Homework Exercise #8 :
Custom Typography

You are a Graphic Designer working for the Graphic Design studio. Your Art Director has asked you to create a logo for a non-profit organization. Through symbols or typographic manipulation the logo needs to visually communicate and tell a story about the organization.

The logo needs to be developed in black and white only.


1. Review the three different ways to approach a typographic logo...

  • Wordmark

  • Initial Symbol

  • Combination

Each approach focuses on creating a unique image to represent the client.



A logotype, or wordmark consists of the company or product name depicted in a unique style. Strategies for creating unique or original designs might include:

  • expressive typography—type forms which have been altered or manipulated to create visual interest or impact.

  • unique letterformshand-lettered or drawn characters.

  • accents—symbols or images incorporated in a logotype.

  word mark

These letterforms have been redrawn to represent a circuit board.

  word mark

The "R" has been manipulated to become part of a symbol.

word mark

The letterforms have been altered and given accents to symbolize pillars.

word mark

Letterforms have been redrawn and given accents to suggest "water".

combination logo

This logo contains a symbol which illustrates the word.

Initial / Symbol

Logo designs based on company initials help the audience remember the company name. In order to be memorable, initial logos are made distinct or unique by:

  • incorporating a symbol.
  • using a visual analogy.
  • being redrawn or altered in a meaningful way.



combination logo

This logo incorporates a symbol which represents something about the business. Since it replaces a part of the letterform, it becomes a visual analogy.




combination logo

In this logo, the letterform has been redrawn to represent a lowercase "g" as well as a cap "S".




Logos which combine the strategies listed above can contain more depth of meaning and be more memorable.

combination logo

The "l"s have been replaced with a symbol in this unique logotype. Note how the baseline is cropped to suggest shallow water.


2. Research non-profit organizations, choose one to re-design and determine the story to visually communicate.

3. Sketch as many ideas as possible using the techniques outlined above. If you create an initial symbol, you will need to include the name of the company.

4. Develop your design and provide a PDF for critique in class.

5. After the critique, make the necessary changes. Revisions are due the beginning of the following class. Package native files with a PDF and place on the server space provided.





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