing that needs to be fixed? Be amicably ruthless, please.

Again, sincere thanks to previous (and any future) contributors. A deadline may keep me away for a day or so, but I'll be back then to respond to any new offerings. --Jim

mattik's picture

Tanya-- Sorry, I didn't see your last post before doing mine. The reversed serif idea made a lot of sense; is this what you had in mind?:
mattiklogo -reversed k serif
The result wasn't quite what I expected, but what do you think?

I'm tempted to raise the tips of the now-facing serifs (so the k's doesn't look "bent down"), but I probably shouldn't, because the angle of these chiseled serifs also appears in the m, i and n. (I had earlier tried "straightening" all the horizontal serifs, but it killed the character of the face.) Any other suggestions?

(And what do the rest of you think of it?)

Anyway, I really need to sign off, but I just had to try out your clever idea. Thanks!

aeolist's picture

in theory tanya's suggestion is nice, but it doesnt work out well here, just because this font is more... complicated?
i aint sure about removing all the dots... the "tti" thingy looks better without a dot, however I still seem to be the only one over here liking the "animated" dot.

hrant's picture

No dots for "print" (but think of it as your "base logo"), and dots for action.

I like Tanya's idea - it demands attention because something is "wrong", but it's hard to spot (for non-type_nuts) - makes it very memorable.


Miss Tiffany's picture

Reversing the serif on the 'k', I think, creates too much of a visual break between the matti and the k. Call me insanely boring, but it reads as matti-k-design. the simplicity is nice and I don't think you need to complicate it.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Another thought. Are you going to use that beautiful citron color? I think you should. At least when color doesn't create financial woes.

aluminum's picture

I'll be a little cynical here, but people aren't going to hire your flash skills just because you can animate your own logo. Just because you focus on flash does *not* mean you need an animated logo ;o)

Some random thoughts:

- I prefer it sans dots (though that maybe means the ligature isn't really needed...perhaps just tie in the tt and skip the i)

- if you want the dots, maybe just swap the two colors. Dunno if that is a good idea or not...just throwing it out there.

tsprowl's picture

yes Jim, that is what I meant - cept now that I see it...the dots have to go. too much detail. it does have something unexpected about it...hmm. but when I go back to it it grows on ya kind'a.

donno - maybe Tiffany has a point. maybe its not obvious enough now. haha

rs_donsata's picture

Go for the dot in the eye mattik, it is a great logo, it explains your client what you can do for him*, type excellence is not for logos.

*i guess the main interest of a client about your work is to reach it

keith_tam's picture

Hello, Jim.

Why not keep it simple? Flash doesn't mean 'flashy' and I think that's your philosophy too. So don't worry about animation, and keep it subtle. You don't need to try to make a picture with your type! I like the 'tti' ligature and no dots makes it just slightly different from others. Keep your first colours, and you've got yourself a pretty smart wordmark.

mattik's picture

Dear Mattikdesign Logotype Forum Contributors:

You are an amazing community! I

hrant's picture

Nice summary!

I like #7. The smallcaps "i" gives that little twist I was saying is valuable, plus it flows very well in the "tti".

The only thing that bugs me is the bottoms of the "ti" are too close. Maybe reduce the size of the "t" foot curls. If you don't, you at least have to space apart the "ti" a bit. And the "ig" is a hair tight.


aeolist's picture

the tti is too close, i agree with paparian
plus i'd like the top of the "tt" to be a little heigher... like the tip of the "t" reaching the height of the bottom end of the k's serif(?-i dont think that was all too clear)
although nobody seems to agree, i would like something on top of that second "i", to cover for all that blank space on top of the "esign" as opposed to the "tt" tops.
other than that, it's great

tomzl's picture

I noticed right now that the g's lover curve is a bit rough. When you have been making it more open (numbers 1 and 2 in your post of July 07, 2003 - 2:14 am), which is your decision and might be good, a bottom part of the stroke (the thinnest one) has became too thick. Compare with the original Barskerville design, to see what I mean.

peter's picture

"although nobody seems to agree, i would like something on top of that second 'i', to cover for all that blank space on top of the 'esign' as opposed to the 'tt' tops."

i experimented with both i dots on the second i (vertically stacked, not like in

boole's picture

I would have hard time explaining this so I took the freedom to do it.

I basically followed Hrants suggestion posted at the very beginning:

mattik's picture

Getting very close... Thanks for the further input. At this point I've decided to go with the design of the previously posted version 7, so all I need now is to finish the fine tuning, which I still seem to need help with. (But thanks p.j. and Emir for trying the variations.)

Here are versions 8a and 8b, which only differ in the spacing of the "ti":

mattiklogos 8a & 8b
Now I'll address some of your points individually (but others please feel free to comment on what follows):

Hrant-- I added that hair of space to the "ig," and then I reduced the foot curls on the "t"s (and the bottom curled serif on the "a" to match), and added a bit of space between the "ti." 8a shows the increased space, and 8b has just a bit more space there. Which do you think is better, or do I need even more space yet? And did I create any new problems in the process?

Alex-- I tried raising the tops of the "t"s, but it looked odd no matter how I did it. And I appreciate you pointing out the "empty space" above the second i; my clients usually say they want designs with lots of white space, so I think it's good that my logo suggests a sense of empty space.

Matjaz-- It's really good that you spotted that fat descender on the g. When I did my initial work before my first post, I made several modifications to reduce the onscreen distortion caused by antialiasing my vector art, which was the worst in Flash. These mods were the things I felt the most insecure about presenting to typographers, and I wondered if anyone would notice. I think you're the first (in 34 posts) to mention any of this! I actually imaged that this topic of modifying type to look good onscreen with antialiasing (not a pixel font) might generate the most discussion in my thread.

I mentioned right up front that I had changed the baseline serifs (removing their bottom "dimples"). The g (my more open version as well as the Baskerville) was tending to get a flat section on the bottom of the descender, and thickening it seemed to counteract this. But if it's bad typography, I want to change it. I tried to compromise with the g in version 8 (a & b) above. How does that look?

I had the same "flattening" problem with the top of the "a," and did a similar fattening of the stroke. But after the scrutiny inspired by your observation, I tried to thin that back up in this last version (above), although the letterform is still somewhat different in an attempt to reduce its antialias mess.

Here's a comparison of how Flash rendered the outlines of the raw Baskerville "a" and my new compromise "a":
"a"s in Flash
But the logo will also appear in print, so I don't want to do anything too weird in compensating for antialias distortion. So, I'm hoping my new "a" stands on its own as a halfway decent letterform. Please look at the two "a"s enlarged (below), and let me know what you think:
enlarged "a"s

Well, everyone, thanks again for your help. One question (for the moderator?): Next I'll be trying to decide on color, and would like a variety of respondents. Is this forum appropriate for that? Thanks. --Jim

hrant's picture

I think 8a is the better one.

Can you make the "s" wider? (Jeez, I'm sounding like a pesky client...) It seems to be drawing too much attention to itself. (In a text font you want width variance, because that helps readability, but in a logo it sometimes backfires.)

About Flash fidelity:
1) Don't let it drive you crazy, you can circumvent it completely.
2) Using TT format instead of PST1 seems to reduce the strangeness.


BTW, I also like Emir's "g" trick - but I'd dump the "i" dots there.


hawk's picture


Keith is right. Darrel is right.

Hrant asked you a question, but i dont see the answer:
" do you really want to convey such a conservative attitude....? "

try to play with serif + sans serif.

David Hamuel

mattik's picture

Hrant-- Thanks so much; your feedback about the s is exactly the kind of thing I need. I had actually thought the same thing, but figured I don't know enough to make that call. I'll work on it and post two degrees of the widening.

And I'm not sure why you mention TT format; I'm not building a font (wouldn't even know how). I'm building a logotype in Illustrator. I can rasterize it in Photoshop for certain purposes, but to use it in Flash I want to keep it as vectors. How can I avoid the distorting consequences of antialising? --Jim

mattik's picture

David-- I appreciate your feedback. Glad you agree with Keith and Darrel, as I took that route of not trying to indicate animation, and removing the dots.

As for Hrant's question about conservative, in my second post I guess I only implied an answer by saying I didn't want to appear boring or uncreative, so would try various things to liven it up. (This lead to all the variations that finally culminated in the basic design of version 7.)

I think if conservative in this context means uncreative, I definitely don't want that. If, however, working creatively with existing elements in a non-radical, subdued/subtle way is considered conservative, then yes, that's something I'd like to realize (in my work and my logo). I really like the beauty of classic serif faces, and I wanted to try to use one in a way that was clean and somewhat contemporary. Since I work mostly with architects who often think sans serifs like Futura or Helvetica are the only way to have clean, "structural" type, it would be nice if my logo implied other creative possibilities for designing for architectural concerns.

And to be honest, I'm so in over my head reworking these letterforms, and I've already devoted so much time to it, that at this point I'll settle for something that isn't ugly, avoids clich

hrant's picture

> I'm building a logotype in Illustrator.

OK, but same difference. Flash renders cubic beziers (the kind Postscript uses, in fonts, EPS, etc.) with lower fidelity than it renders quadratic beziers (the kind TrueType uses). So try importing your logo into Fontogapher or FontLab (preferably the latter) and outputting a TT font. Even though it won't be a "native" TT font (something that can only be done manually), from my experience it still renders better.

> How can I avoid the distorting consequences of antialising?

Just to be clear, anti-aliasing isn't your problem. Anti-aliasing is good for you! :-) The problem is how Flash distorts outlines, especially cubic beziers.

> I've already devoted so much time to it, that at this point I'll just settle for something that isn't ugly

Heh heh heh. Now try making a whole font. :->

But really, I think you're doing very well! It's nice to see such nit-picking.


fonthausen's picture

i tried a few variations on the 'g' . And i made 's' rounder ( and the eye of the 'e'). Beside that i made the 'k' more balanced.

Maybe this could help you allong.


PS: if you want i can send you the ill9-files

fonthausen's picture

i tried a few variations on the 'g' . And i made 's' rounder ( and the eye of the 'e'). Beside that i made the 'k' more balanced.

Maybe this could help you allong.


PS: if you want i can send you the ill9-files


mattik's picture


Thanks for hanging in there with me on this, and for the encouragement. Here're 3 tweaks of version 9, each with an increasingly larger s (original not shown):
Do any of these seem right on? If not please direct as to larger/smaller. This was my first-ever attempt at reproportioning an entire letter, so I hope I did okay.

Once the s is fixed, it should be about done, don't you think?

As for the distortion of outlines: Wow, quadratic beziers? I think I missed that math class. To try your suggestion, I downloaded a trial version of Fontlab, but a half hour of tinkering in this unfamiliar interface got me nowhere. Just so I know I'm aiming at the right result, please clarify: Were you suggesting that I cut and paste the complete outlined Illustrator logotype right into a Fontlab character/glyph workspace window, and then export the whole thing as a TrueType font? ...And then in Flash (Fireworks, etc.) when I type the appropriate key in my new font, the whole logo would appear? This is so new and bizarre to me. (And if I can't do it with the trial version, I'll have to skip it altogether.) I may have to save this for down the road.

Well, as soon as I get these final tweaks done, I can move on to deciding on a color. In your opinion, is it appropriate to ask for feedback on color in this forum/thread?

Jim M

fonthausen's picture

just read your mail. i don#t want to mess your head up with my proposals. It just that you so busy experimenting and nit-picking, that i thought you might be intersted in seeing some other possible solutions.


PS: beware when you make a letter wider. (the 's') Because you change the wheight as well. I think the 's' might be a little too heavy here.

mattik's picture

Jacques-- I missed your message. (You beat my post by two minutes.) Anyway, I was impressed not only by your effort on my behalf (must have taken some time!), but also by the interesting evolution you fleshed out. It seems like your "s" echoes the rounded tip on the "a," and your other mods further apply this softer touch. It looks to me like the start of a new "soft serif" typeface...

And although, as you noticed, I'm really wanting to wrap this one up for now, I can always evolve it further later, and I'll definitely keep your ideas in mind for future reference.

Jim M

fonthausen's picture


> I was impressed not only by your effort on my behalf
< images say often more then words

> must have taken some time!
< don't worry, it was more a cut and paste job. And a little bit of experience .

You're welcome.

hrant's picture

I like the widest "s", but you do need to slim down its spine a bit.

> Were you suggesting that I cut and paste the ....


BTW, do look at Jacques' stuff, especially the ear on his 3rd "g".


mattik's picture

Hrant-- I needed to take a breather, but I

hrant's picture

> I slimmed the spine of the

sham's picture

I like it, Dmitry. Now it feels like a logo.

mattik's picture

Hrant-- Thanks. Done. --Jim

mattik's picture

Dmitry and Ly-- Thanks for the input, but it's a bit unclear to me; as version 10 is basically the final version, I was asking above for any final tweaks to this version.

Then Dmitry took version 1, which is the least modified from the plain Baskerville, and made two suggestions: linking the serifs on the "ik" and widenening the "s." This is confusing to me, because the "s" has already been widened since the version used by Dmitry, starting with version 9. (And incidentally, when I previously tried the "ik" serif linking, which seemed like a natural, it unfortunately produced some undesirable side effects.)

Next, Ly responded to Dmitry's suggested changes to version 1 by writing that "Now it feels like a logo." Compared to which version, and why?

Any clarification from either of you would be appreciated, especially if it can be applied to the final version. Thanks.

--Jim M

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