Archive | Logo Design Discussion

100 Best Global Brands of 2009

100 Best Global Brands of 2009




Best Global Brands

Interbrand in conjunction with Business Week has just released the best global brand rankings of 2009.

The Top 10 Brands of 2009 were:

  1. Coca-Cola
  2. IBM
  3. Microsoft
  4. GE
  5. Nokia
  6. McDonald’s
  7. Google
  8. Toyota
  9. Intel
  10. Disney

>> View the full 100 best global brands on the Business Week web site.

Top 10 Logos

What can we learn from looking at the logos of these top brands?

Based on the 2007 top 50 brands, the % below identifies the percentage of the top 50 brands that hold to this view:

  • The name does not describe the product sold (94%) (ie. in most cases a logo is used to identify a company, not describe what it does.)
  • The by-line tag is not included in the logo (90%)
  • The font style is clean and clear (84%)
  • The logo design uses one colour only (74%) (white & black not counted as a colour)
  • The logo design uses letters only without the symbol (74%)
  • The logo design is a made-up name or ACRONYM (72%)
  • The logo design is rectangular in shape (66%)
  • The logo design is one word only (62%)
  • The logo design includes the trademark symbol (54%) and is placed in the top right (48%)
  • The name is 6 letters or less (52%)
  • The name uses upper & lower case (44%) (excluding ACRONYMS)
  • The background is filled and solid. (52%)
  • The pronunciation includes three sounds/syllables (44%)
  • The predominant colour base is blue (40%)

Best Global Brands 2009

You can also download a poster (PDF) of the 2009 top brands as seen above.

There is also a video to watch regarding the top brands list.

(I apologise for the auto play – I couldn’t disable or link to the video any other way.)

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The Harley-Davidson Brand

The Harley-Davidson Brand

Harley Davidson Logo

What do you think of when you see the Harley-Davidson logo? Personally, I think of a rugged, rebellious “bikey” – one with tattoos, beard and a leather jacket.

Stereotypes aside, I find it fascinating that being what the Harley-Davidson brand is (tough & rebellious) it can turn a scrawny office worker into one mean fighting machine – just by slapping a logo on.

This has not been achieved overnight but rather has been built into the culture and beliefs of Harley since its establishment in 1902.

Marketing has played a huge role in this perceived image and I believe the video below is a great example of how they have achieved this.

“We believe the machine you sit on, can tell the world exactly where you stand. We don’t care what everyone else believes. Amen.”

Notice how the last line of the clip, as quoted above, is clear and not distorted? A very powerful, yet subtle, way to send the message right home.

In my opinion, Harley is one of the strongest “brands” in the world – right along side Apple. What about you?

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Melbourne’s $240,000 Logo Makeover

Melbourne’s $240,000 Logo Makeover

City of Melbourne Logo

The city of Melbourne, Australia revealed their new brand identity yesterday. The logo was developed by Landor’s Aussie branch. Preliminary research for the logo came in at about $74,000 and the design itself cost $120,000. Those who have rebranded destinations know they should have paid twice that given the politics of the work. ~ Source

Melbourne New Logo

Melbourne’s website quotes CEO Dr Kathy Alexander in saying the City will benefit from the logo in the following ways:

* Consolidation of multiple logos into a single, strong, cutting-edge design
* Better identification of services City of Melbourne is delivering
* Greater brand impact and flexibility
* More cost and time-effective in-house design and brand management

Melbourne Logo In Use

Above you can see the identity system in use.

Below you can experience the new identity via video.

Your thoughts?

Image Sources: The Age + City Council

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The Power and Meaning Behind Bank Logos

The Power and Meaning Behind Bank Logos




Image

Any business that is consistently working with other people’s money should convey professionalism, trust, commitment, and establish a level of confidence in their capabilities to manage money. A bank logo should instantly communicate with an audience and reflect it’s business division as well as it’s trusting personality. This is why it is extremely important for banks to have a well-designed identity. Many bank logos are designed with similar elements such as patriotic icons and colors. It is always a challenge to create original logos for companies offering similar services in a world where designers are finding inspiration in the same places.

How do banks effectively communicate with their audience through their logo? Fortunately, financial and banking services advertise everywhere! We see banking identities on retail branch signs on every street corner, TV commercials, bumper sticks, even on our writing utensils! By using a logo as their main marketing tool, banks possess the power to make you want to bank with them.

The following banks have well-known logos, but do we actually know how and what these logos are telling us?

Citibank, designed by Paula Scher

citibank

The Citibank logo offers security. By incorporating an arc over the lowercase ‘t’ in Citibank you have strong and powerful red umbrella sheltering and taking care of it’s trustworthy patrons.

SunTrust, designed by siegel+gale

suntrust

“The new logo is a beacon that reflects the warmth, energy, and diverse range of the SunTrust organization.”-siegel+gale. The use of warm colors express the feeling of internal warmth for the SunTrust brand and it’s local, tight-knit community.

Chase Manhattan Bank, designed by Chermayeff & Geismar

chase

Chase Manhattan Bank has merged with JPMorgan, yet its original abstract symbol still remains the same. By using the same shape over and over again, this logo reinforces trust. The repetitive symbol establishes a sense of familiarity which makes us feel comfortable trusting them with our money.

Bank of New Zealand, designed by DNA Design Auckland

bankofnewzealand

Through the use of the color blue alone this logo represents confidence, trust, and loyalty. The typeface, Serrano which was designed specifically for Bank of New Zealand has a very friendly italicized font which is used in their logo. Modern, friendly, and trustworthy, everything you look for in a bank.

Bank of America, designed by Bob Wolf

bankofamerica

The icon used in this logo is meant to represent the USA flag, which shows patriotism. Behold the power of 3’s! The best things in life come in 3’s, so they say. The repetition of the double-lined pattern repeating 3 times shows reinforcement and familiarity. The bright red and blue also draw us in by showing strength, power, trust & excitement.

These are just a few of the bank logos used today that follow similar design notions. The beautiful thing about these logos is the way they communicate with an audience and transmit different feelings and meanings. A logo with no power or meaning behind it is simply nothing more than good design.

For many more bank logos check this post.

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Living Proof Packaging

Living Proof Packaging

Frizz Logo

Recently, Wolff Olins, one of the world’s leading brand consultancies (and the agency behind the infamous 2012 London Olympics logo) announced details about their involvement in the concept, strategy, craft and launch of the new beauty brand, Living Proof.

Below you will find the packaging and identity for the new brand along with the Living Proof press release. What do you think? Personally, I love the Frizz logo… visual communication at it’s best.

Frizz

Living Proof Press Release

Living Proof was founded in 2004 by Polaris Venture Partners co-founder Jon Flint on the premise that there have been few true innovations in beauty. He teamed up with fellow Polaris partner, Amir Nashat, MIT scientists Dr. Bob Langer and Dr. Dan Anderson as well as renowned stylists Ward Stegerhoek and Mitch DeRosa to find altogether new solutions to every day beauty frustrations. Today, the company is comprised of leading scientists and beauty veterans and is led by President and CEO Rob Robillard, formerly Worldwide General Manager of Kiehl’s Since 1951and Senior Vice President of Marketing of L’Oreal Paris.

After one year of dedicated research, the team of scientists discovered the PolyfluoroEster molecule, the first new anti-frizz technology in over 30 years. The new molecule is smaller than traditional frizz-fighting ingredients and instantly fills in gaps and blocks each strand’s cuticle, preventing moisture from penetrating the hair shaft. With frizz solved, Living Proof is working on a number of other solutions to common beauty frustrations. Stay tuned.

Throughout the evolution and conception of No Frizz, Wolff Olins worked closely to shape the brand’s development, working on everything from the brand strategy and name, product naming, service approach, identity, packaging, point-of-sale and communications. The branding firm touched nearly every part of the experience.

Image

“Our involvement with Living Proof is a perfect example of the depth of activity and influence we can have with our clients”, said Todd Simmons, Executive Creative Director at Wolff Olins. “Throughout the entire process, we looked at every possible touch point and worked hand in hand with everyone in the business, even engaging the MIT scientists in our process. We’re absolutely thrilled with the result as it reflects a seamless collaboration.”

“We are just as proud of Living Proof’s commitment to efficacy and the way they treat consumers as we are of the way the packaging turned out or anything else. This is true branding”, continued Simmons.

Rob Robillard, President and CEO of Living Proof, commented, “Success in a start-up is about moments and decisions that will change the destiny of the company. We’ve been lucky thus far to have a few of those moments. One major one is having chosen to work with Wolff Olins.”

About Living Proof

Living Proof was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and created for the purpose of solving the toughest beauty challenges by inventing efficient, single-purpose formulas based on entirely new molecules and breakthrough technologies. They are a team of scientists and beauty authorities brought together by a shared aspiration: to challenge the status quo and end the common beauty frustrations of people everywhere – once and for all.

About Wolff Olins

Founded in 1965, Wolff Olins is one of the world’s leading brand consultancies. It has 140 people in London, New York and Dubai. In a world of caution and conservatism, Wolff Olins is ambitious for clients. In a time of anxiety and cynicism, Wolff Olins is extremely optimistic for the world. Wolff Olins works with a vast array of the world’s most recognized brands including Unilever, PwC, Target, Microsoft, (RED), GE, Tate, Sony Ericsson, New York City, Beeline, and London 2012.

Awards Won

  • D&AD Award, Package Design- Living Proof (2009)
  • Art Directors Silver Cube- Living Proof Package Design (2009)
  • The One Show Bronze Pencil Award- Living Proof Package Design (2009)

Further discussion & links over at Brand New.

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13 Logo Designers Share Their Love of Logo Design (Part 2)

13 Logo Designers Share Their Love of Logo Design (Part 2)

This is part 2 of the series in which I interview thirteen talented logo designers, asking about their process of designing logos, why the love it so much, which elements are most important, and where they draw their inspiration from.

You can find part one here.

iamgarth-logo

Iamgarth Client

IamGarth

Name: Garth Humbert
Company: IamGarth
Twitter: @iamgarth

1. What do you love about logo design? Why did you decide to specialize in it?

A person, product, or company’s brand is it’s core asset—the foundation on which its identity is built. I love being a part of this most basic message—the name. It’s how the name is portrayed that forms a large part of a consumer’s initial reaction. I want to make sure the brands that I manage don’t hinder the relationship between a company and its clients.

2. What elements do you consider essential to any good logo?

There’s no set list of elements that every logo should have. They can’t all be strong or ethereal or bitchin. They don’t all need a mark or icon or illustrated monkey. That said there are some basic functions that I make sure that any logo I create can handle—because a master brand should be flexible. There are times when it needs to look good really really small or 8? wide on a billboard, in black and white or in full-color, fit into a vertical or horizontal space, in RGB on the Internet or embroidered on a polo. The other thing that’s important to me, is that nobody with illustrator (or Word) could sit down and say, “hey that logo looks like Impact with a bunch of letter-spacing” and type out one of my logos. When a client asks what font I used for their logo (so they can use it on other internal projects), I can proudly say, “I made your logotype by hand” or “I custom-tweaked some type so nobody can copy it”. Delivering a logo that is truly unique is something I always strive for.

3. Where do you get your inspiration from when creating a logo? What inspires you most?

You’re probably expecting “riding the subway” or “old album covers” or “vintage Americana” but the reality is that my inspiration is driven by the client and their needs, goals, vision, target market, industry, competitors, history, existing materials, desired traits, and any other number of key factors that should inspire a brand. Next on my list of inspiration are the letterforms—what are the letter shapes? how do they interact? uppercase? lowercase? mixed? So much of the story can be told with the letters themselves.

4. Please share what you consider to be the “best” logo you ever designed for a client and a few words about how you came up with this particular design.

A recent identity project that was very successful (read it exceeded the clients expectations) was Eden Reforestation Projects. Where this logo is successful is that it tells the story of ERP—Healing Lands & Lives. ERP assists communities in third world countries where deforestation is rampant, by helping them understand the issue of deforestation and giving them the tools and resources to begin reversing the effects. The local community is heavily involved, resulting in a changed landscape and changed lives. This “hands-on” approach of planting trees and restoring the land is clearly communicated in the logomark—providing an immediate connection between human lives and our forests.

Im Just Creative Logo

Im Just Creative Logo Client

Im Just Creative

Name: Graham Smith
Company: Im Just Creative
Twitter: @imjustcreative

1. What do you love about logo design? Why did you decide to specialize in it?

It’s like my little own world, I control it, I influence everything about it. Being a nutter of a perfectionist, crafting a logo is the closest I have found to actually achieving perfection. Which really throws it in the face of many people who say that perfectionism is mostly unobtainable. Prior to focusing on logo design, I was struggling with the whole perfectionist aspect. The bigger the job, the worse it was, the longer I would spend aching over the smallest of details, micro details. Yet to me they were as glaring as a huge zit on the end of someone’s nose. Not healthy.

Logo design has actually given me peace of mind many, many times. I see it as a obtainable goal with each project, rather than being overwhelmed, each logo has it’s own neat compartment where I know exactly where everything is. Rarely do I end up feeling overwhelmed or unable to deliver.

I see logo design as a true craft, one that is easy to mess up if you don’t have all the right ingredients. I love logos, plain and simple, I love that feeling when you find some utterly clever play on words, or create a monumentally brilliant logo mark. A good logo can reward you with much happiness and achievement.

To a degree, what helped me decided to focus on logo design was really the feedback that I received over a period of time, and people coming back for another logo or recommending me. That is a wonderful feeling when you know in your heart that people respect and appreciate the work you do. So that was a big influence for me, as well as my own passion for it.

2. What elements do you consider essential to any good logo?

I’ll keep this simple. From my perspective, a font makes or breaks a logo. Not everyone agrees with that. I have even had people question my logo design process as unorthodox. But the fact is, I’m getting more and more logo work, so something is working. As well as having my own style of design, I seem to have my own style of logo creation – but ultimately it works for me and works for the clients.

I focus on fonts from the get go. They create the mood, the atmosphere and the emotion. They set the tone and create the right balance of feeling. I spend a lot of time thinking about fonts for every new logo project. I will occasionally do the reverse, create the logomark then choose the font, but this is pretty rare. Only in cases where the logomark plays a significant role, and my brief dictates that the mark is foremost the focal point. So yes, in these cases, I design the mark, then pair it up with a suitable font.

3. Where do you get your inspiration from when creating a logo? What inspires you most?

Often I will just go with internal feelings, the gut instinct approach. I try to avoid getting inspiration as for me it can actually cloud what it is I’m trying to achieve. I certainly have my own style, something that has been eeked out over time. A style that is totally natural to me. Looking at logo inspiration sites actually causes internal conflict for me and hinders me more than it helps. If I get a logo project that actually stumps me for ideas, say maybe about a topic I know little about, then in these cases I usually refer to my many LogoLounge books or my favourite book of the moment, aptly named, ‘Logo’.

However, I will visit the many wonderful logo inspiration sites during quieter moments, when I don’t have any logo projects on. This was I can admire the many 100’s of excellent logos being created on a daily basis without it causing me any conflict with a ongoing project.

4. Please share what you consider to be the “best” logo you ever designed for a client and a few words about how you came up with this particular design.

I know for a fact that I’m not the only one who struggles to pick out a favorite logo, Of course I have my own personal favourites, but often they tend not to be the ones that other people would choose, as say my best. So the dilemma is to try and choose one that really just sums up what I like about logo design. Even if, when compared to other designs, it’s not so ‘bouncy bouncy’. As i previously mentioned, I have a style that is natural to me, a minimalist at heart. So when I get a logo project that has the opportunity to be just that, then that is a time for me to celebrate. When a client says, I love your style, I love the clean shapes, the focus on typography, ‘I want the same’ then that’s a great thing.

The Octobox logo was just that. I saw potential for a very clean, font focused logo. I considered of course using shapes to create a more ‘creative’ form, but my gut kept telling me to keep to words and letters. For sure, on the surface, it looks pretty simple. Hindsight is great. But this logo actually took a lot of revisions, and font changes. Backwards and forwards to find that ‘perfect’ feel and balance.

Using shapes to represent the initials in this way also proved to be an exercise in this coming and going merry-go-round. I would classify this as my desire for perfection on overdrive. I see it, I feel it and that’s what is important. It feels and looks right to me and I’m very happy with how it turned out. The great thing with this logo design are the endless colour variations you can work with. The original was a two-tone blue, as is on my portfolio. But I have many other versions and for the purposes of this post, decided to do an almost mono reversed style.

Just Creative Design

Just Creative Design

Name: Jacob Cass
Company: Just Creative Design
Twitter: @justcreative

1. What do you love about logo design? Why did you decide to specialize in it?

Logo design is one of those fields that can really captivate you or on the other hand, bore you to death. Thankfully for me, I really do have a passion for it. Encapsulating the core values of a business and portraying that in an a simple, identifiable and creative manner is the challenge and I suppose that is what draws me to it. I ended up specialising in logo design purely for these facts, plus it is a field that not many other designers specialise in.

2. What elements do you consider essential to any good logo?

Every business has different needs and one must adapt these needs to the project, rather than following a “rule book”. I do however believe that simplicity in logo design is the best – if it reflects the core values of the business in a creative, memorable and describable manner then this should make a solid foundation for a logo.

3. Where do you get your inspiration from when creating a logo? What inspires you most?

I usually browse logo design galleries and refer to my books to get the creative juices rolling but other than that it’s just me, my sketchbook and Illustrator.

4. Please share what you consider to be the “best” logo you ever designed for a client and a few words about how you came up with this particular design.

Although it was not particularly for a client, I am most proud of my own logo design for my own blog / design business, Just Creative Design. It encapsulates exactly who I am and what I do in a simple, creative and memorable manner. In case you missed it, the logo consists of the initials JCD that form a pencil. The initials of my own name are also JC (from my name Jacob Cass). I wrote about the design process in full on my blog.

Mayhem Studios

Mayhem Studios Client

Mayhem Studios

Name: Calvin Lee
Company: Mayhem Studios
Twitter: @mayhemstudios

1. What do you love about logo design? Why did you decide to specialize in it?

I have always loved identity and logos, even as kid. A simple and single mark representing an idea or company was very cool to me. Taking the mark and applying the brand to other collateral and products.

Specializing in logo design is more fun and conceptually creative. You can play around with different concepts and ideas with fewer parts to worry about like a brochure, website or concerns of resolution since most times, logos are built in a vector application.

2. What elements do you consider essential to any good logo?

  • Simplicity – Not overly complicated or busy with bevels, gradients and drop shadows. Stick to basic shapes.
  • Readability – Don’t distort so much that you don’t know what it is.
  • Scalable – Built as a vector, able to enlarge and reduce the logo without losing quality.
  • Memorable – Unique that stands out from other logos.
  • Versatility – You want the logo to be consistent when applied to other collateral and marketing materials.

3. Where do you get your inspiration from when creating a logo? What inspires you most?

I usually look at awesome logo designer work, logo books and websites like Logo Lounge, Logo Pond. Many times, I get my logo inspiration when I’m out and about, like at the gym or shopping.

Simplicity, modern and clean design, and the use of white space inspires me most. Experiencing life also inspired me. Having a balance between work and play helps to keep you fresh.

4. Please share what you consider to be the “best” logo you ever designed for a client and a few words about how you came up with this particular design.

My favorite logo has to be for a client start up of an urban music production company, Downtown Entertainment. The only request the client made was to include a downtown skyline.

I like double or even triple meanings combined into a single logo sometimes. Downtown Entertainment being a music related company. I combined several elements together: a downtown skyline with headphones, which also can be musical notes. I offset the letters of “Downtown,” to give the feeling of musical notes dancing.

memo-logo

memo-client

Memo

Name: Heather Carson
Company: Memo
Twitter: @heathersmemo

1. What do you love about logo design? Why did you decide to specialize in it?

I love logo design because I am an entrepreneur at heart. I LOVE helping people find the icon or image that will represent them to the world. Getting the right brand image is so important to the success of a company. I get to work with people who are excited about their businesses and passionate about their ideas. It’s fun to collaborate to create something that means so much.

2. What elements do you consider essential to any good logo?

I have a three step test that I apply to logos. First, is it simple? Can you photocopy your logo in black and white and still read it correctly? Can you make a black only version and have it still work? Is it adaptable to all types of applications- print, web, embroidery even? Second, is it scalable? How does it look really small and really big? How about upside down? Does it work? Third, is it unique? Does it stand apart from a page of text? Is it memorable? Does it portray the company in it’s best light? Is it relevant but not obvious?

3. Where do you get your inspiration from when creating a logo? What inspires you most?

I gather inspiration all around me, from nature, everyday objects, my family… But, I am so amazed at the creativity of humankind. There are some seriously crazy talented people out there! The internet has opened up a whole world of inspiration to explore other graphic works, photography, print, web… truly amazing. I love social media. I love Twitter. I love getting cool links and information that I might not have found on my own.

4. Please share what you consider to be the “best” logo you ever designed for a client and a few words about how you came up with this particular design.

How can you pick, it’s like children. ;) I feel like I’m always trying to get better and better. Hopefully I’ll never have a “this is my best work” moment. However, I am sending one I finished recently that I really like. It’s for a custom cabinetry and woodworking shop called Copper Canyon Design. The icon itself contains the letters for the company but it also forms the shape of a protractor – a common drafting tool.

penflare-logo

penflare-client

Penflare

Name: Sean Farrell
Company: Penflare
Twitter: @penflare

1. What do you love about logo design? Why did you decide to specialize in it?
I guess for me, it is the challenge of taking an entire company – what they specialize in, what market they are in, and the services they offer, and encompassing all these things into one image that defines them. A logo is their mark in world business so it should be a unique representation of their product or service.

2. What elements do you consider essential to any good logo?

I think simplicity is essential to any good logo. Simplicity works, but only if the logo conveys the message what you want it to. Being too simple though can sometimes leave even the client wondering what it represents, so flexibility is essential designing a new or revised logo. The logo should also work in other mediums such as black and white, grayscale, full color, etc.

3. Where do you get your inspiration from when creating a logo? What inspires you most?

I like looking at designers like David Airey, David Pache, Bojan Stefanovic, Mike Erickson and Alen Pavlovi to gain inspiration. Their designs are so simple yet they convey such an immediate impact when you look at them. I also believe that my inspiration and creativity comes from God and my life experiences. I don’t believe creativity is something that can be learned – you’re either born with it or you’re not!

4. Please share what you consider to be the “best” logo you ever designed for a client and a few words about how you came up with this particular design.

I think my all time favorite logo I’ve designed for a client would have to be Logoreview. This was probably one of my most simple logos, but took me a while to get it just right. I came up with the idea through brainstorming. I was originally designing a check mark in a unique way to be separate from the text. It wasn’t turning out like I thought it would so I looked at doing a type treatment. I then saw a perfect spot for the check mark in the word review. I cut off a sliver of the “v” and voila, a check mark was born.

phire-logo

phire-client

Phire Design

Name: AJ Troxell
Company: Phire Design
Twitter: @phiredesign

1. What do you love about logo design? Why did you decide to specialize in it?

I had always been more of a web designer up until a couple of years ago. I started working at a print company as an in-house graphic designer, and after being there a while really turned a lot of my attention toward designing logos. Many of the customers, or potential customers, were looking for a brand new logo, or a recreation of their current logo, and this quickly became something that I spent much of my time on.

2. What elements do you consider essential to any good logo?

If you consider “thinking outside the box” part of a designers mind, then I don’t think there is too much that is essential. The only key components in my opinion are:

  1. Recognizable (in large or small format).
  2. Easy on the eyes. Subtle, yet stands out.
  3. Simplicity. Simplicity is key for a logo itself, but the way it is integrated into an advertisement or any digital media can be quite complex and still keep the logo recognizable.

3. Where do you get your inspiration from when creating a logo? What inspires you most?

My daughter and my wife. They are as much responsible for everything that I do, as I am.

Really though, I look at what the company or person does, and draw from that, their personality, and what they or their company is trying to convey. I prefer smooth curves and smooth angles as compared to sharp edges and roughness.

4. Please share what you consider to be the “best” logo you ever designed for a client and a few words about how you came up with this particular design.

My favorite logo that I have ever done, is for a landscaping company called Taylor Made Landscaping. This was one of the first few that I designed, and still to this day remains my favorite. I honestly couldn’t tell you why. But it has always remained as a inspiration for future logo design.

r27-logo

r27-client

R27.Creativelab

Name: Rajesh Pancholi
Company: R27.Creativelab
Twitter: @r27

1. What do you love about logo design? Why did you decide to specialize in it?

What do I love about it you ask…? I guess it’s the challenge of representing sometimes-complex messages in one simple form. I didn’t intend to specialise in any way but one of my tasks over the last 7 years has been creating identities for incentive/motivational programmes for large corporate companies. Meaning a very quick turnaround, portraying the mood/emotion of the campaign.

2. What elements do you consider essential to any good logo?

The first element that comes to mind is simplicity and then adaptability on different media, this usually is something that hangs over the entire project from the start. From here it’s about trying to get an idea of the client, the image they would ideally wish to portray – the character, and fundamental values of the company. Where do they sit within the marketplace and who are their competitors. I then move on to ask whether there are any existing colour palettes I should be using or guidelines I should be following.

3. Where do you get your inspiration from when creating a logo? What inspires you most?

There’s no magical answer to this. With the level of resource material available online I can’t imagine anyone not getting inspired in some form. From tutorial sites, to blogs, to guys on Twitter. Just google a few words and explore. Pop into your local bookstore if you don’t already have a library of material and thumb through a few books and five minutes will become sixty, trust me. Understand how others approach a specific project. Use your eyes when you’re out and about. Most importantly I would say is talk to individuals outside the creative zone as the more you understand people the closer you may get at achieving your goals. Nature is also a big influence, the colours, the organic shapes and textures. The more you look around and take note the more you will find to be inspired by.

4. Please share what you consider to be the “best” logo you ever designed for a client and a few words about how you came up with this particular design.

The original brief for Darnmore had a very tight budget attached to it and I was called in by a small marketing agency to provide the creative resource. They had already discussed ideas between themselves (agency and end client) and were adamant that the end result should include three trees, I’m not sure why but they had in turn scribbled down on a piece of scrap paper.

A few variations of this idea were provided for them to view. But for me it didn’t do anything, that’s not to say they looked bad, the concept just wasn’t original enough. I began playing with the ‘D’ as you would and the idea of sustainability and the tree rings seemed to work. The end result, the original ideas they liked. The final idea, I was told their eyes lit up. I couldn’t ask for a better response.

Is it my best logo ever? I hope not but the clients’ response was enough on this occasion.

Leighton Hubbell Logo

Hurried Chef Logo

Leighton Hubbell – Illustrative Designer

Name: Leighton Hubbell
Company:
Leighton Hubell (Blog)
Twitter:
@leightonhubbell

1. What do you love about logo design? Why did you decide to specialize in it?

I love the immediacy of the medium most of all. A direct impression of a company or service is developed in the viewer’s mind from the moment it’s seen. I think that’s the challenge in the craft–creating that impression with a small symbol and/or typeface. All types of design variables come into play in a single image–concept, color, type, contrast, style, illustration. After the logo is created, it comes to life in the identity design when additional elements complete the overall package. The logo itself cannot work alone.

I never started out thinking I would be a logo designer. My career just kind of evolved into the specialty. Early on, I was often recruited into helping redesign existing campaigns which in many cases involved a complete identity makeover. I would be asked to contribute my rough logo concepts in with the others and soon found that my work was the chosen direction more and more often. After literally thousands of logos later, here we are.

2. What elements do you consider essential to any good logo?

First and foremost there needs to be a concept driving the design. Without a concept, it’s just decoration. It needs a reason to live. From there, the concept drives the use of either a mark or mark/type solution in the logo design. It should communicate to the viewer what the company or service does and do that quickly and efficiently.

A good logo should also be able to work in various sizes flawlessly and read well in a black & white format. There is too much reliance today on lots of modeling, gradients and other accoutrements in the design. With the huge amount of different applications a logo could be potentially applied to, this is often overlooked and readability suffers. Most of all, with any good piece of comedy, music, writing or design, there needs to be a visceral connection with its audience to really be successful.

3. Where do you get your inspiration from when creating a logo? What inspires you most?

It could be anything really. Most of all, I ask the client lots of questions about everything from the company history to appropriateness of certain colors. If possible, I try to get a tour of their company, meet the employees and most of all, talk with any business partners. I try to make my role in the process much more than a designer, but more of a marketing and design partner. I really try to immerse myself into their world and try to glean as much new information I can. Even things they aren’t talking to me about, such as the lobby, the product or service itself and how they perform it.

From there, I continue my research on their current and potential competitors. After that, I can determine which directions would be appropriate and begin conceptualising and sketching.

4. Please share what you consider to be the “best” logo you ever designed for a client and a few words about how you came up with this particular design.

There are many of them that I am very proud of, so that’s a rather difficult decision. One that is very popular in my portfolio is the design for The Hurried Chef. It’s a logo for a ‘take and make’ meals concept restaurant. The meals are pre-prepared and ready to take home—just heat them up and serve them to your family. The menu offerings and their preparation are just like a traditional home cooked meal.

The concept came from the way in which families are always pressed for time with all of the activities everyone is committed to. The Hurried Chef menu and the term ‘comfort food’ gave me the inspiration for the retro cookbook-style pot, color and steam swirls. So, making it into a clock face showing 5 o’clock melded the two concepts together to create the mark you see here. The typeface choice is current and quirky, yet it works with the style of the visuals. Overall, it was very well received.

Share Your Logo Love!

Let’s keep this group interview going by passing it over to YOU!

Are you a designer? Do you specialize in creating logos? If so, we’d love to hear from you…

  1. What do you love about logo design? Why did you decide to specialize in it?
  2. What elements to you consider essential to any good logo?
  3. Where do you get your inspiration from when creating a logo? What inspires you most?

Of course, it goes without saying that I’d like to say a big Thank You to all of the designers who participated in this interview! Your responses are incredibly informative, and the logos that you’ve shared are inspirational in and of themselves!

Posted in Interviews, Logo Design DiscussionComments (19)

Pepsi Redesign: Your Brand Is More Than A Logo

Pepsi Redesign: Your Brand Is More Than A Logo

Pepsi - Image courtesy of Form Fifty Five

The recent noise about Pepsi’s new logo has been been going strong for months. The general feeling within the design community is that the new redesigned logo(s) are a step back, not forward.

If you are going to spend a reported 1.2 billion dollars on a redesign you would expect something astounding. By itself the new logo looks like a knockoff of the old Pepsi logo, with a little bit of the Obaba logo thrown in. Having different shapes for different brands only adds to the confusion. After all, a logo’s first job is to be recognized by consumers not to make them think about the its gravitational pull in relation to the rest of the universe.

Pepsi Logo Evolution - Image courtesy of Chris Glass

Despite all that, I really really like the change of direction. A good brand is so much more than its logo. I drink Pepsi, it’s my first choice. For years I’ve had to put up with some of the most garish and disorganized cans cluttering up my desk. Take a look at the some of the old packaging below and tell me that it’s better than the new ones.

Pepsi Packaging - Photo courtesy of Pepsi

In the consumer package goods world packaging is everything. Your product lives and dies on the shelf based on the packaging. Where Coke’s brand is built on nostalgia, Pepsi is the “choice of a new generation”. The packaging is forward looking and at times futuristic. The problem with designing the future is that it gets old quick.

Right now (thanks in large part to Apple) modern design is clean and simple. Walking into a store and seeing a wall of blue or white with just the Pepsi logo is very clean and in a cluttered store is striking, especially in the beverage isle. I think we are going to see a lot more Pepsi type redesigns in the future (Not counting Tropicana) and that’s a good thing. However, it is true that others find it hard to swallow.

Here is a video of the new logo design in action… what do you think after seeing this and what are your thoughts on the new Pepsi redesign in general?

Posted in Logo Design Discussion, Logo Design EvolutionComments (34)

13 Logo Designers Share Their Love of Logo Design (Part 1)

13 Logo Designers Share Their Love of Logo Design (Part 1)

So much rides on a logo – it embodies the vision and drive behind a company. It speaks volumes as to who the company is and what they stand for. A company’s logo should be a consistent force behind it’s brand.

Now, I’ll be honest – as a web designer, creating logos never came as easily to me as creating web sites. Although designing logos in particular is not my strong suit, I do however, know what it’s like to have a love for the type of design that you do.

Regardless of whether you design logos, web sites, print pieces, etc. a common thread is that you are envisioning a look and feel for a company, and bringing that design to fruition. Better yet, as a professional designer, being able to create a career out of something that you have a passion for is truly a wonderful thing.

While logos are not my strong suit, fortunately there are MANY talented people who practically live and breath logos. I have nothing but respect for this particular breed of designer who specializes almost entirely on creating miniature pieces of identity for companies all over the world.

I myself find it inspiring to see the thought process behind other designers – to find out what they feel is most important for their particular type of design. Even better is to find out what inspires them to be as creative as they can be.

I’ve asked thirteen designers to share with us a bit about their process of designing logos – why the love it so much, which elements are most important, and where they draw their inspiration from…

The interviews that follow serve as a great place for other logo designers to come back for finding their own inspiration. And if you aren’t a designer, but are in the market for someone to create an identity for your company – here is a great pool of talented designers to choose from!

Find part 2 of this series here.

Always Creative Logo

Always Creative Logo

Always Creative

Name: Roby Fitzhenry
Company: Always Creative
Twitter: @robyfitzhenry

1. What do you love about logo design? Why did you decide to specialize in it?

I love the strength a 1″x1″ piece of art can have. A good logo or identity not only embodies the company or organization and its brand, but it also stands the test of time. I decided to specialize in logo design because I love evaluating a company, its market and the current state of its brand. I can then utilize this research to create a look that is simple, straightforward and honest.

2. What elements do you consider essential to any good logo?

It has to work in black and white and degrade flawlessly. I know the use of a facsimile isn’t what it used to be, but there is still something so important about this to me. I also like logos that tell a story or have a story to them. I may not automatically know what it means, but if there is something to learn about the mark that is revealed, it adds a significant amount of substance. It makes it more human. I’ve also recently become extremely interested in flexible logos that can change as they are used. Some even refer to this as an “anti-brand,” a logo design that doesn’t follow traditional standards and basically keeps your attention. That seems to be the direction in which more youthful, bold companies are moving.

3. Where do you get your inspiration from when creating a logo? What inspires you most?

Nothing inspires me more than having a face-to-face meeting with the stakeholders. Once I have the project locked down and all parties are ready to move, I take a two-week period in which I let the identity simmer in my subconscious. Sometimes, the idea hits you immediately. Other times, you have to let it break out of its shell and show itself. What inspires me most is an established set of parameters, or project restrictions, paired with complete creative freedom within those boundaries. It also really helps the quality of the end product if I know the client trusts me. That is always very, very exciting. Other inspirations that help me generate ideas include brainstorming sessions with my creative friends (especially Eric Downs and Chris Pitre), reading a good design book or magazine and a tasty brew.

4. Please share what you consider to be the “best” logo you ever designed for a client and a few words about how you came up with this particular design.

I think the best logo I’ve ever design for a client would be the Fibertown logo, which will be published in LogoLounge Vol. 5. This is a huge honor for me because I’m only 25 and having my work published has been a dream since day one. This logo is also successful because the client already had a great wordmark, which you can see in the design. I wanted to build on their story and help differentiate them from their competitors. This simple sketch was loved by the client and was approved almost instantaneously. The funny thing is that they didn’t even request it. An idea just hit me. I sketched it out, made some refinements, and then pitched it to the client. Some call that spec work. In this situation, I’d call it a successful experiment that employed my creativity and served the client’s brand.

Audacia Logo

Audacia Communication Logo

Audacia Comunicación

Name: Claudia Medellín
Company: Audacia Comunicación
Twitter: @klaudia_medeyin

1. What do you love about logo design? Why did you decide to specialize in it?

I love design – specifically logo design because it is extremely important for an enterprise. It is the visual extract of all that the enterprise/organization/product/service/place/whatever is.

2. What elements do you consider essential to any good logo?

It has to be original, simple to understand and remember, and it has to show the personality of what it represents.

3. Where do you get your inspiration from when creating a logo? What inspires you most?

The personality of what is going to be represented by the logo. So, we have to define the brand before we create the logo. We need to use words to define the personality, images (we can cut some pictures from magazines), types, colors.

Something that I like to do is to project how the organization is going to be in 5 years. If you know how and where you want to be in 5 years, you will easily achieve your goals if you get the look. And the logo is a basic for the image.

4. Please share what you consider to be the “best” logo you ever designed for a client and a few words about how you came up with this particular design.

Musikines is one of my first clients. Musikines is an early stimulation method with music for kids, created by Pablo Mondragón. The name is the conjunction of the word “music” and “kinestecia” (from the latin word: corporal movement).

We needed a logo that expressed movement, childhood, and music. The type is a kidish style that has movement. The letter “k” was transformed into a kid with extended arms, like they are waking up and happy, full of energy. The kid is the center of attention. The last letter “s” was transformed into a guitar, the main instrument to make the music for the classes. The usage of the colors is fresh and energetic.

DepthSkins Logo

Depth Skins Client Logo

Depthskins Design Studio

Name: Damian Madray
Company: Depthskins Design Studio
Twitter: @depthskins

1. What do you love about logo design? Why did you decide to specialize in it?

As a team, Srdjan Kirtic (Brand Designer) and I (Creative Director) love the same things about logo design. We love the process and the challenge it brings and are always excited to see what we learn on the way. It may seem straightforward to most, but with any good process there’s a lot of research – whether it be the industry, the company it’s for or its competitors. There’s also brainstorming through hundreds of sketches and looking for inspiration in everything relevant you come across. On one project I remember Srdjan saying, “Dude, I dreamed about this logo last night.” This in a way showed how dedicated he was to the project. The beautiful thing about logo design is the long, convoluted process we go through which often brings us to something that’s simplistic in every way.

As the creative director, I don’t specialize in logo design, in fact, it’s not my specialty. But certain innate qualities of mine help steer the logo in a direction that I think is right and pleasing to the client. I also really love the process. With Srdjan, he didn’t choose this field, it chose him and is the most amazing thing in his life.

The key aspect about our team is that we have someone who does everything logo and another who works across the spectrum of design. This dynamic trait allows us to bring different perspectives to the project. Working as a team makes us justify our design choices because design is not about making things pretty but rather communicative forms. This is especially true in logo design.

2. What elements do you consider essential to any good logo?

Simplicity. It’s not a design element per se but it should be treated as one in this media of design, simply because the best logos are often simple and smart. For instance, the other day Brightkite’s logo stood out to me as I used the iPhone app. I admired where the designer used the ‘i’ in kite to be the tail of the kite. While on the flip side, the kite was the dot in the ‘i’. Simple, smart and effective. So it doesn’t matter what element you use to achieve that in a logo, as long those characteristics are there.

3. Where do you get your inspiration from when creating a logo? What inspires you most?

Inspiration comes in many forms and places for both of us and depends on the project. For Srdjan, he uses many online galleries such as deviantART, logolounge, faveup, logopond, etc. From time to time I often have to provide Srdjan with a flow of inspiration so I choose to browse books specifically dedicated to logos, such as Tres Logos.

Those are the obvious places to look for inspiration but depending on the client and industry we would look for inspiration there. For instance, if we’re creating a logo for a zoo, the best place of inspiration is the zoo. Another example is a project we worked on that was related to science and DNA. Afterward we found ourselves carefully looking at images of the DNA strand to see how we could be inspired.

4. Please share what you consider to be the “best” logo you ever designed for a client and a few words about how you came up with this particular design.

Ecoelectrons helps its customers reduce their carbon footprints by supplying Renewable Energy Credits. This logo took inspiration from atoms, the basis of the universe of which all objects are made. Since Ecoelectrons model is about saving the Earth, the basis of life, we tried to bring relation between the two to show that modern life can exist without the Earth perishing. As a result we took the common illustration of protons, neutrons and electrons around the nucleus and integrated into the logo. Instead of the 3 parts of the atom, we replaced it with leaves, elements from Earth (Mother Nature) while the ‘e’ in ‘eco’ took the part of the necleus.

DivVoted

DivVoted Logo Client

DivVoted

Name: Wez Maynard
Company: DivVoted
Twitter: @wezmaynard

1. What do you love about logo design? Why did you decide to specialize in it?

Logo design, for me, has always been about the relationship between myself and the client. Branding was a huge part of my design education and i found the opportunity to translate what a client requires into a brand identity was a very rewarding process. I knew fairly young that I was going to work within the design/illustration arena – and gained a lot of weekend work at a young age because of it.

I wouldn’t say logo design was my specialty as i enjoy illustration and web design equally as much – and I’ve found these three core strengths have helped me gain clients I would have otherwise maybe missed out on. The rewarding thing for me is each logo brief is a challenge, that once undertaken can allow you to experiment in ways that other mediums wouldn’t necessarily allow.

2. What elements do you consider essential to any good logo?

My favorite logo’s have always been ones that are less about the appearance – but more about the idea behind it. Great artworkers are pretty easy to find, its the people who have that spark of wit, or imagination that are as rare as the proverbial rocking horse faeces.

A great example of what i mean can be found in a re-work of the IBM logo (eye bee m), brilliantly devised and created by Paul Rand for an in house IBM event.

3. Where do you get your inspiration from when creating a logo? What inspires you most?

I have now and I guess always will be inspired by found type and imagery. I keep a moleskin with me all the time, if I’m out and see, for instance, a dilapidated old shop with old posters all over it – and a few of the posters are merging into each other creating new layout/imagery, I’ll take a snap and do a little sketch. The picture for posterity and a sketch of exactly whats going through my head at the time. This, was my Sunday afternoon!

I’m also hugely inspired by other designers – logo and other mediums. The best inspiration comes from individuals who really push the boundaries and are afforded the freedom to push their creativity. It can be hard to be as expressive as you’d like in every design, but there’s always someone else who has just launched a fantastic new website, or released a tutorial on how they created their latest logo masterpiece. I salute you!

4. Please share what you consider to be the “best” logo you ever designed for a client and a few words about how you came up with this particular design.

Its hard to push my ‘best’ design – I mean to each client they were special to them, and indeed for me – for the most part. But I guess one of the first logo’s I did that was printed was very special.

I was 19 and a boss of mine was leaving our work place and setting up his own company. He asked me, on a freelance basis, to create the brand and stationary for his new company, Blueprint Watersports. The brief was simple, it had to be memorable, relevant and only use 2 colors because of budget and usage issues.

The client had an image of a couple walking along a beach, and behind them from their resort – a flag with the Blueprint Watersports logo would be flying. I guess he saw this as a potential press advert in the future. But it was through this story I put the pieces of the logo together. The foot symbolizing walking in the sand and memories. With the swirl giving the logo the watersports element of the design.

I know its not the most refined logo that has ever been – but it was probably the first time an idea formed in my head without any research or sketching.

Glitschka Logo

Glitschka Client

Glitschka Studios

Name: Von Glitschka
Company: Glitschka Studios
Twitter: @vonster

1. What do you love about logo design? Why did you decide to specialize in it?

For me logo design is like solving a design crime. There is the initial encounter with the old logo/branding (Crime Scene) and the various suspects involved. I have to do a proper, upfront investigation to get all the evidence in order to solve the case successfully. Working through ideas is like going through evidence and doing research until you stumble upon that key piece of evidence (Unique Idea) that breaks the case wide open and spawns an “ah ha” moment.

I never set out to be a logo designer – I just set out to do creative work and it turned out to be the specific genre of work I enjoyed most, and which demands the use of my two creative loves “Design” and “Illustration.”

2. What elements do you consider essential to any good logo?

The ultimate measure is it’s effectiveness in context of the overall brand. This is why even bad logos can work at times. (Google) Then again I’ve seen well crafted logos in context of a bad brand experience and it’s failed too. In and of itself I feel a great mark will contain at least 2 of these 3 key attributes:

  • Concept – Whether overt or subtle, literal or metaphoric, clever or humorous, possessing this on some level is the acid test of a skillful creative mind.
  • Style – Appropriate for the client/project purpose and target audience. This applies to both form and color.
  • Clarity – Of course this attribute is only achieved with the other two are done correctly.

So a logo with a solid concept and style will possess clarity and be more then a good mark, it’ll be a great mark. Easier said then done.

3. Where do you get your inspiration from when creating a logo? What inspires you most?

I take in all the variables I glean from a client and my process and let them slowly boil in my mind. Once the ideas start to form is when I begin to sketch. Sometimes inspiration comes from seemingly mundane sources, others times it’s something I see, hear or even smell. So I guess in the most general of terms it’s living a “Creatively Curious Life” that inspires me the most.

4. Please share what you consider to be the “best” logo you ever designed for a client and a few words about how you came up with this particular design.

In all honesty I can’t really say I have a favorite. I tend to enjoy the current work I’m doing and as time progresses I get sick of my own past work pretty fast. So with that in mind I’ll share a current job for Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World, where I’m happy with the results.

Share Your Logo Love!

Let’s keep this group interview going by passing it over to YOU!

Are you a designer? Do you specialize in creating logos? If so, we’d love to hear from you…

  1. What do you love about logo design? Why did you decide to specialize in it?
  2. What elements to you consider essential to any good logo?
  3. Where do you get your inspiration from when creating a logo? What inspires you most?

Of course, it goes without saying that I’d like to say a big Thank You to all of the designers who participated in this interview! Your responses are incredibly informative, and the logos that you’ve shared are inspirational in and of themselves!

Find part two here.

Posted in Interviews, Logo Design DiscussionComments (30)



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