View Full Version : Advice on a Logo?

03-17-2010, 02:12 PM
Hi there,

I've been fiddling with the idea of a logo for my maps for a while and I finally have a design that I'm interested in pursuing further. Here it is and I'd be very interested to see what people think. The name of my mapping website is Fantastic Maps. The question is whether it's worth having the initials on the logo or not.

Anyway, here are the small icons so far.

22958 22960 22959

Thoughts? Criticisms? Please be brutal - I want to get this right.

Oh, and here it is large - so that you can see the detail that might well be lost in the smaller version:

03-17-2010, 02:18 PM
I like the idea, but no the fonts. One is too fancy, the other is too plain. Have you given thought to spelling the name out? One thought is have Fantastic spelled down the left side and maps spelled down the left, top downward and bottom upwards respectively.

03-17-2010, 02:32 PM
I have a lot of logoes behind me - and in front I hope ... so I'm going at this from the pro-angel with a dash of cartography on top :)
I like the form - it makes sense to advertise your maps with a logo depicting a compass
I like the F... keep letters in a logo simple, so change your M to the same font
Colors work in CMYK also with only a slight decrease in saturation

please think about these things:
Does it print well in color?
Does it print well in b/w?
Do the fine lines print?
It's in its own sqaure here - how will you intergrate it with an existing map - should it have a border around it to separate it from the map?
If no border - will the background be transparrent to take into account different background colors?
Could the compass be confused for the maps compas?
How will it work on stationary and so forth? (you could make a simplified version for that use)

Looking good :)

03-17-2010, 02:33 PM
@JFrazierj: :) Okay, you're the third person to say that it should be spelled out. I'll listen now and incorporate the full words. That's what the third logo was going towards. I'll pull the letters off the logo and write them under, over, or alongside instead. is the one without any letters too plain? Does it read clearly as a compass? Does the central arrow stand out clearly enough?

@Tilt: Thanks. I hadn't even thought about the CMYK look - good call and thanks for checking. Simple is probably better - I'll pull back the lettering.

Most of the use will be web and pdf use so printing is less of an issue. It'll go on the front of map packs and as such will be going onto a parchment background. That's a matter of having the whole thing as a smart object (apart from the background) and dropping it onto the front cover. So that should avoid transparency issues.

The fine lines will print but don't show up on web resolution images. However I'm not sure that's a bad thing. Would it be too busy with them in there?

I don't think that this is going to appear on stationery, but I can certainly see a way in which it could.

Thanks a lot for the careful and professional feedback. It's much appreciated.

03-17-2010, 02:37 PM
As a stand alone logo, especially if the name of the service/business/publisher is not provided along with the logo - I agree with JFrazierJr. However, as long as the logo is always used along with the title "Fantastic Maps" beside, it, using the FH initials seem appropriate.

For the sake of branding, getting people to recognize the logo you would need to consistently emphasize the logo in all your promotions, as part of your sig in various forums - as stated, if the logo is appearing alone without the added title "Fantastic Maps" - having the words as part of the logo may become important. Also, as stated, if that logo always appears with the service title, then initials will work just fine.

Personally I'd go with the logo incorporating the initials, but ensure that the title "Fantastic Maps" is always present when using that logo anywhere.

Regarding how fancy or plain of font choice, I'd say experiment - show me five different versions using five different fonts of varying style and complexity to choose from, and I'll give you a better recommendation.

For me, when you say, "Fantastic Maps" its already branded to me as Jonathon Roberts maps - but that's just me...


03-17-2010, 02:41 PM
:) Well then I'm doing something right then.

I'll work up a full banner version with and without the initials and also a square version with the full text and come back for further opinions. Thanks for the feedback.

03-17-2010, 03:03 PM
When you simplify the lettering, you may also want to add "construction lines" to them as well.

Of course, all the construction lines can be dropped for mono/duo printing.

-Rob A>

03-17-2010, 03:48 PM
I have made lot's of logos and I can see you've put some work into the logo. I like the idea of the two letters represent modern and fantasy style.
I do think it could be improved. Other than what Tilt says above I think it looks like it's four separate parts: the two letters, the compass background and the arrow.

What's the idea with the arrow? I'd remove the arrow and use the letters and the compass and make something nice out of that.

Do you plan to use the white background as part of the logo? It doesn't seem very practical.

03-17-2010, 04:42 PM
I've been using my "stylized A/pyramid with wings" logo as a brush so that I can put it on anything and not worry about the background, color, size, or anything. As a brush I can plop it down, put in any background I want, change the color or add layer styles...totally editable stylewise. So my point is that you should probably do something similar and that way it will never clash with the colors or paper of a map. If you want to emphasize more than just fantasy then make the M something techy or sci-fi. Or do away with the initials and include full text; put Fantastic in something gothic or scripty on top of Maps as something sans serif and techy.

03-17-2010, 05:51 PM
Okay, a quick update.



Here I moved the M out of the way of the center of the logo - it was getting muddled up with the rest of the lines. I'm not sure this works yet though....

@Carnifex - the arrow is to highlight the direction of the compass, and also to make it more than just a straightforward spined compass rose. I agree that the overall colours were too different for it to fit with the compass. I've knocked it back a bit to help it blend in here. I'd be interested to hear if people think this is better or worse.

@RobA - I think I will do that - but I'll be holding off on that until I can finalise a font! Redoing those each time would get wearing....

@Ascension - That's an interesting idea. I'll have to play with that. I don't really use layer styles yet. I should really get into those. I agree about wanting to avoid being pigeonholed as pure Fantasy, but actually I prefer making fantasy maps to sci-fi so I'm not too bothered by shoehorning a tech font in there.

Hmmm - tried it on a different background and it looks a bit rubbish. Hmmm. Will have to do a little re-thinking....

03-17-2010, 06:30 PM
And tested out on a cover. This required a little fiddling before I could get anything that looked even partially reasonable... Not sure this is the right way to go. For this to work I'd need to bump the whole background up to the tone of the background in the original logo and that looks a bit weird. Any thoughts or advice gratefully taken!


03-17-2010, 06:36 PM
Well I don't have much experience with Logos but it seems to me this should be a little more like the face of a watch.

Why not drop the letters on the base and have the compass over them like an analog watch. I think we will still be able to see the 'F' & 'M'. I also like the fancier letters but that's a minor preference.

When it's all said and done I would like a set of cuff-links please <-- Which I think you should promptly have made for yourself because how cool would that be?

03-17-2010, 07:41 PM
I would say, go with a more solid background, one that is different from the image /not transparent.


As you can see, comparing to yours above, the logo stands out and is more easily discernible as being seperate from the map image. The Logo to the Left of the one I de-did looks more like the Map's Actual Compass Rose, and could be 'ignored' when viewing.

03-17-2010, 07:59 PM
I didn't even think of doing that. /hangs head. That looks rather good, and can certainly be done up to look nice and natty on any given background...

03-17-2010, 08:42 PM
I've been using my "stylized A/pyramid with wings" logo as a brush so that I can put it on anything and not worry about the background, color, size, or anything. As a brush I can plop it down, put in any background I want, change the color or add layer styles...totally editable stylewise.

That's what I do as well, with my 'JW' in a box.

03-17-2010, 10:26 PM
Maybe I'm odd, but I think you had it right on the first covertest looks better, the transparent background looks more like a logo "drawn on the parchment" while the solid background looks "tapped on later"... It may mean fighting with the color for the text a tad more for all your covers... but I really liked it there.

03-18-2010, 04:15 AM
layerstyles are very easy - just adjust into the look you want and click save :)

03-18-2010, 04:21 AM
I would say, go with a more solid background, one that is different from the image /not transparent.

I agree with NeonKnight - use a solid background - and I would frame it too, thats a common way to use a logo on a colored background. Then you get consistency in your logo and you don't have to match the background to fit it. And if you want, you could spell out the name in the bottom of the frame too - in small letters :)

03-18-2010, 08:22 AM
Thanks. I'll try that. The problem of course is having a parchment background logo framed and placed on a different parchment background. I'm not sure that really makes sense. I have another idea or two to try out. This one I think is as developed as I'm going to take it just now. One or two more to come shortly.

Thanks a lot to all for the comments. They are very much appreciated.

03-18-2010, 04:59 PM
Hmmm... I liked it better without the white background.

How about something more stylized? Something like this:

03-18-2010, 05:02 PM
doesn't really convey the style and finesse of the original...

03-18-2010, 05:08 PM
Thanks for the ideas guys. I think the fundamental problem with this one is that it makes such a big deal of being drawn on the background material. If you change the material you inevitably change the look of the logo, or you have something drawn on one material placed on another. So I think the next stab at this will be more a logo as an object that can be dropped on top of my parchment map cover rather than integrating with it. More to come shortly...

03-18-2010, 05:10 PM
doesn't really convey the style and finesse of the original...

I just meant that it could be done a bit more stylized - as my example but more "hand-drawn" style.

03-18-2010, 05:11 PM
I totally agree, and the self contained nature of it is very close to the avenue that I'm pursuing now.

03-18-2010, 06:11 PM
The nice thing about a 'self-contained' Logo is ease of use. both in Print Media, Letterheads. envelopes etc.

03-19-2010, 11:11 AM
i like the 'da vinci science' style a lot. also the parchment look is great and the new font is much better. also like the coloring of the compass. Only thing i dont like is the shape of the main arrow (cant really point to it, maybe its to thin for a main element) ... ofc only my opinion ;) ... cheers

03-19-2010, 12:26 PM
I noticed in the original post that the two circles (top left and bottom right) were the guides for the F & M. When you moved the letter M you left the guide in place and it really looked off to me. They were symetrical, and if you move the lower one out to match the letter, it would stand out as "misplaced" imho. I might be just me, but everything else has the look of being planned and placed in relation to the other elements, which these cicles don't anymore.

I think removing the circles, framing the logo, solid background, and spelling out the name would be the way to go. I like the newer colors better as well.

03-19-2010, 12:38 PM
Yep, the circle no longer justifies it's location. It certainly needs and edit.

03-19-2010, 12:49 PM
please think about these things:
It's in its own sqaure here - how will you intergrate it with an existing map - should it have a border around it to separate it from the map?

wow tilt... nicely put *rofl* ... yep, I'm all for self contained logos - especially for games as the logo often will "compete" for attention with the cover (as oposed to a letterhead). :)

03-19-2010, 07:24 PM
Since my product name shortens to VD I should like to chip in with the thought that really your logo is more important than the name because you will be putting it about more often than the words mainly due to space constraints. So FM is going to be a very prominent character set as you go around stamping it down. If Fantastic Maps is what you want to stamp about then maybe a logo without the FM would be better than one that has the characters on it. I think VD is almost the ultimate faux pas logo thing I did and I should have gone for something different maybe but I had the 'viewing' bit cast in stone before adding the more optional 'dale' but anyway just also thought that FM sounds like "eff 'em" and maybe you should not do what I did wrong.

With people like Microsoft their logo had the whole name and when making icons for their products then chose to have very iconic but abstract shapes. The E for explorer and DevStudio logos are particularly noticeable even tho they don't spell it out for you. Something unique in color and shape is more important than trying to force the acronym. Google has spent ages shaping up their 8x8 pixel web page "favicon" and although it is a 'g' its not a 'G' like the google font. In fact its very iconic and not at all like trying to force the google name into that space.

Also FM as in FM8 is associated with fractal mapper and though you wont think there would be any connection you would be surprised at what some people connect what with what.

My 2p anyhoo. But since I didn't do very well with my logo then its not worth much more than its 2p face value ;)

03-20-2010, 09:51 AM
That's a very useful 2p. I'd already thought about the radio connection but not fractal mapper. Good point about the colour choices too. Hmmm. Will crack on with some more thoughts this afternoon. Cheers.

03-21-2010, 01:38 AM
Hey Redrobes, there is nothing like the voice of experience so don't sell yourself short there. I enjoyed your post and it gave me food for thought as well. Not that I am currently pushing anything but at some point I just might be.

Right now it's all about Torstan's logo but all of us are absorbing this as well.

03-23-2010, 05:18 AM
you don't "generate" a logo - a logo is a reflection of the company behind it, and thus must show what values the company has, what the company does and so forth, it is also the basis for the design line there after, modelling stationary, webpage etc from the logo. So you can't just have a machine make you a logo unless it means nothing to you. If you wan't a logo and don't want to pay for it - make one yourself - surf around be inspired (only inspired though ;) ) and then build your own to suit your needs :)

03-23-2010, 05:28 AM
That was spam, Tilt. Anytime, well most of the time, that you see a signature with links in it to stuff that isn't map related then it is spam. Also the text doesn't make sense.

03-23-2010, 05:33 AM
thought it sounded stupid - but then again... I didn't see a link to strange places and I'm guessing, since I'm not administrating - didn't even think of it being spam, I get some of it on my own forum and on my blogs but its mostly very easy too see as its long text describing world of warcraft gold mining or totally random letters *lol*

03-23-2010, 09:25 AM
We get a lot of spam on this site except that its flagged and fragged in no time (esp if Gandwarf is online). It is usually easy to spot but what has been happening is that text from other forums get reposted so its often semantically correct but has no relevance. Sometimes, in the fringe cases, I post to elicit more info and if none is forthcoming then we can assume that it was spam. Often they dont have a sig set up until they have several posts instilled into the forum then they change it which acts globally. So if you see posts along any of these lines then hit the 'Report Post' triangle under our avatars and it gets a lookie by the CLs.

Tip to real mapper forum newbies posting for the first time. Don't have a sig with links in it to totally irrelevant stuff and until your a slightly trusted member, reply to posts with at least some relevance to the context of the topic or prepare to run the gauntlet with the ban hammer !