Evolution of a Logo: Nuance
Professional logo design is demonstrated in a series, from concept to completion. In this last post of the series, I will point out the final touches, those nuances that take a design from very good to excellent, and elevate it to the professional level.
Author’s note: If you are an ampersand fan, check out the fun & fabulous art series featuring the ampersand, at AmperArt.com
Here is the final logo with areas of adjustment and refinement highlighted:
Nuance area #1: Flame effect
The flames were rendered in a vector drawing program (Illustrator) which allows them to be scaled as large as necessary (billboards, banners, projections onto walls) with no loss of resolution. That leaves a hard edge, which is suitable for many large-scale purposes. But for print and web, as well as the animated flame effect for the film titles, a more realistic fire was rendered by smudging, blurring, and adjusting the transparency of each flame’s layer.
As for nuances, there are also conceptual details to be considered. I pulled the typical reds and oranges from the flames and left it a creamy color, to relate to the company’s name, Vanilla Fire.
Nuance area #2: Positioning
Notice how the flames are strategically placed so the tips are between the letters, not behind. They still appear to be dancing wildly and randomly.
Nuance area #2: Lettering
Our last post explained how adjusting the letter strokes, curves and points improved the appearance of the text on a straight line, used for the logotype (the type-only representation of a company’s name). Here the same principles have been applied to lettering on a curve for the logo itself.
Nuance area #3: Balance
The film reel is rotated so that the same amount of area in the reel’s large holes is revealed behind the V on the left and the F on the right. Similarly, the small holes near the center are cropped by the stem of the V. This asymmetrical balance looks pleasing and professional. The reel’s angle of rotation, not quite on a horizontal or vertical axis, gives it a sense of motion.
Nuance area #4: Color and effect
Gold was selected as the primary color for the logotype. It complements the red and yellow and cream hues of the flames and other elements of the logo. Gold suggests richness and class and is suggestive of the “golden era” of movies. The reflected colors are those of the various hues in the logo. To add a glamorous touch as well as contrast, a deep bronze rail outline was added to the main logo letters.
Nuance area #4: Symmetry
The tail of the “F” is a mirror image of its top portion. The “V” follows as far as possible, but then has to form an apex at the bottom. This creates a form of symmetry known as asymmetrical balance, in many cases more pleasing than pure symmetry.
Nuance area #5: Concentric alignment
The parallel strokes are carefully drawn to give the illusion of perfectly even space between them. The top element (“V”) actually curves in slightly, narrowing the space between it and the top of the “F” below. This is an optical device to create a more comfortable image.
Nuance area #6: Prominence
The top bar of the wing is the same color value as the letters “V” and “F” because it is actually part of those letters. The next two bars of the wings are increasingly lighter in value. This adds depth to the logo, but also accentuates the top bar which creates the lettering.
Here is the final logo, set against the color that will be its background in most instances. But of course there will be times when the logo is printed on different color apparel, or on white paper, or appear against a shot of sky or other image in a film, so alternate background colors are shown below as the final presentation to the client.
As mentioned above, to ensure the logo can be used for any purpose in any situation, it is tested against several background colors. These samples are presented in a Brand Identity Guide, along with instructions for placement, margins, typography and color palette, to help the client’s marketing, graphic design and web design departments maintain the integrity of their new brand identity, of which the logo is the central element.
I hope this series has enlightened you in the art and logic of creating a professional logo. If you have questions about brand identity and logo design please contact me: email@example.com
If you are an ampersand fan, check out the fun & fabulous art series featuring the ampersand, at AmperArt.com