Logo: Sktchy

Pentapus's picture

This is a logo for a personal project that i hope encourages friends/colleagues and students to draw more.
At the moment its a small group of us that use to draw regularly but have lost touch with the art form because of our careers. Even as designer its very hard to find time to draw simply for pleasure and for sharing.

The logo began as Calgary from Veer but has been tweaked based on how I've tried to recreate it by hand organically.
I hope you like it and can give me some feedback.

eliason's picture

It's a little odd that the y tail turns so straight and angular after all those cursive curves.

penn's picture

It's a little odd that the y tail turns so straight and angular after all those cursive curves.


riccard0's picture

It make it seem almost like all the letters are crashing Wile E. Coyote-style to a sudden alt. It make me read it "Skreeech" ;-)

Alaskan's picture

1. It doesn't look sketchy. It looks...painty.
2. Looks too much like the Sharpie Logo.

Pentapus's picture

@eliason Thanks i thought so too. The y is a struggle. I wanted to highlight it at the end but I'll attempt a curved version.

@Alaskan i think you're taking the name too literally. Hand painted signage and tags are a big part of why we started drawing in the first place. Even though I implied pencils when i said drawing Sharpies, paint pens and gel pens were always a big part of what we liked. I probably should have explained that.

Pentapus's picture

Quick attempt at 2 new tails
Is any flourish needed? Does it remove the Wiley Coyote effect?
My concern is that it looks more like a font with a curved y.

Pentapus's picture

double post

Pentapus's picture

Round 2

ophello's picture

love example 1 in round 2. the straight tail of the 'y' has spunk to it. perhaps it should be a tad longer?

TKDesign's picture

I second the straight descender on the 'y'.

evanbrog's picture

I think the straight tail on the y is really nice in that it's harmonious to see a descender which mirrors the ascenders.

Tomi from Suomi's picture

How about a good finish?

To match that start?

Pentapus's picture

@ophello / TKDesign / evanbrog
Thanks glad to see a favorite emerging. I'm liking the balance of that one as well.

@Tomi I like what you did. Thats one solution to the curve vs angled issue I had earlier.

any other issues besides the "y" i feel like i could fixate on that for a month.
I'm noticing the end of the "h" doesn't really come down to the baseline like the "t".
Anything else?

Tomi from Suomi's picture

You should bring the spur of 'k' up like that of 'h'. You are not making a font. Forget the baseline. And I would drop the base of 'c' as well. But that's me.

ZehnKatzen's picture

I very much enjoyed the playoff between the "straight" parts of the descender of the Y and the loopy curviness of the rest of it. Since I just arrived here (via a Tweet, no less), I've got to say that the version in the original didn't bother me at all ... but if it had to evolve, this last evolution is really working for me. The nature of the line is organic enough that its straightness is a pleasant contrast rather than a discordant visual note.

With the new thickened tail on the end of the loop of the Y, I think its right where it needs to be. I enjoy looking at it.

WRT to the rest, as Tomi says, you're not making a font. The unnevenness in the bottom of the miniscule "h" harmonizes very nicely with the rest of the design; I enjoy its quirkiness. It also seems to echo the design of the miniscule k, though, because of the way everything connects, it's not obvious.

I think it nifty!

lastraw's picture

nice! Here's a play to emphasize the odd "ktchy"

apankrat's picture

Straight descender for me as well.

But what's with the name itself? Is it domain name availability driven?

DavM's picture

The name itself is hard to read / recognize. I don't think it makes a good combination with such fluid letterforms. Maybe little tweaks on the slant angle and letterforms contrast could make significant changes.

Pentapus's picture

I think the straight descender has won out in the end. At this point the other versions either seem too flourished or feminine. I'll work out some variations though.

@Tomi you were right. I actually established a baseline and it kind of neutered everything.

@apankrat/DavM The name came organically actually. I find it very legible but I also find most graffiti tags/throw-ups legible even though there is more interest in the form than the legibility. In that way my concept for the logo was probably destined for this kind of problem. The subtraction of a vowel comes from a passing web trend. I am a web designer by profession.

I'll work on the angles. The slant might be too harsh or the spacing might need work.
Before I do that I'll probably test it out. I've looked at it too long to judge how easily it reads.

ophello's picture

I couldn't help it and I drew up a rough mock-up with a loopy "y".

Charles_borges_de_oliveira's picture

I thought your first Y was actually quite nice. The angular descender gave it character. Symmetry can often bore a design.

jhdp's picture

All of this feedback is great: insightful comments, re-worked samples, an educated critique. But I feel like everyone is missing the point. We all know that most handwritten fonts are terrible; the second you realize that all your Es look exactly the same (and so on), it is very easy to abandon said fonts and, by extension, hand rendered letterforms. But, in the end, it doesn't matter how the Y looks; if you were ever to use it, you would surely alter it to fit the vibe of your design. You could render the font in Illustrator, add a finely tuned vector to make that Y just right, but you would still be neglecting the other 5 letters. On the other side, if you were to use the "Sktchy" lettering as a reference, a hand rendering would be cognizant of structure as well as a client's preferences while maintaining the fluidity and seemingly inconsistent nature of handwriting. The resulting piece is technically and visually sound. By definition, graffiti is without intended structure, but if you were to apply a structure to it, you bridge the gap and open yourself up to a very marketable style. Thus, we should spend more time drawing and less time being robots...

Alaskan's picture

@jhdp: Are you aware this is not a font under development? It's a logo.

Pentapus's picture

@ophello I like the line quality a lot. It kind of highlights a problem too. There is this desire for a big finish but then that creates this distraction fromt he rest of the word. I think thats why people keep saying they like the simpler descender.

@jhdp I'm confused too. This logo will not be transformed in to a font and I dont plan to replicated the style for different words/lock ups. I also disagree that most handwritten fonts are terrible. They just dont have the practicality and adaptability of other types of fonts. I do like the idea of designers drawing more in place of relying on fonts but thats a very different skill and not always appropriate.

jhdp's picture

Sorry, that was a horrible explanation. Let me try again:

When I first read the post, I thought pK touched on a really interesting idea, the importance of occasionally removing yourself from professional constraints to relax, draw something, and remember why you enjoy what you do. I read the "Sktchy" layout as an encouraging example, "this is what I did, now you try." I hadn't intended to comment, but I happened to scroll down and saw some of the previous responses. I expected to see people posting their own experiments, maybe discussing the possibilities of hand rendered letterforms, but I just felt like I was in a Creative Department meeting, and it was disappointing. I have been working with psychedelic typography a lot recently, and, in the process, I have spent a lot of time analyzing every aspect of creating hand-rendered compositions that are interesting and retain structure and visual continuity without being repetitious (which is where the graffiti and handwritten font comments came from). I guess I took issue with the idea that, with the comments I read, it seemed like no one took the time to draw anything, they just vectored alterations to the Y form. Having discussed hand-rendering with pK in the past, I felt like there was more substance to the idea, especially when applied to web graphics, because no one really does hand-rendering for web and it seems to have become a neglected resource. I agree that it is not always appropriate, but, in the event that it is, it can be extremely tedious if you're out of practice (which I was going into this project), thus the importance of trying to remain in the habit of drawing, even without a specific purpose. That is what I was trying to say before; my apologies for the way it came out the first time.

typerror's picture

Jonathan (because you seem thoughtful) and Pentapus (who posed the inquiry)

I spend my days with brush and pen... not a "drawing pen." The vectorized form is the final stage for me... but as a result of honing the forms beforehand it is simply a digital process.

I stayed out of this as I can sometimes become overbearing when those who haven't a clue chime in and impose their ill informed opinions.

You have to understand the characteristics of what the individual tools "lay down" as a result of their very architecture. This piece is most definitely brush inspired so why not start with a brush, then you can chisel away at the unwanted. Your weights are all over the place, but the first "y" was fine. Turn it upside down and paste it to the wall and live with it for a couple of days... then you will see what is right or what is irking you. Look for holes, light spots, black masses etc.

All handwriiten fonts are not terrible... you just have to be judicious with what you buy (because there is a lot of junk out there) and how you use it. I once encountered a font that I absolutely abhored but then saw it used in a careful way. It was stunning and I was surprised. Hell I would have bought it as a result of the creative directors careful use of it in a project.

Anyway, since it is your project, take your time.

Tomi from Suomi's picture

While being scared by Michael, try to make your mind. He has a lot of good points. I've tried them, and they have worked. Many times. Just try to have locig with what you do. My logic was to add that loop. Think about that. Work your own.

typerror's picture

Wasn't trying to scare him Tomi :-)

apankrat's picture

Not to hijack the thread, but -

Michael, I wonder if you know of any software that emulates brush/pen movement for the purpose of type design? What I mean is something like this - I draw a skeleton of a letter, which is an approximation of a path of a tip of a brush. The software then would trace the brush along the path modifying its shape depending on various parameters such as the curvature and inclination of the path. So, for example, sharper bends would be constructed with a brush shape than is different from that of long straight segments.

I had an idea of writing a tool like this just to play and experiment with, but I'd rather not to if it already exists. TiA.

typerror's picture

I am sure there are Alex. Photoshop has a brush tool, as does Fontographer and I am sure many others. But, do you know the reason after 29 years I still start with ink on paper, it is not forced, it is prone to happy accidents and it is truer! I think that the digital age, people drawing on screen, has produced ill informed letters and, well, to be honest, sub par forms. The true nature of the calligraphic stroke is being lost to people who "draw" and/or digitize.

Years ago when I produced Pouty, the final nerd in the process changed a couple of the forms. I called and asked why... her response was a pen could not do that. I asked her if she had ever even held a pen and she said no. At that point I told her if she changed one little thing I would come up there and rip the font from the foundry and... and enough said.

But keep experimenting with the digital process and I will with ink.


Pentapus's picture

Not sure there is reason to fear Michael. I am taking my time though and I think a return to physical mediums could help finalizing the forms I want to change. I'll get back to this thread once work dies down and the logo is nearly finished.

@apankrat I think Michael has a good point about actually trying to use a pen/brush. BUT if you do want to go ahead with the using a path to fake the effects of a brush Photoshop and Illustrator cover that pretty well. Actually in illustrator CS5 there are new features to create variations in strokes.

typerror's picture

Basically the effect he is trying to achieve is "waisting." It is very evident in many of the advanced lettering artists' forms. It is rather difficult to control without the complete understanding of the tool and much practice. Most of the time it is best used with restraint (calligraphers work) but it is very evident, and effective, in many sign painters work. Latitude with the technique is dependent on many factors, but most often, in my opinion, it is size. Without being preachy that is what I was trying to say above.

Tomi from Suomi's picture

What Michael is trying to say is that drawing is better than buggering with bezier curves. And I agree. And really, he is not scaring anybody, even if he tried. Sorry about that comment.

But I must now challenge him: I made a brush font that is just now used in Christina Aquilera single:


And this typeface saw ink the very first time I took my first printouts of it. Before it was just ideas.

Very Platonic, I just realised.

typerror's picture

Was the font not informed by years of understanding though? That is the point I tried to make.

Tomi from Suomi's picture

It was, and your point is in fact well made, and also to the point.

DrCAS's picture

The underscore is a great idea to tie it all together but, IMO, needed a little more movement to make it work. I also skewed the lettering up on the right and tightened up the spacing on the bottoms of the letters to eliminate so of the awkward negative spaces.

1996type's picture

Why not use the sketched version as your actual logo?

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