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 a 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 possible using the techniques outlined above. It you create a 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.





top of page