DESIGN: City & Regional Magazine Association [spec]

An interesting design project came through the offices of Buffalo Spree Publishing, Inc. this October. As a member of the City & Regional Magazine Association and Media Partners (CRMA), every graphic designer at Buffalo Spree was allowed to submit logo entries to be judged by the association in order for a winner to be selected as their new identity. Sadly I did not make the shortlist.

I do, however, really enjoy the three designs I created—each one evolving from the geometrically symmetrical Sforzinda. Imagined by Filarete (Antonio di Pietro Averlino) in the 1400s, this drawing was his concept of an ideal city. It was therefore an apt jumping-off point for the CRMA thematically as well as aesthetically since the company was looking for a more contemporary look to contrast their rather literal, current brand. It’s minimalistic potential was perfect for such a task.

While the entry depicted at the top of this post was my personal favorite, the following two iterations did come first. After recreating Sforzinda in Adobe Illustrator to be easily manageable as vector art, I began stripping down the design to its barest forms. The first simply fills in the center star while the second removes everything but the negative space between star and circle. The final stage then morphs it into a wholly new entity.



This final piece retains the circular border and star as it updates them. The star gets rounder edges and begins to create an interlocking motif that I hoped allowed it to dually portray the ‘city’ as well as a printing press cylinder/roller. I then placed a modern, sans serif font (Slava Kirilenko’s Archive) of the client’s abbreviated name—carefully aligned with the star—and added purple for its common allusions to imperialism and royalty.

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