Main Really Good Logos Explained: Top Design Professionals Critique 500 Logos and Explain What Makes Them..
Really Good Logos Explained: Top Design Professionals Critique 500 Logos and Explain What Makes Them WorkMargo Chase, Rian Hughes, Ron Miriello, Alex W White
A collection of 500 great logos critiqued by a panel of internationally acclaimed designers In Really Good Logos Explained, some of todays top creative minds critique and appraise over 500 examples of truly exceptional logos, and explain what makes them work. The insight provided by these four outstanding editors is - like the logos themselves - succinct, specific and effective. Their comments provide a rare and insightful glimpse into the inner workings of excellent design, and offer a new understanding that is immeasurably useful to anyone working within the creative fields today.
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REAllY GOOD lOGOS explained explained Top Design Professionals Critique & Explain What Makes Them Work 500 ... "'C :::a < C '"r- 0 IO '"m m < r- s: - '" <n <n (') ~ <n-o '" " :I: :I: C m <n m .... .... '" <n <n • • • By Margo Chase Rian Hughes Ron Miriello Alex W. White 0 :::a -t © 2008, 2011 Crescent Hill Books, LLC . All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the copyright owners. All images in this book have been reproduced with the knowledge and prior consent of the artists concerned, and no responsibility is accepted by producer, publisher, or printer for any infringement of copyright or otherwise, arising from the contents of this publication. Every effort has been made to ensure that credits accurately comply with information supplied . We apologize for any inaccuracies that may have occurred and will resolve inaccurate or missing information in a subsequent reprinting of the book. First published in the United States of America by Rockport Publishers, a member of Quayside Publishing Group 100 Cummings Center, Suite 406-L Beverly, MA 01915 Telephone: (978) 282-9590 Fax: (978) 283-2742 www.rockpub.com Digital edition: 978-1-61673-891-4 Softcover edition: 978-1-59253-427-2 ISBN-13: 978-1-59253-427-2 ISBN-lO: 1-59253-427-9 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Design: John Lee Studio, www.johnleestudio.com Produced by Crescent Hill Books, Louisville, KY Printed in China CONTENTS The Authors Margo Chase Rian Hughes Ron Miriello Alex W. White Chapter One 6 10 14 18 22 Loud&Proud Bold or Risky Designs That Work Chapter Two 86 Sleek & Subtle Understated Designs That Work Chapter Three 162 Shelf-Savvy Retail-Oriented Logos Chapter Four Smart & Effective Clever Solutions for Everyday Companies Bonus Chapter Not-So-Good Logos, Explained Just For Fun Author Favorites, Explained Index 210 The Authors The Mistakes of Others "You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself." - Sam Levenson There are thousands of books about logos- so many that you might wonder why we need another. Most show pretty logos, cred it the designer, praise the client, and sometimes even discuss the process. But this book is unique. The logos in this book are not special because they are particularly beautifu lor well designed, although some of them are. These logos are special because they were designed by exceptional designers who were willingto submit their work for public criticism; designers willingto learn from their mistakes; designers willingto try and fail while the rest of us watch safely from the sidelines; designers who are, well ... brave. The designers who submitted logos to this book have allowed us to examine, discuss, pick apart and evaluate their work, and publish the results here for all to see. And that is what makes this logo book special. The readers don't just get to see a good logo; they getto read about what makes it good and what could have been improved. The critiques are mini-lessons on good type design with a little typographic hi sto ry thrown in. As critics, we have done our best to praise what works and constructively explain what doesn't. Some ofthe mistakes are obvious, some are amusing,and a few left me ata loss for words. Butwhilethere is often room for improvement, there are many smart, witty, and just plai n beautifu I logos in this collection. "There are thousands of books about logos. But this book is unique." Another enlightening aspect of this book is that we critics often disagree. While, of course, I am generally certain that my opinion is the right one, our disagreement should make it clear that even so-called "experts" can make mistakes. Readingthrough the comments, I noticed places where something I disliked was ably defended by someone else. And there were other places where someone pointed out errors I had completely missed. We all have plenty left to learn. Whetheryou are a deSigner, a client, or even a critic, there is somethingto learn from this book. So enjoy the carnage, and then be brave-go make some mistakes of your own. 7 Really Good Logos, Explained ct Q & A with Margo Chase My favorite logos inside this book are the AA Dove (page 132), Water Exhibit (page 240), and Charity Ride (page 34) logos, for three entirely different reasons. The wooden bird flying away with broken strings trailing behind it is powerful conceptually. The symbolism of cutting the strings is inspiring, and the naive quality of the wooden bird illustration is both poignant and fun. It's the perfect message for a life coach. I also love the Water Exhibit logo for its elegant restraint. The almostindustrial type is beautifully balanced and integrated into the calligraphic flow ofthe ink/water. Hand lettering is something I can't live without, so I have to include the Charity Ride logo with its fabulous fat, Blackletter-inspired letters and tattoo decorations on my list offavorites.lt looks like itwas fun to design and probably inspired the bikers who participated. You know your logo is Really Good when someone who knows NOTHING about design says they love it and someone whose opinion you respect agrees. A great logo should be as loved by designers as it is by non-designers. You know it works when non-designers remember it and want it as a tattoo. What's the best thing a client ever said to you? "Wow! You designed that?" It usually goes downhill from there. What is the worst? "We want a Nike swoosh." Oreven worse, NOTHING. Hearing nothing is really the worst. It usually means they're not happy and afraid to say so. Whoever said "bad new travels fast" never worked in a creative field. We hard Iy ever hear bad news straight up. We always have to wait around, imagining the worst, until, weeks later we fi nd out what they were afraid to tell us. For creative inspiration, I Fly upside down. Ski. Read. Travel. Shop. Eat. Go to museums. The smartest thing I ever heard anyone say about logo design is ... "People think that design is styling. Design is not style. It's not aboutgiving shapetothe shell and notgivingadamn about the guts. Good design is a renaissance attitude that combines technology, cognitive science, human need, and beauty to produce somethingthatthe world didn't know itwas missing." - Paola Antonelli "Ugliness does not sell." - Raymond Loewy The best career advice I ever received was ... Workto live, don't liveto work. Early in mycareerl didn't believe it. Ittook me twenty years to realize that you've got to pick your battles. I think I'm much better at my job now because I have more experience and more perspective. I'm not willi ng to fall on my sword over every job-on Iy the ones that really matter. Margo Chase drew her first logos more than 20 years ago for unknown bands that mostly stayed unknown. She believes in rapid, tireless iteration and not moving to the computer until a direction is well formed. Chase Design Group, which is located in Los Angeles, provides research, brand strategy, and identity work for the Fortune 500, among others. Outside of the office, Margo competes flying airplane aerobatics, is an expert alpine skier, and routinely injures herself trying other sports. 8 The Authors 10 Mistakes Designers Make When Creating a Logo By Margo Chase 1. Designing for yourself. expecting something completely different based on your verbal description ortheir own. When you say "fresh and modern" make sure yourclient knows what that looks like before you start designing. When the client speaks those words, they may have something quite different in mind than you do. Show pictures and get reactions. Find out iftheir idea of modern is 1957 or 2007. It is crucial to understand for whom a logo is really created. Often the designers and the true audiences fortheir work have very little in common. Get as much information as you can about who the audience really is. Meetthem and talkto them if possible. Then design for them, notforyourself. 2. Starting with a bad font, not altering a good one, or ignoring letterspacing and weight. All ofthis falls under the heading of "craft!' In the era of the computer, craft gets way too little attention. There are millions offonts available to every designer; some are wonderful, but most are not. Learn to tell the difference. Most typefaces are created for setting text on pages and in paragraphs and sentences. Logos have a totally different level of scale and emotional impact. The usually small number of letters in a logo will be blown up and closely visible. Ata minimum,everytypeface has spacing issues that need to be addressed by altering the letters for a logotype to work well. If you are goingto start from an existing font, choose one with letterforms that work visually and conceptually forthe words you are using. Then learn to adjust forms and weights to make them work together. The best is to swallowyour gum and start adjusting and redrawing the letters where necessary-I use lots oftracing paper- until the shapes start to have the relationships for which I am looking. Then I work to make the weights and spacing harmonious. In agood logo the adjustments shouldn't stand outfrom the rest of the letters; they should look as ifthey are equally part of the font. 3. 7. 8. Using computer tricks. This usually results from tryingto decorate a weak design. Applications like Illustrator, Photos hop, and Painter can be a huge asset to any designer, butthey should be used with restraint. A bad logotype that is warped, beveled,and drop-shadowed isstill a bad logotype. A good one would be better off without that stuff. Generally, if you are thinkingofusingacomputertrick,go lie down until thefeelinggoes away. 9. Being a slave to the computer and forgetting to use your fingers. Logos and lettering were created by hand for hundreds of years, and there are many effects and techniques that cannot be replicated digitally. Distressed textures, calligraphy in endless styles, freeflowing scripts, and happy accidents are impossible to create believably using only the computer. Even the best CGI metal effect using de boss (debossing?) filters and good shadows misses the beauty of the same thing modeled in real metal. Computereffects can be greattools for creating a comp that you can sell to the client, but don't rely on them. If the logo needs to look handmade, make it by hand! Not having a sound strategic case for the design direction. Overestimating the client's ability to translate words into visual language. Not considering other points of view. There are many humorous examples of designs with connotations that were never intended. Perhaps the most notorious is the tootight spacing between the "L" and "I" in "MEGAFLlCKS." Or did the people who named the company "Who Represents?" or "Experts Exchange" think about how their URLs would read? Pay attention to other ways that your work can be interpreted. This is especially true if you are designing something that will be translated into another language. To see some funny examples, do an Internet search on "bad logos." When a designer lacks a sound strategy behind his design, it becomes impossible to defend it against a client's personal taste or prejudices. If all you can say is, "I like it, and I know best because I'm a designer," you are doomed. 5. Not considering the limitations of reproduction. This is a classic error, usually stemming from inexperience, lack of technical understanding, or just not asking enough questions. Find out how the logo will be used before you start designing. Nothing is worse than sellingyour client on a logo that looks great in full color detail, and then finding outthat it will only be printed in silk screen or embroidered. Not doing your homework/research. It is impossible to design agreat logo when you don't know what you are trying to accomplish or what style not to use because a competitor has used it. Do your best to understand the context of the business; who the competition is; what, how, and where the logo will appear; why it is needed and who will see it. Don't expect to get all of your information from the client. Clients often don't understand how design can help them, so they don't provide the right kinds of information. A little digging can go a long way. The more information you have, the more successful your design can be. 4. 6. 10. Presenting a design you don't want chosen. Make sure that you and your client are speaking the same language. It is easy to miss with a logo presentation because the client was If you have a few designs to present, and you really don't like one, don't include itto fill out the presentation. It WILLget chosen. 9 The Authors Navigating Designland Good logos require good clients, not just good designers. If you've just bought (or you're thinking about buying) this book,you're probably either agraphic designer or someone who uses the skills of a graphic designer-agraphic designer's client. The advice set out in this book is intended to guide the critical analysis of what does and does not make a logo a "Really Good Logo" (and not just an "all right, I suppose" logo). The advice in this book is relevant for clients just as much as it is for designers. The client's role in the design process is crucial. How can clients ensure they get the best from their designers? How can they get the most creative and appropriate logos possible? With all the talented designers that graduate every year, we should be surrounded by beautiful and original designs. There should be no space left forthe mediocre, the plain ugly. Yet it's still outthere- on billboards, in supermarkets, on shop fasciae. Why? Bad designers? Sure, but I hazard that there may be another reason: there are clients who don't know bad from good, who are, in effect, visually tone-deaf. This book will help those clients become more critically informed, to know when they are working with good designers rather than jobbing amateurs or BS merchants who hide behind a smokescreen of mystifying terminology. In addition, this book will help clients as well as designers appreciate, and more important, articulate what separates good design from bad. UThere are clients who don't know bad from good, who are, in effect, visually tonedeaf. This book will help those clients." Sure, some differences in opinion may be attributed to that elusive thing called "taste." But if a logo has an original concept, is well designed, and is appropriate for its intended use, then the informed client, regardless of his appreciation of aesthetics, will reap the benefits. The informed client will present the designer with a well thought out brief so the designer will know when his solution fulfills the client's needs and when he's way off beam. The informed client will expect originality and not ask the designerto clone the look of the competition. The informed client will know when something is beautiful or ugly and expect the designerto know why The informed client will not be too prescriptive (there's no point in having a dog and barking yourself) but will offer reasoned feedback so the designer can arrive at the final logo with ease. Most of all, good design relies on a clear dialogue between client and designer. It may sometimes seem as if designers and clients speak entirely different languages, but this book will help you navigate "design land" without accidentally ordering a dog's dinner. 11 Really Good Logos, Explained ~ Q & A with Rian Hughes My favorite logos inside this book are the Lab series (pages 28- 29) and Voiceover Artist (page 260). Both have strong concepts and are elegantly executed with no extraneous fuss. • .. I · II, , , • ,. I ,, ' , , • .... .. You know your logo is "Really Good" when it stands the testoftime and is still in use and still looking good ten years down the line. THELAB ART+IDEAS What's the best thing a client ever said to you? "We knew it was right the moment we saw it. We love it. We're not changing anything." What is the worst? "Can you do it again but use this freeware font?" (It was a font based on Iron Maiden's logo.) or... • .. (pointingto an area of negative space) "Did somethingfall off the artwork here?" I · II, , , • ,. I ,, ', or... "We ran out oftime so we handed your roughs to our in-house designerto see what he could do with them. It's just gone to press." For creative inspiration, I immerse myself in all aspects of the project, then sleep on it. The smartest thing I ever heard anyone say about logo design is ... "Design agood logo and people will respond to it like acool clothing label- they'll wear it on T-shirts, carry a bag with it on it, feel part ofthe brand-all of which adds up to free advertising." The best career advice I ever received was ... "Ideas nevergo out offashion." (Brian Grimwood) CHRIS ENRIGHT I VOICEOVER ARTIST Rian Hughes (devicefonts.co.uk), award-winning graphic designer, comic artist, and typographer, has produced designs for watches, CDs, animated films, and Hawaiian shirts for clients from Tokyo to New York. He has a cabinet of Thunderbirds memorabilia, a fridge full of vodka, and a stack of easy listening albums that he plays very quietly. 12 , • .. .. The Authors 10 Mistakes Designers Make When Creating a Logo By Rian Hughes 1. The designer didn't have an idea. Moving random fonts around until the arrangement looks nice is not havingan idea. Lining up the ascenders and descenders is not having an idea. Takingthe initials ofthe client and combining them into a monogram is an idea, but just barely. Stop and ask yourself a few questions: What is the purpose ofthis logo? What adjectives would you use to describe the product/company? What image does the logo need to concisely convey? Where will it be used, and how? To what audience are you speaking? How can you address all the above in a memorable and original way? Just considering these questions should give you a handful of good ideas. 2. 7. 8. The designer had an idea, but it wasn't appropriate. 5. The client didn't understand the designer's idea. It helps if your idea is so strong as to be unarguable. However, si nce some clients may be visually tone-deaf, a short paragraph explaining what the concept is and why it's appropriate often helps. 6. Marketing departments, who find novelty unsettling and ride fash ions ratherthan setthem, will here be you r occasional nemesis. Dealingwith them is a careful dance. Learn to step nimbly and lead with a light hand. Originality and sales are not mutually exclusive. Also see Mistake Number 1, "not having agood idea." The designer had a lame idea and tried to dress it up to make it look more impressive. Use your Photoshop drop shadows, embossing effects, and filters with caution. Theycan add a final sheen, but adrop shadow is not a replacement for an idea. The design was conceptually or technically inconsistent. If the logo is two different ideas combined, it'll probably communicate neither idea effectively. Try not to indulge the client's request to "combine this logo with a bit of that logo" because that is like boltinga rearspoileronyour Model T. Also, remember that the byline is part of the logo too and should adhere to the same overall concept. The design looked just like another design that was already out there. Be original. Originality means creating something new, not lifting from an obscure source on the Web, this book, or the chap sitting opposite you in the studio. Use your own voice. Your lovingly crafted grunge/skate logo doesn't look right on a pack offondantfancies? Read that brief again, and apply yourself to the job at hand, even if you desperately wish you were doing rap album sleeves instead. 4. The designer let the client have too much input. The best deSigners know how to politely let the client know when he has suggested a lame idea. Then you offer him a much better one. That's your job. (Here it helps to be a master politician; try to charm and persuade ratherthan pout and cry.) The designer had an idea, but it was a bit cliche. Cliches sometimes lead somewhere more interesting so, by all means, explore them. But making the letter "0" into a smiling face? I think we've seen that before. As it helps to have an idea or ten before you start, think before you do. Doodle before you Mac. 3. Spotting technical inconsistencies is the visual equivalent of hearing a bum note in an orchestra. The curves should be well drawn, the line weights consistent, the underlying grid adhered to, the colors appropriate and harmonious. The white space should be considered. The type choices and sizes should be appropriate and relate elegantly. This is the part where the designer usually knows far more than the client, which is why discussions about kerning can feel like talking poetry to the taxman.lt's usually bestto sell a client a logo design using arguments based on concepts (see Mistake Number 5), as they're easier to communicate. 9. The design wasn't versatile, so the client felt obliged to make "adjustments" in use. Think of the applications. A logo doesn't exist in isolation. If it's likely to appear on a shop fascia, it needs to be long and thin. If there are goingto be carrier bags, then a squarer version, possiblywith stacked type, may work best. Is itgoingto be used on a busy background? Then an outline or a box may be agood idea. Sometimes logos are supplied in multiple versions: color, websafe color, black and white, portrait, landscape. It's best to supply a suite of perfectly finessed and related logos than to risk seeing the mess the in-house design department made when trying to adapt your logo to fit on the side ofthe company jet. 10. The designer forgot to invoice. I can't help you with this one. Give yourself a slap on the forehead. 13 The Authors The Aesthetics of the Left Brain What I have grown to enjoy most about my work as a designer is how it demands that I keep my thinking elastic and pliable, and how it promotes both right- and left-brain thinking at the same time. In my experience, most clients are very uncomfortable in a discussion of aesthetics. Very squishy stuff, aesthetics. It's the kind ofthingthat is hard to present to "the board" or measure in the P&L or justify as a line item. But the best deSigners are also effective communicators who don't force aesthetics. Rather, they begi n with a real curiosity to understand the "Ieftbrain" business objectives first- objectives like, "We're losing our market edge to those guys from Zizzerpicker," or "We make superior products that not enough people know about:' or"l don't think our customers know what we're passionate about inhere." The best deSigners are very good at figuring out the problem they're going to solve. And, very often, it's not the problem they're told it is. (I wouldn't think much of a doctor who believed my own diagnosis for stomach pains.) Often the right brain serves as the visionary that diagnoses the problem after the left brain has first explored its parameters. Aesthetics is "the artistry and inventiveness brought to the problem solving after it is well understood by the left brain." When the left and right brai ns work together to grapple with a design problem, great things can come about.lfthe right or the left brain get too heavy-handed, things can get out of whack in a hurry. There are no rules for how design must be done. After all, it is the opportunityfor personal expression that attracts people to the design profession. But there is a discipline to how the design process can work best forour clients and still create award-winning, timeless design. And this book can be a good tool to better understand what goes on in the minds ofthe designers who have made peace with their roles as highly inventive left-brain, rightbrain thinkers. I certainly found it to be an inspiration. I hope you will, too. "The best designers are also effective communicators." 15 Really Good Logos, Explained ~ Q &A with Ron Miriello My favorite logo inside this book is ... The St. David's Academy logo (page 151). This is a perfect solution forthe client, a rugby academy in England. Rugby is a rough sport, and the logo needed to communicate that. This one succeeds on many levels. You know your logo is "Really Good" when every time you see it,you think, "I'm glad I'm the one who came upwith that!" What's the best thing a client ever said to you? "You're not just designing graphics and products, are you? You're actually designingyour life." • • What is the worst? · II, ,, , ,, When the first words out ofthe client's mouth starts with "That logo reminds me a little of ..." For creative inspiration, I discipline myself to create as many ideas as quickly as I can in my journal book. The exercise is not to judge them or go back and evaluate them yet, but ratherto create a volume of exploration first and avoid falling in love with anything too soon. ST DAVID'S The smartest thing I ever heard anyone say about logo design is ... ACADEMY "It's not about what the logo says to me that's important. It's about what it says to my customers." -A wise and selfless client from the past The best career advice I ever received was ... "The good deSigners are the ones workingat their desks. They're not the ones down at the cafes talking about design. Design requires discipline and diligence." - John Sorbie, my college graphics professor Most designers probably don't know that some of the best directions can come from your clients. Consider them valuable partners who know their business in ways you neverwill. (On the other hand, there are many times you'll need to save them from themselves.) Ron Miriello is principal of Miriello Grafico (miriel\ografico.com) , a San Diego-based design firm whose clients include Sprint pes, FedEx Kinkos, and Nissan. His Italian roots often call him home to Italy. And his insatiable curiosity toward life often leads him to unique places, including junkyards and international flea markets, where he enjoys finding items to reshape into new designs. 16 • ,. \ I ' • , .. .. The Authors 10 Mistakes Designers Make When Creating a Logo By Ron Miriello 1. Not understanding the desired brand position. What is the company or brand trying to express? Always design with that answer at the top of your mind. 2. Starting the design process without a clear objective. Using creative development to lead business decision making can be a recipe forfailure.lt is often experimental, time-consuming, and expensive for both you and your client. 3. Creating a design that doesn't work in the applications required. I wish I knewthedesign had toworkon a tie tack! I never would have designed with such detail. Know ahead oftime the variety of applications planned and their limitations. 4. Falling in love with a design you've created too early. Doing so kills objectivity and the potential for even better solutions. Fight the urge to push back too soon. 5. Fine-tuning solutions early on in the process. Challenge yourselfto generate numerous ideas in a fixed amount of time. Most problems are solved in quick sketch form,yet most time is invested in computerized refinements. 6. Disregarding direction because of its source. All feedback is valuable. Welcome it and encourage it throughout the process. (You may even be handed a jewel to polish.) 7. Being afraid to speak up. Say you're asked for an "honest opinion," and you know the answer will be hard foryourclientto swallow. If you have aviewpoint, share it respectfully. Havingthe courage to express yourself positively in difficult situations is a virtue. 8. Using the client's money to pay for a style that you love. Don't jam a style into a design because you happen to think it's cool. Be disciplined. Does it help the communication objective? Will it endure afterthat style has passed? 9. Showing too many versions. Drive and streamline the process byshowinga minimum number of your best, most appropriate solutions. Depending on the project, present no more than fourto seven preliminary designs in Phase One. 10. Not being able to answer the question "Why?" If your answer to an inquiry about your design solution is, "Ilike the typeface," or "The colors work well together," then you shouldn't be accepting moneyforyourwork. 17 The Authors A Nonstop Discussion of Design A logo is a business suit. It is the way a business dresses itself. Individuality and expressive meaning are necessary. A logo's excellence represents a business's quality and integrity. A logo is also a microcosm of graphic design: there are a limited number of relationships that must be resolved in a way that looks thoughtful and purposeful. A logo must balance contrasts to make the mark visible, and similarities to give it design unity. As in any other design solution, it is not enough to merely have nothing wrong with a logo. There must be something demonstrably right with a logo. The opposite of "really good" is not "bad," "med iocre," or even "dreadfuL" The opposite of "really good" is "random." There are five considerations to making a design artful: 1) Agreat idea, simplified to its essence 2) Knowledgeable management of content 3) Precise relationships 4) Exact spaci ng 5) Elegant execution So, what is right with any given mark in this book? If a sample includes hand lettering, what makes itgood hand lettering or just some stuff? What makes its spacing right? Or its use of rules ? What specifically keeps a logo from beingjust a collection of pieces that have nothingto do with one another? UThe opposite of jreally good' is not jbad,' jmediocre,' or even jdreadful.' The opposite of jreally good' is jrandom.' U What makes this book different from other logo books is our comments, which helpyou understand what makes the logos work-and sometimes what would make them work even better. Most books just showyou samples and leave it to you to figure out what makes them good-or just swipe the designs as your own. This book is a tool that, when used properly, illustrates how to see critically by accurately deconstructing a design and gives you the understandingto construct your own really good logos. Betterthan that, it is a nonstop discussion of design contrasts and relationships that you can apply to any design process, not just to logo design. 19 Really Good Logos, Explained ~ Q &A with Alex W. White My favorite logo inside this book is ... While many logos in this book use negative space as a positive shape with great skill, Impande (page 100) is an outstanding balance between concept and execution. It is superior corporate clothing that thoroughly avoids random design relationships. You know your logo is "Really Good" when ... it uses negative space, or ground, as effectively as it uses figures. What's the best thing a client ever said to you? "Please do another project for us." What is the worst? "We're moving in another direction." For creative inspiration, I look at centuries-old typography and fine art for relationships I can reinterpret. The smartest thing I ever heard anyone say about logo design is ... "Simplify." The best career advice I ever received was ... "In the process of satisfying the job brief, do it the way you think it needs to be done." Most designers probably don't know that of the three design elements, type, image, and space, type handling has byfarthe greatest potential to improve a project. Absorbingtype's rules and becoming sensitive to relationships between type and space make the most profound impact on design . Alex W. White is an advertising and editorial design consultant and the author of five books, including Advertising Design and Typography and The Elements oj Graphic Design. He is the president of the Type Directors Club and has taught for twenty-five years, currently as a visiting professor at Parsons School of Design in New York. He lives in Connecticut and watches deer and coyotes from his office, which is lined with barn siding, a heck of a sound system, and a wall of repurposed taxidermy. 20 The Authors 10 Mistakes Designers Make When Creating a Logo By Alex W White 1. Not pairing abstraction to the scale of the business. A local plumbing service needs greater specificity than a regional plumbing supply company, and a national plumbing manufacturer can have still more abstraction. 2. Attending only to figure and not to ground. Logos are such finite gems that every part must be considered and fully used. 3. Designing a logo in a vacuum. Always collect competitors' logos and design to exceed that specific universe. Present these logos before showingyour studies. Thi s provides context and allows your solution to appear superior to others with whom yourclient will be compared. 4. Neglecting to blend at least two distinctive ideas together for fresh results. "Barbecue" plus "Iceland" are far more useful together than alone as descriptors of an Iceland ic restau rant. 5. Not matching the logo with the character of the business. The more specific the business, the more expressive the logo design should be. The more global the business, the more abstract the logo should be. 6. Not giving the logo enough distinction from its competitors. Neutral is forgettable. Quirky-in a way that promotes character-is memorable. 7. Not investing time to understand the clients' unique standing in the business community. W hat makes them viable, and how can those qualities be expressed symbolically? 8. Using the same pieces as everyone else. The fonts and treatments on your computer are like frozen food: mix them any way you like, butthere is a definite limit to how distinctive your cooking can be. Instead, craft materials off computer and then import them. 9. The designer neglects to optimize the logo for color, gray scale, and line art reproduction. Orthe designer neglects to provide basic guidelines forthe logo's use. 10. The designer does not prepare scalable artwork that would ensure all type and spacing remain consistently the same. 21 "Buying creative work is hard. Remember this the next time your work is on the table. Help your client by offering rational reasons to support what is essentially an emotional decision." Luke Sullivan, Hey Whipple) Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Ads Loud & Proud Bold or Risky Designs That Work Really Good Logos, Explained oran erOD Creative hrm Dale Harris Creatlvehrm lab303 inc. Toronto, Canada Bendigo, Australia Client Dale Hams Client Industry Creative Industry Real Estate Creative hrm Marko Blagojevic Creative firm 19B1ossom KraguJevac, Serbia Singapore Client CrankyFish Client Bay tree Club Holdings Industry Marketing, Web Design Industry Food and Beverage Orange Group-Real Estate Tenant Advisory 24 Chapter 1: Loud & Proud eroup "I love the whimsy and simplicity ofthis mark. It has the impact of an i nternationalsymbol, but the ch i Id like proportions and hot pink color give it a fun twist that makes me want to know about the company." "This is a very eye-catching simplification . It makes the company look smart and modern. They look as if they could probably help me with my tenant issues." "Does what it says, and with simplicity and wit. Not cleverclever, but with an image like this it doesn't need to be." "The color breaks make this logo smart. The bright orange makes me think they mean business. "It's a great concept that viewers don't need to spend any time on to understand. It just works." "Simple and clever. A very fun imagethattells some story ofa windup rhino and is told on a vibrant background. "These guys have fun with the simplest of items. A playful and creative group." "A delightful simplification of two words that uses color contrast as the lone contrast. If you try this approach, do check that you haven't inadvertently spelled another word in the overlap." "A windup rhino in pink and white-it doesn't get much more cartoonish than this! "The out-of-proportion rendering reminds me ofthe wonderful manga-related plastic toys Japan has been producing in recent years." "The contrast between the cartoon speech bubble and the classic text type gives this mark a fun but literary feeling. It's perfect for a cafe that's about both chatting and reading." "I agree with Alex's comments below about the slightly offputting image this mark projects. However, it did catch my eye, which isn't a bad thing in an industryas competitive as Web design. "A nice use of empty black space and asymmetry, though the use of Clarendon throughout would have made it more cohesive. The bullet points in the line oftext are somewhat large." "I do wish the black shards were bolder; they seem lost and tiny compared to the boldness of the glove/fish. Are they really even necessary?" "This word balloon could easily hold together asmall nuclear explOSion; it's so strong and iconic. The mass of black ink around the small and delicate type almost collapses the text. "Is it a fish? A boxingglove? Either way, it's bold and the bloodshot eyes are cranky. The black shards of glass behind the fish/glove look like the hairy arm ofa boxerthrowinga punch. Not sure if it's appealingto their clients, but it is memorable." "Proportional adjustments would help this mark do an even better job and make it easierto read when used as a cafe store sign and in smaller applications." "Fresh idea to use a boxing glove as a fish. But a heavy attitude that does not look altogether easy to get along with describes this young design firm. Between the boxingglove, large hooded eye, and shards of black-glass-as-exhaust, it presents what I think might be a challenge to their prospective clients." "Asymmetry makes this mark. I wish I could see the relationship of'wa' to the line of type beneath. There is no discernable size relationship. "For some reason, they use two different, though very similar, sizes oftype. The tail ofthe 'a' is fatter than the serifs on the 'w' and that's a complexity that can be removed easily." 25 Really Good Logos, Explained oxychem Creative hrm Reactivity Studio Austin, TX Creativehrm Client Oxychem Materials Client Fauxkoi Design Company Industry Chemical Disposal and Materials Handling Industry Design Fauxkol Design Company Minneapolis,MN , MAjOR MiNOR Creative hrm Signal smith Johannesburg, South Africa Creative firm MaJor Minor Sacramento, CA Client Tsotsiboi Client Self Promotion Industry Clothing Industry Design 26 Chapter 1: Loud & Proud oxychem "The strength and simplicity of this mark make a strong statement about the company. The simplicity ofthe type works well, too. The lowercase type gives the logo a bit of warmth and friendliness that balances the serious mark." "This is a very nicely balanced mark. The big, fat, tech-style monogram works well with the classical fish and scrollwork. The contrast gives me the feeling that the company may have some breadth in their design work." "The test tube as a symbol for chemistry, though obvious, gives us a counter here in the 'O'that elegantly echoes the negative/positive space of Univers, the font below the sym bol." "Very handsome use of shades of gray. Why a serifface for 'DESIGN'? Wouldn't it be more unified if it were the same face and size as 'MPLS' and 'MINN' and would then basealign with the bottoms of the lowest ribbon?" "Oxychem hopefully uses some pretty strong containers to transport those noxious materials. This logo suggests they are organized, serious, intelligent, and responsible. Seeing this on the side ofa truck or on a proposal would project all the right things about a company doing serious work with a high degree of conscience." "The 'O's counterspace is nicely adjusted. This mark gives credibility and reliabilityto this service provider." "The change from cap to lowercase forthe 'j' and 'i' are a nice way to add character and soften an all-cap logo." "A very recognizable logo produced very well. The roughness ofthe face and creepiness ofthe eyes add more interest. "Great idea to intrepret music visually. As background, music in a major scale tends to be bright and joyful; music in a minor scale tends to be sad or pensive. This essence has been overlooked in favor of an exploration of 'intervals.' "All the type feels a bit pasted on. It's a shame the typography doesn't maintain the overall effectiveness of this logo." "The rough, photocopy quality of this mark unifies art and type. Probably done digitally, it looks as if it could have been crafted off-computer, then brought in . "If 'spaces between' are to dominate, then chopping off parts of letters would make sense. Contrasts of caps and lowercase letters are well executed; all are crafted with a common weight. 'MAJOR' appears to have more open letterspacingthan 'MINOR;which looks accidental." '''Couture' is the third part ofthis mark that isn't as unified, and it is sufficiently decorative to visually compete with the primary word. But at least it's got bumpy edges and the x-height is about the same height as the cap height of 'TSOTSIBOI.' "Incidentally, Tsotsi, the movie, has a delightful logo, too (though not the one on the face of the DVD, which is mere typesetting)." 27 Really Good Logos, Explained THELAB ART+IDEAS Creative flrm Ellen Bruss Design Denver,CO Client The Laboratory of Art and Ideas at Belmar Industry Art Museum 28 Chapter 1: Loud & Proud - ~ THELAB ART+IOEAS "I love the humor ofthis series. The dogs in the other three symbols are much more appealing in their typically dog-like endeavors than in the basic mark. I wish the basic dog had a bit more life. The brown and gray color palette and clean type are in tastefu I contrast to the dog's i nd iscreet activities. THE LAB seems smart and direct." "The epitome of a logo being led by a strong idea. The design is cool and functional;you don't need to overdress agood concept. Is 'TH ELAB' supposed to be one word? "This series illustrates how agood, strong concept can be very versatile. I can see this series being extended indefinitely without losing any of its power and humor." "The idea of an innocent dogsticking his nose in everyone's business is both disarming and funny. It's strongest as a series where the variations on the idea become stronger and more obvious with each new element. I would liketo have seen the type treatments not trace around the circle so the type is more readable and supportive of the word-andpicture play." "I love this series because it is the epitome of'risky.' Misusinga chocolate lab retriever in these four installations is a delightful twist. But it only works if you are workingon behalf of an idea and art laboratory." 29 Really Good Logos, Explained TRL - OUSE - - Creative n rm Robison Creative Studios Creative nrm Springneld, MO Sibley Peteet Design Dallas Dallas, TX Client Talent Mouse Client American Heart Association Industry Entertainment Industry Health "A mouse in shades is agreat idea, but I wish this guy was simpler and had a bit more color differentiation. The sunglasses are so close tothe dark red color that they're lost when the mark is small, and the thin white lines don't show at all. The type feels too small and light forthe heaviness of the mark." "Ilike the juxtaposition ofthe road sign image with the lounge chair; it's a quick read that communicates the idea easily. It's nice to see a serious idea communicated with a touch of humor. It makes it less preachy. I'm going jogging now." "A nice idea, executed in a lackluster manner. The chair is obviously made offour rounded rectangles and needs the same character and personality as real road signs or warning images." "Talent Mouse has personality and quite a coniidence about him. His type may be better served below and in a face that is better balanced and reproduces well. If 'Talent Mouse' was at an angle and less flat, he may come alive and be less airplane-like." "Though an extension of a heavily cliched idea, this mark is initially amusing because ofthe unexpected placement of a stationary 'vehicle' on a road sign. It is also very well crafted." "Wonderfully stylized mouse with the feel of a B-2 Spirit stealth bomber. Best part: the whiskers. This is a dynamic, fun mark." 30 Chapter 1: Loud & Proud Creative nrm Turner Duckworth San Francisco, CA Creativenrm Britt Funderburk Upper Montclair, NJ Client Palm Client TYPO. Industry Electronics Industry Publishing "The bright orange 3-D 'jellybean' circle makes this otherwise fairly typical design feel very happy and playful. It also communicates simple interactivity, which is key to the brand." "Ilike the design of this symbol quite a bit, but I'm not sure why there's a family or couple involved in a logo about experimental typography. It confused me a bit. It would be a great mark for something else." "That this is a button indicates interaction-an appropriate idea for Palm's products. I might have tried astudy in which the tops of the 'm's' were extended upward just a little so they are optically aligned with the median, waistline, or top of the x-height of the 'p' and 'a.' Curved letterforms always have to extend beyond a straight line to look equivalent." "A nicely executed visual motif." "I love the idea of making the negative space in the counters become visible as foreground elements. The price that must be paid to achieve this effect is by adjusting the four letterforms in height and shape. Addingto the difficulty is making the dots align vertically overthe 'T' an d 'Y.'" 31 Really Good Logos, Explained realitydigital Creative flrm Creative flrm Helena Seo Design Sunnyvale,CA Jeff Andrews Design Salem,OR Client RealityDigital, Inc. Client Jeff Andrews Industry Entertainment Industry Retall,Apparel Creative firm The Studio of Pius Eugene Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Creative firm Jeff Andrews Design Salem,OR Client Self Promotion Client Conrad Coffee Company Industry Industry Food and Beverage Design 32 Chapter 1: Loud & Proud realitydigilal "The monitor serving double duty as a speech bubble distinguishes this mark. Symbolism adds depth of meaning to a mark; compare this to some marks that are mere illustrations of a simple idea." "I like the illustration ofthe shark boy. It's well drawn in a funny, retro way. I'm not so happy with the type. It feels like an Adobe IIlustratorflltertweak ratherthan one done by hand with the same attention given to the shark. It should be much more nuanced and interesting, and maybe violate the edges of the circle like the shark does." "Shark Boy is on his way. The type is inventive and well crafted and might be more expressive breaking out of the circle some. "The colors work but seem to wantto be higher-key. Less detail in the illustration will make this a better garment application image. A small label application of this would look like a bear. Keep it simple and save the complex version for the movie poster later." "This type stack is nicely executed-maybe too nicely. Everything is boxed in and lined up. It's supposed to be a mark for 'creative thinking,' but I'm not really seeing much creativity here-rather more order than chaos. Give me a bit more mess and unpredictability,and I'd feel it was conveying the actual process of creativity." "Punctuation is uncommon in logo design. The type is distorted to appear as if underwater. Very nice illustration. Two white outline thicknesses seem unnecessary; making them look the same will unify the mark. Because of embroidery's limitations, heavyingthe thinner line around 'Shark Boy'would probably be worthwhile. Then thin the bold, white line betwen the blue circle and the gold ring to match." "A typographic solution made possible by the happy fact that most ofthe words in this logo are the same length. I would have been tempted to add another typographic trick to communicate the opening up of one's mind-increasingthe leading as we read down the page, for example." "This stacked treatment works. The type becomes an identiflable icon much like a theatre poster might. The content of the text suggests breaking out or discovery of possibilities, while the logo stays in the rigid box tothe end.lt seems there may have been a homage to change or evolution as the statement evolves, while still keeping with the simple, bold, negative spaces design." "I love this character mark-it's fun and well drawn. Not sure I wantto drink their coffee though-I might end up feeling like he looks!" "A very different approach in which letterforms almost become art. Note that 'CLOSE' is the only word to be chopped in half horizontally, which fliis it with meaning. Unfortunately, the impact is weakened by 'MI ND,' which is missing a bit along the bottom, and the much smaller ampersand. Make these competing elements 'go away' by making them agree with their surroundings so the one true focal point becomes visible." "This works, because bikers and coffee are such an unusual combination. A memorable, well-executed mark that steers clear of coffee-cup and coffee-bean cliches." 33 Really Good Logos, Explained "This would look great on the back of a leather jacket! I love the complexity and balance of bold lettering and delicate details. It has so many great references, from tattoos and playing cards to bike gangs and military insignia, all combined with talent and dexterity." "A complex execution, but it's been pulled off! Gothic German Blackletter, Victorian Circus font, and tattoo motifs all combine to give a summation of biker cliches, rendered with cohesion." "Kudos for putting this much detailed work into a pro bono project. There's a high degree of craftsmanship and rennement here that helps say'This event is something special.' "Getting all elements to read well and hold together is no small task,and this logo does a great job. It works well in black and white, driven by the likely low production budget for the event, but it would also sing in color." Creative firm Sayles Graphic Design Des Moines, IA "Wow! This mark combines seven pieces oftype and one motorcycle into a single entity-and it works! Lots of value added here. Just don't make it too small, orthe sponsors won't be legible." Client Sports Page Industry Community event 34 Chapter 1: Loud & Proud "The drawing style ofthe bull and rider are wonderful and eccentric. The big red dot helps to make the thin lines stand out visually. The mark has an artistic quality that makes me think the developers care about the history ofthe area, not just about building houses. "I wish the line weights in the type had as much variation and life as the mark. Hand lettering ratherthan a typeface would have been a better choice here." "Great visual storytelling here. The illustration quality is unique, though very delicateforthe massive circle that contains it. It will be difficultto use in some applications, and that could have been avoided with different line weights. BLACKSTONE Creative nrm Fresh Oil Pawtucket, RI Client Blackstone StudIOS Industry Real Estate "While it's memorable and visually rich, it seems out of place for a real estate company and their need to demonstrate stability, confidence, and such. A different, cleaner typeface forthe name could have helped establish more business confidence." The Reverend Blackstone was a quirky outcast in his day. He traveled on a white bull, often reading and writing as he went. "A well-reasoned solution that has led to an interesting logo. I would have preferred to see a more freehand approach taken to the lettering, and I'm not surethe underline is really necessary. Simplify where possible." This symbol for Blackstone Studios, a work-live space for artists, looks as if it may have been rendered on one of those bumpy rides. The terra-cotta color hints of the numerous red-brick mills that, along with the studios, line the Blackstone River. "This is an ideal solution to the circumstances described in the designer's statement. There is meaningto each of the qualities-the wiggliness throughout and the brick red color-and decisions in this creative result. This is a solution to a well-defined problem, and thoroughly defining a problem always makes knowing when you are done much more evident." 35 Really Good Logos, Explained Creative fi rm Roskelly, Inc. Creative firm Britt Funderburk Portsmouth, RI Upper Montclair, NJ Client WinkFlash Client Nicholson Industry Photo Prints Industry Full Service Digital Agency "Simple and clean. The colors are well chosen. I would have rendered the sheet of paper without the black outline. It may have even been possible to show there was a sheet simply from the curve ofthe emoticon and the shadow, leaving the sheet itself as negative space." "I'm guessing that a 'full service digital agency' is something like a service bureau? If so, I love the squares even more for theirtie-in to pixels. The simplicity of this mark gives a very profeSSional, corporate feelingto the company. They may not have a sense of humor, buttheirwork will be perfect every time." "Perfect! The intentionally tight letterspacing makes the name a wordmark ratherthan mere typesetting, and the color change makes a word space redundant." "The central position ofthe vertical strokes within each diamond, terminatingatthe diamond's midline, is very elegant. Positive and negative space in complete harmony." "So much is gotten out of so little in this mark, in the way the 'N' is created so that the two squares take on new duties. It's always a pleasure to see, both as a designer and as a viewer. This is a logo that will age well overtime. Even its colors work without beingtrend-driven." "A really good logo must, in my opinion, use-or at least acknowledge-negative space. The 'N' doesn't actually exist at all in this mark. It is the familiar shape we recognize when the black and blue squares, with their missing chunks, are positioned just so." 36 Chapter 1: Loud & Proud Creative nrm Britt Funderburk Upper Montclair, NJ Creativenrm Robison Creative Studios Springneld, MO Client Hammerschbn GmbH Client KidzKamp Industry Manufacturing Industry Camp and Recreation "Hits the nail on the head, This is a great example of ' less is more.'There is nothing extra here, and everything that is here works-even the color." "Ilike the enthusiasm of the boy's head. It communicates fun and eagerness quite well. The body adds nothing to the communication . The head alone would work better as a symbol. It needs something more to communicate the idea of camp." "A simple, straightforward idea, but an entirely appropriate one for a no-nonsense hammer supplier. The red color is again suitably straightforward. The curves on the claw end ofthe hammer could be more flowing." "We have a stylistic mismatch between the way the head and the hands are executed." "An example of agenre of marks in which a simplified image is inserted into the negative space of a letterform.ltforces imagery to become space. The trick is to simplify the image so it acts as negative space without oversimplifying it, causing it to lose its distinctive character for that specific client." "This is a charming illustration, but it makes me wonder where the line between an illustration and a mark is. "I think a representational mark, one that may be first perceived as an illustration, has to be viewed repeatedly to register as an identifying symbol.lfthis rendering had two 'K's forfingers, representing'Kidz Kamp,' it would become more of a symbol. Also, color use must mean something: if two out ofthree clothes are in color, why is the hat eVidently made offlesh?" 37 Really Good Logos, Explained The Decoder Ring Austin, TX Creative ~rm Dale Harris Bend igo, Austral ia Client Austin Museum of Art Client Blank Expression Industry Museum Industry Music, Entertainment Creative ~rm "This feels more like artwork for a T-shirt or a skateboard than a logo meantto last. But I'd wear the T-shirt." "This is a rip on lots of street art, but that's what makes the connection to New York work. It's a rat, not the Statue of Libertyfor a change! I hope this was for a show about New York street art, or I rescind my compliments." "A fusion offound parts-an 'x: wings, and hairy tailsall damaged by age. The designer has imbued this mark with attitude, which is necessary in the music and entertainment industry." "Looks like it was authentically spray painted using a mask. That's the essential quality it must achieve." 38 Chapter 1: Loud & Proud intava Creative nrm Stacy Karzen Chicago,IL Creativenrm Niedermeier Design Seattle, WA Client AndyNebel Client Intava Corporation Industry Public Relations Industry Retail EnhancementTechnology "This is a nice poke at PR puffery. The pump and the main type are nicely drawn and relate well to each other. The smallertype feels like an afterthought both in style and placement." "Friendly and professional. This is a very nice symbol that conveys a strong feeling of modern professionalism without being sterile or cold. I like the type too, but I wish there was a stronger relationship of weight and shape between the type and the symbol." "Verticality and the gray color unify the illustration and the type in this humorous mark for a public relations consultant. There is a slight lack of agreement between 'COMPANY' and 'Nebel.' This is a consequence of properly matchingthe size of'COMPANY'with 'THE.' Butthis cascading logic is all predicated on tucking 'THE' just so in between the ascenders of 'Andy.' Is that sufficient benefit to cause another problem? "A nice illustration ofa touch screen in action, using the first two letters of the company name. It's simple and it communicates. "The gray and green are appropriate-fresh but reliable, not too hip orwhimsical. The custom type is set a wee bittoo tight, and the 'ta' and 'va' pairs more loosely than the others," "One solution is to size 'COMPANY' to fit beneath 'Nebel' and work with 'THE'to match, including adjusting length of ascenders in 'Andy Nebel.'" "A letter 'i' can be abstracted into a figure and a computer console. The remarkable thing is that, by carefully adjusting the negative space, the letter 'N' is present, but not at all recognizable." 39 Really Good Logos, Explained Creative lirm PS Cali, Inc. Creative lirm Turner Duckworth Design Los Angeles, CA London,UK Client Renata Helfman Client Industry Retail Industry Food Creative lirm HlghwaY77 Design Northford, CT Creative lirm Espial Johannesburg, South Africa Client Self Promotion Client Vukani Industry Design Industry Gaming The Fresh Olive Company 40 Chapter 1: Loud & Proud "I love the hand-drawn flow of this script. It feels like it grew that way naturally. The space between the 'V' and 'e' is a bit too tight, but otherwise everything about this logo makes me happy." "I love the hand-as-tree to communicate 'handmade.' I wish it were bigger though. The type overpowers the art. "There is a struggle going on between the rough shapes, like the olive and the ground, and the super-smooth shapes, like the hills and the type. For the rough direction to really work, it should be rougher and more handmade. It feels a bit undecided." "Bit more air between the 'V' and the 'e,' please. Otherwise, lovely-warm, well executed, friendly, organic. And without any hessian textures or tea stenciling." "This is a great take on the idea of being green (vert is French for 'green'). It's very beautiful and modern,yet hand-painted. I get thefeelingthat the store shows that items can be ecofriend Iy without being 'earthy' or 'crunchy.'" "A nice, simple idea, executed in the German poster style of Lucian Bernhard. There is a slight discrepancy between the smoothness of the type and the shape ofthe olive, and the colors could be punchier. The hand/tree could also benefit from being larger in the overall composition, maybe in a squarer layout." "Feminine, organic, lovely letterforms." " An arm as a tree trunk is a compellingjuxtaposition . There is a roughness to the olive and the black silhouette, which makes them seem just a bit out of place,given the extreme sleekness ofthe other elements:' "This mark mixes metaphors in a very elegant way. Rough meets smooth, fancy meets plain, road sign meets wine labeL It will never work when small due to the small script type, but I love the use of empty space." "This mark is a wonderfully executed riff on classic playing card art. It communicates the South African connection superbly with the mask, dot pattern, and leaves, while the spade and banner communicate gaming, powerfully, in any culture." "How to translate a cliched symbol-a highway signinto your own mark? Process it heavily and don't put big numerals on it! A spelled-out script number is fresh ." " Nice execution of a neat idea. Everyone is familiar with the ornate ace of spades, and this incorporates other elements without losing that central conceit. However, I'm not sure what those other elements mean-leaves and a tiki mask? Still, it's memorable and technically well done." " A good mark should communicate on a subconscious level. This one does. Cover the type and you can feel what it represents. Interesting combination of stylized and natural leaf shapes." 41 Really Good Logos, Explained Reflnery Design Company Dubuque,IA Creativeflrm Reflnery Design Company Dubuque,IA Client Home Health Care Client Dupaco Community Credit Union Industry Health Care Industry Financial Creative flrm Dupaco Community Credit Union created The Green Saver Challenge to educate children about the importance of recycling . .. ~ ~~ . ": " .. .*~ ~~"~"~~ ~.~ . • GAY MEN'S CHORUS OF LOS ANGELES Tokyo,Japan Creative Ii rm Top Design Los Angeles, CA Client Signatures NetworkforTaproot Client Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles Industry Music Industry Nonproflt Creative flrm Ian Lynam Design 42 Chapter 1: Loud & Proud "While I've seen this type of design before, this one works pretty well. I wish the cross was not attached to the side of the house. It makes the design seem unbalanced and tilted." "Nice, strong linework. A sense of power and energy in the figure, and a simple, compact arrangement that would work well on T-shirts, badges, and the like. It should appeal to children without resortingto kiddie cliches. "A nice example of a simple figure/ground, positive/negative relationship in a logo. The concept-a health care cross in a house-is very straightforward, but the elegant execution carries the simple idea." "The color is somewhat weak-the white drop shadow is more 'forward in the mix'than the type, a design no-no; and the green is too tonally similar to the background orange, making it 'fizz' uncomfortably." "Tasty use of figure and ground, without the need for line. The process of makinga mark for health care provided in the home is achieved, quite naturally, by adding asymbol for house plus a symbol for health care. I wonder whether a similar result can be achieved, for example, for a handyman or a home inspection service?" "Terrific and easily adjusted for one-color use: 'GREEN' and 'SAVER' in black, and drop out all other colors." "Great name fora band and this font and tree/root system work well together. This is a memorable mark, butthe success is that the simple yet rough artwork will reproduce well on band T-shirts and photocopied venue flyers." "This looks more like a logo for a kid's party than a chorus. Why dots? Why a 'G'?" "The idea of inverting a tree into a root is fun. But how much artistic freedom is the right amount? Strictly speaking,a taproot is a straight-tapering root growing vertically downward and forming the centerfrom which subsidiary rootlets spring. (A perfect example of this is a carrot freshly pulled from the soil with its rootlets still intact.) So, while there is nothing wrong with this solution, there may be a little more that could be right about it; there must be a tree that grows more like an inverted carrot than this one. "Typographically clean and simple. Visually fun and expressive on many levels. My only question is why a 'G'? This collection of dots/voices could easily define more creative shapes or letters." "Reminiscent ofthe tests for color blindness developed by Dr. Shinobu Ishihara in 1917, this mark presumably uses all the colors in the rainbow for more self-descriptive purposes." "Also, if every rock band uses Blackletter, is it a sign of hardedged rebelliousness or simple me-tooism? And does it say anything aboutthe differences in their music?" 43 Really Good Logos, Explained Creative firm The Decoder Ring Austin,TX Client Carolina Panthers Chefs Association Industry NFL Logo for use on in-house apparel and collateral materials for the NFL's Carolina Panthers Chefs Association. The group informally refers to themselves as "The Dirty Kitchen Rats," and requested a mark that represented them more accurately than the crest bestowed upon them by the league. "This is nicely executed, funny, and smart. The play with negative space works very well, and the weights all work. It's a very subtle touch to have the eyes made from asymmetrical icons when everything else is perfectly symmetrical. If I were a DKR, I'd want it on my toque." "Rats in the kitchen-an edgy idea treated in an edgy way. The negative- space skull is beautifully executed. Technically balanced and beautifully done. A winner." "A gross name that evokes disgusting images. But this logo brings it all to light and makes you laugh. Then it goes further and adds the skull, complete with a cleaver and bottle from the kitchen. It's eye-catching, witty, and produced very well. What more could you want?" "This mark is tattoo worthy. Love the skull resulting from the negative space between the rats, and the kitchen utensils as the skull's eyes." 44 Chapter 1: Loud & Proud Creative nrm Campbell-Ewald Warren,MI Creative nrm Jeff Fisher LogoMotives Portland, OR Client Self Promotion Client Triangle Productions l Industry Advertising Industry Theater, Performing Arts "Definitely a 'Detroit-looking' logo. Typographically, the 'CAMPBELL-EWALD' could be better ifthe arc was centered overthe center of the logo as a whole, ratherthan shifted down and to the right." "This logo gets its powerfrom the title and those three stars. As an execution, I can't help but feel it would have been more effective to cut the shapes out of paper for real. That would have given it even more immediacy." "Blackletter with gear teeth, representing the automotive manufacturing capital ofthe world, distinguishes this mark. Though not precisely cutting edge, it is worthwhile for its use of what looks like real metal. The use of authentic elements, ratherthan computer-generated simulations,adds tremendously to ach ievi ng a d isti nctive mark." "Yes, the implication in this mark is provocative. But formally, the three asterisks are the most potent characteristic. In fact, if the word were spelled out, it would be a less interesting mark than it is now. Symbols can replace letters in less rude words for the same effect. "I wish I knew why the front wheel has those little black shards-it is so atypical in this design that it should have meaning. Maybe if I'd seen the play, I'd get it." 45 Really Good Logos, Explained Creative flrm Glitschka Studios Salem,OR Creative flrm Glitschka Studios Salem, OR Client Jim Henson Company Client Little ChimpSociety Industry TV Production Industry Illustration Marketplace Creative flrm Atomic Design Crowley,TX Creative flrm Korn Design Boston,MA Client liquidator/Paula Monthle Client Sage HospitalityGroup Industry Estate Sales Industry Hotel 46 Chapter 1: Loud & Proud This logo takes the 60S Filmore style and has a fabulously whacky time with it! The lettering is nicely drawn and spaced, and the goofy containing shape is just wonderful. I particularly like the feet." "This is a nicely drawn monkey-cheerful and welcoming. I love his face, too; maybe Paul Frank could use some help." "Playful and fun, but still beautifully executed. The 'Austin Powers' logo was a very visible example of a psychedelic logo poorly executed, but this-the colors, the type-pulis it all together effortlessly. The 'The' slowly sinking into the top is a lovely touch." "Good, strong, iconc illustration; nice color choice. Will work well at small sizes on the Web. I'd have engineered a way to keep the linewidths on the paws more equal (or even completely equal, natch)." "Hilarious! This is more than just a logo for a puppet show; it's also a strange little puppet itself. It's very well executed and wi II reprod uce clearly on kids' T-sh i rts, toys, games, and, of course, puppets." "Very fun and illustrative icon foran illustrative group. I'm sure all their members appreciate an icon as fun as the group's name. I enjoy seeing this 'little chimp' much more than just seeing the acronym 'LCS' on theirwebsite." "'The' is in the process of being absorbed by the 'Skrumps'a delightful, kid-sensitive treatment. That Henson's Muppets caught the imagination ofthe American television public in the late 1960s is referenced in the funky psychedelic lettering and color combination ." "This is the Godzilla of type treatments-big, fat, and bold. I almost missed the drip the first time I saw itthough. 1think it should be bigger and 'juicier' to stand out and contrast with the super-extreme, heavy-duty type." "This logo is sweetly simple and nostalgic without being complicated . It's a perfect blend of type styles. It makes me miss linoleum and lemon meringue pie!" "For me, putting'the' on the same baseline would have been better-either that, or centering the type on a horizontal line-than reducingthe ascender of the 'h' to match the cap height of'Curtis.' Atthe moment, the 'the' doesn't know which way to go." "What makes this work is combining letterforms and an illustrative element in which the letters dominate, but the minor illustration adds the meaning. This has a slight 'yuck factor,' and it really is an illuminaton ofthe word's meaning rather than an expression ofthe business's actual purpose." "Wonderful simplicity and expressive typographic contrast. It hints at vintage 50S/60S design,and the colors are impressive: orange and brown are closely related. "A design can be considered 'done' when nothing can be changed-even a little bit-without damaging the overall result. This is such a design." 47 Really Good Logos, Explained Brainfloss OOLLYWOOO MASALA Creative flrm Creative flrm MINE A San Francisco,C . Dale Harris Bendigo,Australla Client Bralnfloss Client . ment/Bollywoo d Masala Madman Entertain Industry Career Services Industry Entertainment Creative flrm Hoffl Cardiff, UK Creative firm Smoky Mirrors.com Bronx, NY Client Self Promotion Client Self Promotion Industry Design Industry. . ent Print, Design, Co mlC Books, Entertalnm 48 Chapter 1: Loud & Proud Brainfloss DOlLYWooD "This is so close it hurts. The squiggle isn't quite a brain, so MASALA it can't be used on its own without the type. That's too bad! Addingthe drop shadow is a nice touch that makes a 2-D object seem to be 3-D. The type is nice too, although possibly a bit small depending on the application." "What agreat opportunity for lettering with some spirit and exoticism! The mark here feels very 'computer layered' and not well related to the type. The type feels stiff and static when it could move and play with much more grace and character. "I didn't immediately see that as a floating brain,just a scribble. It would be better if the scribble reflected the whorls of the brain more-without losing its casual immediacy." "There are so many wonderful references that could have been used forthis. This feels too obvious and limited." "This is a cute, simple idea. It's not overdone, but maybe a few more details in the brain would've made it more complete. Overall, a nice concept as longas the type stays near the "Striking and entertaining colors and imagery. Type seems 'off.' It's not quite playful and fun, but not quite formal and straight. I wish it were more one than the other and not just uncomfortable." mark to define what's going on." "The floating brain, indicated by the oval shadow, is a nice approach. The semi-seriftype is modern and tasteful. "The Indian connection is conveyed in the sacred water lily eNe/umbo nucifera), but the real character in this mark is delivered by the informal type treatment with the uneven baseline and inverted and mirrored lowercase 'g' standing "That there are two other squiggly shapes made in illustrator in this chapter speaks tothe need for a more distinctive treatment. 'Brain' plus 'floss' can equal something better than a ball of pseudo-yarn. What is the most extreme way of showing an idea? What will make it memorable and your in as a 'b' and 'd.'" client's own mark that cannot be copied?" "For once, the relevant choice of Blackletter, with its repeating geometry, makes this work where other fonts would have failed ." "This mark has a beautiful, understated elegance to it, especially through its off-center placement in the circle. The thin swashes on the 'H' are a bit rough.lfthose details "A good example of an ambigram. Some ofthe tight letterspacingcauses some tension points, but overall, it's a challenging project that's been well executed. The were smoothed out, this logo would really sing!" small curls on the 'e' add a touch of character." "Technically beautiful. The loop outside the circle is elegantly done. There seems to be some wonkiness in the curves; could this be from the original font? The 'H' is too close to the '0.'" "Both the positive and the negative shapes have been carefully manipulated, as Langdon would teach. So this mark is a worthy interpretation of his work. "The gothic treatment, based on German Blackletterforms, might have been chosen for its extra meaning. But perhaps, "Perfect circle + elegant type + hairline contrast with solid circle + off-centered ness = tasty mark." Blackletter characters lend themselves to manipulation into new shapes because they are less familiar and can be bent and twisted more freely than, say, Helvetica." 49 Really Good Logos, Explained q oJumbfe Creative ~rm Creative ~rm Alambre Estudio Donostia, Spain Calagraphic Design Elkins Park, PA Client Self Promotion Client The Hurricane Poster Project Industry Design Industry Fundraislng Katrina victims and Red Cross support, Retail "Reminiscent of spooled paper on a press, orofa rotated barcode or CD, thus evoking both the traditional form of print and the digital form." "Milton Glaser's iconic 'I [heart] NY' logo is given an appropriately gritty appropriation here, with the state of Louisiana doublingas the 'L.' Very nice use of a limited red and black palette." "Nice illustrative interpretion ofa lowercase 'a.' Notice the echo-not the exact reuse-ofthe circular shape ofthe icon in the choice of typeface for the name." "Post Hurricane Katrina, any logo representing NoLa had better be dirty. I see why this mark, designed for a poster, was adapted for purchasable items. I'd wear it." 50 Chapter 1: Loud & Proud Creative nrm Turner Duckworth San FrancIsco, CA Creative nrm Lloyds Graphics Design, Ltd Blenheim, New Zealand Client Popchips Client Rapaura Spri ngs 2 Industry Food Industry Wine "A nice blend of modernity, organic natural shapes, and elegance." "This is a nice use of negative space that adds some fun to lettering, The missing 'o' and 'i' mess with your eyes and give the mark character." "This wine better be as good as the logo. It sets a smart and sophisticated foundation and would be a dramatic execution on labels with endless possibilities for print techniques, none of which would destroy the rock solid foundation forthe simple graphic. This logo will work as well in ten years as it does today." "A nice use of positive/negative space that has a relevance to the product. More animated bounce might help (although that is somewhat of a cliche in snack lettering). It looks somewhat formal as is. The white line clipping the 'c' indicates there may be even more invisible white elements to be found if we looked more closely." "A flower made out of stones? Strings or a stream? Beautiful shapes take priority over simple letterforms, though the type is on top. If the red color is chosen for the winery's excellent red wines,gray must representtheirfine pinot gris?" "Proportional thickness defines the ringofthe '0' and the circle around the smaller dot-a sign of the designer's control over every detail of this tasty mark." 51 Really Good Logos, Explained .- ....• .-... . .. • ••• ~ .... -..., ,,.: , ....... -" ,..,".. -.... -.., .. ... .•.. ..•. • • ~ ' Cailiclc RECORDS Creative flrm Fauxkoi Design Company Minneapolis, MN Creative flrm Myles Delfln Makati City, Philippines Client Cat lick Records Client Empanada Republic Industry MUSIC Industry Novelty Bakery Creative flrm Artiva Design Genova, Italy Creative flrm David Maloney St. Louis Park, MN Client Ton Mobel Client Semi Studio Systems Industry Aud 10 Design Industry TV Studio Design 52 Chapter 1: Loud & Proud ~ CatMc RECOROS "Ilike the slightly psycho feeling ofthis cat icon. It definitely has a retro 'Felixthe Cat'feelingto it, which makes me think the company might have some revival rock on their label. Ilike the lightning-bolt-shaped edges of the cat's face but wish the dot ofthe 'i'was heavier, less of a cliche shape and tied in with the icon better." "Technically, the dashed lines should terminate with one whole dash, not the little bitty ones we have here. Should the character not be looking at the empanada and looking happier?" "The retro-cool feeling of this logo takes you to a place you've been before in your mind-a place of old cartoons and black and white comics. "The client's goal of upscalingstreet food was realized by both the bright, simple coloring and the unicameral typeface (a typeface which mixes caps and lowercase into a single character set) used in 'empanada.' "When you look more closely at the final execution you want to rework the contours and have the lickingtongue become a more memorable feature. The logo was likely created at too large a size, with too much detail." "Only the 'P' and 'D' are capitals-interesting that they alone would have ascenders or descenders if set in lowercase letters-so only those two letters had to have their weight adjusted when reduced in size to match the x-height of the neighboring lowercase letters." "The two typefaces contrast quite purposefully here. The only thing they have in common is their width. They contrast in posture, case, size, and style. "Nice relationship of line weight between 'RECORDS' and the cat's whiskers. I suspect the top script is a typeface rather than having been hand drawn: the 'c' overlap isn't quite smooth." "A happy coincidence of modular product and three repeating initials. The colors are unusual but very effective." "Flipping the diaeresis on the '0' is a nice touch." "Another mark-as-diagram example. That the actual shapes ofthe product are quarter circles and the name ofthe company has three 'S's is wonderful. One test of genius is when the result appears inevitable. This mark is an inevitable result ofthe specific attributes ofthe client. Tasty color choices, too." "Nice use of negative shapes. Typographically sound. A very solid logo at any size." "This is an excellent example ofthe saying: 'It isn't what typeface you choose; it's how you use the typeface you've chosen.' Extra tight letter and line spacing are the activated relationships that make this mark visible." 53 Really Good Logos, Explained Creative flrm Jeff Andrews Design Creative flrm Fauxkoi Design Company Minneapolis, MN Salem,OR Client Cat lick Records Client Sugar Frosted Goodness l Industry Industry Ill ustration Website MUSIC "Choosing one style for a site that represents a range of illustrators (or any visually minded group) is always difficult. Havinga male as your mascot also may not fit everyone, though this may indeed be for an all-male group of vector illustrators that like pencils! Who knows? "This logo could easily have fallen prey to over-detailing and confusing embellishment. Instead, agreat balance of wellunified elements makes this a strong mark with a lot of personality. "The high-touch printmaking execution is bulletproof, holding up well when translated to band paraphernalia and marketing materials." "The brave covering ofthe 'G' is permissable, as the full three letters can be seen on the character's T-shirt." "Love the abstraction of the 'SFG' by being hidden. But I can't see any relationship beyond proximity between the front and back halves.lfthe pencil's tip was as stubby as the weight of the letters behind, there could be a conceptual connection." "Interesting that this mark uses a Cyrillic 'De,' equivalent to our Latin 'D.' I get the gothic overtones, but that Cyrillic letter is intriguing. Nicethat the spontaneous splattering is not symmetrical." 54 Chapter 1: Loud & Proud Ro~nu Creative nrm KFR Communications, LLC New Egypt, NJ Creativenrm Robison Creative Studios Springneld, MO Client North Gate Ministry Client Royale BUilders Industry Recreation Industry Construction "Skaters would connect with the energy of this logo and the street-made feeling. I could see the figure in a second color on top of everything else, making it less flat and more active." BUILD[R~ "I assume this building company has a list of very high-class clients. Typographically, the centered layout does emphasize the fact that 'ROYALE' and 'BUILDERS' are not the same length, and the designer has had to alter the letterspacingto accomodate this. I wonder if there would be a better solution-stackingthetwo words beneath, for example-that would obviate this inelegant necessity." "Careful overlaps and enough splatters to make it look youthful and 'skateboardy.' Note that there's no obvious religious reference shown, so this becomes an emblem of 'belonging'-probablya powerful attractant to the target audience." "Royal Builders looks like Royal Gourmet Chocolatesand I want some. Have them redo my entire kitchen in chocolate, please. "The center carrier shape has a lot of depth and richness. The small detail in the cartouches will undoubtedly be a problem reproduced on the builder pickup trucks or on the side of his hard hat." "Love the crown most of all. Quite a distinctive mark, especially for a builder. But if you cover the word 'BUI LDERS,' what does this enterprise do? If you can'ttell, then the mark may not convey enough nonverbal meaning." 55 Really Good Logos, Explained babyflrst Creative flrm Mad Studios Hong Kong, China "Time was clearly spent making this baby icon well drawn and sweet. The pacifier is a great touch . Too bad they didn't spend more time spacing the type." Client babyflrst Industry Retail Babyfirst sells high-end childcare products in Mainland China. The ) client wanted to convey the company's "foreign origin" but cater to local tastes and cultures. The Chinese government encourages families to have one child, hence the single swaddled "HUG ME!" baby, communicating the preciousness of an only child . It is a Chinese tradition to swaddle a newborn baby in red to confer good fortune on it. The pacifier communicates well-being. "A nice execution ofa simple idea. The baby owes a bit too much to the ellipse tool in Illustrator, and more organic yet stili-graphic curves would have given it more life and character. Still, a nice design." "The designer's statement explains a reason for everything on this logo: baby, singularity, arms outstretched for hugging, red color,and pacifier. In the face of such clear thinking, who can quibble with the 'yfi' and 'rst' ligatures?" 56 Chapter 1: Loud & Proud camp242 Creativenrm Sayles Graphic Design Creative nrm Eye Design Studio Charlotte, NC Des Moi nes, IA Client Warehouse 242:: a church forthe city Client Industry Church Industry Food Campbell's Nutrition "A nice interplay of old and new, though the 'C' in the star could have been better positioned so thatthe top left cropped either in or out ratherthan just nick the edge." "This logo feels like a modern update of a classic from the turn of the century (the last one). It retains a natural feeling in spite of the clean, flat graphic treatment which gives the company a sense of history. "The clash between the classic star and the ornate pattern creates a beautiful logo mark here. The simple lowercase type stays out of the way, yet remains highly legible and complementary. The logo communicates a feeling of old values in a new context oftradition with modernity." "It looks like the carrot and 'C' could be pulled out as a separate icon that would work on its own, too. The script type is nicely done, and all the details balance well. Nice job." "This is interesting and very nearly works. A combination of 60S geometric greenery and block typography, rendered in bold green and orange (and black). The carrot is too basic compared to the rest ofthe design and could have been done with more definition and detail, and 'NUTRITION,' in a flimsy letterspaced serif, seems to have snuck in from another design. "Two primary contrasts make this mark work: the curvilinear shapes ofthe 'C'within the angular star, and the two weights of type. Nicethat the white space is allowed to infiltrate the star's perimeter. A border would have killed that activity and made the star more dominant than the 'C As it is, they are in near equilibrium." "The ruler-and-compass curves need some smoothing throughout as well, but somewhere under all that there's an eye-catching design." 57 Really Good Logos, Explained / ~ Creative hrm The Decoder Ring Austin, TX Creative firm The Whole Package Fort Collins, CO Client Boost Mobile, Inc. and Cornerstone Media Client Leila Singleton Industry Communications Industry Fashion TREE LEAF MUS I C Creative firm Dotzero Design Portland, OR Creative firm Calagraph ic Design Elkins Park, PA Client Tree Leaf Music Client Calagraph IC Design Industry Industry Political MUSIC 58 "- "Trashbags" are purses made by hand from recycled and scrap materials. Though every bag is unique, they are all characterized by quilted patches constructed from old, plastic shopping bags. The Trashbag logo was designed to recall thread and convey a sense of carefree, quirky elegance. A gestural scribble is paired with an abstraction of a handle to create a funky purse icon, which flows into the logotype. The script typeface is a custom design. "" ./ Chapter 1: Loud & Proud "I'd have liked an icon to go with this." "I like where this logo almost gets. The idea of a scribble that's also a purse is great, but this lettering and the scribble look awkward, like they were drawn with a mouse and not by hand. Imperfection can be great, so why not push it and do it by hand (the way the purses are made)?" "A bold and blockhead logo. It looks like a tattoo on the arm of a band's roadie. This logo conveys tons of character yet is executed soundly." "The designer's statement is complete, and the mark reaches everyone of her goals. Still, the handle of the purse is unresolved, because it has nothing in common with the "Delicious modernist characters that lack curves are set on a curve-a wonderful contrast. These letterforms harken to Germanic Blackletter without actually being Blackletter." rest of the mark; it contrasts in color, weight, shape, and line quality. "Balancing contrast with similarity is the true goal of relating design form, so having more in common would make that particular handle the 'right'treatment. That I can accidentally read 'frashbags' is a smaller quibble, because I like 'frashbags.' " TREE LEAF "A neat little idea-soundwaves and leaf spokes. Typographically, the 'L' is too wide, the 'RE' and 'AF'too close together, and the ruler-and-compass constructon and rounded end strokes don't seem to be of the same style as the leaf itself. "The paler sound waves have a kink in the center due to the curves not being smoothed out sufficiently; in fact, it may even bea more elegant logo ifthe lighter waves were dropped completely. The concept would still be there." "Appropriate use of'Block'forthe text; it nicely matches the photocopied and worn nature of the illustration." "The non-designed quality of this logo makes it work well. It's about the idea, while the execution stays simple and almost crude. I want to see the word 'VOTE' larger and almost with an exclamation point at the end." "The way the leaf and the tree images both get equal play and complement each other well is the real success behind this logo. The colors also workto unify the mark, and the type is stable and appropriate with or without the logo accomp- "I completely agree with the sentiment of this mark: participate! But that is either one huge donkey or one youthful anying it. It works well on many levels." elephant. The relationship made in the shared girth of their waists is rightthinking, but the result appears to emphasize the donkey. That is probably unintentional. Or it is an insiduously subconscious political message?" "Love, love, love the leaf. Relatingthe artto type through the use of color is excellent. But does the use of two fonts add anything? Why couldn't 'MUSIC' be set in the same face as 'TREE LEAF'? To the extent that it distracts from the leaf art, it is a wrong choice. One word set in a smaller size is arguably more distinctive than the one word set in brown, so there is an unnecessary competition in hierarchy." 59 Really Good Logos, Explained DogStar Birmingham,AL Creative flrm Alambre Estudio Donostia, Spain Client DogStar Client Luma Industnas SA Industry Design Industry Motorcycle Locking Systems Creative flrm "I love this lucky dog mark. It's fun and funny and great as part of the Dogstar holiday series. Nicely drawn, too." "I'd love to see how this one was applied. It's an aggressive mark that seems perfect for the motorcycle market. The pointy ears and Fu Manchu mustache give it a slightly devilish quality that works." "This logo has a beautiful balance of positive and negative-the eyes and nose have a similar weight, shape, and characteras the clover's 'inlets' and stem,giving it a stylistic cohesion. "This bouncer is precisely the kind of guy I'd want to protect my hog. The mirroring of the eyebrows and mustache reveal a good relationship, creating design sensitivity." "The top two leaves nicely double as ears in a simple an non-contrived manner, with just the right degree of whimsical 'flop.' Finally, the simple green color scheme is all that is needed." "If you don't seethe stem as a tongue, you may not see the dog at all. That suggests the combination of dog plus lucky clover is skewed slightly too much toward the clover." 60 Chapter 1: Loud & Proud HOT~<l~WEAAS® M WARMTH YOU CAN WEAR Creative nrm Coastlines Creative Group Creativenrm Masood Ahmed Bronx, NY Vancouver, Canada Client Hotwears Client Reds BBQ Industry Clothing, Accessory Industry Restaurant "Elegance is the absence of complexity. Note the precision with which 'WARMTH YOU CAN WEAR' aligns with 'WEARS.' And I think the flame has a slight suggestion ofthe letter'H.' Overall, very nicely unified." "Hot food? Compact urban mark that has a touch of Deco dinerto it. I can see this working well on shirts, bags, and menus. "Typographically, the addition of dots between the 'BBQ' letters on the right would help overcome the lack of symmetry (four letters versus three), and curvingthe actual letters of 'BRONX' rather than just the baseline would have been more elegant." "A fitting solution for a Bronx eatery that makes its claim from being hot and in the Bronx. The use of the thermometer suggests temperature hot, which seems a bit off from the hot flavor of BBQ they might want to suggest." "This mark seems about 20 percent too busy, so what is the most likely candidate for editing? 'BRONX' gets my vote; it doesn't agree enough . Delete the word and its U-shaped stripe and embed the word overthe street signs. The added benefit is the thermometer's bulb then hangs down in all its roundness and true importance." 61 Really Good Logos, Explained Creative nrm David Clark Design Tulsa,OK Creative nrm Client Cherry Street Association Client Intellitax Industry Tourism Industry Accounting Niedermeier Design Seattle,WA "This is a very nicely designed mark that sets exactly the right tone. The international-symbol simplicity is perfect for a software product,and the gray matter defined by numbers gets the mathematicaljaccountingaspect across elegantly and succinctly. Even ifthe details ofthe smaller numbers are lost a bit at very small sizes, there is enough information left to make it work." "This is a clean, simple icon that really doesn't need type to communicate." "Street and cherry-a simple combo drawn directly from the name. You can't argue with that, though I wonder why the cherry is slightly larger. It might have been nice to try a photo ofa real cherry, which may have stopped this design from sliding into slight dullness." "Accounting software is interpreted as a brain-which is literally gray matter!-with numbers. The spacingofthe numerals and their modest abstraction is handled sensitively." "This mark is nne as far as itgoes, which is my way of saying this looks fairly generic. A diagrammatic approach such as this needs character.lfthat can't be invented, maybe more than a diagram is called for. Maybe a photograph ofa stem? Or a photo of a cherry on top of a photo of a traffic lightanything for an unexpected twist on what is a basically good idea- so the client can 'own'the mark." 62 Chapter 1: Loud & Proud "The feet/bike chain part of this mark is very clever and eyecatching. I wish the application to the googie shape and type had been better thought out. The type is crying out to be stacked less rigidly, especially when joined with the asymmetrical googie shape. "If the type was less lined up, 'bike'wouldn't have to be smaller than 'walk', and the ampersand could also be a more comfortable size." "A neat concept, well executed. I wonder if we had flipped it whether we could also have had a 'W'forwalk instead ofan'M.' bike& "The type is a little airy, mainly due tothe ascenders on 'walk.' Caps may have worked better, though using a rounded style in keeping with the image is an excellent point of continuity." walk "The bike-links-turned-feet concept has legs! The eye wants to linger on the links-turned-feet illustration more than the television shape they're in or the rather bloopy type that changes character as it get bigger and smaller. While those would be improvements, the sign of agood concept is that it's hard to kill, and this one survives the day. The people of Marlborough have an event they can be proud to participate in." marlborough Creative flrm Lloyds Graphics Design, Ltd Blenheim, NewZealand Client Bike & Walk Marlborough "Nice combo of feet and bike chain! The type suffers from size-itis; as type is enlarged or reduced, its weight also changes, so these four sizes oftype have four different weights. A logo needs to be handled differently and with greater care than the typesetting of a headline in a magazine, where speediness mitigates casual craft. Industry Nonproflt "Also, does the ampersand deserve the visibility it receives from the contrasting green color? Seems a black plus sign would blend in and putthe emphasis back where it belongs: on the sweet artwork." 63 Really Good Logos, Explained SaGarDOeTxea hem baten erroak Creative flrm Alambre Estudio Creative flrm M3Advertising Design Las Vegas, NV Donostla, Spain Client Client OpalStar Sagardoetxea Industry HealingArts, Health, Yoga Industry Basque Cider Museum Creative flrm Creative flrm Fauxkoi Design Company Minneapolis, MN Refinery Design Company Dubuque,IA Client The Dollys Client Specialized Bikes Industry Music Industry Entertainment 64 Chapter 1: Loud & Proud "The type looks suitably New Age in that vaguely Eastern way that is suitable for a healing center. Gullible hipsters sign up here-bringyour own dream catcher." "This intriguing image inspires several feelings and takes the mind on a quick little voyage. Good things for a spiritually conscIous company. "The crisp, clear use ofthe repeat stripes and the negative shape forminga structural roof says much with very little effort. These elements create a staccato energy and suggest a place, like the mark, that is more than first meets the eye. That's probably just what a logo for a cider museum in Spain should be suggesting!" "The dimensionalized type draws you beyond and suggests a journey to wonderful places. The custom type treatment is both appropriately quirky and very distinct." "The Basque Cider Museum would be a great assignment: lots of unique attributes (Basque culture + apples + museums) to play with. "The dimensionality of the star is exceptional. The type treatment is risky and novel. "This image is not altogether clear. The Basque region, straddlingthe Pyrenees Mountains in northern Spain and southern France, is shaped like a wide triangle, and I suppose the brown rectangles could be Spain squeezing in from either side. "I wish that the type's and star's forms had more in common. Given this star, it is hard to see what is right with these lettershapes.lfyou are goingto make custom letterforms, by all means, do things that unite them with their image." "By the way, in Basque, which is a non-Indo European language, sagar (apple) + ardo (wine) = sagardo (cider). Does the use of a third colorfor'herri baten erroak' make ittoo special for its own good?" "Dollys is on its way to being way cool. The added weight of a thicker cast shadow would help the mass ofthe logo, as would an out-of-register print look. The rope is campy-cool but could be improved by being less detailed and more varied in weight. The 'the' is almost completely lost. "Unlike some ofthe other cartoon icons here, this drawing exhibits a stylistic unity due to consistent line variation and style. Nicely executed, and an original, left-field but still relevant idea to boot. I especially like the way the cycling helmet doubles up as an apple-impact protector." "The color choice and washed-out look are key to holding it together and giving it the un pretentiousness that makes it work." "Nice quick read with motion and an expressive face. The use of an extreme perspective really helps with the idea offalling, gravity, and speed." "Nice thinking! Classic iconography of country music, circa 1960. The rope's inconsistencies aren't quite rough enough to look like it's this way on purpose. This would be a killer if a length of real rope had been shaped and photographed and slugged in." "Excellent use of speed lines to double as exclamation marks as our hero is aboutto get bonked byfallingfruit." 65 Really Good Logos, Explained Creative nrm Lloyds Graphics Design, Ltd. Blenheim, New Zealand Creative nrm Fresh Oil Pawtucket, RI Client Spark Events Client Yoshi Industry Event Creation Industry Restaurant "This logo has a nice color choice; it is well matched tonally." "The'S' remains readable despite the level of abstraction and the unusual name." "Simple execution that is well balanced and communicates confidence and competency. The kerning in 'SPARK' needs a little more attention, butthe overall effect is a logo that communicates 'This is a company prepared to add ideas and execute on the promises it makes.''' "This is a clever and expressive logo; it says 'Japanese with a twist.' And it's highly memorable and effortless in its simplicity. Reversed out (on a chef's uniform or on a neon sign), it can't be ruined or weakened. And it's very ownable, too." "Handsome, clean relationships. Great color combination: gray plus a color is always a terrific pairing that shows restraint, sophistication, and energy. "Excellent combination of highly abstract digital typemuch of which comes from Japan-and the traditional 'Rising Sun.' '' "I just checked : Google lists overtwo million images of sparks, a few of which might be more distinctive than this Illustratorcreated version." 66 Chapter 1 : Loud & Proud "Tharn it! I love the eye illustration here; it's very creepy and powerful, but the type really lets the symbol down. This feels like the designer needed to get off the computer and use his fingers." "The expanse of black and the crop ofthe eyes definitely communicates an edgy intensity. There is a mismatch between the roughness ofthe type, the roughness of the black panel, and the roughness of the eyes. " This logo would have more cohesion if the art had been prepared with traditional cut-and-paste methods using real typewriter type enlarged on a copier or PMT camera, then assembled, copied a few more times for added grit, then scanned and saved as a TIFF for final art." "The eyes peering out ofthe black window set a bold tone and stark drama. The overall effect of this mark is successful, but attention to craftsmanship and detailing could have turned a solid idea into an enduringone. " The square form that contains the eyes takes on the shape of a 'blockhead' and makes me wonder if a different shape and possibly including some of the type with that carrier shape would be stronger." Creative Ii rm Misha Birmele DesignerGraphics Pasadena, CA " Intensity comes through loud and clear. The scratchy type is well matched to the style of the artwork. Two thoughts on the type: the lowercase '0' stands out because it is the only miniscule letter (the rule for making something effectively disappear is to have it agree with its