Fixing the Dradis Logo

As a designer, sometimes there are small details that bother me to the point where I need to address them. This time it was the Dradis logo that fell victim to my designer eye for details. A little while ago, I noticed something was amiss with the logo’s 3D perspective. When we started using the logo as the favicon, I noticed that one side appeared to be significantly narrower than the other.

Favicon with asymmetric logo

Additionally, the logo’s current style doesn’t scale well. When the logo is significantly scaled-down we lose the outlines which cause the extruded sides to blend into the top face, skewing the design.

Let’s dissect the logo to investigate and fix the perspective and symmetry problems. While we’re at it, let’s also address the scaling issue.

Investigation

Jumping right into it, let’s take a look at the current logo:

Current Dradis logo

In order to get a better understanding of what is going on with the symmetry, let’s get rid of the ring and isolate just the face of the “A”:

Isolated face of the “A”

Next, let’s add some guides for alignment and straighten it out so we can see if the top and bottom are level:

Straightened “A” with alignment guides

It is already evident that the top of the “A” isn’t quite level. Let’s zoom in to see how askew it really is:

Top alignment with the guide

That’s pretty significant if we are going to be using this for a 3D object. Let’s remember this for later when we look at the X-axis perspective.

Now let’s check out the bottom of the “A”:

Bottom right alignment with the guide

The bottom right looks spot on.

How about the bottom left?

Bottom left alignment with the guide

It’s slightly off but it’s minimal (you might have to click the above image to enlarge it in order to see the misalignment).

Now let’s fill in the missing sections to restore the original shape of the “A” before it was cut out by the ring.

Completed “A” shape

Looking at the A in this state reveals that it’s quite inconsistent. Let’s use Adobe Illustrator’s trusty measure tool to take some measurements:

“A” with measurements added

Look at it! Just look at it! 😭

All of these measurements should be the same. Let’s keep this in mind for later when we talk about the Y-axis perspective.

Additionally, let’s check the inner bottom angles of the “A”:

Inner bottom angles

Oh boy, these angles being uneven means the top of the “A” is off-center and lopsided as if the top was pushed towards the right:

“A” with center guide

In order to fix the symmetry of this shape, we’ll need to make the measurements isometric and equal out those bottom angles. But for now, let’s take a peek at the 3D perspective problems.

This is the logo again reset to its original state:

Original logo

Looking closely it’s evident that the 3D extrusion is not realistic nor consistent. Let’s dive in deeper, I’ll try to illustrate what I’m talking about.

First, let’s start with the X-axis. I’ve added some gridlines that the top and bottom edges of the A should line up with:

X-axis gridlines

We can already start to see some problems here. Going back to those alignment issues we discovered above, we can see how that top edge not being level is affecting the alignment of the shape with the X-axis gridline.

Arrows showing problem areas

The bottom left of the “A” was only slightly off level but now it’s clear how that minor misalignment also caused an issue with the 3D extrusion.

Let’s move on to the Y-axis:

Y-axis gridlines

Similar to the X-axis, we can see some issues here with the Y-axis:

Arrows showing problem areas

The “A” should be aligned to these gridlines but it’s not as a result of those uneven measurements and angles we discovered earlier. 

Finally, let’s take a gander at the z-axis:

Z-axis gridlines

😲 – shocked
🤯 – mindblown
😭 – crying

This is all wrong. Let me explain:

Arrows showing problem areas

The extrusion of the left leg’s base doesn’t make sense with how it’s skewed in. The right leg of the “A” appears to be bent down from the left leg along the Y-axis causing a huge deviation from the Z-axis gridlines. This is the main reason for the “3D-ness” not looking realistic.

Fixing

I took some time to recreate the Dradis logo using Adobe Illustrator. I corrected all the perspective and symmetry issues with the current logo design by making those uneven measurements and angles equal.

Then I used Illustrator’s 3D tools to make the 3D extrusion and adjust the perspective angle.

3D extrusion and angle adjustment

I was also able to solve the scaling issue by removing the outlines from the logo and adding shaded colors to the extrusion.

From outlines to shaded colors

Additionally, I ensured the ring was aligned to the same perspective angle as the “A” to make it look and feel right as one cohesive logo with 2 distinct elements.

The keen observer may say “but the new logo doesn’t align with the Z-axis described above!”:

Updated logo with old Z-axis gridlines

And they would be right! I like the perspective where we see the flying A’s extrusion on the inner parts of the legs. If we wanted to correct the logo using the original Z-axis angle we would end up with this perspective:

New A on the original Z-axis angle

I ended up changing the Z-axis angle to maintain the previous perspective:

Updated A on the corrected Z-axis angle 

Here is the logo again showing the adjusted Z-axis angle:

New Z-axis gridlines

And to be thorough – here are the X and Y gridlines showing how the updated logo is nice and tidy.

The below shows a comparison of the previous and updated logo designs.

Left: Original logo
Center: Updated logo with corrected perspective 
Right: Updated logo with shaded extrusion

Artboards

Finally, here is the before and after of the favicon.

Left: Before, After: Right

Now, the designer in me can rest easy knowing the logo has a realistic 3D extrusion and perfect symmetry.


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