Photographer identity for crit

cfig's picture

Hi all, I'm working on a rebranding of a trio of female photographers, they were previously "random grouping of initials" photography and want to develop a more distinct identity to stand out in a crowded marketplace, and after some soulsearching have decided to go with simply "the girls" since that's how they're often referred to anyway.

They wanted to avoid the standard photography cliches of camera, lens, scripty typeface, etc., and wanted something feminine but not overly feminine that had a bit more of a fashion feel to it. I did some research and liked the idea of using a symbol that represented the 3 of them, and after running across a diagram of an exposure triangle I found interesting I developed this mark. To me it leans feminine and evokes a flower shape without being explicitly floral, has the abstrat photographic reference of the exposure triangle, could be used with or without the type, and should apply well across a variety of media. The typeface is Proxima Nova (please forgive the pixelation, using a screengrab as I haven't purchased the typeface yet). Thoughts?

riccard0's picture

A good start. I would try to make the white triangle a little bigger.
The typeface is a little soulless for my taste...

penn's picture

Not digging the type too much. I think it would work better all one weight, and perhaps with something with a smaller x-height.

penn

cfig's picture

Thanks guys, although I was kind of liking the typeface actually. I also liked the idea of the different weights as that would allow for adding of another word that would be clearly separated easily (thegirls.com or whatever).

Any typeface suggestions?

evanbrog's picture

I think I might also try the original mark just a bit smaller, rotated about 45 degrees CW, and moved up above the top left of the t.

...it has the feel of an asterisk to it, so I wonder if turning it a bit will break up this symmetry you have going on. (I see that you intended this, that right now the mark almost acts as a sort of anterior parenthetical).

But symmetry often bores me.

cfig's picture

I actually really like the asterisk sort of idea, definitely up for trying that. The danger in rotating the mark, however, is that with a vertical stroke coming off the "star" you get the distinct impression of toxic waste...not quite what we're going for :)

I think the direction you're thinking would have it pointing towards the upper left which I think could work. Let me do a bit of playing and see.

evanbrog's picture

Awesome, can't wait to see it.

Valid point about toxic waste, though I assume this logo isn't going to be black and yellow. Once you figure out a color scheme you might just give the rotation a shot and see if the right palette helps it read as you intended.

I also have to second not being in love with the chosen typeface. But I do see a good rationale for playing with the weights as you have--in terms of what you say might happen to it in the future (adding .com, etc.), right now it has the pleasing effect of balancing the logotype's heavy weight from the mark.

As an aside, good job. You always post nice logos on this forum, and as a designer who loves photography--I've enjoyed seeing the photographer logos you've created.

cfig's picture

Thanks man, greatly appreciated. I've found a bit of a niche that's both challenging and provides some fun clients to work with, it's been good so far.

I actually had some colors in mind that I'd been working with, I think the grey helps soften it overall and makes it a bit less contrasty. Looking at it I do think that the mark should be sized down a bit in any case, I also played with your thoughts using that color pallette as well. Kinda what you were thinking? I think it has potential.

cfig's picture

And another variant on the idea.

apankrat's picture

I don't know about the mark. It looks more like a propeller to me than anything else. Color considered I'm getting a "clean energy" or "recycling" kind of feel from it. My second guess would be a Japanese family crest. I think while the exposure triangle is a clever idea, it will elude 99.9% of people by being very obscure.

eliason's picture

Once you raise the mark and add color, with "the girls" it starts to look like a little ribbon tied in a bow (esp. the version next to the /t/), which I don't think you want.

evanbrog's picture

Yup, precisely what I was thinking in the second version of your new attempts. Def. reduce the mark's size as you said.

I don't see a ribbon & bow myself. But if it looks a little girly, well, isn't that a good thing?

Perhaps it is a little obscure, but who hasn't seen an obscure mark on a logotype before? And for that matter, I've seen many that look nice but def. don't speak to the business in question. For me, as long as there is an original & relevant intent behind it--that it's not just a shape to be a shape, then that's acceptable to me. This speaks to the three-ness, and is born out of something photographic... I don't see the problem.

cfig's picture

That's kind of where I come from on identity marks as well, as long as there's a connection back to the concept and the mark is strong enough to work I'm good with it.

I can kind of see the bow thing now that you mention it, but it doesn't bother me and actually could sort of work with the concept. I'm going to play with the scale a bit more but I think the asterisk/offset idea could have potential.

cfig's picture

Ok, talked to the client a bit about this and it turns out they like the concept but it's actually not quite feminine enough for their tastes, they'd like something a bit more feminine but not "girly" (i.e. no pink).

Changing up the color palette a bit and moving the blue to more of a lavender/purple helps, but I'm thinking the type choice could also be more appropriate. Any ideas on a maybe more feminine yet still well put together typeface that might work? Thanks.

eliason's picture

Archer?
Safran?
Bree? (You'd have to decide if that 'g' is working for you, assuming you stick with lowercase.)

cfig's picture

Some good suggestions, thanks. I do like Bree but that g is...questionable? It may grow on me, I'll have to see.

I also ran across a free weight of ITC Chino being offered and I think that might suggest the right sort of feel in one of the medium weights.

apankrat's picture

Just take g from another typeface if Bree seems to be working otherwise.

eliason's picture

Actually Bree also offers a binocular /g/ as an alternate.

cfig's picture

Alrighty, after a bit of a disconnect over the holidays I've been back with the client, and after a lot of review and discussion we've decided to go with something that's pretty much purely typographic. I've spent a lot of time looking at typefaces the past few days and like this attempt with Milo Serif. I'm curious if the dots (still trying to wrap the "3" idea in there somehow) feel forced or if that works, or if there might be another alternative to convey that idea? Thanks.

riccard0's picture

still trying to wrap the "3" idea in there somehow

What about morphing together "3" and "g"?

eliason's picture

I like that except for the stubby ascenders.

cfig's picture

Interesting idea riccard0, I'll have to play with that, thanks.

eliason, I think it's more a taller x-height than stubby ascenders...which I suppose amounts to the same effect in either case. I'm not totally sold on the typeface, but I like the overall feel.

hrant's picture

Instead of those weird three dots at the bottom,
what about making the dotless-i three vertical dots?

hhp

cj1100's picture

I like this direction better than the propeller. I would not try to make the g a 3+g combo. I have seen way to many numbers replacing letters in logos recently, but this is a personal stance.

I like your 3 dots. I think playing with them in the I is also a good idea. You can cary the dots on through the entire identity. Leader lines could be dots. You can use centered dots instead of hyphens. Dots create great patterns. Lots of possibilities.

Good luck.

hrant's picture

What about making the "e" in "the" a flipped "3"?

hhp

Tomi from Suomi's picture

How about this:


Three girls with potential :·)

cfig's picture

Tomi, nice :)

Great thoughts all, been doing some sketching and I'll post some progress hopefully this weekend. Thanks!

penn's picture

I like Hrant's idea of making the 'e' in 'the' a backwards '3'. It could be done rather elegantly if it were done like the small caps in Eplica

cfig's picture

Which is a font I happen to own...great suggestion, thanks!

cfig's picture

Ok, some revisions. I played with several numerica replacement ideas and liked some more than others.

First was the "TH3" idea. I tried it in several different typefaces and didn't really find anything I loved. I felt like these with Reminga, Eplica, and Meta Serif were the best of the group but I don't love any of them, definitely need to work with the weights if I went this direction.

The "3irls" idea I actually found a lot more success with. After running through a number of different typefaces I found that Mrs Eaves has an attractive 3 that really lent itself well to work as a g, then a bit more playing revealed that it's actually a absolutely beautiful italic character (I'm really liking the bottom choice).

And a look at it subsituting the dots as the i, which is ok but doesn't say much to me. I feel like this could have some potential, may do some more sketching/playing with it.

Any thoughts? Thanks.

penn's picture

The problem with the top ones (th3 girls) is that you're mixing small caps with lowercase. It also looks like you have 'the' scaled back, so the contrasting weights of the strokes don't mesh well either.

If you did want to explore that direction further I'd say you would need to go all small caps. I would also set the type on the same line. That way might be rather simplistic (possibly boring) but I think Eplica gives enough flavor to the characters, that it might work. And of course if additional flavor is needed, you can always edit the characters to your liking.

I do like the lower experiments here with mrs. eaves. You're right about the italic working the best too. The one issue that may (or may not) become a problem will be that people might read it as 'the 3 girls'. Good stuff though.

Yeah, dots not workiiing.

--
penn

hrant's picture

Maybe for the last one, you can make it an "i"
stem cut into three parts, instead of three dots.

hhp

nina's picture

Interesting stuff.
FWIW the "3irls" potentially reads as "zirls" to me, with a descending "z" (and especially so in the italic version). But maybe that's a European/German thing.

How about a regular "i" but with 3 tittles instead of just one? Stacked, or maybe try a triangle/circle/flowery arrangement. Might be nicely subtle.

francis bold's picture

Seeing as "the" is not far off spelling "three" Possibly a direction to explore there too . . .

cfig's picture

Thanks all, some good thoughts and feedback. The more I've looked at it the more I like the idea of "3irls" over the other options. altaira, I think you seeing the "z" is a bit of a European perspective but I can definitely see where you're coming from.

I think closing off the "3" just a bit does a lot, I played with adding an ear on the second variant but that's starting to look TOO much like a g and is losing it's "3-ness". Forgive the roughness, these are quick photoshop cut-and-pastes):

I think with a bit of refinement the first could work really well. Any thoughts on "the"? I think it could be a bit heavier but there's only one other weight in Mrs Eaves and it's quite bold. Thanks guys.

hrant's picture

Well, you could -carefully- make the "the" heavier manually.

hhp

apankrat's picture

I too read it "zirls", but I am of Cyrillic origins, so "з" is unambiguously one of the alphabet letters for me.

hrant's picture

BTW, the "i" in Mrs Eaves Italic isn't properly slanted; because of the
"pothooks" it looks like it's leaning left (which is a typical problem).
Try moving the top and bottom vertices 2-4 units more apart.

hhp

cfig's picture

Good eye hrant, thanks, very obvious now that you mention it. I think the kerning is pretty close other than that character. I may try manually adding a bit of weight to it as well, going to do some more experimenting with it this weekend.

iffy's picture

Really nice progress with this. I feel like you're really in the right direction and the italics works so well for this.

penn's picture

How would the 'g' (3) look with a teardrop terminal, instead of squared off, on that top arm that you've extended?

ishbog's picture

have you considered using the original logo with the star thing, except putting the star thing as the dot on the i?

evanbrog's picture

I'm struggling with legibility in a lot of these. But the last one you posted, in your last post, was the easiest for me to understand.

But there does seem to be a lot of confusion!
Does E=3?
Does G=3?
Does 3=Z?
Does G=Z?

You've moved away from any association with photography that was present in your earlier sketches/comps. But whatever the solution is must be simple.

As far as the 3 goes, my thoughts go to the roman numeral III. Maybe that can be incorporated somehow instead of the I, or using the vertical strokes in the roman "Gir" or "irl." Of course, this might be too complicated as well!!

aluminum's picture

I'm really liking the 3/g combo. That said, it feels a bit more '3' than 'g' at the moment. I think the key is to make it blatantly a 3 and a nice 'aha!' if/when folks discover the 3 hidden in it.

cfig's picture

Great thoughts all, thanks. aluminum, you lost me slightly...make it blatantly a 3 or a g? evanbrog, I don't disagree, I actually liked having a bit more concept in the originals but it's evolved a bit differently.

In any case, unfortunately, the client isn't totally on board. They're not opposed to integrating the idea of three somehow (dots, lines, etc.) but the very stylized serif idea just didn't work for them (the exact comment was that they "thought that was a cool idea, but we're still drawn to the straight, simple, modern font (i.e. sans) similar to what we showed you"). In other words, something in the almost purely typographic sans arena.

So I'm debating...I've been looking at some slightly stylized sans (Tondo or Bree were possibilities) but I'm worried it's going to be tough to convey a lot of personality in a really simple sans. Another thought was something like the example, combining the "3" idea with a nicely compatible sans (Mr Eaves) and letting that be the focus of the logo. I don't know that this quite works (definitely kerning adjustments needed) but I think the idea is on the right track. Thoughts? (penn, I'm going to play with the teardrop thought, interesting idea.)

Ratbaggy's picture

How about

GIRLS
GIRLS
GIRLS

...are looking for a good time!

each one can have their own voice (colour, tone, pattern, or even font)

it's fun it's quirky and I think (with the right execution) could work perfectly.

riccard0's picture

The 3/g in the last iteration is a little too much heavy.

iffy's picture

I just don't think this idea works as well with the san serif. The scaling is definitely off between the g/3 and the rest of the test.

evanbrog's picture

A name change would make this much easier! "3 GIRLS" kind of like the burger place Five Guys.

I don't have any suggestions for the new direction so I'm just posting an image pertaining to your first direction. And that is to somehow use the symbol for a woman in an interesting manner.

And this somehow makes me think of a tripod when viewed from above. But that's a good association: 3, tripod, photographer, and 3 photographers...

Ratbaggy's picture

or...a lesbian threesome.

    
Paul
--------------------
Design Studio Melbourne

nina's picture

That's what I saw too.

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