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Design under constraint: how limitations forge character

At the end of 2015 Afisha launched a brand new website about city, movies, entertainment and lifestyle, and we were asked to create a new logo, combining ­ the well-known original one («aфиша») with “daily”. This last piece had to bring a different flavour to the brand, work well with the existing logo and of course be catchy, hip and trendy.

Web was initially described as the main application, which meant that we had to keep low resolution in mind and make proportions, weight and structure our priority. These technical requirements and the process we went through resulted in an angular script lettering that performs well on all kinds of screens and at the same time has a strong remarkable personality.

 

First sketches

At first, we had to see what style would fit better the existing logo, so we made a few quick sketches with different constructions. At the same time it was important to define the lowest resolution for the logo: we counted its height and width in pixels and created a grid ­­to try all the possible constructions, proportions and weights. And that’s how we found an appropriate solution.

It was key for us to have a contrast between “Afisha” and “Daily”. What helped us a lot to separate them was starting “Daily”​​​​ with an uppercase. The weight of the letters is more or less the same, but within it we explored different constructions: all caps and uppercase plus lowercase, connected and disconnected script, more calm and more decorative style with swashes. And then we tried to put it stable on the baseline and add an angle to it.

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Chosen direction​​​​​​

The first general decision was made, the client liked the diagonal script idea. We adjusted the drawing a bit and went straight to Robofont to see how it would work digitally. It was challenging to fit the script lettering on the grid. This resulted in a pretty abstract and rectangular digital drawing. Only after the structure was settled we worked on softening the counters. While there was no point of having such small detail for the website, a softer version could possibly be used in larger applications: billboards and large advertising.

As to the diagonal script, that the client found lively and liked very much, we developed two slightly different variations of the idea. Apart from the website application the new logo had to perform well in social media, so we had to try a more compact vertical positioning as an alternative.

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Shape control

The changes in the structure also affected the D which had to become slightly bigger. In order to have a better control of the shape and its construction the curves were deleted and D became rectangular.

At this stage we proposed two modifications of the drawing—rectangular and curved. The difference didn’t affect the way the logo looked in the web, so choosing one of them was more of an aesthetic-based decision. The angularity of the logo was very much appreciated by the art director and we decided to keep it as a stylistic feature. He suggested not to hide it but to emphasize it instead. This had to deal with the shape of the D mostly: its curvature still didn’t look convincing enough, so we had to simplify it even more. After another few rounds of polishing and simplification we finally solved the puzzle and got everything to work together perfectly.

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Afisha Nightly

Based on the principles of the letters in Daily we created another lettering for Afisha Nightly special project.

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Details

Designer: Maria Doreuli
Editor-in-Chief: Ekaterina Dementieva
Art Direction: Ira Ivanova, Maxim Nikanorov
Project Manager: Ekaterina Molchanova
Year: 2015

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