11092017 boyfeminist1
11092017 boyfeminist1
Tom Hornbrook • 12 sep 2017

Blog: How choosing my logo became a feminist self-reflection

I’ve been overthinking things. Namely, the search for the perfect font for this blog’s header. I needed something that said ‘feminist’ while also saying ‘male’, while also saying ‘the idea that fonts can look male or feminist is just a social construct built on patriarchal hierarchies, man’.

I began by looking for two fonts. ‘Boy’ was going to be a brightly coloured graffiti-like scrawl suffixed anarchistically onto a more orderly, respectable-looking ‘feminist’. But what would that be saying? That this blog is some sort of rebellious boy tag on the walls of the feminist ‘establishment’? The metaphor is embarrassing in its naivety of the irony.

After playing around with different font combos, I decided it wasn’t working. And by that I don’t just mean aesthetically. A split in the fonts would signify a split in the boy/feminist. That didn’t feel right; I’m both boy and feminist, not two sphere’s of identity stitched together by Dr Frankenstein. That made things simpler, at least. Just one font to decide on.

So what would a one-font ‘boyfeminist’ look like? I wanted it to look modern and sleek. But the clean-cut, sans-serif fonts through which I was endlessly browsing were giving me some bad vibes. It looked more ‘corporate ad agency’ (like the one in which I used to work), than ‘progressive social critic’ (like the one I want to become).

I was having trouble with the colour choice too. Keep it simple and go for black on white? Or white on black? Or should I embrace grey to show my solidarity with a subversion of black-white racial binaries? Maybe a multi-coloured scheme would work. ‘Boy’ could be blue (no, pink!) and ‘feminist’ could be umm… ok so any attempt to use colour could be read as a gendered statement that would undoubtedly reinforce the stereotypes I want to break down.

How about a rainbow-spread of colours across the letters? Frankly, I didn’t go for that because what I came up with looked like a rushed home-made job for a children’s playgroup. Maybe I’ll archive that one in case I ever get invited to talk to toddlers about gender.

I should mention at this point that I’m not a graphic designer. I am pretty handy with photoshop, but didn’t have the design skills to come up with what eventually rescued me from this premature brand-identity crisis. For that, I have a designer named Ivan Filipov to thank. Ivan’s font, which I eventually found online, is a fun amalgamation of multi-coloured curves and straight lines joining together in happy harmony.

The best thing about the design is that the points where lines meet combine their colours to make new clashes and contrasts. The font, which is called Multicolore, screamed ‘intersectionality’. It starts with six ‘base’ colours which layer on one another in combinations of two or three to make a further 10 colours. Something can be either blue, or it can be red, or it can be both, while also being something completely different. So I played around with the exact colours I wanted (since, you know, it’s my logo), and voila!

And, as it turns out, I have not been overthinking things. I’m actually pretty pleased with my thought process on this one. I’m so pleased, in fact, that if you have a feminist critique of my logo, please don’t tell me because to me it’s PERFECT!



Tom Hornbrook is Lover's new editor, this blog was previously published on his blog boyfeminist.com.

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