Actum est fun et ludos
"It's all fun and games"
Keith Ferguson, principle of Ferguson Games, was just about to see his table-top game Santa's Workshop published and available on the market. Keith was looking for a brand to help promote his game and himself as a game designer. The immediate need was a business card he could hand out at the gaming and toy conventions he attends.
Diutissime; Non legere
Continue reading for the rest of the story about my process getting to the final versions...
Dulcius ex cogitatum
"Sweeter through design"
The logo is a play on the Ferguson Clan crest badge. Keith wanted his logo to pay tribute to his clan's badge. The Fergusson badge contains a bee over a thistle behind a chapeau or crown. The belt encircling the crest contains the motto "Dulcius ex Asperis" which loosely translates to "Sweeter through Adversity". He envisioned a device with the same rough layout. He wanted to keep the thistle and wanted to incorporate elements related to table-top gaming. The bee could stay or go. The motto he wanted to use was "Dulcius ex Ludos" ("Sweeter through Games").
Ego ideam adumbra lineamenta
"I sketch an idea"
Let's start with the sketches:
Out of the initial set of sketches noodling around with the idea, these are the three I presented:
This first one (and probably my personal favorite) shows an anthropomorphic thistle rolling the die and ready to play. The spade on the belt cap alludes to playing cards.
The second one, as you can see, is the predecessor for the final design. This design stayed closest to the crest arrangement of the Fergusson badge. The thistle is less anthropomorphic, but still holding the player piece and the die. A fan of cards sits where the chapeau from the crest would be. The bee makes an appearance as the belt cap.
The third one stylizes the crest's arrangement into game pieces. A poker chip fills in the background. I stylized the thistle as a chess piece. The fan of cards from the second example returns as the chapeau.
From the feedback I received on these sketches, I learned the player piece familiar from games like Sorry! wasn't what table top games were using. Instead, they are using figures called "meeples". Keith also preferred the second sketch as the one that best represented what he had in mind.
Revised playing piece from second sketch
This is the final sketch before moving to Illustrator. Note the meeple shape in the thistle's left hand...leaf. I tried playing with domino dots on the belt which didn't pan out. Other than the dots and belt cap (still not yet determined at this point), the final design didn't deviate too much from here.
Niger et albus
"Black and white"
This is a busy logo with a lot going on. If a logo can work in black and white, it can work in color.
The first step was to render the sketch in black and white.
This is the final black and white rendering, completed using Adobe Illustrator. Earlier versions tried different ways of using black and white to bring out the details. For example, I tried the belt as white with a black outline and black text. The leaves were particularly challenging to find the right combination that best presented the shapes. At this stage, I also explored typefaces suitable for the tag line on the belt. The client settled on the Celtic uncial style using Neue Hammer Unziale. Other typefaces considered include Eczar Bold, Karmina, and Alegreya SC.
Settling on the final color selections took a few iterations. I started with the Ferguson clam tartan, per the client’s request.