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Koshmaar

Rate my "Magic pencil" logo

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Hi guys, here's an alpha version of logo for my current project, Magic pencil: Do you like it? If not, why, and how could it be improved? I'm particulary concerned about the layout of all the elements: "Magic", "pencil", pencil itself and the little magic explosion thing. Pencil itself and explosion are only quick sketches and are going to be redrawn.

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I like the font and style of the word Magic. It reminds me of smoke, which is obviously a positive reaction to something having to do with magic. How well will that scale down though? Maybe soften the dropshadow (i.e. more blurred and less opaque).

The strokes comming from the pencil are also nicely done and add to the composition. They remind me of many olympic logos a little bit, which could be an effective allusion depending on what your project is about.

I don't like the 'pencil' text. I dont think its the font itself, but the fact that there are too many different elements that the logo seems sporadic. Ans since 'pencil' is the last one you see, it seems wrong. What you could try is making the pencil much larger, and using it as an underline for the whole word 'magic'. It could even go through the loop on the 'g'. You could then emboss or stamp the word 'pencil' on to the pencil itself. The font you have for pencil could still work in that case, I think.

You may find, though, that the pencil style doesn't match everything else. I'm not sure what to do about it though. I also assume you will sharpen the pencil graphic. It looks like it was poorly scaled. The edges need to be better anti-aliased.

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It's not bad, but it's not brilliant either. Without knowing more about what the logo is for, it's hard to judge how well it fits the purpose.

I'll try and throw out some advice, but take it all with a grain of salt.
So, some general points, in no particular order, are:

- the dark drop shadow around the text, getting lighter as it gets closer, then a black outline, then some white highlighting, is overkill for emphasising the text. It also makes it much harder to read then plain text. If you want an effect, just chose one and run with it.

- the white highlighting on the text makes the text look like it is aliased - even though it isn't. Get rid of the noise.

- "magic" & "pencil" are not only different fonts, but have different effects. Keeping things consistent will make a collection of varied "bits" look more like one logo.

- you wanted some comments about the layout. Again, without knowing about the game/project/studio, it's hard to tell, but as it is, I'm expecting to play a game about magic, which incidentally has a pencil in it and may be about drawing. If the game centers around a magic pencil, perhaps there needs to be a bit more parity between the sizes of the text. If you do this, then the pencil will need to move - it can probably be scaled up and lie horizontally underneath the words. Another suggestion would be to have the pencil at an angle, leaning over the text from one side. It would have to be exaggerated/cartoonist to make the logo balanced enough.

- I like the colours spewing out the end of the pencil as they are - other than maybe fiddling round with positioning, I don't think these need much work.

- nihilisticod came up with a lot of good points, so I won't repeat them. One further point though is that the graphic styles of the pencil and explosion don't match. As with the text, it's best to try and keep everything in the same style.

- If the game stands well by itself, and if you're using the words 'magic pencil' a lot anyway, you may not need these in the logo. It may look much better if you can just come up with a design using a pencil and those magic stripes. If you absolutely need to use the words "magic pencil" in some specific situations, you could pick a nice, plain, font, and have them written underneath.


Finally, it doesn't help with the layout, but I've done a quick re-draw of the logo in a way that address some of the above points. This could be totally off the mark, but it may give you a few more ideas.

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Wow, you guys are awesome! Truly I couldn't expect to get so detailed and insightful replies, but you made it :-) Surrealix even took the time and drawn his own version :-) nice.

First thing, this is logo for the game that I'm creating, which is "a game about magic, which incidentally has a pencil in it and may be about drawing." - google for Crayon Physics, mine's going to be similiar only much better :-)




Ok, so as you suggested I softened the dropshadow under magic as well as the inner shadow.

Then I started playing with "pencil" since both of you said that you don't like it... ok, I tried various places, various fonts, various shadow effects etc and none of them looked as good as this one. Finally I found another combination which IMHO looks even better...?

Both of you said that you like the explosion thing and that's good :-) since I also like it and it's gonna get only minor tweaks. As I said earlier, pencil picture is 100% placeholder and it's gonna be completely redrawn.

Then by accident I came with the blue line. Then I added the letter underpaints and stylized it to look as paint. I know I know, it fits more for "Magic bucket" but I think that now the logo is much "lighter", "funky", easier for eyes to look at it, don't you think?

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When I design or critique a design, I start with the communicative basis. The theme. What are you attempting to communicate? Write up a list of anywhere from 5 to 20 attributes you want to associate with your product/brand, then ask yourself what visual elements people associate with them. For instance, people are likely to think of pixie dust when they think "magic", so a "magic pencil" might write in pixie dust... or sprinkle it liberally as it writes.



Let's say we wish to keep your typographic conventions (ignore my horrible font work; this is illustrative! [smile]) and instead use the "magic pencil" to add a flourish. We can keep the pixie dust sprinkles, but now have the pencil leave a trail akin to a regular graphite pencil rolled sideways.



Now clean up the pencil and the font, add some splashes of color (I always do base ideation in monochrome) and you have your current logo cranked up to 11!

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Thanks Oluseyi, I started playing with your ideas. Recently I was a bit busy and had little time to work on logo, but today finally I've came up with final version. First, the initial concept so that you'll see the progress:





The final version:




Unless at least half of gamedev.net people will start screaming how ugly it is, I won't change a pixel in it. So... do you have any comments? ;-) Anyway, thanks guys for helping me see how crappy the initial designs were.

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I love how the wand blends into the pencil, although it might not be blatantly obvious to someone who didn't follow the above thread.

Make the tip of the wand whiter maybe?

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I agree with Surrealix. You're still mix-matching the font styles. Your logo still has a problem with consistency.

Case in point, your two-words-inside-a-circle-swirl logo reminds me of the Speed Racer movie logo:

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

This logo is very consistent. It is not trying to conceptualize two words differently.



[Edited by - JakeM on May 18, 2008 11:25:45 AM]

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I really like the one with the green and brown splats behind the text. But that's just my opinion. Maybe simple is better, that's what I think. But all your designs look so great, it was hard to choose which one I liked best.

Please don't remove that original pencil drawing, it goes really well with the splats behind the text.

To me, the word "Magic" looks like it was drawn with a pencil.

Your art is pure gold. It looks so professional.

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I think that the logo has evolved for the better - I thought that the version with the splats was far too confused - but the latest one is really good. I am again with surrealix though - I think that you need to try and unify the fonts used. I like the idea of the blue pencil streak and text, and the black magic streak and text - maybe if you could find a font which you were happy with using for BOTH words that would just add a few more points in my books.

(I would also consider using a slightly darker blue to add a bit more contrast with the background, but without playing with it myself, that might actually make it worse, I wouldn't like to make a definite comment on that one)

But, Nice Work. I think the latest version is really good

Mathmo

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I think the last one is the best so far but I have some critics.

First of all it isn’t very clear that the wand is a wand and not a black pencil. But I don’t know how to make it more evident. Maybe with a different kind of wand.

Your round shape reminds me the Tao simbol and I think the relationship between the words you are creating is something like the relationship between yin and yang. In this way you are saying that the pencil and the magic are like two faces of the same medal and they are equally important. But in a previous post you have said that magic is more important that the pencil in the game. Maybe you should make it more clear from the logo. But it depends on what you want to transmit with your logo.

I agree with Surrealix, JakeM and Mathmo that a single font is better. From a typographic perspective there is nothing that link the two word: font, dimension, color, effect applied... Choose one font and use it for both words.

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