For my project, I'll be working on a logo that I am currently creating for a client. The company, Disrobe, will make casual (but nice) leisure robes.
Below is my initial sketch for the idea I want to execute on. The letterforms will begin to "ripple" near the baseline, which I want to evoke the image / feeling of draped fabric. I think this will make a unique and memorable identity for the brand. My goal will be to strike a balance between artistic expression and readability.
Here's a second sketch I did of the letters, where I attempted to create a more distinct flow from left to right, while also minimizing the amount of distortion.
For the final, vectorized version, I figured it would be worth finding a font which already had the features I wanted, which boils down to a subtle thick-thin relationship and rounded serifs. Lighter weights of Cooper get close, but Souvenir ends up being pretty dang close.
Before distorting the font to create the ripple effect, I will need to spend time altering and re-building some of these letterforms. This is a pain-staking process, but I love the challenge and never skip an opportunity to create custom letterforms for clients, since it produces a more own-able identity. My main goal will be to slightly condense the letters (with compensation for thickness and curves of course) and alter some features I don't love like the leg of the 'R' and the arms of the 'R' and 'B.'
Here's a look at customizing the first few letters. By condensing the letterforms, I've already saved myself the width of nearly an entire character. I'm lightly modifying the serifs that came with the font to make them a little more elegant and breaking the bowl of the 'R' open to hint at some antique lettering that I thought would be a nice feel for this brand. This will be my first pass — after getting the basic shapes worked out, I'll fine tune the curves and visual weight of the letters white adjusting the white space between them.
Along with some super minor adjustments to the existing letters, I created a 'B' and 'E' to finish the first pass at the fully customized letter forms. Tomorrow I'll go through Jessica's checklist for all of the visual items (letter weight, width, style, negative space, etc.) to ensure that there is consistency throughout the mark and that all handles and anchors are dialed. Once I'm done with that I can start creating the custom ripple marks .
(updated Feb 6) — Here's where I ended up with the letters, and a look at some of the guides I used.
Here's a first pass at adding ripples to the type. It's far from being 'dialed in' at this point, but sometimes I think it's good to push things to the point where they are definitely not working, so that you can dial it back to somewhere that feels more comfortable / successful. I'm hoping to refine the forms to a point where it's obvious that they are altered, but in a non-distracting way.
After this first pass, I printed out this page to quickly play with options for handling the ripples. It's much quicker to do this with paper and pencil than actually pushing pixels around in Illustrator. I marked the options that felt the best, then got back into Illustrator.
Here's where I landed after working through a few revisions:
The rippled version will only be used at large sizes and for special occasions or marketing opportunities. The primary mark for the brand, and what will be used for woven labels on the apparel will be the non-rippled finalized letters: