Improving Lost Art Press's New Logo
Lost Art Press rolled out its new logo today. See THIS LINK for the whole story from the Editor, Chris Schwarz. All in all, it looks like an improvement. The font choices provide motion - a classy upgrade. To my eye, however, its a bit unfinished and could use a few minor tweaks. In this post, I'll walk you through my assessment of the logo's weakness (use of negative space) and provide a solution.
A.) The original Lost Art Press logo looked like this:
B.) As of June 2016, the new logo looks like this:
C.) The overall layout, outlined here in red, is classic. Upward-sweeping text ("Lost Art") is anchored by a block of text ("Press") at lower right. The circular medallion, at right, is positioned inline with the flow of the lettering. The height of the medallion is scaled somewhere between the height of lowercase and uppercase letters - kind of awkward.
D.) Circular forms and arcs are repeated throughout the design. Note there is a regular use of about 3 different size arcs in the letter forms. The round medallion at the far right is an exception. It is much larger than the letter-related arcs. This is fine because its an icon (not lettering) that stands on its own. But it floats in space a bit uneasily. Its positioned too far to the right of "Lost Art" and too far above "Press". The underline flourishes don't succeed in filling the gap.
E.) Using a set of yellow circles to reveal the designer's use of negative space, we see good regularity except at lower right. Again, the open area between "Press" and the round medallion is larger than elsewhere. The circles are too big there. You can sort of justify wider spacing here by saying this space is balanced by that at upper left (above "Lost"). But you'd be wrong.
F.) Another look at the logo, this time using 4 ellipses, reveals that the logo is slightly unbalanced because of elements in the lower right corner. "Press" needs to be moved up in order to bring things into better alignment.
G.) This wedge of negative space is the weak point of the design. "We must deal with it."
H.) Below is the improved(?) logo using the existing design elements. I tweaked it to bring things into better balance, including:
1.) Shortened the leg of the "A".
2.) Moved "Press" up and left.
3.) Increased the size of the medallion to better scale with the height of the uppercase text and provide balance to the "L" at the opposite end.
4.) Raised the letters "RESS" up a bit to emphasize the drop on the leg of the "P" (which probably could now be shortened).
5.) Omitted the underline flourishes beneath "Press". Whatever underline is added back should curl into, defer to, and support the medallion. Since the underlines are not echoed elsewhere in the logo, I suggest they be dropped.
6.) Though I have not done it, I would make "TRADITIONAL HAND TOOL SKILLS" all the same text (same as "Traditional" is now). The script font does not mimic the curly cues in "Lost Art", thus is does not add much. You might have to to horizontally compress the letters to fit them in ("Hand Tool Skills"), but no problem in Illustrator, etc.
I.) If I had a napkin with me, I'd scratch out these 2 ideas and send them to Schwarz - no charge!