Selecting the typeface for an online time stamping service logo

apankrat's picture

The brief is as follows - an online digital time stamping service geared towards the design professionals. It needs to evoke feelings of trust, reliability and maturity while still being approachable, friendly and modern.

This is an early iteration, and I have converged to the following set of typefaces:

My top choice by a very slim margin is Titilium italic. I also really like the r-t pairing in Sansation, specifically the shape of the 't', and I am considering building it into the Titilium version.

Alternatively, I am looking at using NeoTech italic, but borrowing 'r' from NeoSans.

Thoughts ?

rampageraptor's picture

I like Titilium regular and Mentone Regular the best. I don't know why, but Titilium italic reminds me of the Star Trek font.

If you were to go with an italic font, I'd choose Mentone. It's round enough that it's 'friendly' as you put it, but it's still rather modern, being not completely round.

R//R
http://web.me.com/kyleleitch

riccard0's picture

I second Mentone: it has the best looking "tT".

apankrat's picture

Thanks for the opinions, guys.

What about regular vs. italic ? I am leaning towards italicized version, but I got some feedback stating that it makes the type feel outdated in "so 90s" kind of way.

riccard0's picture

[italic] makes the type feel outdated in “so 90s” kind of way

Seconded.

Miss Tiffany's picture

The rt pair in Mentone is troublesome. Especially if this is for a brand where you know you will always have that pair. Sandsation and Neotech both solve this pair better. If you use any of the others you need to reconsider that pair and the spacing, etc.

apankrat's picture

Yup, my thoughts exactly. Thanks, Tiffany.

rampageraptor's picture

I agree with Tiffany; the rt is awkward, but I still stand with Titilium and Mentone. You could solve the rt problem pretty quickly I'd imagine. Just chop off that part of the T!

R//R
http://web.me.com/kyleleitch

apankrat's picture

Yup, fixed r, t and i. Ignoring the italics for now, how does this look to everyone ?

I'm not exactly happy with T-i, too much whitespace in there. Any suggestions on how to tackle this are appreciated.

Miss Tiffany's picture

That works.

One solution might be to letterspace the whole thing a bit more.

rampageraptor's picture

I like what you did with the rt; looks great! You could also try moving the I underneath the T a little bit and eliminating the dot?

R//R
http://web.me.com/kyleleitch

apankrat's picture

Tried spacing characters out and eliminating the dot. Latter doesn't work at all, the T-i construct looks very odd. Former sort of works, but not perfectly due to too much white space between the characters.

Also tried all lowercase version, which looks pretty decent and doesn't have any of the above issues. It does have a different feel to it though, far less formal:

bemerx25's picture

Put it in a box/rectangle to make it resemble a stamp perhaps? That might give it the formality you're looking for while retaining the "friendliness" of the lowercase.

apankrat's picture

@bemerx25 - thanks for the suggestion. I gave it a try and it made the whole thing look very dated and consumer-ish. Like a shoe sole insert logo or something :)

I have more or less finalized the logo. Compared to the above version I tweaked kerning here and there, changed the shape of 'e' slightly and changed the colors.

Thanks for looking and the feedback everyone. Much appreciated.

rosem's picture

looks a little loose to me?

apankrat's picture

Hmmm .. now that you said it .. the "cert" part does seems a bit loose indeed.

CGI's picture

You could fashion the double ‘t’ into a ligature and thus eschew letterspacing. It's kind of begging for it in the lowercase version, I feel. Doing this would have the fortuitous side-effect of making the logotype more memorable, perhaps even lending a layer of meaning — in the ‘lock’ that would be created between ‘cert’ and ‘time’. You could even include the ‘r' in the ligature if you felt adventurous.

If you do attempt this, don't just smash the letters into each other, but rather intervene in the letterforms and extend the right arm of the first ‘t’ — and be vewy vewy careful with the ‘r’, should it be involved.

That said ( in defense of a capitalized version ) may it be useful to have that uppercase ‘T’ in order to point out that there are two of them? It may serve as a nifty mnemonic for the correct spelling of the inevitable website.

apankrat's picture

@CGI - thanks for the suggestion, I gave the ligature idea a try. Merging t's by extending of left t's arm to the right looks not terribly interesting, but it does show some promise. I see two problems with this option though. First is that the ligature falls apart and looks quite odd if each t uses its own color. I guess I can do a gradient, but that's a path leading to the cheesy side :) Second issue is that the wordmark starts to look a bit busy (or fancy) and I really need it to have a fairly restrained and understated appearance.

@all - I was also pointed out that tighter kerning and alternative shape of 'r' are worth looking at. The kerning suggestion is 100% spot on, applied. With the 'r' there are options:

1. untouched 'r'
2. 'r' based on 'm'
3. 'r' based on 'e', take 1
4. 'r' based on 'e', take 2

I am definitely not liking #1 anymore. The #2 is more consistent, but #3/4 look more pleasant. Thoughts ?

Simplicious's picture

I prefer #3. It has a nice flow and the shoulder of 'r' is way better than the one in #4, allthough it's bolder than the arm of 't'.

The last 'e' looks like it's too far away from the rest of the word. I'm not 100% sure, but I'd try to get it closer to the 'm'.

Apart from that I really like the logotype.

Miss Tiffany's picture

The r has that notch for a reason. I wouldn't change it. If you shrink this down to actual size to be used you will see what I mean.

apankrat's picture

@simplicious: thanks for the comments. If I am asking people to quickly tell me what the best looking option is, #3 appears to be a popular choice.

@miss tiffany: I know what you are referring to, but I don't think there is an issue. Modified 'r's look similar to 'm' in smaller sizes, the separation of r's arm is still there, and I don't think it's easy to confuse it with any other letter.

Or did you mean even smaller size ?

Simplicious's picture

In smaller size #3 still looks best.

Lefty's picture

+1 for #3

Miss Tiffany's picture

It is a matter of opinion. I'm ok with that. But if I were paying for this logo I'd want the r look like an r. I don't think there is enough definition at the small size.

apankrat's picture

I wanted to revive this thread for another round of opinions.

Having spent more time with the above version I find it hard to work with. Specifically trying to match it to supporting fonts, especially in the online context, presented a real challenge.

For this reason I went back and looked at other type options for the logo. Looked at Polaris, Effra, Etelka and Klavika among others, and finally converged to Mentone:

The goal was to dampen the "technical" feel of the logo, to make it a bit more user-friendly and to be able to re-use Mentone for other design elements such as parts of the website.

Thoughts ?

Ratbaggy's picture

it achieves what you're after IMO.

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Paul
Design Studio Melbourne

apankrat's picture

Well, yeah. That's kind of obvious now that you said it .. heh.

I guess I was more wondering how it looked in general and there are any thoughts on if it was working for the described purpose.

And if anything needed further attention. Ts probably need further tweaking, kerning too. That sort of thing.

Ratbaggy's picture

yeah the double t is jarring, sure a creative outcome can get around it.

cert:time?

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Paul
Design Studio Melbourne

eliason's picture

Is the color change gone? That mitigated the distraction of the double t in the previous version. (Which is not to say that other "creative outcomes" could also be found.)

apankrat's picture

Paul, the names with : in them are now forever tainted by the :cuecat fiasco :) By the "Ts need furter tweaking" I meant that they needed to be made a bit wider to be consistent with other letters.

(edit) Oh oh, I see why the colon .. 12:34 PM ? .. clever, but kind of a bit too literal.

Craig, the color split is still used. I just posted the b/w version to review the letter shapes, kerning and overall impression.

apankrat's picture

An update. Top is the original Mentone, bottom is an adjusted version. Re-tweaked Ts, straightened up i and changed its dot, and re-kerned the whole thing.

eliason's picture

Looks nice. That rt gap may still be troublesome ("cer ttime"). It may be that the /t/s are too narrow relative to the /r/.
I think the /e/s may look a bit too dark.

satya's picture

Setting »cert« in small caps may solve the »rt« issue. Or, may be use »r« with small caps?

Bendy's picture

The arm of the r looks really wide in comparison with the crossbar of the customised t, and creates a large counterspace underneath. I'd go with Tiffany and make the notch more pronounced too, I think.

apankrat's picture

@eliason: I can see what you are saying. I'll play wits Ts a bit more.

@satya: Thanks for the idea. Tried both, neither seems to be working. But it may have more to do with my prejudice towards mixing the cases rather than anything else :)

apankrat's picture

@Bendy:

I hear you WRT t/r widths, I will look into this.

Miss Tiffany was referring to the older, Titilium version that did has the r customized (have a look here). The newer version uses Mentone's native r, and it is consistent with the curves of the m. So I am not sure about making its notch deeper.

Bendy's picture

Yes, I think Mentone's regular r is in need of a minor tweak. Normally an r has more of a notch than an m, I think, and usually a heavier beak than the arched m and n. Also is it me or does the italic e look a bit black at 2 o'clock?

apankrat's picture

Next iteration - widened Ts, removed bend from R's and M's stems, reworked R's notch and the arm a bit.

What do you guys think ? Anything sticks out ?

eliason's picture

I think that looks quite good. The /e/s still look a touch bold to my eye - I'd maybe try shaving a bit off their crossbars or something.

apankrat's picture

Thanks, Craig. The Es do indeed for some reason look thicker than other letters, good observation, thanks. I will make another pass.

--

Also, tangentially related.

I am mulling over an idea of adding a title page to the site. I really want to do it, but I am also really not sure if it's a good idea to begin with :)

Details are here - http://typophile.com/node/64875

apankrat's picture

Updated - /E/s are now lighter, the right edge of /T/s crossbar now has a bit of a slant matching that of the /R/s arm.

--

And in color:

--

I think it might be a good time to stop. For now :-)

Ratbaggy's picture

NOT

PERFECT

ENOUGH!!

Start again.

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Paul

Bendy's picture

Hopefully that last comment means it's almost perfect now and any further iterations risk endless looping forever...?

eliason's picture

It was cool to see this development. I think it looks great!

iffy's picture

I love seeing projects like this evolve. It's so evident how important the small changes really are. It also is evidence to how hard (some) designers work.

Great job!

apankrat's picture

Yeah, no more looping, there is plenty more other small details to obsess over :)

By the way - any thoughts on this ? http://typophile.com/node/64875#comment-381634

It has more to do with Identity design and less with Typography / Composition, so I should've probably posted it here in the first place.

Ratbaggy's picture

Here they are as a comparison (hope you don't mind Eps) thought it might be a good wrap up.

looks great

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Paul

aluminum's picture

I'm really late to the conversation, so feel free to ignore me...

A thought...what if the cross bars of the rtt formed a subtle arc. Might help tie them together and add a unique hook to it all.

Otherwise, what you ended up with looks good. I do think the color differentiation is important for pronouncing it.

GoAround's picture

PayPal?

typeidentity's picture

Nice to see the evolution. Great work!

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