The Faltering Hearts

The Faltering Hearts, a ukulele trio of women, approached me to design a logo for them. Their previous logos had been clichéd, obvious approaches based on hearts, usually accompanied by overly-decorative typefaces.

Because the Faltering Hearts are so unique, I suggested a hand-lettered approach to make the logotype feel human, distinctive and warm.

The final logo


The Process

Original pencil sketch

My initial sketch had the lettering framed within a heart shape; however, I wanted to avoid the obvious solution. As such, the design problem became one of having the lettering suggest a heart subtly and naturally. 

With that sketch as reference, I made a number of larger drawings on tracing paper. Doing so allowed me to iterate quickly and recognise a number of awkward problems – like the crossbar of the "F" and the shape of the "R" making the word look like "fattening" instead of faltering! With a decent sketch completed, I did a very rough trace in Illustrator and then began to refine the letterforms.

 Larger pencil sketch on tracing paper

Larger pencil sketch on tracing paper

Initial, rough vector trace of the pencil sketch

New G swash and revised F crossbar.

New crossbar, more refined R


Here's a very brief video of selected steps of the production process: