Tuff - Handlettered Logotype

Daniel Poindexter's picture

I don't mean to be an opportunist. I actually read everything on these boards, but rarely post due to my own lack of experience. The critiques here are great, though.

This is a personal project for my Ultimate Disc team. I don't know how many of you will know what Ultimate is, but it's an intensely competitive sport that plays kind of like a mixture of soccer and football (or football and football, I suppose).

This is the official University of Texas team, which is where the colors and the Longhorn mark are taken from.

Handlettered and traced from scan.

Dav's picture

I like the 'tuff' lettering.. :-) Very nice.. ( I especially love the original hand lettering.. )

What seems a bit odd and what I dont think is working right now is the longhorn part..
( The perspective seems wrong.. Do you have to use / show the longhorn.? )

If you have to incorporate the original longhorn icon ( the 'Standard Logo' ), what about adding it as some kind of 'trademark'.? ( Maybe.. Make it smaller, about half the size of the type, and add it to the top right of the 'tuff' mark.. )

Daniel Poindexter's picture

Yes, definitely having trouble with the perspective.

I'm going to be playing around with different incarnations of the horns and possibly the full Bevo (that's the official name for the longhorn head).

Dav's picture

I hope you dont mind me, posting a scribble of what I thought, when posting my reply.. :-)


( * If you, or an admin / moderator, dont want me posting scribbles, within your thread, please let me know, and, Ill remove it.. :-) Thank you.. )

fonthausen's picture

I like the tuff part (you are showing skills!), but what I miss, is the ultimate/frisbee inclination. To me the circle is just a circle, whith no particular meaning.

You could disconnect the circle/frisbee form the tuff letterhead, for example. This might give you more freedom. You could then even try to implement the horns on the double f.


gareth's picture

What about placing the horns, (if they must be in the logo) onto the type and lose the circle.

Circle is superflious to me. And brings the lush type logo down a scale or two.

Horns need to be stylized so that it resolves with the hand rendered type.

Nice work so far!
take care

degregorio2's picture

i think the problem is only of the width of the line.
if you try with differen widths, you can find a logo more expressive.

but i think its incredible, a very very good logo.
(the frame of my bike would be happy with this lettering)


pablohoney77's picture

not to be a party-pooper or anything, but the lettering says "cute" to me rather than "tuff" i dunno if that really matters at all. other than that the lettering is very nice, i just don't get a hard-edged vibe from the look as i do the name. just my two bits.

squeeze's picture

I like Gareth's suggestion

dana's picture

I should read the other comments before beginning my own... Although I usually don

dana's picture

If it doesn

hrant's picture

Dana, it didn't work, but I'm here to tell you not to give up trying to post your sketches!


dana's picture

well then... if hhp says it

dana's picture

This thread should be re-named

dana's picture

By this time, I

hrant's picture

Girl, exactly what are you doing?
Is it a GIF or a JPEG? Are you on a decent browser? Are you using hand-made HTML or the "Upload Attachment" button at the bottom?


pablohoney77's picture

Dana, emal it to me and i'll post it for ya ;^)

dana's picture

OK... OK... despite the embarrasment of inability to upload simple .gif

dan's picture

Paul, why does the logo have to look tough, its a ball team they're not going to war

hrant's picture

1) Sometimes Typophile is pretty flaky.
2) Try the "Upload Attachment" button (next to "Preview/Post Message") instead of code.

But in the end if your infamous sketch is no big deal, I'm just gonna get pissed. ;-)


hrant's picture

I think Paul's got a point. If it's a kids softball team, the "cutesy tough" angle is great, but otherwise some "edge" (not necessarily brutality) might help. Here's an idea: give the insides of the counters abrupt angle changes, or even a square cut, instead of smooth curves. Sort of like Industria, if you know what I mean.


pablohoney77's picture

here's dana's sketch:


pablohoney77's picture

I think Paul's got a point.
yeah on the top of his head!

but seriously, i like the "cute" logo. it just doesn't say "tough" to me. maybe it's too smooth, too curvy, too clean. to make it a bit more rugged, maybe give it a ruffer treatment: try distressing the letters, making the shapes more angular, or something i don't know will really work but: make the lettershapes a bit "bulgy" like muscles or sumfin. but then again that could be way too cheesy. just a couple ideas.
i really like dana's "u" as longhorn concept. i think with the right treatment, it could be a totally rockin logotype!

dana's picture

Paul - thanks very much... can you determine what I was doing wrong?

hhp - i can almost see the veins in your temple beginning to throb and your eyes beginning to bulge...


hrant's picture

Then I'm pissed-off-happy! Your idea is great. Just maybe make them more obviously horns, like curl them and pointy them more. Since the sport in question is probably not limited to graphic designers there's such a thing as too much subtlety.


Daniel Poindexter's picture

I'm not a particularly fast worker, so I'm having a bit of trouble keeping pace with all the suggestions that I really want to try out now. I very much appreciate all of the generous feedback.

I liked the idea of making the counter into a bevo shape, so here's a rough rendering of that. I'd also like to play around with David, Scott, and Dana's suggestions.

Also, I forgot to mention that the primary application of this mark is screen-printing on dri-fit jerseys.

The effect as I have rendered it is kind of jarring. I probably need to make it cut into the stroke width a good deal less, but this is the digi equivalent of rough sketch.

squeeze's picture

Maybe try making the sillhouette a little more subtle (perhaps losing the ears) and try finding a way to use the crossbar as the longhorns, using both the positive and negative space to illustrate the bevo.


myoung's picture

This looks like it's going to snap in half now. Not exactly what I would call tuff. I think your original sketch had a good start. I think mounting the logotype onto a bevo head shape makes it look more solid.

Daniel Poindexter's picture

I'm pulling a Frankenstein here. I got some great advice the first time around, but ultimately they were looking less in the "baseball" direction.

Actually, the first question I'm going to ask is more of a philosophical one: How do I convince them to go with something that I know is good over something that I know is bad? I'm not a professional designer, and I don't have any formal design education, but I can more or less tell the difference between good and bad. A few people on the team have their own ideas, but quite honestly they suck. Even if the ideas were good, they wouldn't have the technical skill to execute them properly.

What method do you use to deal with a client who apparently doesn't know what's good for themselves? I'm only the "expert" in this situation by default, but still...

Anyway, here is the new direction I'm trying to go. I'm actually really pleased with this idea. I think it's recognizable but still contains familiar references. I wanted something angular and geometric looking (see bottom), but still balanced.

Here it is Photoshopped onto a jersey. I think it works better with a light logo on a dark background:

I think my teammates really like the identity of another Ultimate tema, and are using that as kind of a mental starting point. Here it is for reference. This trucker hat was the best example I could find, but you get the idea.

Thanks again for the great critiques.

aaron_carambula's picture

I really enjoyed your original solution, though I did think it needed some angles to make it look "tuff."

This looks like a bovine snowflake, or maybe that's my up-coming colorado ski trip talking. I think the light on dark is not very aggressive, and I think that your original looked like a sports team, not just baseball, but with some angles it would have been good for football, or in this case, ultimate.

Let's talk lame clients. I always find it's good to take a back seat when fielding complaints, lying in wait for the right time to go at it. Let them air out all grievences and worries, there will be a lot. If your solution is the right one, you can tackle each complaint and catagorically prove your rightness.

Let's try it!
Lame Client (or teammate) "I don't like orange"
Killer designer (you) "Well in this case orange references our teams connection to texas and it's wild west herritage, while remaining exciting and active, like the sport itself."
Client: "Sweet! I get it, I kinda like it."

It migh take some work, but usually if you know what exactly is be hind the "i don't like that, i like this" then you can explain why your solution is good. They like the simple mark? Tell them it's old skewl and simple, but doesn't say who they are! The tuff mark is old skewl and simple, and with some angles (just an idea) would not only say "we rock" but also "we're team tuff, and don't you forget it! suckas!"

Ok I really ought to be practicing instead of preaching!

Happy monday!


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