School Seal

I'm helping to design a school seal for Thomas More college. It's been a learning experience because it's been a long time since i've worked with concentric circles and text -which is not the easiest thing to do in Photoshop! But here's what I have so far:

Are any of the circles noticeably off kilter? Do the hand-drawn elements look okay?


theodore said...

You've done a fine job, Ben.

I really like the shells... the rose works well too... though I'm wondering what it would look like if you had it at an angle...but I do like the more graphic approach.

I would increase the size of the swords just a bit.

benjamin P Hatke said...

Thanks Ted,

But if I had what at an angle? And you would increase the swords? Wow. I was worried that they were too big!

Lawrence Klimecki said...

It looks great Ben, everything appears even and centered to me. Do the elements have particular meaning for the school?

theodore said...

Sorry for the confusion. The rose; I was thinking you should tilt it instead of viewing it head on... BUT now that I think about it I like the more graphic quality of the top view.

I THINK what I'm thinking about those swords (and maybe to a less degree the shells) is that the line width is too thin (as compared to the rose)


It looks great anyway, I'm just trying hard to offer suggestions.

Tim said...

The circles and text look good to me. They would be easy to create in Illustrator and then copied over to Photoshop with no problem. I'm always jumping between the two programs. If you need to do much more of this kind of work I'd recommend investing in Illustrator for the technical parts.

The sword handles do get a little lost in the black cross but I'm not sure what the solution to it is. Maybe enlarge the swords and cross them underneath the rose unless of course their crest is already set. Anyway, I like the seal a lot.

Herreid said...

Cool! My brother is going to Thomas More.

Lawrence Klimecki said...

OK this is going to sound real geeky but I have a little experience in heraldic design. The black outlines are termed "fimbriated" and are not unusual in heraldry but they are not the norm either. Gold and silver are metallic colors and the standard rule is no metallic colors touching each other and no non-metallic colors touching each other. Black is sort of the odd man out so its perfectly ok for example to to have the red rose next to the green petals as long as they are separated by black. All this is to say that the classic solution to the swords getting lost in the black would be to design the swords so that they are not outlined in black. Gold against red, ok, gold against black ok. The downside is the swords may not pop enough off the red for your taste. Maybe you can make them a little larger and try them with and without the black outline.

WondrousPilgrim said...

Ben: looks cool. having attended TMC for one year, though, I'm still not sure what the significance of the items are.

I think if you made the swords longer, but not much wider, they would be a bit more balanced. Right now it's a little middle hearvy with the rose and the swords so close.

also, it looks like the "veritati" is a little off compared to the "caritas".

Lizi said...

I have no critisisms, I think this looks great. I especially like the colors. Nice job !

Benjamin P Hatke said...

Wow. What an overwhelming response! Thanks, everyone, for the advice, crits and comments. Lawrence especially -i guess you are the guild's official heraldry expert.

Anyway, this was ll helpful as many of the elements of this seal are still up in the air. I've redrawn the rose at least three times now. I think I'll have a finished version this next week.

When I do, I'll post it.

Abigail said...

Setting up text in photoshop is pretty tricky - I do website comps in that and it's hard getting everything to even up (as opposed to in illustrator with all the alignment tools).

I wonder if the spacing between "of" and "liberal" could be tightened a bit? Everything else looks really good!

Ben said...

Thanks Abigail. You might be right there.

For me this project has been a big advertisement for illustrator. I've stubbornly heald out for years now, refusing to shell out the money for illustrator on the basis that I don't do this kind of work all that often. But when I do do projects like this, photoshop is Mr. Slowpants.

So, by the end of the week I should be able to post the final version of this, as well as some of the intermediate versions.

RC said...

The year looks a bit off-center (the right side is larger than the left side). Also, "Thomas" could be better centered within the width of the black band.

Jef Murray said...


My only concern is that "College" needs to be centered at top maybe? So that it lines up a bit with "congaudet" underneath?