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Logo Design for Web Comicl


CartoonMike
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I'm baaaa-aaack... :)

 

I'm getting stuff together for a June 1 debut date for my webcomic: Afterwards. I knew I wanted a true logo, not just some spiffed-up word in a display font. So I hand-drew the logo in Manga Studio, using some lettering/calligraphic brushes I picked up along the way and then imported it into Affinity Designer for that vector touching (which is surprisingly legal in most US states.) . Anyway... 

 

I had set up some goals for this logo:

 

  • It had to look hand drawn. I wanted that hand-crafted look to reflect the conditions of the story (more on that later...). 
  • It had to be legible at small sizes and the counters ("holes" in the letters -- a, o, e, etc) had to be large enough not to bleed when printed or reduced.
  • Clean design and strong movement. Meaning not many (if any at all) fiddly bits. 
  • Be simple enough to be printed in black, white, or spot color without any gradients or such, but still be able to deal with them if needed.  (I believe that if a logo depends on being a specific color, it fails at being a good logo.)

I think I did okay on those three conditions. One thing that I noticed is that from left to right, the design is a bit cramped and chaotic and gets more "orderly" as we go rightward. Which is a pretty good summary of the history of the world in this story. The story is a post-apocalyptic one, without Zombies, etc. In fact nobody, at the start of the story, knows exactly what really happened to end the world some 200 years earlier. And, yes, that's a plot point. ;)

 

So attached is the logo, let me know what y'all think of it. Good, Bad, indifferent. First one to type "TL:DR" will be among the initial group of people against the wall when the revolution comes.

 

Oh, forgot to mention, the grey block in the upper right is the original Manga Studio sketch I based this AD design on.

post-895-0-18807200-1462153558_thumb.png

Mac OS X Catinlina, 2014 iMac, 3.5 Ghz Intel Core i7, Huion Kamvas Pro 22 Graphic Tablet, 16GB RAM, MacOS10.12 || Magic keyboard w/numeric keypad, wireless trackpad, Kengsington Edge Trackball || Flux Capacitor in a secure location

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I encourage kids to go ahead and play on my lawn. I mean, how else can I make sure the death-traps work?

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I like this, I'm a big fan of hand made script work.

 

My feedback: I prefer the Arrow in your sketch work. I think the vector one looks too heavy for me?  
Also out of interest Is there a reason the tail end doesn't connect with the 'A' feels like it should flow into the arrow to me....just my opinion though.

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@David -- Excellent points. This is where getting outside opinions really helps. The old axiom of being to close to art applies to us all. Thanks for the comments, big, big help!

 

I recreated the arrow as it was in the sketch and then connected the tail to the leg of the "A" & I think it does add to the overall design in a good way. That bit of connecting the two (arrow and letter) adds a lot, in one way it acts as a "starting point" and it unifies the entire design. 

 

I, too, have always like script work. As a wee lad, before the onset of digital lettering, I noticed lettering in comics, especially the ones that really added something to the artwork. I learned a lot from them and it did spark an interest in hand lettering/calligraphy. My first art jobs was doing signs for an uncle's store. All done with a brush and tempra paints. Fun times. :)

 

Interested in seeing what you make of the changes... 

post-895-0-69308400-1462230736_thumb.png

Mac OS X Catinlina, 2014 iMac, 3.5 Ghz Intel Core i7, Huion Kamvas Pro 22 Graphic Tablet, 16GB RAM, MacOS10.12 || Magic keyboard w/numeric keypad, wireless trackpad, Kengsington Edge Trackball || Flux Capacitor in a secure location

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I encourage kids to go ahead and play on my lawn. I mean, how else can I make sure the death-traps work?

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And here is the logo within a cover design. :)

 

About the colors: This is a process posting, btw. The colors as shown aren't final. They are Flats. In the original file using Clip Studio Paint (formerly known as Manga Studio), the layer containing these flats has an attribute called "Reference Layer" so no matter what layer I'm working on, even if the flats layer isn't visible over what's on the current layer -- I have a magic wand tool adjusted specifically only to select from the Reference layer. This way I can paint, for example, the tree leaves after selecting the area of the leaves that's colored with this flat color. It's pretty cool, and makes coloring comics magnitudes easier. 

 

The Logo and cover art was copied and placed, respectively, in a Affinity Designer document. The green rectangle is the "safe zone" all important stuff needs to be within this area (like word balloons, captions, important art, yadda yadda yadda). The Red rectangle indicates that what's outside of it will be cut off; the area between the red and green rectangle may be trimmed slightly as the printing and cutting process is still analog, which is fancy-speak for "sometimes the paper slips and things don't get printed/cut the way we want them to -- so cut us some slack, 'kay?"

 

Eventually I'd like to do the colors/painting in Affinity Photo. For some reason I just can't quite get my mind around Photo. Which means I'll be practicing in it in my "off" time. But CSP does have a great Perspective tool and a pretty great brush engine, so I'll be using that for the bulk of work. Photo will come in handy for some image adjustments and such.

 

In case anybody's wondering, the story of Afterwards is a simple one, world ends, some people survive and the story begins when our lead character loses a pair of arrows and eventually gains a very important task to unify the scattered remnants of humanity. Y'know, same old apocalyptic stuff.  :P Naw, this is a reaction of all the end-of-the-world stories that are usually dismal and dark (yeah, looking at you Walking Dead!) or a conflict every hour (c'mon, the 100, lighten why doncha) or just plain will not die or just gets weirder and weirder (the Terminator and my guilty pleasure Z Nation). I still think the best story of this genre is Afred Bester's "Adam with no Eve" short story -- and if you want to read what my wife calls "antique Sci-Fi" read his stuff. In Afterwards... a few troupes get subverted and totally inverted while we watch our hero grow into that role. 

 

So lemme know what y'all think of this little trifle of a cover. Thanks!

post-895-0-18455100-1462433219_thumb.png

Mac OS X Catinlina, 2014 iMac, 3.5 Ghz Intel Core i7, Huion Kamvas Pro 22 Graphic Tablet, 16GB RAM, MacOS10.12 || Magic keyboard w/numeric keypad, wireless trackpad, Kengsington Edge Trackball || Flux Capacitor in a secure location

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I encourage kids to go ahead and play on my lawn. I mean, how else can I make sure the death-traps work?

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I'm planning on a June 1st debut (it's 6/1/16 and I am a sucker for palindromes :D ). And since I'll be using AD for lettering, I think it'll be okay to announce it here in this forum. Thanks for your interest, it really means a lot. 

Mac OS X Catinlina, 2014 iMac, 3.5 Ghz Intel Core i7, Huion Kamvas Pro 22 Graphic Tablet, 16GB RAM, MacOS10.12 || Magic keyboard w/numeric keypad, wireless trackpad, Kengsington Edge Trackball || Flux Capacitor in a secure location

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I encourage kids to go ahead and play on my lawn. I mean, how else can I make sure the death-traps work?

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@Peter:  :lol:

Mac OS X Catinlina, 2014 iMac, 3.5 Ghz Intel Core i7, Huion Kamvas Pro 22 Graphic Tablet, 16GB RAM, MacOS10.12 || Magic keyboard w/numeric keypad, wireless trackpad, Kengsington Edge Trackball || Flux Capacitor in a secure location

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I encourage kids to go ahead and play on my lawn. I mean, how else can I make sure the death-traps work?

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@Baal_uriel: thanks for the comment.

 

Here's the latest artwork/logo for the cover of the first issue/episode of the webcomic.Re-thought out the cover and made it tell a story, instead of just showing random stuff. I still have to add some trees in the mid ground. Instead of the generic "tree" I went off and did some research and they'll be Aspen trees (lots of them in Michigan, where this story takes place & where I grew up, btw). Aside from that, the line art is pretty much final. I removed the air scrubbers from this version, as they just kinda muddied up and made the Logo area too busy to my eye. 

 

Artwork done in Clip Studio, some color adjustments in Affinity Photo. Logo done with Affinity Desiger. Image and logo composited in AD. 

 

Still need to do some shading on the FG and add textures to the grassy plain, not to mention the trees.

 

I've finally figured out a good and speedy way to incorporate AD into the comics workflow. Can't wait to use AD for lettering the comic. The masking (both vector and pixel based) will really make things easier than in the "industry standard" apps.  :D

 

Hope y'all like this. Or if you don't, let me know why. Thanks!

 

post-895-0-17728200-1462948272_thumb.png

Mac OS X Catinlina, 2014 iMac, 3.5 Ghz Intel Core i7, Huion Kamvas Pro 22 Graphic Tablet, 16GB RAM, MacOS10.12 || Magic keyboard w/numeric keypad, wireless trackpad, Kengsington Edge Trackball || Flux Capacitor in a secure location

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I encourage kids to go ahead and play on my lawn. I mean, how else can I make sure the death-traps work?

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Been a busy, busy boy of late. Here's the title to the first "issue" of the webcomic. All done in AD. I wanted to emulate the old Marvel titles/dislplay lettering of the '60s and '70s a bit (big fan of the "banner-ribbon" element). I really like the noise attribute that can be added to fills/strokes. Like with most seasonings, it's best if done sparingly. Yeah, right. :P 

 

I had fun doing the flat iconic representations of an arrow and scythe here. Thanks to Insecto Design (whatta name! love it!) and his work, not to mention tutorials, helped me to just do the shapes. The fonts are all from ComiCraft, btw. These titles are going to be on a med-dark green background, so it should pop pretty good.

 

Had an absolute blast working on this. Did a lot of option-dragging to copy elements and the credit lines were done using the Art Text tool on a path. So smooth to do that. While I would love to have some features (warping in freehand and perspective, for example), the current version of AD was great to work in. This is a screen cap on a file with 9 Artboards. While I haven't read the online help about them, I was able to just grok how to use them by, y'know, using them. 

 

While I'm certainly not alone in the throng of users waiting for 1.5 beta, the current version certainly gets the job done very well and with style! I just sealed the deal to letter a graphic novel and I'll be using AD for it. Thanks, Affinity!

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Mac OS X Catinlina, 2014 iMac, 3.5 Ghz Intel Core i7, Huion Kamvas Pro 22 Graphic Tablet, 16GB RAM, MacOS10.12 || Magic keyboard w/numeric keypad, wireless trackpad, Kengsington Edge Trackball || Flux Capacitor in a secure location

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I encourage kids to go ahead and play on my lawn. I mean, how else can I make sure the death-traps work?

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  • 3 months later...

Update: been working with another creator on another comic (Quasar Soldiers) and been splitting my time between than and my own projects. Been reworking the guts of the story and redid the logo for Afterwards. As nice as the original was, there was just something about it that bothered me. Maybe it just looked too fussy or busy. 

 

Anyway, here's the latest revision of it. I like it better (as does she-who-must-be-obeyed). It conveys the theme of the story in one nice graphic, reading left to right we see chaos and destruction and slowly it all fits back together.

 

Now it's back to designing the characters and environments. Since this story takes place in southern lower Michigan and Indiana isn't that far away, I can re-watch Stranger Things and claim (rightly) that it's for research.  :D

 

post-895-0-08009400-1471501981_thumb.png

Mac OS X Catinlina, 2014 iMac, 3.5 Ghz Intel Core i7, Huion Kamvas Pro 22 Graphic Tablet, 16GB RAM, MacOS10.12 || Magic keyboard w/numeric keypad, wireless trackpad, Kengsington Edge Trackball || Flux Capacitor in a secure location

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I encourage kids to go ahead and play on my lawn. I mean, how else can I make sure the death-traps work?

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And here's another custom typeface logo design. I may just make a font based on this... depends on how my time goes. This is for what I used to call "The Generic Zone" -- thought that title was a bit too... um.. generic. So I'm going with "OtherWhere" (capitalization intentional). In this WIP, the kerning is very rough and I've yet to convert to outlines (it's all strokes right now). Big Props to Insecto Designs for reminding me of & turning me on to the Corner tool (which was invaluable in doing this logo/typeface design).

post-895-0-77447100-1471882671_thumb.png

Mac OS X Catinlina, 2014 iMac, 3.5 Ghz Intel Core i7, Huion Kamvas Pro 22 Graphic Tablet, 16GB RAM, MacOS10.12 || Magic keyboard w/numeric keypad, wireless trackpad, Kengsington Edge Trackball || Flux Capacitor in a secure location

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I encourage kids to go ahead and play on my lawn. I mean, how else can I make sure the death-traps work?

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