While developing the directions through sketches for Clyve, the cutlery brand with a bend for amateur culinary enthusiasts, I found myself in the comfort of a big couch. On the couch, it’s hard to draw, but not so much with an iPad. Specifically, it is a little easier to erase using the iPad than to sketch, and after I had a few letters drawn I found myself chopping them up, and there was a bit of a eureka idea. The logo doesn’t need to explicitly say “comfortable,” or “culinary,” it merely needs to allude to such feelings or concepts. I’m not saying it’s particularly ingenious to literally crop the letterforms for a cutlery brand, but in this case, and particularly with these characters, a simple sliced tailoring to the typography may be all that’s needed to help the logo stand out and communicate its purpose.
I took the process a bit further and decided that custom letterforms are the way to go—albeit even more time consuming. The Y and the C are particularly interesting aspects to a cropped typographic treatment as they already have a diagonal bias. Good knife skills dictate certain aspects to chopping, and although slicing on a bias isn’t necessarily one of those, a vertical crop might force the letterforms to miscommunicate, or even become illegible to the point of self defeat. The slicing of the letters needs to be even and consistent, precise and purposeful. Just as in chopping food, portions should be even, so too should my letters. I’m not sure why I continue to see letters for more than simply what they are, just as I did for The Ephraim Baird Entomological Society, but an aspect of connection through morsels, or items, or creatures, or objects always seems to resonate, graphically, for my taste.
While refining the concept I found that cropping the letterforms in specific ways was actually forming a nicked look, as if the letters were accidentally or improperly sliced. The slightest adjustment to cropping in this regard makes the difference between a bloody novice cook and a perfect experienced chef. Since I’ve decided to customize the typography, I also believe it’s not so bad a move to just continue with a few more letterforms to provide a sub-logo theme line “cutlery.” It’s only three more letters to draw, and even though the R will be the most difficult, a supportive word like that can help the cleverness of the cropped company name shine even more by defining the nature of the brand. Further, the un-sliced letterforms will help enforce the legibility of the typography in the logo.
Lastly, even though I’m slightly uncomfortable with the upper bar of the E being entirely sliced off, the bevel and the proportions will hopefully read clearly and quickly as an end piece to the logotype. The chip on the upper stem isn’t the most perfect sculpture of text, but I far prefer it to a hanging clipped branch of the bar, which for me looks more accidental, like the E had a not-so-safe run in with a santoku.