The new Wesnoth logo and the Loyalist sigil

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LordBob
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Re: The new Wesnoth logo and the Loyalist sigil

Post by LordBob »

/agreed. The "h" in "Wesnoth" is the only letter where the gilded effect can be seen. I'd say go for higher contrast between the "hills" and "valleys" everywhere on the letters and if need be, take a larger-than-life pattern for them : we also have to be able to recognize it for what it is when the logo is displayed in small sizes such as above.
Last edited by LordBob on August 11th, 2010, 7:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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kitty
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Re: The new Wesnoth logo and the Loyalist sigil

Post by kitty »

:hmm: Hmm. I really like the idea of gilded text. But while your examples look like gilded letters do, they don't look like that in context. The effect simply doesn't work on top of an 3d object like our shield - one doesn't expect something flat out of a book in this place and consequently doesn't perceive it as that.
Hence I strongly suggest dropping the idea and going for something else, whether something like tsi suggestions or something not emulating something specific but working well on top of the colours of the shield.

Apart from that I strongly recommend taking account of Eleazar's comment on kerning and spacing. The logo would benefit immensely from some micro typography.


But generally you've done quite an astonishing job on the shield! :D
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Re: The new Wesnoth logo and the Loyalist sigil

Post by Sgt. Groovy »

I'd say go for higher contrast between the "hills" and "valleys" everywhere on the letters and if need be, take a larger-than-life pattern for them
I tried that already and it didn't make it look better, only spotty. With more contrast, I'd probably have to introduce some visible difference in depth to the layers by shading, a sort of pock-marked look.
in fact, stone letters might work.
I've thought of that too, but I'm wary on introducing a whole new class of material into the logo. There's more to raised metal letters than the usual ^ model, though, and I've already dreaming of a design that is raised on the edges, but has a depression in the centre, maybe even inlaid with another metal. :Awesome:
Apart from that I strongly recommend taking account of Eleazar's comment on kerning and spacing. The logo would benefit immensely from some micro typography.
The text is an effect on a simple path, so the kerning stuff is easy to do at a later stage (as is different language versions). I'll pay more attention to that after I've actually studied something of the subject :) .
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Re: The new Wesnoth logo and the Loyalist sigil

Post by jacobolus »

I’m really not kidding about asking for advice at typophile (I’d make a post there myself, but that *would* be presumptuous). I think the overall concept for the letters is fine, but I’d guess the advice of the experts over there could make a dramatic improvement. I’m not really a member of that community (or this one, for that matter), but all of the discussions I’ve seen there are civil and constructive, and they really do know their stuff.

Just moving the current letters around might help a tiny bit, but there are some larger problems than just the kerning.

Cheers.
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Re: The new Wesnoth logo and the Loyalist sigil

Post by Sgt. Groovy »

Yeah, I'll do that at some point, they might also have good suggestions for the font.
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Re: The new Wesnoth logo and the Loyalist sigil

Post by Lord-Knightmare »

Nice work, But I like the logo just as it is now.
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Re: The new Wesnoth logo and the Loyalist sigil

Post by thespaceinvader »

Tough.
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Re: The new Wesnoth logo and the Loyalist sigil

Post by Jetrel »

Noy wanted a quick, simplified version of the logo to serve as a letterhead. I've attempted making one just to learn (anything) about inkscape. This is pretty amateur work, but seems at least good enough for a placeholder.

I've provided the inkscape file in case anyone better wants to fix my work.
Attachments
letterhead.svg.zip
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letterhead.png
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Re: The new Wesnoth logo and the Loyalist sigil

Post by Sgt. Groovy »

I've been planning to make a letterhead version of the logo, once the actual logo is finished (which might be pretty soon, if we get the font licensing issues settled).
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Re: The new Wesnoth logo and the Loyalist sigil

Post by kitty »

I won't bother editing the inkscape file of the letterhead if Groovy will provide one with the new logo anyway.
Thus only four quick remarks: The tiny hilts make the swords difficult to read. And the way they are cut off by the shield should follow the shield's shape instead of the perfectly straight edges you have now. The border of the shield, the white part and the black inlay in the middle all being of rather similar width but not exactly is unfortunate - to have them wether being really identical or clearly differentiated would look a lot more professional. And finally the rendition feels very massive due to the plentiful use of black, I suggest going for something a bit more light and elegant. Thinner lines (perhaps even outlines?) and possibly a pattern or raster for the now black parts of the shield.
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Re: The new Wesnoth logo and the Loyalist sigil

Post by Jetrel »

Yeah, I don't intend to work any more on this. It was useful to at least get a touch of experience, but it's just too frustrating for me to continue, especially when I've got so much other stuff to do. Eventually I'll get acclimated to vector tools, but it's very, very low on my priority list. (It's probably no fault of the tools; illustrator seems equally aggravating to me.)

It's not very good, but noy was telling me he needed a letterhead right now, for some google thing, so I figured it was at least an okay placeholder. Feel free to completely replace it, rather than fixing it up, if you think that's a better course of action.
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Re: The new Wesnoth logo and the Loyalist sigil

Post by Sgt. Groovy »

OK, after quite some searching for fonts, and experimenting with different effects, I have samples of three different fonts and three different effects (they are independent of each other, the effects are completely automatic and can be applied to any shape).

The first on is "Xirwena" font from the Pia Frauss' collection and a raised metal effect, fairly similar to the present one. I changed the colour to silver/steel, as I looked to me that the yellow metal was competing for attention with the brass of the shield and the yellowish map background. The colour of the effect can be easily modified, though.
sample-xirwena.jpg

The second one is "Xenippa", also from Pia Frauss, with a golden lettering with red enamel inlay. This is my favourite, both the font and the effect. The effect works well in all sizes, it stands out well from the shield, yet it looks "culturally" similar, the treatment is "expensive" and fits well with the high quality shield. Also, it looks a bit like letters in a manuscript, with coloured insides (see below).
sample-xenippa.jpg
The third one is "Offenbach Chancery" with illuminated manuscript style inked letters. I think conceptually this one would work best without the drop shadow, but it does tend to blend in with the map without it. The font is a commercial one with a rather restrictive license:
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Also, the font only contains basic latin alphabet, no accents or special chars.
sample-offenbach.jpg
What all the fonts have in common is that they have the gravity and recognition value of blackletter, but the roundness and swashes give them some needed sophistication. Also, none of them are overused.

Please not that the samples are JPGs, because the forums do weird things with the colours of PNG attachements. The quality of the original is better.
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kitty
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Re: The new Wesnoth logo and the Loyalist sigil

Post by kitty »

Hmm.

I'd like to discuss the choice of the typeface itself before we get deeply in the rendering style.

As I already stated in the thread in the Art Dev Form, I do not belief in choosing a font based on taste, again I would like to recommend to first think about the things we want to achieve visually with it and the things that are aesthetically and technically required first…

I don't think that any of those three is suitable at all. What you describe as roundness and swashes resulting in sophistication to me is swirly and bad legibility. As LordBob mentioned in the Art Dev thread one of the positive things of the current font is its stability fitting the metallic style. You are now trying to make something more swashy work by using a different style. But decoration won't help its inherent bounciness.
And to me gold/metal-effect letters make visually much, much more sense on top of a massive shield than pseudo-book lettering. So I still recommend going for a more simple, more stable, less handwritten, slightly more constructed feel.

But for the fonts themselves:
  • While I really like Xirwena's minuscule which are truly beautiful bastarda forms, the majuscules are just over the top. The capital "w" is just ugly. Recognition value isn't necessarily produced by extreme forms, it is just as well generated by something just slightly out of the norm (and even more important by consistent use starting from the implementation!)
  • Xenippa is conceptually close to Xirwna, now combining rotunda and bastarda forms, I love the fact that it seems to feature a "tt" ligature! Aethetically the impression this gives is entirely to joyful, iespecially the "Wesnoth" feels like happy carnival letters dancing about.
  • I'm nearly declined to support Offenbach Chancery just for its name (I live and study in Offenbach a town with a rich history in calligraphy and typography ;) ), but seriously this one is out just for legibility. There is just too much going on, recognition value means also that we need something a layman could somehow remember (like e.g. the ugly but iconic "t" in the current logo).
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Re: The new Wesnoth logo and the Loyalist sigil

Post by LordBob »

As far as fonts go, I'd definitely vote against #1 (xirwena) and be tempted to use #3 (Offenbach) or a lookalike somewhere in Wesnoth.

As far as styles are concerned, I think whichever we retain will have to include the drop shadow of style #2 if it's to be legible against any map background. Visually speaking style #3 pleases me the most, but the contrast between red lettering and blue-ish leather in the background doesn't flatter my eye.


Altogether, though, I'm slowly getting convinced that the existing metallic style is what works best with a solid, realistic swords & shield. Styles like #2 and #3 are beautiful on their own, but they say "book" to me and would be bettter suited with an illumination-like picture behind.
Maybe this is actually a direction we could explore : in addition to renovating the existing logo, produce not only different lettering but a full alternate (complete with swords & shield) which would be conveniently displayed against map backgrounds and similarly styled story art
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Re: The new Wesnoth logo and the Loyalist sigil

Post by eliddell »

The problem with Offenbach Chancery, as far as I can tell, is the W--all the other letters are legible enough. Unfortunately, the legibility of the W is highly important here. However, if ugly licenses/commercial status are not considered an impediment, I'd suggest fishing through the font catalogue of the foundry that created Offenbach Chancery for inspiration--they specialize in calligraphic and historical fonts, which mean there's a lot of choice available, and it's easy to obtain their old demo fonts to play with (historically, they've been pretty casual about [mis]use of the demo fonts, too). Yes, I've drooled over their offerings many a time--why do you ask?

At the other end of the licensing spectrum, there are a limited number of potentially suitable fonts available under GPL-compatible licenses such as the SIL Open Font License or CC-BY-SA. In particular, I've found some blackletter/fraktur-type fonts here (all the ones I've checked include a true lower-case s, although they do have that peculiar k), and some miscellaneous fonts created by the author of the open-source font editor Fontforge (the illuminated capitals alone make these worth looking at, even if they're not appropriate for the logo). The problem with these fonts is that the quality is going to be highly variable--some of them may require manual kerning and other finicky adjustments for best results. On the other hand, they can legitimately be edited to make them more distinctive and correct the worst of their problems.

In the probably-utterly-insane category: Fontforge offers the possibility of creating a special font just for Wesnoth, which would ensure that it would be distinctive . . . at the cost of creating a lot more work.
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