Logo refresh

apankrat's picture

Exploring some options to refresh a software company logo.

The company has a very strong focus on thinking through and developing polished user experiences. Not just the pretty interfaces, but the interaction flows. Trying to build simple, intuitive and smart software basically.

Existing logo is a temporary one, simple FF Din:

The revised version:

I have mainly focused on selecting the right typeface for it, and trying to communicate the simplicity, elegance and clarity through it. This is Proxima Nova.

So the question is if the change is working. Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks.

microspective's picture

Simple and elegant. The type feels a bit dense (tightly set, that is; not stupid!). Consider tracking out the letters a bit. This will dictate whether or not to adjust the leading, too.

Chances are that the logo looks awesome when it fills your screen, but set as small as it is above (and smaller), legibility definitely becomes an issue.

I know I'm probably preaching to the choir; you probably know all that already. I promise I'm not just spewing off standard "rules." Sometimes those rules are appropriate, sometimes they exist to throw them out the window. This, however, seems to be a case for the former!

apankrat's picture

Thanks for the comments, Raymond.

I will play with tracking and leading. Strangely enough I am actually happy with tracking, even at this size, it's the leading that bothers me. If I purge my mind blank and look at it with fresh eyes, the amount of white space above and below the text seems excessive. Especially below. But the longer I look the more balanced it becomes.

apankrat's picture


This is the short list of about 30 typefaces that I have gone through. Ignoring obvious kerning issues, I wonder what would everyone's pick be?

Jon Evenchen's picture

Hey Alex! Out of all of these I like Priva, its simple, clean and contemporary and in my opinion, the most fitting.

FF Utility, Geogrotesque or Klint LT Pro would be a nice evolution in style to FF Din...or you could go with slightly more 'relaxed' faces like maybe Breuer Text or Dobra.

But as far as the simplicity and elegance your looking for, I think that Proxima Nova or Alright Sans are the most simple and elegant...its that geometric aspect in the design along with their humanist qualities...it just looks so good! :)

Op45's picture

Not a huge fan of the more condensed typefaces like Trade Gothic or the Helvetica. Conqueror Sans looks perhaps a tad light next to the horizontal bars. Like Jon, I like Priva a lot; the G adds a nice touch too. I think I'm between that one and Proxima Nova, which has a great simple elegance to it. Alright Sans does look good as well though.

apankrat's picture

Jon, thank you very much for the list. Bookmarked all of them.

Claire, I don't particularly like condensed ones either. Included them just to have some alternatives on the list. Conqueror is in fact a light weight, the only weight available at the moment (link), which is a pity. It's a really nice typeface.

Priva, eh? Hm. If it only were a bit wider... but then it wouldn't be Priva, would it? :)

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Design by committee in the works.

apankrat's picture

Where exactly, Frode?

Steven Acres's picture

Design by committee in the works.

Agreed. It's a little weird for a designer to post 8 or 10 designs and ask for other people to pick which one. You have the "design" part down... font choice is your [relatively small] decision. Posting 8 different choices that are all so similar for us to pick is weird. Just my two cents.

Lex Kominek's picture

I say stick with your gut and go with Proxima.

- Lex

apankrat's picture

@Lex - thanks, yep.

@Steven - I am my own client in this case, and as you probably know it is hard to design for oneself. Hence the question. And it's not like I am torn between these choices and cannot make progress. I posted it partly because I am just curious to see what others would've picked, and partly for a bit of an entertainment.

Not everyone's thing, I understand, but snide remarks like Frode's are really nothing more than basic trolling. Don't add anything, but detract a lot.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Yes, a bit snide indeed. It does however add a lot: You as a designer shouldn't just pick type based on everyone else's opinion, you should know why you choose what you choose and make educated decisions. And in those rare cases you make a decision based on a feeling, that feeling really oughta be your own. Posting the question here definitely adds nothing.

I know designing for yourself is a pain, so good luck with that!

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Anyway, you need to step back and think through what your type choice should evoke as well as the technical and stylistic requirements you might have apart from the logo alone. That should narrow down the possibilities.

apankrat's picture

To answer in your own style - "Yes, and 2+2 is 4".

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Alex: It was not my intention to insult you. Please forgive me if I did.

JoergGustafs's picture

Hi,

in terms of ‘timeless modernity’, simplicity and a technical look (not too bad for a software company) DIN beats all of your alternatives IMHO. Both Helvetica and Trade would be a huge throwback. To me, the geometric ones lack impact in times of Gotham’s omnipresence.

In case you are looking for something closer to DIN, but fresher, more open and a tad more dynamic, I can recommend Ole Schäfer’s Notes, Notes Soft or Notes Style http://www.primetype.com/faces_info.php?fid=19
There’s also a monospaced version available.

Not sure if this is what you’re looking for though.

apankrat's picture

@Jörg - Thank you for the opinion, made me reconsider DIN. The only reason I started looking for DIN replacement was that I threw current logo together in a matter of 10 minutes, so I always viewed it as something temporary and in need of further refinement. Perhaps it needs none.

Also I think this comment - the geometric ones lack impact in times of Gotham’s omnipresence - is spot on. Gotham indeed seems to be heading the way of Copperplate, if not Papyrus.

Notes Soft looks very interesting. I am sitting here and going back and forth between it and Geogrotesque, that's in addition to Stainless (condensed) and Karbon.

apankrat's picture

Went back to FF DIN, but used a heavier weight and slightly rounded it. This seems to look pretty decent, however G and O could have been a bit wider...

Thoughts?

riccard0's picture

I see what you mean, especially about Os.
I also would try to experiment a bit with spacing.

apankrat's picture

Thanks, Riccardo.

Sketched out alternative O and G (still need to be cleaned up, this is just a vectorization of a pencil sketch) -

Thoughts?

kattttor's picture

ooo, nice G

apankrat's picture

Yay :) Thanks, Peter.

How about this one? Trying to cut down on the amount of white space inside G.

kattttor's picture

yeah that is better than the first one.

Op45's picture

I agree, liking the new O a lot. While I do like the G without the horizontal bar as a letter by itself, I do think this new version works much better in context. A big improvement over the original G from your 4th September post too.

microspective's picture

This last one is excellent.

Are you ditching the open enclosure, or just magnifying the type here for detail?

FWIW, I'd keep the enclosure, with optional/conditional usage or omission.

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

I like your rounded DIN.

I would also second a look at PrimeType’s Manual Sans small caps... you might like that too.

Mike Diaz :-)

apankrat's picture

Great to hear that, guys. Thanks a lot for the feedback, it really helps.

Raymond, I will probably drop the enclosure. The idea was to shape the logo into a square, which it did, but apparently square-shaped logos are rather inconvenient to work with in an online context (read - to design a website around). I like the idea of optional omission though, thanks.

Tweaked more letters. Opened up and widened Y, dropped A's crossbar, reshaped the bowl of D to match the curves of O/G and inflated R's bowl a bit. Here's the summary of changes, original FF Din on top:

nina's picture

Ah, you're entering detail-tweak land now. Nice. :-)
Just a few quick things – mind the salt, of course…
The "N" seems potentially too wide (?), and its joins dark.
I like the new "G", but I wouldn't make the crossbar quite as short in the context of this font… and try to make the angle of the top terminal consistent with things like the "S" ([more] perpendicular to the stroke).

Also: In a word like SOFTWARE you're really setting yourself up for trouble trying to space it this tightly. The F_T and also T_W create these large holes next to which everything else seems too tight. It might become more even if you loosen everything up a bit.

apankrat's picture

Thanks for the comments, Nina. This can certainly turn into those multi-page threads focusing on getting a couple of subpixels right :)

The "N" seems to be OK width-wise, but I hear you regarding the joins. Good catch with the terminal cut off angle - totally missed that. Though I was thinking changing S's terminals instead of G's as it could make the S look more open and.. erm.. "airy".

I'll try wider tracking, see if it helps with FTW vs WARE differences.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Detail-tweak land :)

Simon CV B's picture

Well done, going on the trip into detail-tweak land.
I'm with Nina, try to extend the G-crossbar just a tiny bit (tiiiiny bit).Perhaps it's just my eyes being used to DIN, but it's looks a bit cut-off. Great progress though! Liking the rounded DIN a lot.

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