A novel emblem for the polymorphic name

Saturday, 1 April 2017

A novel emblem for the polymorphic name

In the first post of this blog I defined variedro as a «polyhedron of undetermined shape and number of sides». Where I said undetermined you must understand variable or mutable, rather than unknown. It's not a difficult idea to explain, but it's something else to reduce it to a symbol, or that's how it seemed to me when I started thinking about it. And why getting myself into this mess when I already had a logo? Yes, one done with a rookie typographic font. It doesn't looks bad, but I didn't want just to make do.

My first idea was, of course, to do the usual logo using the initial V from variedro. But, rather than looking bad, it seemed dull and without any apparent relation with the idea I pretended to symbolize. A loose letter, deep down, can mean anything. There you have it, going by the right with this paragraph. Left this way, it looks like something more fitting to put in a keyboard than becoming the icon of a blog, in truth. And since the font is so thin, it was hard to do any kind of interesting retouch. Or probably my lacking design experience prevented me to see some other possibility from that lonely V.

Dismissed that idea, I turned to another one which was also circling my mind: an hypercube or tesseract. At first I considered using that prism but, since it's a rather popular figure, I opted for finding an alternative that would serve me to design the Variedro's emblem. And I was lucky, looking into Wikipedia I came across with a polyhedron directly related with the hypercube.

That's the rhombic dodecahedron, a polyhedron with rhombus sides which is, in turn, one of the tesseract's three-dimensional projections. Some time later I've seen that there are also dices with that shape, but the point is that at last I had a model to work on. It was time to get me on Gimp to experiment. I'll explain briefly how I did it, based on the next screenshot.

In the image can be seen most of the layers that I used to define the icon. First I made the one called Rhombic Sides, painting over the original drawing (which is in the inferior layer) with different tones of the rosy one that I already had used for the title. I had achieved a base for the design, but I still had to give it charm. The Extrange heart layer is the result of shrinking the Rhombic Sides layer and applying a cubism effect to it, resulting in an element that suggests the conceptual mutability of Variedro.

There I had the idea I was chasing, although I still needed to work out some details (and some hours) more to be satisfied. For example, the gloss applied by the Satin Effect layer gives a light shading effect which enhances the shape's jewel looks. There's another layer above all the others and which, because of that, cannot be seen in the screenshot (yes, I know, I could have grouped all the V layers but for some reason I didn't) that gives a more reddish tone to the whole set. Moreover, I ended adding Vs on all the sides, althought at first I only wanted them on the face you can see at the front. And, let me not forget mentioning this, I also played with the opacity level and the mode of the layers, seeking the best combination.

The truth is, after all that fiddling, getting that strange rhombic dice was quite satisfactory for me. Sincerely, I didn't expect to achieve something that flashy. The only thing that I still have second thoughts is if I should leave those Vs alone or I should try retouching them in some way. For now, that pseudo runic appearance they have (oddly thanks to a font I didn't design with that approach) convinces me to leave them as they are. Besides, no one has complained to me.


Maybe you'll find the Variedro's icon similar to the No man's sky's floating diamond. It hasn't been my intention to copy it, the differences are noticeable, although surely that design was crouched in the back of my head and has taken this chance to pour itself on what is now the smart insignia of this blog.


With this post I end this opening series of articles about the birth of Variedro. Onwards I'll dedicate myself, slow but with good typing, to write in this blog about the matters that, from the beginning, I pretended to: my experiences creating board games and other subjects, more or less related, when chances arise.


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