Progress report 9/11: Logo Design Case Study

I was going to work on the checkout flow and the logo today. I ended up spending all of my time on the logo.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can tie Truthaboutdesign, my personal brand and my new collective, the Jamal Nichols Group, together in one big brand architecture.

This is my current logo:

It’s okay I guess. I had it designed by Swiss designer Alexandra Broenimann in 2012. I like the lettershapes, but the crest seems dated and cheesy. To be fair, out of the options she showed me, this was not the one that she recommended I take.

I need something new. I decided to redraw the letter shapes and simplify the crest:

I also started to experiment with different letter shapes. One that I particularly like is this one:

There’s something very primal and powerful about the shapes in that second variation. It’s also slightly more distinctive at smaller sizes.

In parallel, I was thinking about the Truthaboutdesign logo. I was thinking of symbols of truth that aren’t too obvious. I stumbled across the egyptian symbol for truth and balance:

Image result for egyptian symbol for truth

It’s the symbol of Maat, the ancient egyptian goddess of Maat.

She was the was the goddess of harmony, justice, and truth. From Wikipedia:

Maat was the spirit in which justice was applied rather than the detailed legalistic exposition of rules. Maat represented the normal and basic values that formed the backdrop for the application of justice that had to be carried out in the spirit of truth and fairness.

Her symbol is the feather that she wears on her head. In ancient egyptian mythology, after you die, your heart if weighed against her feather. If your heart is lighter than her feather, you’ve lived a virtuous life.

Anyway, cool idea and fits with the concept of truth I’m looking to pursue with this project. Something else interesting happened as I worked on this. Take a close look at the negative space in the first letter shape:

If you invert that… get the upper part of Maat’s feather. It seemed like one of those magical moments where things just fit together. Also the slab serif I’m using for large headers on this site, was originally called “Egyptian Font”

I rolled with that concept, and this is what I came up with:

I sharpened the shape at the bottom, so now it has the double meaning of Maat’s feather, and the old feather quills that scribes used to write with:

Related image

I’m happy with the end result. More than good enough for an MVP:

2 thoughts on “Progress report 9/11: Logo Design Case Study”

  1. Jamal,
    I like this update a lot. I also think you showed/communicated your process well. Thank you for sharing! I’m glad to have the opportunity to learn from designers like you.

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