Sunday, October 28, 2007

100 Logos

This is about the evolution of the 100 Girls logo. I don't know that this will be of interest to anyone but me, but I wanted to document this somewhere and the this blog (depository of ephemera that it is) seems like the best place.

Back when Todd and I were publishing the comic on the Dark Horse Comics website, we needed a logo for the feature -- something that neither of us had thought about much. I asked Todd to draw me a silhouette of Sylvia and I'd work up a logo. It looked something like this:

I say it looked something like this because I actually used ITC Oficina Serif, a typeface that Dark Horse had licensed, but that I have not. But you get the idea. Sylvia replaced the letter "I" in Girls. I liked how clean it was -- it looked good on top of the black and white pages. Todd was less happy with it. I think to him it felt too sterile or corporate. I can see that.

When we got picked up by Arcana Comics for publication, Todd had a go at the logo.

The only similarity between this logo and the first one is that they both have silhouettes of Sylvia. Todd's logo is much more dynamic and more "comic-booky" then the first one. It looks much more like something you'd see on the top of a comic. If I had any qualms about it at all, it was that I felt like it sacrificed a little readability, especially in the "R", the "L" and the "S". I think I told that to Todd at the time, but after showing it to a bunch of people none of them said the had a problem with it, so I dropped it. This was the logo we used for the whole seven-issue run of the first story line as well as the Free Comic Book Day stories, etc.

Enter Simon and Schuster. After picking up the book the asked us to tweak the logo. They also had issues with the readability. Todd asked me to have a go at revising the logo. In revising and re-revising the logo (I was getting constant and good feedback from the senior designer at Simon and Schuster), I noticed something: Todd must have just drawn that logo freehand. Which to me is amazing. However, there were quite a few inconsistencies with line widths, etc. After trying to redraw certain thing several times in photoshop, I gave up and decided that I needed to redraw the whole thing in Illustrator -- converting it from a raster image to a vector. I used elaborate grids to make sure that everything was consistent. I actually love this process. I changed the letter form on the "R" slightly and, after asking Todd's permission, changed the letter forms on the "L" and the "S" fairly drastically. While still keeping the forms consistent with the design of the other letters. Todd also drew yet another silhouette of Sylvia for this new design.

Simon and Schuster finally OKed this version, so now we have a new logo:

This is the new logo that you'll see on the Simon and Schuster collection. We'll also use it on any new 100 Girls stories. I'm not sure what would prompt us to redesign it again. Maybe when they make it into a movie or TV show?

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