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BEHIND THE SCENES, NEWS · December 22, 2010

Some New Dimension for Fortune

Earlier this year, Fortune magazine launched a new redesign featuring a new logo drawn by Cyrus Highsmith.

Just recently, Fortune’s creative director John Korpics came back to us to commission a special version of that logo to add some depth to the cover of Fortune’s annual investment issue. He was looking to capture some of the complexity and dimensionality of old banknotes, but without straying from the logo’s strong, contemporary look.

Cyrus had started some 3D sketches while designing the original logo, so I had a great place to jump off from. That meant I was left with the fun part, experimenting with colors, shadows, and shading techniques until we found something we liked.

The design of money is fascinating here and abroad, and I was overwhelmed by many different directions to explore in such little time. I took stabs at incorporating guilloché patterns, striped shading, inlines, highlights, and other hallmarks of engraving into the logo, getting feedback from John along the way.


Close up of a US dollar bill with detail of a guilloché pattern in the upper left corner.

In the end, the inspiration for the final logo came from a dollar bill I found in my wallet. Some of the lettering on the bill had not one, but two layers of shading behind them, so I crafted my own double-decker drop shade for Fortune. I had to tweak the spacing and shapes to accommodate the giant mass now sitting behind the letters, and I made further refinements by simplifying the contours and cheating out some of the angles. John and I felt that this meshed well with a precise diagonal inline, referencing the fine details of engraving without mimicking them outright.


Detail of the Fortune logo.

In the world of fonts, my work rarely leaves the realm of black and white. This logo was a welcome change of pace, and I was thrilled to play with so much color and dimension in a single project!


Fortune Investor's Guide for 2011 on newsstands now.


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