Creating Starside: Evolution of the Logo
Hello readers! We’re back with a new Starside update! This month we’re looking at the origins and development of the Starside title design. But that’s not all we’ll be talking about; we’re also going to be pulling back the curtain just a bit on issue 5! Now, let's get to it!
While a good logo doesn’t make a good story, we knew that we needed something that would catch someone’s eye as they approached our table at a convention. Hundreds of other creators also promote their comics at conventions, so we needed to make sure ours would stand out from the crowd. We wanted people to see the name and our logo from a distance and think, “Huh, this looks interesting. I wonder what this is all about.” When it comes to the really early development of the logo, dates get a bit blurry, but I believe it was in late 2017 when Jordan took a crack at some concept sketches to get an idea on a style.
It’s pretty crazy to look back on these sketches, especially since I personally haven’t seen these in over three years! When Jordan started work on these sketches, I don’t believe we really considered what sort of vibe we were looking for. While we obviously didn’t go with any of these concepts, there are certainly a couple of aspects from them we filtered through to the next stage of development, those being the first “S” in Starside being a larger letter than the rest with some kind of unique design, as well as having the dot for the “i” also be something interesting. From here Jordan came up with a new concept that, for a while, we actually thought we would end up using…
…until we showed it to some friends. Though not all of their feedback was negative, it was one quote specifically that made us go back to the drawing board: “So your story is called ‘Tarside?’” Cue facepalm. This was hard for us because we had grown to like the design of the lead “S” in Starside. There was just something simple yet unique about it. We loved how it could even function on its own as a logo for the story, which was where the idea of our current “S” branding came from.
Then & Now Similar to the other concepts that came before this one, we took the elements we liked and passed them onto the next stage of development, but with some more refining.
We knew the readability on the lead “S” was a problem, so Jordan got to work on figuring out how to make it legible while also maintaining the “logo-like” vibe we’d come to want. The next idea was to keep the design of the lead “S” but find a way to make it more S-like to help with readability.
Needless to say, it didn’t quite work, but it was worth a shot! We played around a bit more with the “S” that we liked by scaling it down…
…but it still wasn’t working for us. For a brief moment, Starside went through a metal phase:
Though pretty cool and unique, it really didn’t fit the vibe of our story.
As Jordan kept working, Lane, who has some quality-grade Microsoft Paint skills, also joined in the fray to help with some design ideas. She had been doing some solo “S” designs to find a way to have a readable “S” and be a logo, which led her to this idea:
Jordan and I liked it, so he put it in his next draft. Alongside this new idea, he also adjusted the rest of the letters and the dots over the “i” and came to us with what we now know as the final font design:
Of course, there are some points and other design ideas I’ve left out, but I didn’t want to make an already long update even longer. If anyone is interested in learning more about this topic, reach out to us and let us know!
Before we wrap up this month’s update, we wanted to talk a little bit about issue 5! While we’re still a while out from its February 2022 Kickstarter campaign, I thought it would be cool to shed a little more light on the location where this issue takes place: Hakko-Baaz.
Hakko-Baaz is a spaceport city built on an asteroid. The city is home to one of the largest transport terminals in the known universe. With its atmosphere generating rings, it maintains a comfortable, livable environment for its travelers and citizens. In developing Hakko-Baaz, we really wanted to show off a different side of our story. With Aven, we showed that there are places in our universe that are ruthless and have a storied past. With Hakko-Baaz, we wanted to show that there is an organized and governed way of life in most places where conflict hasn’t passed through. Visually, we were inspired by art deco-meets-retro futurism with a dash of traditional sci-fi cityscapes. Here’s just a taste of some of the inspiration we referred to during Hakko-Baaz’s development.
As much as I’d love to show you all artwork from inside the issue, we’re going to wait a bit longer. Since the issue is launching next year, we want to make sure we’re pacing our content drops in order to save all the good stuff for later. But don’t worry! February will be here before you know it! :)
And now to fully round out this update, here’s a reminder of our convention schedule for the rest of the year:
FanExpo Boston is our first convention in over a year, and we’re SO excited to get back in the game and show off Starside to new readers!
For anyone interested in attending this convention, you can purchase tickets here: https://purchase.growtix.com/eh/FAN_EXPO_Boston_2021?aa=9MGFHL5H1I We’ll be at booth A203! Come say hi to us! And as for those planning to attend GraniteCon and Rhode Island Comic Con, we’ll keep you posted on our future booth numbers once we have that info! We’re looking forward to seeing some familiar faces at these two cons!
Well alright! Another update in the bag! I want to truly thank everyone for your continued support. I hope that we can keep grabbing your imagination and interest with Starside and all future stories we plan to tell. Again, thank you and we’ll see you in the next update! <3 -Dylan