98 responses

  1. Timeless, I really like the simplicity and attention to detail. The organic version was quite nice too but the final design is definitely the winner. Good job David ;)

  2. I love the simplicity of it David, and am a huge fan of Gotham too, so great to see how it can be subtly tweaked to suit a purpose. Also nice to see that, even though you’re in Northern Ireland, you’re able to get jobs from all over the world!

  3. I am bookmarking this. What a great slowing of the process behind something as simple as a full typography logo. The amount of work and time that must have gone into it is amazing. I think this should be showed to all the people that scoff at typography only logos because they think no work goes into them.

    Really good job. I like it. Much improved over the past logo.


  4. First post here, so how do?

    I really like the logo, I think it works well at displaying the logo in a fresh and modern new light and is also very simple and spacious – fulfilling the international part and it being very easy for everyone, regardless language to read.

    If I were to change one thing however, and this is only a small picky opinion on a great design, would be to remove the left section of the crossbar of the ‘t’. The ‘t’ and ‘h’ seem to stand out a little for me, i think it is because you have edited the other letters but left the ‘t’ and ‘h’ pretty much untouched and them seem to look ‘plonked’ in the middle. Removing the left section of the crossbar might of given the middle of the logo a little more creative ‘twinge’ and settled better with the rest.

    But like i say, just a small picky point on a great design – nice to see your sketches and progress throughout the project.

    P.S. ‘plonked’ and ‘twinge’ are Yorkshire technical terms.

  5. I recently subscribed, and I must say, your feeds are probably the only ones I read in full.

    That said, I have to compliment you, not only on the above logo, but your work in general. It’s outstanding and very creative.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. Keep up the good work.

  6. I agree with Jim in that the ‘t’ in particular stands out in the logo. A more circular curve on the base of the ‘t’ to echo the circular curves of the other letters would make it much more seamless.

    As always, your description of your work and process is fascinating and insightful.

  7. Thanks, David. The organic version ended up being too natural, but worth a go.

    Phil, it’s pretty amazing how physical locations aren’t a barrier with clients, and it was a pleasure collaborating with my first in Japan.

    Jim, very well thanks and I hope you are, too. Great terms.

  8. Stellar work. Thanks for sharing your process. It does remind me a bit of the Brother type treatment which is similar. Please don’t take that the wrong way though. The Brother type seems ‘mashed’ together, whereas your treatment is like furniture shapes carefully placed on a floor plan.

    Also, there’s an elegance to your treatment – you’ve really delivered on the words and terms they wanted the new logo to express and represent. The spacing “feels” perfect here and the forms flow without having to be squished together. I really like the organic treatment as well, but the final choice fits the nature of the company much better.

    Dominique seems to be a very challenging client, but in a good way… It seems like the challenges presented to you have been reflected in the delivery of stunning results. The attention to detail really stand out. I agree with Jim above, but I almost want to see how the letter forms would work with the right side of the crossbar on the “t” removed leaving just the shorter left side so that the “r” flows into it? That said, I think it’s also important to know when to stop and when you have it “just right”. I think you really got this one just right.

  9. I think you made a good job of it, definatly and improvement on the 1990s logo, i think logos are sometimes best with out imagery, the final logo reminds me of the “brother” printer logo probably because of the b letter from, and you probaly hit all the key words he was looking for.

    not sure im keen on the alignment of the visit card white ink even tho its meant to wrap around the card. i guess its one of those things your meant to see in person tho.

    Good stuff.

  10. David,
    The logo looks very good. It’s clean and just the way I like it. I have never designed a logo but looking at the process, it does seem to be a lot of work and glad it has paid off.

  11. Gavin, always a pleasure welcoming a new subscriber.

    Ptamaro, each client brings a different challenge. Dominique has a team of talented designers to back him up, and I took their opinions on board throughout the process. Good of you to share some suggestions.

    Max, the idea with the wrapped logo on the card was to add visual interest — to have the information flow from front to back, whilst keeping the design as simple as possible.

  12. My favorite parts of this logo are the “e”s, without that simple element, this might/could be mistaken for an unaltered font. Thanks for showing us the before and after on the typeface, I love to see the process. Beautiful work!

  13. Thanks so much for taking us behind the scenes on this logotype process. The final product is outstanding.
    I actually think that you did the right thing by not chopping out the left end of the cross on ‘t’, though ‘e’ treatment is a bit out of place. But on the other hand, I think that the sticking out ‘e’ is very appropriate for this company—modern, classic, but with a quirk.
    Really well done!

  14. I like it, almost too simple for me but it really works on the business cards. It’s nice your client understands good design, I can’t think of very many of my previous clients who wouldn’t freak out when presented with a design that simple. Good job.

  15. I originally subscribed to your feed several months ago, but I must admit that I neglected to read it amid the mountain of work that’s been building since then. I finally sat down and caught up on what I’ve been missing.

    Thank you so very much for dissecting your creative process and sharing it. I’m an in-house designer working on a re-brand of the company I work for, and your posts have reinvigorated my passion for the project.

    Also, I just requested samples of the Plike paper form paper-papers.com. Thanks again!

  16. David, excellent job as usually. Love the visit cards. I do have to disagree with you on one thing though, and it has to do with your process and is subjective. Your comment “sketches allow for a free flow of ideas, un-restricted by computers” is misleading. This assumes that computers are limited and don’t allow a free flow of ideas. Personally, I think the opposite is true, at least for me. I keep sketches to a minimal and do them to just get a general idea down. I then move on to the computer where I’m much faster and can be more precise.

    In the end it’s up to the style of the individual but there is an attitude in the design community that one must ALWAYS start with sketches. I don’t agree with that at all.

    Anyway, awesome work.

  17. Vivien, thanks very much. The ‘e’ underwent a few changes that aren’t shown (as did the other characters).

    Jon, you’re more than welcome, and I hope you enjoy those Plike samples. It’s a very nice card.

    Antonio, when I want to record a thought or idea, the fastest way is to use a pen and paper. A tablet would do a similar job, but I don’t think a mouse pointer or keyboard compares. Choose what works best for you. One reason why I mention sketching is because a lot of new designers don’t seem to contemplate using a pen, not realising the benefit.

  18. I like this logo very much. But it leaves me a little mystified, as do practically all of your logos…

    I’m pretty young (experience-wise) in the design world, and one of the things I constantly struggle with is the balance between utter simplicity and complete encapsulation of a philosophy or message. This Berthier logo (and many of your others) is simple but refined, and strongly font driven, but the fonts you opt for are also very simple. I guess what I’m wondering is, at what point in the process do you know you’ve left the arena of just plonking down some bold fonts and words and a plain little icon, and arrived at brilliant, well-balanced design that sends the right message?

    Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting that *your* logos are just fonts, words, plain little icons. I’m saying that *I* sometimes spend weeks messing with fonts, words and plain little icons before I finally feel like I’ve hit on a solid, satisfying design. And sometimes I never do arrive. You, though, have the magic touch (and a stellar eye)!

  19. Great work David, really like it, its everything the brief described. Clean, modern, but exciting, I like the use and adaption of Gotham. Dealing with the negative and positive space when adapting typefaces can be tricky but you have pulled it off to great effect. Good work!

  20. Great simple modern design David and classy to boot.I’m starting to experiment with font customizing, but sadly it comes out looking like a dogs breakfast…can you offer any tips?

  21. David, I really like the simplicity of the logo, and I appreciate you explaining the design process.

    In your article you mentioned:
    the aim which was to find the right balance to work alongside Japanese Kanji.

    Could you elaborate a bit more on this? Kanji is the Chinese characters used in Japanese writing. There’s also Hiragana and Katakana. Kanji is more complex structure and less organic than the other two forms. How did you come up with the logo to compliment all three written forms?


  22. It’s good to be here. I always love the design process. All I can do to contribute is to share the same thing to the people of my mother tongue. Truly an inspiration. Designer icon. Keep up your good work!

  23. Great work. Love the simplicity. Do you ever share how much you charge for your logos? Or give a range, say for this one?

  24. Nice work David. I’m not entirely sold on the balance of the shapes, but that may be my hang-up! It’s certainly a big improvement on the previous logo and works well on the visit card and website. Btw, you know Google indexes Flash now?

  25. The rounded e and r looks sweet. But I’m surprised that the owner did not want any other art/vector as part of the logo – something that communicates the idea of their business.

  26. David,

    Congratulations on a great design and a satisfied client!

    I want to add that your feeds have helped me immensly by giving new insight and perspective to both general design and logos.

    Thanks for often giving us not only the finished design, but the process as well!


  27. David, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t accusing you of telling people how to design. I just wanted to add another point of view from someone who starts off with a computer and not a sketch book. It’s all subjective really.

  28. I personally am not bothered by the “t” and think this is great! Would have come up with something along the same lines if you had been given complete creative freedom? I liked their input and think that their logotype looks wonderful but I still wonder.

  29. Great design as always, I’m loving the font mods. The business cards turned out very nice as well.

    One thing I was confused on was the white “ink” that was used. From the picture it looks like the foiling used on your cards or possibly a spot uv coating.

  30. I really like what you have done David to the Gotham typeface especially the way you have rounded the ‘b’. This is a really nice logo. It is so much more professional and attractive than their old logo which did look a little dated. I Also really like the portrait business card or ‘visit card should I say. I usually always go for a landscape format when it comes to business card design but seeing your attractive portrait design has made me think that it is time I explored the portrait format. I think this is probably one of my favorite logos you have done and it will make an excellent addition to your impressive portfolio. Well done David.

  31. darn, I’m late…

    First thing I noticed about the logo, was how the _bowl_ of the ‘h’ and ‘b’ are non-circular, I think it adds character.Then Phil started complaining about the crossbar, what a schmuck ;)
    Also the ‘e’ seems a bit right-heavy compared to how well balanced the other letters are, but it seems the best solution as it is right now.

    Congrats and thanks very much for sharing!

  32. Richard, do you have your old typeface online? It’d be nice to have a look.

    Kristen, good question. You mention this:

    “…one of the things I constantly struggle with is the balance between utter simplicity and complete encapsulation of a philosophy or message.”

    It’s important to remember that a logo doesn’t need to encapsulate the whole message. I’d even say most effective logos don’t. Logos, primarily, are used as identifiers — symbols that help organisations stand apart from their competitors. You want the target audience to remember the logo, and often they’ll only catch a quick glimpse of the design, so simplicity aids recognition.

    Rob, Gareth, can you guess Gotham’s a favourite?

    Fabian, basically all the changes removed parts of the original text. So don’t add too much — first see if you can remove anything. Remember what Antoine de Saint-Exupery said:

    “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

    Jin, thanks for picking up on that. Berthier use Kanji in their marketing material, so it was important the logo was of a similar line-weight, to keep a level of consistency when shown together. Hiragana and Katakana weren’t mentioned, because, although I’m guessing here, they aren’t required for the stationery.

    Mary Ann, you’ll find a range of prices on my . Thanks very much.

    Steve O, come to think of it, I remember seeing that a few times floating through my feed reader. I can’t imagine it’s nearly as good as html though, is it?

    Deirdre, glad to know you’re enjoying the subscription. It’s a pleasure to have you as a reader.

    Antonio, no worries at all, buddy. I wasn’t taking it that way.

    Viola, I’m really not sure what direction I’d have gone. A part of my job is to interpret, and act upon the thoughts of my clients, which is why I enjoy working on personal projects too (for the extra freedom).

    Rick, I wondered if someone might ask that. I angled the card at just the right level to reflect the sunlight. Without it, the reversed logo isn’t very noticeable — something I’m discussing with Dominique for his next card run.

  33. David,

    Great final result – would be interested to see your process on the actual font modification process. There might be a blog post in there somewhere! It’s something I personally have never undertaken – but clearly makes a serious impact on the final delivered result – what tools are you using for the job etc?

  34. Great LogoType design.

    Whenever I do any design that will be printed I’m always worried about how it looks on my iMac vs how it will look on paper. What sort of steps do you go through to ‘calibrate’ your monitor so that what you design will be reflected on printed media? The black/white options for this logo won’t be an obstacle, but how did you decide on which shade of gray to use based on what you expected the printed result to be?

  35. I really enjoy these job breakdowns, this sort of approach would benifit almost any proffession. I personally find the organised clear headed model difficult to achieve, so I am taking notes, thanks David.

  36. You make it look SO EASY!

    This logo “before and after” is a great example of something “good” being made “better”!

    Isn’t it amazing how much a font can communicate? I’m just blown away by the tiny “alterations”.

    Thanks for sharing the process. Awe inspiring!

  37. Hi David, like many who have commented, I really like the design. I’d give you some positive criticism, but there isn’t much except the issues already raised.

    I was just wondering one thing. When you sent the files off to Dominique, what kind of black did you specify in the eps file? Is the reversed logotype over-laid on flat-black, or a custom CMYK mix (eg 60/40/40/100)? Also did you send him a ‘knocked-out’ version?

  38. I just discovered your blog and I really enjoyed this post and pretty much your blog overall.

    I’ve been interesting in going into the field of design but unfortunately my current university does not offer a solid graphic design program other universities in the area have but that does not stop me from trying to learn on my own!

  39. Paul, Rodrigo, those are nice ideas for posts, thanks.

    Jordan, I’m never 100% sure how a design will look in print when viewing it on a monitor. The print company you use, the ink, and the paper, will all have a bearing on the outcome. A proof should always be asked for.

    Pat, I’ve been involved with graphic design since back in 1995, when I first began my art and design studies.

    Andrew, Dominique was a client who was more than capable altering the filetypes himself (or having his designers alter them). A lot of filetype options weren’t necessary, so dealing with designers helps in that respect.

  40. Wow, what a glowing testimonial from Dominique! That must’ve felt good :)

    Was it a stretch for you to use only type to design this logo? Most of the ones you show us have a mark as well. You did an excellent job incorporating open, fresh and comfortable into the logo. I think this is one of my favorites of yours I’ve seen so far. Would you say this project was the most challenging you’ve worked on? I would’ve been so intimidated by Dominique!

  41. Hi David – a great result! When customising a font like this, it might have been interesting to let us see the different versions of modifications – assuming you had them and it wasn’t just an evolving process. To see versions where you went too far, or decided it wasn’t enough would be great to see!

  42. Lauren, I was delighted with the testimonial. This project was certainly one of my more challenging ones, but not because there’s no separate symbol — mainly because I was working with designers, so there was a lot more creative input from the client than usual.

    Ryan, I didn’t want to bore with too long a post, hence all the pieces I’ve left out, such as various modifications that were disregarded. It’s good to know you’d like to see them, though.

  43. Beautiful, I like it a lot – in it’s pure form and also ‘in use’.

    I think a lot can be achieved when adapting fonts, I often do this when designing and some of my favourite designs have adapted from altering font shapes.

    I was about to ask you ‘what font is that it’s gorgeous’, but then I spotted your explanation of how the letters evolved.

    It looks very good on their website also.

  44. Thanks Amanda. I’m pleased with the online display. On a few previous occasions I’ve had clients overly enlarge their designs and leave no breathing room.

    Mike, I used Adobe Illustrator — the profession norm.

  45. great work on this one. i always a sucker for a modified gothic typeface (especially gotham). it’s interesting to see so many ideas that lead back to something so elegantly simple.

  46. Hi David,

    I like very much your work in this logo, with the modifications on typeface you turn it very fresh. Thank you for share your process work.

    Best Regards!

  47. It’s a very fine logo. Simple, yet fitting. I do agree with an above poster who mentioned that the letter “t” may seem dominant, but to be honest; I don’t know what I would do to change it either. I love it regardless.

  48. Thanks for the incite into taking a standard font and editing it down to something unique. I would often steer away from doing this, thinking I was somehow cheating. Does that make sense? I would try to create my own font, which is sooo much more difficult. Rarely did I accomplish my goal. You’ve given me a great tool to use in the future. I love your Antoine de Saint-Exupery quote and was just telling a fellow designer about your site and design mantra this morning. Keep up the great website and killer design.

  49. Wow! I think one of the most rare yet most valuable gifts in life is the ability to balance between simplicity, exclusiveness and beauty. It’s what makes a designer stand out of the crowd. In smple terms, this logo, and so many others you have done portray that. U really are one special man at your job! Keep it up and thanks for the warmly site.

  50. Hi David,

    Just came across your website… you sure have made a great improvement on the clients previous logo design. It’s clean and simple… I like the typography… it works well as company’s signature trademark.


  51. am bookmarking this. What a great slowing of the process behind something as simple as a full typography logo. The amount of work and time that must have gone into it is amazing. I think this should be showed to all the people that scoff at typography only logos because they think no work goes into them.

    Really good job. I like it. Much improved over the past logo.

  52. I loved to see the way in which you explored different options. Gave a great insight into the mind of a wonderful designer. I still wonder if changing typeface for the ‘e’ was a good idea, doesn’t the original lettering look more professional, since the client is an architecture firm? Not criticizing your work by any means, but just wondering nevertheless.

  53. Oooh David, this Logotype is refeshingly fresh! Guess what: I’ve bookmarked your site in a special folder which I’ve dedicated to personal research/studies in graphic design, typography and brand identity design. Only the best goes into this special folder, mind you Cheers. :-)

  54. Again, great work… I hope to see more of your design show up around the world.

    Isn’t it great how the Internet works and the world is definitely becoming a global village?

  55. I just love this logo, it’s actually one of my favourites. I was wondering it was possible for you to give us a better picture (can’t see the words in the pictures above) or even a blog of the way you Mind Map your work, especially for logotype logos

  56. Hi David, I really love your entire site! Thank you very much for sharing all your knowledge. It’s very humble and generous of you to show us your creative process and your honest work. You have a big fan in Caracas, Venezuela.


  57. David,

    After a year of traveling, I am entering the design world again, even though i had only barely stepped foot in previously! I graduated in 2008, worked as a “freelancer” (Hahaha! I loved your article on the term:)!! ) on very few projects and then left suddenly to work with an international missions agency.
    I was so nervous about trying to re-engage in this industry that moves so quickly and waits for no man!
    I have been perusing your sight the last few days, after visiting a multitude of others and can easily say that yours is the BEST.
    The type of information (behind the scenes type) that you are offering here is SO inspiring, and truly shows you passion for design. I appreciate the level of dedication you put in.
    You can always tell who designs for money and who does it with his whole person!

    Way to go!

  58. A year traveling, Bethany? I hope you had an amazing time, doing good deeds across the globe. Thanks for reading some of my blog posts, and for the compliment, too.

  59. David, every time I drop by to check things out I am amazed at how simple things come to life so easily. Thanks for posting. Great work as usual.

    Dan DuBose

  60. This is great David. Love watching the process of the design and seeing how you treated the Gotham type and made the logotype. Clever approach the to the clients needs and the design full fills all of the criteria. I enjoy your blogs and find them very helpful.



  61. Hi there this is really good. Is this a font or is it just for this particular logo? I mean do you design this in something like illustrator? I’ve never really known how it’s done. Can you shed some light on this please if you see what I’m asking?

  62. I really enjoy seeing your process, this sort of approach would benefit almost any profession. I don’t usually take this approach but its a more organized one, so I am taking notes, thanks. Ronnie.

  63. I am a current student of graphic design.

    Seeing your process really inspires me, and affirms to me that going back to pen and paper IS, indeed, very crucial and necessary.

    So props, and thank you.

  64. WOW! Thank you for showing your design process, it’s refreshing to see that my own (what I thought were) chicken scratchings are actually valid within the design process.
    You’re such an inspiration to a new (hope to be successful) designer.
    Warm regards,
    Adelaide, South Australia

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