Wednesday, September 25, 2019


While I do a great deal of graphic design during the day, my specialty continues to be images and layout, with type falling into the distance behind several other skill sets. I knew I had a bit of a challenge ahead of me when it came to finally address the type and design of the logo for the Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia. As with most of my design work, I spent a great deal of time thinking a pondering on the subject as i rolled options around in my head. The final design by no means sprang forth from the page on its own volition.
The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia
Title text treatment and layout
Expect the front of the book to look pretty close to this. I think.

When I started working out options on paper, I first played around with some typefaces that I had at hand. Some of these were interesting, but none of these were what I was looking for. They all felt off the shelf and lacked the pop I was looking for. Some were completely wrong.

With none of the established typefaces working, I decided I needed to make my own type treatment. I set about hand drawing what I worked up in some sketches. I had something specific in mind, and I thought it would be a good fit. The more I worked on it, the more things seem to spiral away from what I wanted and what the book needed. As it was pointed out by Dear Wife, some of these were feeling very Flash Gordon or sword and sorcery, neither is the mood I wanted for the book. I did a lot of these and tried to explore variations that I thought might hit the mark. 

In the end, I had to abandon what I was doing with these. This hand drawing type was not working and I needed to look at this from a new angle. I stepped back and got rid of the ideas of them being the type to a mood or world and approached it with clean straightforward text. Eventually, I settled on the following type treatment.

Once I had this time, the rest fell into place. I knew I needed an iconic graphic, which of course needed to the crest of Ethra. The text is not off the shelf, it has been modified, letters connected, etc. to make it work better and become a unifying element. Once the crest was combined with the type treatment, I knew I had it. This version then became the final image that I have been using to promote the book since. 

The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

This final version is by far better than what I initially set out to create. Often, this is the way of things. Iterations, trial and error, and exploring deadends will help lead you to where you need to go. 

That is all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog, see you back here on Friday! Until then...

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