Below is a reflection for the creation of my logo, as written for my university degree.
For the logo creative assignment, I wanted to develop on the logo for my webcomic and print anthology comic that I had developed some years ago, as I felt that whilst I liked the hand-made look and aspect of it, it looked quite rough and didn’t have enough dynamism for me anymore.
So, to begin with I had a look at some logos and comic fonts that inspired me in the naming of my site. I always imagined my comic to be a modern, and perhaps more subtle and philosophically complex, rendition of those great EC COMICS titles such as The Vault of Horror and Tales from the Crypt, which my own title was an homage to. I perused the internet to look at various fonts and logos associated with the EC Comics brand, which I have collected below:
Whilst I didn’t want my font to have the genre trappings of these titles, I was inspired by their layout and thought that a design in homage to these fonts would be appropriate. My eye also caught the film poster for the Amicus Films anthology film based on Tales from the Crypt, that debuted in 1972. I liked the more subtle font, and the layout with apostrophes.
The one problem I did have with this font was that it looked too much like a formal typed font. I wanted something a bit rougher, more hand-made. I recalled the work of Bernard Krigstein, an EC Comics artist who I have always respected, not just for the brilliant graphic quality of his work and the unusual way he drew environments and people (still feeling fresh even 70 years after his work was published), but also for the philosophical and historical depth of his work. His comic “Master Race” is one of the most incredible comics I’ve read, not just for it’s innovative use of depicting time via panel breakup (lauded by the likes of Art Spiegelmann) but for it’s brave approach to depicting the Holocaust in what must be one of the first times such a subject was depicted in the comics medium. I reread Master Race, and studied the title font he used.
Not only did I appreciate the simplicity of this font, but I loved the rough edges and the painterly look. I decided this would be something I incorporated into my logo.
I started off my designs with a few little sketches – circling the ones that I liked the most.
I decided to expand these three choices to bigger drawings, to understand the layout of these designs and think about how I could incorporate them onto my website and onto my the cover of my new print comic.
This first design was based on the comic logo of Tales from the Crypt. My concern was that by splitting the title over three rows, the height of the font would take up more than 1/3 of the cover of my print comic. I wanted something narrower. Additionally, I didn’t like the blocky font as it didn’t communicate by comics’ themes of the natural world, history, and folklore. I decided to set aside font choices until I came up with a design.
My second design came along a bit better. I much preferred the height and width of this logo as it allowed for the image on the front cover to occupy more space. However there were some more things I disliked about this logo. I didn’t like the quotation marks (from the Tales from the Crypt film poster) as I felt they threw off the balance of the design and would leave unoccupied space on any print edition around the letters. Additionnally, I didn’t feel that the “Tales” was emphasised enough; reading this logo, it felt like it read tales from the BORDER whereas I wanted it to read TALES from the BORDER.
My final attempt, based on The Vault of Horror came across much better. I felt that there was equal emphasis here, and I wanted to include a byline as well. The only issue was that I felt it became too blocky. So I decided in future I would indent and centre the top row and widen the bottom row, so that it looked like it was resting on the BORDER. With this decided I moved on to experimenting with my fonts.
I decided I wanted my main font to take inspiration from Celtic lettering, imbuing the logo with folkloric connotation. I wanted the reader to see the logo and feel the earthiness of the stories that would follow. In this mind, I was inspired by the work of artists such as Charles Vess and Dave McKean in their logo designs. For the “for the” and the byline, I wanted to have a more neutral font – I discarded Krigstein’s font as I felt it was too rough compared to the more organic Celtic fonts. I decided to go with my traditional comics lettering.
My first design I was quite happy with – I liked the lower case letters and the Celtic font. However, I had issue with the lower-case “from the” as I felt it was too complex – I decided on revision I would make it the same font as the byline. I also disliked the underlines on the “by”. I also wanted to make it vertically narrower. I also disliked the curly “S” in “Tales.”
My final revision I fixed these and I ended up adding the “anthology comic” to the byline to explain what it was. I was happy with the result. I scanned in the logo and heightened the contrast and turned the white to opacity on Clip Studio Paint so that it would work with having different backgrounds.