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Logo Design 101

Lesson 11 of 22

Manipulating and Customizing Letterforms

Tim Frame

Logo Design 101

Tim Frame

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Lesson Info

11. Manipulating and Customizing Letterforms

Lesson Info

Manipulating and Customizing Letterforms

I'll do it and sketches first and then um I'll execute some of those sketches and illustrator and because I'm not I'm not actually going to use the other thing that sort of beneficial this is I'm actually going to make the characters just using like shapes and strokes and illustrator I'm not going to use a thought and then outline it and manipulate things um it's actually pretty easy to create you know, to create letter forms an illustrator and so many letter forms have, you know, share the same parts and strokes is that you really should figure this out and see how many like, how many characters you actually have to have to create entire alphabet but it's probably only like eight eight to ten or something maybe more for any more for upper case so it's not you know it's not that hard and you can use a lot of the since they do share similar stroke so you can you know you can use some of those parts to create another letter forms once you, um have one you can build off of that. So, um th...

ese are, um the letters and these air actually one's that I just created an illustrator I've just made the lower case letters big so that you could take a demonstration you could see when I'm when I'm sketching, but these air just built from strokes I'm going to try to do that as well as teo many commendably those strokes a zealous counter space is on a different set of treatments uh so always do others start off do cem serif treatments really quick found I didn't create any surf type initially um and so I, um and a lot of instances like if I'm working on a project and I've gone through and on type studies um for files I'm gonna consider for the project and when I do that uh I'll have like, four pages sometimes because, you know, sometimes like in one of the examples I showed earlier uh it's nice to have a contrast ng fun and sometimes there's a hierarchy where the name is important and there's sort of a secondary, you know, like the city or whatever secondary information is so it's nice toe be able to achieve contrast um so I'll just draw sort of a traditional serif and if I work like a son, if I were going toe do this for a real project, I would you know, I would basically edit the typefaces that I and I think are good and then look for ways to customize those a little bit to make them to make the munich and you don't always have to do it across like, you know, you have two men manipulate every single letter and the lower type sometimes it's just you know, some some letters have like unique characteristics like um the letter g sometimes it has what's called a year it's like that extra stroke on the top um so where it might be the father you were working with doesn't have that and you add that or you uh you know, you does change the curvature of, you know, slightly of part of a letter something that you don't always have to do it across the entire entire word so if I, um just going to kind of create a typical block block e sarah and I took that they work like work smaller with a finer like with a finer pen it's more like more like but I'm now what I'm actually doing it because like, you know, like with thumbnails I'mjust like monkeying around and seeing what I can do to customize it and what works and what doesn't all right, so I could, um one of things I could do uh I'm going to kind of hit like strokes and sarah ifs and all three and some of these but I could normally this stroke doesn't extend beyond here so I could bring that out make it more unique or instead of having like a serif treatment, I could actually have an angle treatment here and here and maybe here or at least change the the angle of the end of that stroke yeah um I'm using a big um they're cheap pens um but it it's got like its broad but it's got a fine point so I like to use it like to fill in line work but also works pretty good for just working a larger scale I guess you just trust tariffs on these instead of the whole thing um and classic sarah fonts he actually have a curvature that happens and the transition between the sheriff and the stroke um the term for it is bracketing and so you could do different different degrees of that um I could also yeah kind of split this stroke on the ends um and that's where a lot I mean looking at some of historical reference of typeface you see some things that you don't typically see in modern funds nothing is there have been instances where um I found a font that was really unique in the way that it treated some of the strokes and characters but it like did it on a lot of characters and it was like overkill so actually used the thought and in certain characters went in and removed or change the backto more normal so it's not always a case of you know adding something that sometimes attracting so all right so you get the idea with serves um the other thing that I could do to change the look of this are is that you know ours typically have called a bowl um very round bowl so the other thing I could do was extend this and not have such a smooth transition there. Miller what type? Um so in general, when you're doing this, how do you ah come about with, um what? We're changing them do you go based on like, this is what normally is like, do you see it? Some sort of feeling in regard to how you're changing them or just how it is really you really like take a you know, close hard look and see if, you know, look at the count look at these things look at the stroke looked at the counter spaces look at sarah, you know, if it doesn't, it doesn't have a sarah another thing that you can do in lieu of a sarah umm it's just sort of flared either on one side or both. Um so it's really just taking a look at what's there and assessing it and then, you know, saying if it's gonna lend itself toe manipulation of strokes, you know, sometimes you find a really unique thought that only comes in one, you know, it's just it's just one thought one wait that's all there is, um and just changing the weight, the thickness of the stroke, and that can have a very dramatic effect so sometimes it's just you know or maybe it's something that doesn't you know it doesn't come in italics and you you know, you give it a little bit of slant to it um and then and then with, um condensed type like this e since it has short strokes and tall would be considered condensed you can you can also very easily expand with those kind of thoughts you can puke in further expand and condense and modify um one of things which um I'm gonna demonstrate is I'm going to do ah, a lower casey like this and then show just by extending the top and bottom you like create this western style was all western style type so you know, a lot of its just exits just exploration and it is you know, it just comes as you try as you try stuff and as you do stuff and then you know the next time you remember what you've had success with and it's just you know you could get better with experience all right? Um all right, I'll do uh I'm actually gonna use I'm going to use knowledge issues theo going to create a d but instead of having it like stop and be straight here I'm gonna bring it on around the other side so I'm in a bit I'm going toe in this one I'm gonna manipulate um the counter space a little bit but I'm really also manipulate kind of mapping the transition between um between where the strokes come together some sort of creating some additional negative negative space um and then also um you know you can manipulate really easily um you know, if I wanted this toe have like the feel of a cog or something I could our salt tooth I could add shapes that would kind of make a pattern a pattern on the inside of that um and then again you know what? Different fonts those negative spaces are very different so you know, it might make the shape of dog's head or something you know or something and in a certain fun so it's just a matter of like developing eye for that paying attention and looking for those things as you're looking at fonts um the other thing with strokes um is that um you you can taper them um and with characters like lower case a lower case e um that have these bowls these enclosures um you don't necessarily have to have the stroke connect you can leave that you know equally that open um you don't have to have this stroke come all the way you know, come all the way around the other thing that you could do another way of treating any you see sometimes is um instead of bringing this all the way around, you just bring both of those strokes around so I mean, it could be a simple as changing like one character in the word two unique you know now two different approach to the structure um tapering letters so you know in most case, especially with like a sand sand sarah fot the weights are pretty uniform, but I could, um take this and go from thin to thick and backto thin I think I'm going to stop it I'm also going to stop it short of where it would typically connect two vertical stroke of the and then I'm going to do the same thing at the top I'm going to go from thinkthe I'm sorry thunder thick okay um to a couple of days you're you know, traditionally serif sir are perpendicular the other thing is that you know as well as strokes that are typically just perpendicular on the end and also like round those or um have them change and change the angle just simple things like that. Um the other thing as I said, you know, sarah sar typically perpendicular, but you could also you know, they could also have some curvature to them. All right, let's do a couple of these with illustrator years questions before we dive into illustrator everybody feeling good all right and it's only been uh really in probably the last couple years or so that I found in certain scenarios where I was trying to manipulate you know, out thoughts that turned the outlines that it was really less work tio just draw the letter forms using strokes and that you know and create them and combined them that way rather than trying to manipulate a nexus ting fought because of certain characters it was just it was just like more work um and you know, if, uh it's pretty easy to to design a font once you know how to draw the basic components of letter forms on dh there's, even shareware programs where you can create you know you can turn your because all fonso craig just like this an illustrator um out of strokes there you know hasn't anchored there closed pass and anchor points that you know are drawn first and then meticulously drawn and important to font program just had a question that came in. A couple of people have voted on this maybe before we get into the the computer and you may touch on this in a little bit. But a lot of people are curious about licensing fonts and in particular, if you use a fun and manipulate it in the way that you were just discussing if you do manipulate it in that way is that something where you need to have a license for that slight manipulation like where does the line get drawn? So many that's that's a grey area but my person personal feeling is as if you're using something that someone else design you know they have the copyright to that and they've established what the rights are for you to use it and you are using it uh and the were getting a copyright more towards the end but sort of the default on unlike copyright and copyright infringement I mean and like reducing it to like the simplest statement I can if you can look at something in tow where came from then then it's about you know it's a copy even though it might've been changed for manipulated um the open air with the shepherd very you know shepard fairey is the guy does obey and like his trouble with did the obama obama hope poster it was referenced from a photograph they didn't have permission to use it was actually like found guilty of copyright infringement so again even though he was doing in a totally different medium um if you can look at one thing until where it came from that's a violation of someone's copyrights so um you know if if you use logo and I was actually gonna bring this up if you use a logo as I'm sorry typeface as the basis for your logo even if you manipulate it quite a bit um you know, I think you owe it to the designer to buy you know, to purchase purchase the fun plus you don't want you's definitely don't want like that person you know, looking at your logo and telling that you created from their fun and then they don't you know, they won't go after you they'll go after your client and then your client and that client will turn on you come after you, do you buy the fun years yourself? Or do you have a clan by the front? Um, one of things that when we talk about contracts is you need to list possible reimbursable lt's so I would list that as a reimbursable, but again, if you're only going to use it for the logo, you only need to buy one, you know, you're only gonna need to buy only one copy, and sometimes when you buy a copy, you get upto, like, five, five licenses, so I would I would, because an expensive fun, I would clear that with, you know, if it's an expensive thought, I would clear that with I would clear that with client, but I like to think of another scenario where you just, you know, you're creating a logo and you reference like one character from a font, you know, and minnick like that, I don't think you necessarily have to need by the whole fun if you're just reference, you know, referencing like one like, you know, what, letter form or whatever but then again, unless you can look at that letter and say, oh, that came from, you know, that came from that fund type thing, so that's, the rule of thumb, if, you know if you can look at it and against that's always going to get, like, a second set of eyes, so look, you know, get somebody else's opinion. Um, but if you could look at it, tell where it came from, they're breaking the rule. If you have two different clients, they're using the same fund. Does the client need to own the rights to be able to have their logo used that fund? Or is it okay if just used the designer have paid for that fund for those two different? No, you should have. If you're gonna continue use that font, you should have a license and your client should buy a license. Oh, so you're saying the sights. I see everything you're saying that the clients not going to use the phone, just the logo, um, I think he could probably I think you could probably just if I just you going fun, but but again, I think like, ultimately to do the right thing, I think you would have the client on that on that phone since they're using it for their logo

Class Description

A logo is a visual representation of a brand. And when you are relying on one single physical identifier to encapsulate a brand - the stakes are high. Find out what you should know in Logo Design 101 with Tim Frame.

Tim has been in the branding business for more than twenty years. He’s designed logos, icons, brand identity systems, and retail graphics for companies of all sizes. In this class, he’ll teach you the complete process for creating an effective logo – from start to finish. 

You’ll learn about:

  • Researching and gathering relevant info
  • Concepting, refining, and rendering a design
  • Producing identity standards and basic style guide
  • Considerations for making color decisions

You’ll learn about the four primary logo types and the strengths of each style. You’ll also explore how to work with Adobe Illustrator to produce a logo that can be used in print and online.

Logos are a core part of every brand identity, learn how the experts conceive, develop, and produce them in Logo Design 101 with Tim Frame.


a Creativelive Student

It's an excellent beginning class, as is stated by the instructor during his introduction. This class has several facets, and only someone with zero knowledge would need them all. There were some really wonderful information shared on how to ferret the needed information on the clint and competition. If you are looking to better serve a client this is a great class. For those looking for an advanced class this would not be a good fit, as this is only a beginner class.

Rajat Shanbhag

It is an excellent class that has all the foundations laid out precisely and concisely. I really appreciate Tim putting in all the effort and simplifying the process for beginners and pro's alike.