So Here is my Final Product of the Initials Logo/Self-Portrait
3 different typefaces for 3 different Initials, alternating between Script, Serif and Sans-Serif fonts
Below is my Thesis—don’t mind the mistakes, didn’t even bother editing it yet.
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DAI 325 – Graphic Design: 1
Michael John Laygo Yra
Self-Portrait/ Initials Personal Logo
When I reflect on self I see someone who’s lived but still hasn’t lived enough. Time and change are definitely factors that have brought me to where I am today, but they aren’t the main variables. Realistically, I am a product of many different things and this is my attempt to simplify everything down. When I look at myself I can associate with having a strong sense of family pride and culture. These aspects are the foundation of my design because I hold them on top of everything.
Initially, I brainstormed the symbol of a tree. The tree is very cliché and is common for the word “family”, hence the concept of a “family tree”. The idea of representing a tree later evolved into the representation of something plant-like or organic. The main idea is that something organic is natural and living. A tree or plant is always constantly changing over time. Despite its fluctuations in form, color or size, it still manages to stay deeply rooted and well grounded where it’s planted. Although time and change obviously affect me in many ways, I try my best to not forget where I came from and how far I’ve come.
Yra is my last name and it has a European background. This isn’t really much of a surprise due to the history of the Philippine Islands. The Spanish colonized the Islands but besides that, Manila and its seaports had heavy traffic in the early times of trade. I chose Edwardian Script mainly because of its letterform. The script typeface plays perfectly into the idea of it being the “roots” of a plant or a tree. This is why the “Y” is on its side. The stem of the “Y” becomes the surface/ground of the image while the rest of the curling “Y” becomes the winding roots.
In the Philippines, one of the customs is that you take your mother’s maiden name as your middle name at birth. In this case, my mother’s last name before marriage was Laygo. At birth, my mother still named me Michael John Laygo Yra, with “Michael John” being my full first name. Up until now, I have used only John as my middle name on paper work but still keep Laygo out of respect for my mom. In my created logo I used an uppercase “J” flipped upside down to create the organic figure rooted to the ground. At first glance, many might not notice the letter “J” because of it resembling a lower case “f”. This is intentional because I know that not many people know of my middle name and only a few people whom I’m close with call me by that. In some ways I consider it my alter ego or the real side of me that people don’t know yet. This is why I chose it to be uppercase as opposed to the lowercase “m”.
The “J” can also represent a stamen, or the male fertilizing organ of a flower. I chose the Cochin typeface also mainly because of it’s letterform. Its brackets to the top of the J’s serifs helped in creating the smooth movement into the Y’s stem. This also created the movement of the “L” for Laygo. My intention was to sneak in the Laygo initial without adding an additional letter. This is another gesture of respect just for my mother. At the same time the representation of the L also brings forth the idea of how Women’s last names get lost after marriage when they take their husband’s. The stem of the “Y”, or in this case the base of the “L” ends up decreasing in weight and curling in, thus gesturing the loss of the “Laygo”.
Lastly, the “M” is for Mike or Michael. I chose a lowercase “m” to represent myself because I wanted to use something that pushed the idea of young and youthful. It’s also me admitting and understanding that I still have plenty more to learn and grow. My decision for choosing the modern typeface Optima is that I felt it described me well. Although I am young, I still have much respect for the “old school”, and while I understand this concept about myself, it is something that I don’t show or display much. This is why the “m” is melded into the “J” and the parts of the Optima “m” usually used for identifying it cannot be seen. Initially the “m” was going to be smaller to represent a piece of fruit from the tree, but I changed it to being bigger to create the organic figure or flower with the “J” and “M” together. This complete figure is myself, Michael John.