Friday, June 4, 2010

Arkham Sanitarium, Part Five

Here's the Arkham Sanitarium logo, at least for now. I'm still not altogether happy with it, but I've reached the stage where the more I fiddle with it the more frustrated I get. That's usually the sign to call it quits for a while.

Just click on any of the pictures below to get the high resolution versions. I've included four different color schemes for you to choose from, but the last one is my personal favorite.

Update: Of course, as soon as I finished posting this my significant other points out a suggestion from a commenter that would help me fix what I don't like. I still want to walk away from it for a few days to get some perspective, but I'll post the tweaked version sometime next week.


P. S. Mangus said...

Nice. It is starting to come together nicely.

James Floyd Kelly (Jim) said...

Yes, the last one... that's my favorite of the bunch.

Raven said...

The "3D" shading effect of the thickened lines rightward/downward on the serpent, key, and torch, help them stand out. Very nice.

Color schemes #1 and #3 are vivid, high-contrast, use the heraldic color palette, and thus will be visible at small sizes or great distances. I like both, though I think (as I said before) #1's blue border more likely to be soothing for patients.

Color scheme #2, though similar to #1, darkens the colors of the serpent, Psi, and background, while lightening the border. The result is less contrast all around, and reduced visibility of details at small sizes or great distances.

And color scheme #4, your personal favorite,.... I'm so sorry, Oakree. As art, it's very pretty. But as heraldry, it has #2's problem squared. A green serpent and a blue Psi against a blue-green (aqua) background -- that's low-contrast nearly to the point of camouflage.

English heraldry tends to work with a limited palette of seven primary "tinctures" or tints: just two light tints called "metals" -- gold/yellow ("Or") and silver/white ("Argent") -- and five darker tints called "colors" -- black/Sable, purple/Purpure, red/Gules, green/Vert, blue/Azure.*

For the purpose of keeping high-contrast visibility, the rule of thumb in heraldic design is "Don't put a metal on a metal, or a color on a color."

E.g. don't put a gold lion rampant on a silver field; don't put a red dragon on a purple field. Either of these will "drown" the details -- make them undiscernable at a distance -- due to low contrast.

* There are less common colors available, such as sanguine and blue celeste, and -- much more often used -- patterns ("furs") formed of dappled metals and colors. Also, a natural object like a tree can be shown "proper" (in its own colors, e.g. with brown trunk and green leaves). I've simplified to emphasize the core high-contrast palette, but you should be aware of these other options.

Raven said...

There are a couple of possible "saves" for color scheme #4, though.

(a) Fimbriation, a narrow contrasting border between the object and the background to set them apart. I sent you examples of extremely thin (1px) fimbriation just to show the outlines of the key and torch against black; somewhat thicker (3-5px) would do for the serpent-and-Psi, given that they're not gold.

(b) Change the whole field just behind the serpent-and-Psi, as in "Arkham Sanitarium, Part Four". I think this has the advantage of a less complicated background, leaving the eye's attention on the foreground details.

Anonymous said...

Hark the Herald

by Tamar ibn Vakare
(A filk to the tune of: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing) [June 1980]

Hark! The Herald Alfgar screams,
Don't use blues on top of greens.
Or and argent, that's all right,
Metals and tinctures don't fight.
Use a blend, no Highland plaids,
Keep it simple, please my lads,
Azure, vert, purpure and gules,
Must follow all my Herald's rules.
Hark! The Herald Alfgar screams,
Don't use blues on top of greens.

Hark! The Herald Alfgar yells,
Don't use cars and oilwells.
Period, we beg you please,
Tygers we can draw with ease.
Please don't ask for rubber bands,
These must pass through Laurel's hands.
We draw rampant, couchant, too,
Dancing the Hustle, no can do!
Hark! The Herald Alfgar yells,
Don't use cars and oilwells.

Raven said...

@ Anonymous: "Don't use... oilwells."

In other words, don't turn the Psi upside-down.

Carl said...

Actually, some good points raised about heraldry, try rendering it in black and white using the cross hatching and other methods used to denote colour in black and white. Would be more common for a coat of arms on documentation to be displayed this way in the classic Lovecraftian era. The methods for rendering the colours in B&W can be found here:
Would look great for paper props done this way.

Raven said...

@ Carl: Yes, the cross-hatching convention was shown at the above (Wikipedia) "tinctures" link as well.