3 improve the `D`
source | link
2 improve the `D`
source | link
source | link

The arqade logo is hard to read. It's a good start, but it doesn't seem like a finished product at this point.

It certainly looks neat, but abandons some basic principles of graphic design. The text reads to many as PROADE or PROAOE, and definitely not ARQADE unless you really try to see it there.

Here's a start on some small adjustments to make it more intelligible:

Oh. That's what it was supposed to say.

Why does the 'A' read like a 'P'?

First and foremost, kerning is important for text. Clear space is needed between letters for them to read correctly. There's a decent amount of space in the logo, but it is anything but clear. There's insufficient contrast between the lines background and the side of the letters, making parts of the letters seem to disappear into the background.

The A is almost legible

I spent a minute cleaning up the background and already the 'A' reads more clearly. I'm not saying to get rid of the background, but to move the letters away from the edges and define a slightly stronger contrast between the edges. This smooth interpolation when whomever scaled/rasterized the image is blurring details needed to read the text clearly and this is rather easy to fix which makes me wonder why it wasn't.

Kerning at work

Scaling and stretching of letters is fine, but useful details in our alphabet can be lost if scaled too much or too disproportionately. The slanting of the text along the ship and the stylized font are both cool and hip ideas, but if done improperly, key details necessary to read the text are lost yet again. 'A' has legs. Scale them down too much and they disappear.

It's not that much trouble to either

  • a) move the dividing line in the middle of the 'A' up to extend the legs, but this might sacrifice that following of the line along the middle of the 'R' and not look as stylin' or require additional adjustments to maintain that element of the design.

kind of loses some styling

  • or to b) extend the legs of the 'A' even just a little bit which I think works pretty well.

not bad for a 5 second fix

Why does the 'Q' read like an 'O'?

On Sesame Street, all the episodes brought by the letter Q must have had a vendetta against graphic design. 'Q' is an 'O' with a tail (the tail belies how evil a letter it is). If the tail doesn't show clearly, it's not a 'Q' no matter how much you believe it should be.

The correct solution is to emphasize the tail. In so tight a space, how do you do this without ending up with a mess of black? How can this scale well? Negative space seems to work rather well to this end.

The 'Q' is for Quality

Why does the 'D' read like an 'O'?

The only difference between a 'D' and an 'O' is that the left side is straight. With a blocky font, using corners where there would be rounding, it's actually the 'rounding' of the right side of the 'D' which makes it distinct by making the right side noticeably smaller than the left side. If the font were not slanted along the bottom of the ship, this wouldn't be a problem, but because it is, it looks similar to a perspective effect being applied to an 'O'.

To make the 'D' read more clearly, the right side of the 'D' needs to clearly be different from the left. To keep the blocky effect, the right side should be made smaller, almost up to the point of being a triangle if needed. Alternatively, some slight rounding could be brought back in to the corners of the 'D'. I realize this breaks some of the blocky symmetry of the styling applied here.

A small change can make a big difference

Personally, I didn't find the 'D' to look too much like an 'O', but this is what I've been hearing from others and I do see their point so it is worth noting.


This is by no means finished in my opinion. The 'A' and 'E' don't stand out enough from what's behind them. I know changing colour palettes is a sticky problem, but going with something just a touch lighter makes a big difference as the current blue for the outside of the wings is too similar to the black of the text.

Brightening up your day

Do we even need text in the logo?

The old logo had no text. The text was placed beside the logo. Do we even need the text smeared across our groovy space ride? I think it could be placed beside or at the very least above or below the logo without causing a problem. Placing it below, we could even stylize it like it like the text were exhaust from the ship's engine systems and use a more accentuating colour scheme (on a dark blue background as exists in the current theme, orange/yellow/white text would stand out quite nicely (example to come in a bit).