Wednesday, April 11, 2007

LibraryThing for Libraries: Logo

Update: Redid, with green tag—more punch. Okay, that's the last fiddle.

I hate design. It takes SOOOO long for me to sweat out something that doesn't make my skin crawl. (What happens to your skin is another matter.) I went around on this one a hundred times, mostly over the font. The problem is the LibraryThing font, a low-rent freeware thing, Thomas Paine. Originally intended as a sort of Lovecraft-meets-Gorey joke, for a site I thought would get a few thousand visitors a year, the logo has to some extent transcended its origins and historical and aesthetic specificity. But do a whole new phrase in it—LibraryThing for Libraries? Man, it looks like some crappy site for an American history schoolbook, "Reƒolved in Congreƒs aƒƒembled that LibrarThing doth proclaim..."

Anyway, the current design tries to keep the logo and add the words without mashing another typeface against it—an approach that I could never get to work. And it's supposed to suggest something added (ie., to your OPAC) or the concept of tagging.

After ten hours, I'm blogging to force finality. To force myself to stop fiddling. I don't even want feedback. I just want to close Photoshop and be done with it.

12 Comments:

Blogger RJO said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4/12/2007 12:28 AM  
Blogger RJO said...

It's very nice. Well done. Thomas Paine isn't too far from Caslon, and there used to be a saying, "When in doubt, set it in Caslon."

I'd kern the ar pair a couple pixels closer together.

RJO, sheep-stealer*

* "A man who would letter-space lowercase would steal sheep." —Frederic Goudy

4/12/2007 12:30 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Dammit, you're right.

4/12/2007 12:33 AM  
Blogger Debra Hamel said...

I like it. Well, I like the green one, not the white one so much. Great job.

4/12/2007 9:48 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

There are only eight Wikipedia references to "When in doubt, set it in Caslon." (There are, however, NO such references for Times, Helvetica, Arial or Hobo--and thank God for the latter).

Admit it, are you responsible for all eight? :)

4/12/2007 9:51 AM  
Blogger PastaKeith said...

Tim -

I think it's fine.
It's not like you've got some snappy name that you can make into a crazy logo (like an AOL, Xanga, etc...)

People know and like librarything... its the name, not the logo, that's going to sell them.

BTW - i dropped out of Art School, specifically graphic design. I feel your pain.

4/12/2007 10:52 AM  
Blogger RJO said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4/12/2007 11:22 AM  
Blogger RJO said...

There are only eight Wikipedia references to "When in doubt, set it in Caslon." (There are, however, NO such references for Times, Helvetica, Arial or Hobo...

Or Cooper Black.

Admit it, are you responsible for all eight? :)

Ha. It is true that I'm white & nerdy, but I've only edited Wikipedia a very few times, and never on typographic topics. But I figure if Caslon was good enough for Ben Franklin, it's good enough for us.

4/12/2007 11:25 AM  
Blogger GreyHead said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4/12/2007 2:15 PM  
Blogger GreyHead said...

The font may be a cheap one but it has an expensive twin in Pabst Old Style - I think that the squeezed letter-forms are down to Tim though.

This was first posted as a comment on the previous blog post when comments were turned off here.

4/12/2007 2:18 PM  
Blogger C4bl3Fl4m3 said...

You know, you could have one of your adoring LibraryThing fans who enjoy making logos make logos and other stuff for you. Make it a contest or something.

Basically, there's enough people around these parts that would like to do it and would willingly do it for free that there's no reason that you should have to do it unless you really really want to.

4/26/2007 2:56 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Thanks. I should take people up on that next time. Except, for all its frustration, design is something I do that's *different*. Everyone needs a little different.

I've flirted with the idea of having a *truly* open company, going so far as to post all our accounting and such. But I think it would be hard to do a contest around "file our taxes." :)

4/26/2007 3:58 PM  

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