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© Ivan Knyazev

Eye for the detail: how our job isn’t always about getting creative

One of the most secret and mysterious parts of our job is consulting. These types of  projects are often protected by NDA and frankly, we ourselves are not always eager to share them as there’s not that much creative work involved. Yet it requires a lot of graphic and type design experience and a very sharp eye for details. That’s why we’re happy to share our expertise. For us it’s an important mission that helps raise the bar in the industry.

 

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So what is it about actually?

 

Consulting can cover many levels and we are able to help on different stages of the designing process. In this particular case we got engaged in the process towards the very end. Shuka contacted us when the logo their creative director Ivan Velichko designed for LaModa has already been approved by the client and they were almost ready to wrap it all up.

 

Yet they weren’t sure that the logo was perfect enough. It is often the spacing that our agencies have doubts about. As type designers we know that spacing, kerning and design of the actual letters are all intertwined and it’s not such a straightforward process as it might seem: drawing → spacing → kerning. So usually there’s more to the problem than just the spacing itself.

 

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Shuka came to us willing to double check the spacing in the logo and make sure that the drawing was accurate. We all know that after working on something for a long time you always need another set of eyes and an impartial perspective. That’s where we make our move. Our tools together with experience in drawing various retail and custom typefaces are a powerful combination—it allows us to solve many issues that agencies might or might not even notice.

 

 

What did we actually do?

 

The initial logo that we got was drawn in a font editor. This is already a great step in making your lettering more precise as it allows you to have more control over your outlines. Still, when we started evaluating the logo, we found some inconsistencies.

 

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① It’s often tricky to make all the letters look optically correct. How do you decide what can be adjusted and what needs to remain mathematically the same? In order to get the feeling right and make letters’ weight even,  we slightly adjusted the places where ovals meet stems. We also allowed the counter shapes to go a little into the stem. By doing these minor corrections we made sure that all the verticals appear optically the same.

 

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② As type designers we know that an italic isn't just another word for slanted. Even simply rotated letters (like in this case with la) need to be taken care of. In order for the outlines in the a to rasterize best in all circumstances we added the so called “extreme points”.

 

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③ One of the features of the logo is the squareness of the inner counters. We made sure it’s equally present in the o a d as well as in the m. In the rotated a we kept even more extra points in order to maintain the same character.

 

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④ Not only are we nerds, but also swindlers! In order to make things look right we actually need to cheat. Check out the relations between the extreme points and how some are 100% symmetrical and some are not. And how even in m the points are spaces slightly differently.

 

 

The changes that we made are subtle. One might even miss them. But they do make an undeniable difference. Our goal is to educate our clients and to make them see more and better and improve their own skills with each next project. That’s why in the end not only do we provide an updated logo, but also make sure to prepare a presentation describing the changes.

 

Link to the project: https://shuka.design/lamoda

 

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