Logo critique

filoug's picture

Any comments on this logo for an architectural practice:

Core0's picture

* I assume the Mondrian reference is by purpose?
* If so, why the choice of colours?
* What is the thinking behind the choice of font and colours?
* Aside of replacing the space between “Studio” and “fh”, what is the role of the accent colour otherwise?
* How does this fit into a wholesome identity design (applications on paper and Web)?

filoug's picture

The 'Mondrian reference' is actually a side effect - at the centre is a play with the letters F and H which are hidden in the white space. The resulting squares and rectangles are arranged in Golden Ratio proportions.

Colour-wise, the firm operates in Uganda, and a 'rusty Orange' is one of the defining colours in nature here due to the red soil. I like its warmth and strength, especially on the charcoal background.

The font is Canadatype's reinterpretation of Semplicitá by Alessandro Butti. Its 'humanist geometry' sits well with an Architectural understanding that is firmly rooted in, but not enslaved by, the modernist Architecture of the early 20th century.

There is a second, maybe slightly less Mondrianesque option that also may have better proportions between icon and text:

hrant's picture

I'm not seeing a hidden "f" or "h"... Part of the reason might be the diagonal symmetry, which goes against things being hidden. But I love the colors.

BTW, more on Semplicitá:


JamesM's picture

Not sure where the hidden "f" and "h" are either, but I like the overall appearance. "Architects" is pretty small and may become unreadable when the logo is small.

I've had printers tell me that orange can be a tricky color in 4-color process printing, so consult a printed swatch book when choosing the screen tints for color printing, don't go by what it looks like on your monitor. Any good print shop would have a process swatch book if you don't.

5star's picture

You've hid the the f and h well ...and that would be Pantone Orange 165?


filoug's picture

I've obviously succeeded big-time hiding it!

Don't know much about Pantone, but will definitely have to consult a swatch book before printing. In Illustrator, my screen tells me that 1788 C is the closest (although not sure though whether 'Solid Coated' is the right colour book to use?).

Albert Jan Pool's picture

A clear case of typographic subliminal messaging I’d say …

Albert Jan Pool's picture

accidently posted twice … maybe the moderator can delete this comment?

JamesM's picture

> Don't know much about Pantone

It's a system that applies numbers to different colors, making it easy to specify a precise color to a print shop.

> In Illustrator, my screen tells me that 1788 C is the closest
> (although not sure though whether 'Solid Coated' is the right
> colour book to use?).

Illustrator is telling you that that if you want to print it using orange ink on coated (glossy) paper stock, ask the printer to use Pantone 1788 ink.

If you're printing on uncoated paper, it will look a little different since uncoated stock will absorb some of the ink, so you may need to use a different Pantone number.

But if you're printing using 4-color process (like in a brochure with color pictures), the printer won't use orange ink, they'll use 4 printing plates — cyan, magenta, yellow and black — to create all the colors. While this process is economical, some colors may reproduce better than others, and orange can be tricky sometimes in 4-color process. An alternative is to add a 5th printing plate that only prints orange ink, and that way the color will be exactly right. Corporations often do that so their corporate color will always print correctly. Unfortunately it costs more.

For any kind of printed piece, it's better to pick your ink colors by looking at actual, physical swatch books.

5star's picture

FWIW, Pantone 1788 is a warm red (coated or uncoated). If you want to keep the 'rust' vibe going and brighten it up a little, try adding a little yellow and take a look at 1655 C or U.

JamesM, over here it's swatch central and I don't restrict my swatch collection to paper ... :) I've got a wood, marble, glass, acrylics and I'm now picking up metal stuff too. I've some fabrics mostly industrial too. Swatches are inspirational. The Pantone books are far better than going over to places like colorlovers or kuler for sure!


eliason's picture

I think the hiddenness of the initials is fine. The logo plausibly says architecture to me so it doesn't live or die based on the letter recognition.
Leveling the crossbars makes way to much of a window IMO.
I don't get the vertical alignment in the original post: it looks like the tops of the boxes line up with the top of the /t/, but then makes those taller descenders /d/f/h/ look like they poke up too high.
To my eye, "ARCHITECTS" looks like it starts left of where "studio" starts: you may have to fudge the mathematical alignment to get persuasive optical alignment.
I quite like the colors and font.
It certainly says European modernist though--both the Mondrian look and the Bauhaus-like lowercase and geometric simplicity--so be aware that that architectural style is implied.

filoug's picture

Thanks for all your very helpful comments.

Eliason, I have scaled down the company name so that the taller ascenders now line up with the upper edge of the boxes; at the same time I have increased the size of the 'sub-heading'.

JamesM, for now I have settled for Pantone 173, although the real decision will come when I get going with the printing. I have not found a suitable 'Charcoal' tone in the Pantone library, but again, I'll rather use the swatch book when I get hold of it.

This is how it now looks:

JamesM's picture

I like the lighter orange, it stands out better against the charcoal background in the version on the right.

Sooner or later they'll need to print the logo in a tiny size and "Architects" will become too small to read. If you want to keep Architects the current size, you might consider having an alternate version with it bigger just for times when the logo is tiny (although you run the risk of the client accidentally using the wrong version).

eliason's picture

Looks quite nice.
The HI in ARCHITECTS (the only straight-straight combination) looks to my eye like it should be kerned apart a touch, but that could also just be rasterization.

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