Iconography conundrum


  • Patron

    So, I’m STILL chipping away at those last 5% of the Algebra Explorer project (siiigh) (and damn you @geoffb for being right). Although I’m getting closer, I fear it just might be in the same sense as that turtle who always covers a set fraction of the remaining distance to the finishing line…

    Anyhow, a day ago I got a logo from my graphics artist (oh, how luxurious it must be to have a @richtaur to open graphical tickets for). I had a concept of superimposing an “algebraic x” on top of a compass rose, to really suit the name and catch the pedagogical angle of the app. And he really came through, I think it looks great!

    However, there’s a small issue to be decided, and I find I really can’t make up my mind. In order to make the x fit smoothly on top of the rose, we’ve made the legs perpendicular to each other. Otherwise you’d see the borders between the black and white parts of the rose, meeting at a different angle than the x legs, making the logo look way too busy.

    When making the x legs meet at a 90 degree angle, it loses some of its “equationness”. At the same time it also makes it feel more stylised and simple, which fits with the simple shape of the rose. Now, what I can’t decide is how to handle the top-left serif in the x. In a “real” x, that serif should have a downwards slant (version 1 below). But I found that having the serif parallell to the horizon plays even more on the stylizedness of it all (version 2).

    version 1 version 2

    So, in essence; I feel version 1 has a slight style clash between the rose and the x, but that this x is more equationy. Version 2 is more coherent as a whole, but at the expense of losing some equationness in the x. The difference is slight, but I think they taste rather differently. And I really really can’t decide. Heeelp!


  • Patron

    Personally, I don’t see much of a difference.
    What I think you should do, tho, is color things.
    If you hadn’t said what the icon was, I would never guess it. I would probably try to read it as one figure instead of two separate things.
    Maybe make the x grey? IDK
    @T2norway, help us!


  • Patron

    Hmm, you might be right, maybe I’m overestimating the recognition factor of the individual parts. I counted on both the x and the rose being instantly connected to algebra and a compass, especially as the logo will often be shown next to the name, “Algebra explorer”. But of course I’m blinded by the fact that I know what I mean, and thus am unable to neutrally judge the recognition factor.

    As you say, decoding ability would increase by using some colour differentiation. But I’m reluctant to make colours part of the logo - having a single colour logo is a big advantage and easier to deal with in general.


  • Tiger Hat

    Generally I’m against design by committee - but seeing as you did ask…
    I like the logo, but I don’t think the stylising is working. I would keep the x with the angled serif, but I would also have it with the correct angles in the arms. To me it looks stretched. Instead, alter the size of each element so that you don’t get the interference you were talking about. This should also help with @josue’s comment about differentiating the two elements.
    Like I said though, that’s just the opinion of one member of the committee, so feel free to disregard :)


  • Patron

    Interesting, you think the stretching is too… disturbing? Yeah, I can see that. Here’s what it looks like without the stretching:

    no stretch

    The busyness could probably be helped by better positioning of the x, or by making the rose smaller, but I was never happy when moving this real x around on top of the rose. Maybe the busyness is less of a problem if I go with @josue 's suggestion on colours.

    This ties in to what I was trying (but failing) to say up top; making the serif horizontal is so obviously stylised that my hope was that it excuses the stretch cheat.


  • LDG

    oh, how luxurious it must be to have a @richtaur to open graphical tickets for

    Sometimes I wish I had someone I could open graphical tickets for too!

    Hehe, agonizing over these subtle differences – love that attention to detail :) Personally I think the first one looks fine. To marry it more to the compass rose, you could angle the serif downward at the same angle as the triangle slope below it.

    Congrats on getting so close to finishing, keep pressure on it!


  • Patron

    Well, I still think color would greatly increase the readability, but I think the smaller X helped.


  • Patron

    Algebra explorer!
    Dude, this looks SO much better!
    Also, where is this map from?
    Algebra explorer


  • Patron

    Yeah, @richtaur 's idea to increase the slant even more to make the serif parallel to the compass side was a really good one! Thanks Matt!

    The backdrop in the big picture is an old map of the mid section of Scandinavia. Oslo to the left, Stockholm to the right.


  • Tiger Hat

    @Josue said:

    @T2norway, help us!

    Whops, hehe. I’m 26 days too late…


  • LDG

    In just 2 more days, the forum would all be zombies!!!!1


  • Patron

    @richtaur said:

    In just 2 more days, the forum would all be zombies!!!!1

    Better get your moderator guns ready!


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