How can I make my own derivative work?
July 15, 2015 7:47 PM   Subscribe

I want to make my own version of these very similar logos but I also want to get that authentic handmade look. How do I do it?

I am trying to do this by hand and would like to make a K that is thematically similar to the N and the M. I think I have the design sketched, but when I drew it out with pencil and pen it looked very higschoolish. I want that hand lettered, textured aesthetic from the M that the N clearly is try to emulate. I am not a designer or an artist, but I would love to learn the techniques to do lettering like this myself.

Any tutorials, websites, or books you can suggest are very much appreciated! Thanks.
posted by kendrak to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You won't get that kind of look by hand. You need to use a computer and dip into the vast universe of distressed, destroyed and damaged fonts that have been created since the 1990s.
posted by zadcat at 7:53 PM on July 15, 2015

Use the "Melody Maker" font.
posted by acidic at 8:06 PM on July 15, 2015

By computer? The roughen filter is your friend.

I disagree with zadcat and would in fact advocate doing it by hand. Get some (thick) textured paper and a brush and ink. Work large (like 3-4 inches tall), and try a normal amount of ink and also with a dry brush.
posted by O9scar at 8:32 PM on July 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

acidic, thanks for linking to "melody maker". It definitely helps refine the design.

O9scar, I think you're right but I don't know how to execute that. I was using a brush pen kind of textured paper. Should I be using a fountain pen? (I'm a total neophyte, obviously.)

I know the M was done ca. 1981 and definitely by hand. The N was made ca. 1992 and also by hand. I really would prefer to learn how to do this stuff without computers.
posted by kendrak at 8:38 PM on July 15, 2015

You might get the style you want by carving the logo into an eraser and then using the eraser like a rubber stamp with a black inkpad. Scroll a little for example
posted by tinymegalo at 8:44 PM on July 15, 2015 [2 favorites]

Printing out the font of your choice and running it through a Xerox machine several times produces interesting results, just make a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy etc until you like what you see. That's how we did it pre-Photoshop.
posted by jamaro at 8:44 PM on July 15, 2015 [3 favorites]

Let me see the pencil & pen version you drew out. So we can see what was highschoolish about it, what you need to improve?

If the general shape is poor, I'd look at more example fonts, see what things you want to emulate. Should the balls be rounder? Are you varying the thickness of the strokes in the same way as the examples? Should you have more of a slight curve like the upper crotch of the N? Should other parts be sharper? Experiment and see what feels better.

If the general shape is the right idea but lacking in execution, try doing it in larger and smaller sizes. Also use a ruler for some of the lines.

If you're really committed look for calligraphy instruction.
posted by RobotHero at 8:47 PM on July 15, 2015

You don't have to sacrifice an eraser to carve this (and that's what I'd suggest, making a print block). Dick Blick makes a few different types of rubber & linoleum print blocks and stocks other brands' as well. For a beginner and to get that fuzzy distressed line a softer product is better. I've had fun messing around with the Soft-Kut ones. If you have a well stocked art supply store near you, go in and talk to a person to help you get hooked up with the right tools, and you can also do a little research on your own just with searching "beginner block print tutorial".
posted by Mizu at 9:30 PM on July 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

Here are my sketches. The paper really isn't textured enough.
posted by kendrak at 7:52 AM on July 16, 2015

Maybe you could find a Calligraphy bfor Dummies kind of book to advise you on paper, pens and ink. FWIW, I'd try baking the vertical stroke the mirror image of an eight note, I.e. with a flag at the top.
posted by SemiSalt at 8:27 AM on July 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

Practice each of the strokes in the K until you can do them confidently.

A lot of the uncertainty in your strokes can come from thinking of it as an ongoing thing that you're constantly readjusting for. Approach it instead as you do just one movement, as one unified whole. Don't try to correct during the stroke. Do the stroke. If it's wrong, do it again, and correct your mistake the next time.

You also have my permission to cheat here and draw the parts of the K separately, pick the best of each, and combine them on the computer.

Are you moving your wrist a lot when you draw rather than your whole arm? Place a piece of paper under your hand so it can slide more easily and focus on moving your whole arm. You can also try switching it up and hold your drawing hand still while sliding the paper around the table; whatever works. (For example, this guy when drawing the Adidas logo, turns the paper to make a circle.)

Looking at the top of your downstroke I feel that needs to be cleaner. It might be easier to get a clean end with a pen than with a brush, but you also have my permission to clean that end on the computer.

The arm of the K you should try to draw in a single movement, instead of two parts like you're doing. Again, you might clean the end on the computer if it proves necessary.
posted by RobotHero at 9:40 AM on July 16, 2015

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