Help on logo

ngoc723's picture

could someone help me with my logo for my desktop class... give me some suggestion....what i should do with it... thanks...logo

cheshiredave's picture

Years ago, I worked for a large regional nonprofit theater, and we were about to premiere a new play by David Henry Hwang. A board member, who was very concerned that the company promote the show in a way that was completely respectful to the Asian-American community (she was Chinese-American herself), helped me procure a piece of art that we used for the poster.

But the board member wasn't done yet, since I still had the show logo to design. She took me aside, made sure I was intently listening to her, and then she spoke these immortal words:

"NO CHOP SUEY LETTERING!"

She didn't mention anything about Skia, however. But just to be on the safe side, I wouldn't use that either.

More seriously: obviously, her intent was to make sure that I, as a white person, wouldn't inadvertently do something that was disrespectful. You, as an Asian or Asian-American, may feel differently than she did about such typefaces. For the record, however, I never even considered using one of them. They should only be used in kitschy contexts, and even so, probably not. Abercrombie, anyone?

hdschellnack's picture

If I were you, and you really want to keep the japanese context, I'd go for a single red dot and -- in a very clean and simple font -- the word jade or jade design beneath that in black. Don't be afraid of a simple solution.

Diner's picture

Immerse yourself in your vision of Jade Design. Even if it's a fake company, create a little creative brief for yourself about the company and determine what you'd want the brand to say.

Remember that you're not just creating a look for somebody, you're creating a brand that stands for what the company is about. Also, ask yourself if the fonts you've selected and the look you've created really addresses all these things you're tying to accomplish.

Think about it this way, if you opened up the phone book and saw the Jade Design logo, would you hire them to design anything for you?

If your answer is no, than you haven't fulfilled the purpose of a logo. In a consumer forum, a logo is to extend the brand visually and connect with the audience who would be inclined to use the product or service you're pitching to them.

Good Luck and please post updated versions of the logo for us!

Stuart :D

cheshiredave's picture

OK, now I feel bad for being so flippant earlier. I agree with Stuart and HD's comments.

So, to be a bit more constructive with my own opinions: as I noted elsewhere in this forum today, I think the best logos are entirely unique to the companies or individuals they represent. The difficulty you have with a company called "Jade Design" is that you have a few readily available directions you can go in, but many, many other people have gone those directions before, to the point where they have become cliches.

You have a couple of options:

1. Avoid the cliches altogether. Maybe your client (or you, if you're the client) picked the word Jade for an unusual reason. Dig into that inspiration for a compelling image.

2. Explode one or more of the cliches, meaning that you knowingly subvert the cliche. I think Abercrombie thought they were doing that, but instead they played right into it. Here's more successful idea that breaks a different cliche:

canada bread

Here the Canadian maple leaf, a way-overdone image, is merely referenced in the happy coincidence that the company's initials could be used to sketch it. It also takes on a sort of wheat imagery as well. I'm not crazy about other aspects of this logo, but I think the approach was creative.

capthaddock's picture

I strongly disagree that the Canadian maple leaf is overdone. :-) Canadian companies have adopted almost infinite variety on the unique shape of the sugar maple.

But what's weird is I've seen that logo dozens of times and never noticed the CB - kind of like the arrow in FedEx. In fact, I thought it was a maple leaf made to look like a head of wheat.

Paul

matha_standun's picture

Why not work with jade the colour? You can use any typeface you want then.

Matha

hrant's picture

A good logo is color-independent.

hhp

matha_standun's picture

That sounds like it should be in a manifesto, Hrant. Colour is, nonetheless an important part of visual communication.

M.

cheshiredave's picture

Paul: don't get me wrong -- I think it's a beautiful symbol. I should probably have written "very widely used" rather than "way overdone." My intention was only to say that it's such an easy symbol to signify Canada that it has to be used very creatively to keep it fresh.

ngoc723's picture

hey thanks for all of the suggestions...


so how u think it would look if i take the circle in the background out and taken the underline out too....

and just simply work with the type... any idea on that..

hdschellnack's picture

>A good logo is color-independent.
Depends. I have recently seen the logo for the Olmpiade in Duesseldorf 2006, which consists of stripes of various colours in different widths. It wouldn not really work all that well in b/w (although I figure you could find a way, if you'd have to) but it depends strongly on the various colours and their graphic impact.
Generally, though, yes, one should consider that a logo also has to work in 1-bit :-D.

paul's picture

Any logo design should work in bw. In my opinion, if a logo only works well in color, the designer was lazy. An actual logo will eventually get silkscreened on pens and pencils, put on coffee mugs, copied and faxed, stitched on hats, printed in miniscule sizes on crummy paper in directories, embossed on tradeshow givaways. How will it look in a tiny Yellow Pages ad? Will it show up against a busy photo background in some manager

rs_donsata's picture

Paul there is no posibility to disagree with the thechnical advisory you gave about working "logos" in B/W and considering the uses and reductions, but I thik that the method you suggested for working a logo is messy.

I mean, if you really want to work the client

karen's picture

You could do some research. The Chinese word for Jade looks a lot like the Capital E. I wish I could post you a sample. I'm not sure if it's clich

hdschellnack's picture

Hmmm... what I mostly do these days is offer the client ONE idea

karen's picture

Darn! Using the Chinese character for jade as the "e" was not my brilliant idea at all.

I first saw it standing outside this Chinese restaurant, admiring the menu.

paul's picture

H

hdschellnack's picture

>Just like showing a logo on a mocked-up
>business card, I always show letterhead ideas
> with a fake letter mocked-up on the page.

I think it is essential to design a look with the actual media in mind and to present the practical usage of your design to the client with mock-up examples and variations. A logo, on itself, isn't all... it's how you use it. As most of my logos are very simple, clean and typographic, it often is MORE important to show how they look on a business card or stationery than to present the logogramm itself.

Also, while I think that the type you choose should have a connection with the client or his business or the concept of your logo, sometimes it is important to work AGAINST such connections. Often the right type is the wrong type, as it is tripe, overused and clich

hrant's picture

> a client is guaranteed to always
> pick the idea you like the least

I wonder, what does this imply?

hhp

hdschellnack's picture

It's a rule. It doesn't only happen to me. Maybe this is because many clients opt for the most tame, most superficial solution while you as the pro would have preferred the more radical or more pure or more stylized or more neosimplicistic version or whatever, the thing closer to your heart. When I go to a pitch that DEMANDS three designs, I mostly have my heart set on one of those three... mostly the quite different, daring, difficult approach. Many clients prefer the simple tun-of-the-mill ••••, however. So whenever I can I opt to NOT give them a choice. After all, our job is to come up with a solution. Giving the client a choice is just shifting the difficulty of decisionmaking to him. I like to get loads of feedbacjk from the client, my briefing talks and eMails are long and go rather deep. When doing CD I speak to dozens of people from various positions in a company. And in the end I don't wanna see the thought and input of many people that culminates in a specific idea and look&feel go down just because a CEO has a bad day or is suddenly afraid of change.

rs_donsata's picture

>Giving the client a choice is just shifting the >difficulty of decisionmaking to him

I agree that part of the problem is that the client isn

am5's picture

I'd like to talk about 3 things in this discussion:
1. Cliches: I read once about a designer who said that in working on a logo, he first sat down and did all the cliche ideas to get them out of the way. THEN he started working on his client's logo. I've always found that advice helpful in my own work. It takes a look at where we've been with certain ideas (an historical perspective perhaps?) and allows you to take a fresh look at them and at your client.
2. How many options to present: I have presented a client with as many as eight different options in order to get them thinking strategically and answering questions like what is my business strategy? what is my marketing strategy? who am I? what do I do? how do I do it? It's surprising how often clients don't relate those answers to an identity design.
3. Logos should work in b&w first: This was a basic rule when I went to art college too. Now (hopefully wiser ;-) I think that it relates not so much to application (variation in size and media) as to perception - it is a valuable way to make sure to get the overall shapes right. These are perceived first by the viewer and we often lose sight of that while working on it.

trae's picture

This discussion has gone into such fascinating territory (re-evaluating what I thought I knew about logos).

I love the idea about working the cliches out first ...

Also interesting points on the b/w thing... I had always thought that one of the biggest "rules" in logo design was to take into consideration every possible condition the logo might appear under... does it work big, small, reversed, etc., etc?

Concerning showing clients options, what do you do when the client comes to you with something specific in mind? That isn't practical (for lack of a better word) or is a bad cliche?

hdschellnack's picture

>>Concerning showing clients options, what do
>>you do when the client comes to you with
>>something specific in mind? That isn't
>>practical (for lack of a better word) or is a
>>bad cliche?

I just quit such a job. It was a publisher of crime books and their idea was a pistol/gun. We tried something along those lines (retro 50s and such stuff), but it always felt wrong, as a pistol for a crime book publisher is like an owl or a book for a book shop, or a pair of glasses for an optician, it's just too flat, even if you stylize it... it's just a one-dimensional, all too simple idea. What we came up with is a completely remodelled flammable-sign I once photographed from a NY gas tank. We completely redesigned the flame, and on the stationery and business cards it was to be foil stamped, and we felt that the danger/hot association was still quite close to the topic at hand, worked very well as a stand-alone sign (without the companies name) and it was nice to use a more or less simple everyday iso-sign in a completely different context and make it work instead of working with an obvious clich

trae's picture

Tactful!

hdschellnack's picture

:-D...

hdschellnack's picture

Ah well... to clear this up: If she ONLY insisted on the pistol, I guess we could have found a solution. I'm not like that, I don't think I have all the right answers... but she came up with a finished version of the gun AND with her own choice of typography... in fact, with a finished design for her stationery. And she was rigid about using it exactly like that. And I just wondered, what the heck was left for us to do in this case?
In the end it boils down to the fact that all of us sell this strange twisted package of experience and taste. And if ... even in long long talks and many eMails... you cannot persuade the client to believe in you, to trust your ideas and critique

trae's picture

I can think of several similar situations recently only the solution was to totally give in to the client and just bill them for cleaning up their artwork and creating eps versions and whatnot.

"Whoring" I guess you could call it...

matha_standun's picture

Any logo design should work in bw. In my opinion, if a logo only works well in color, the designer was lazy.

I would disagree with you there. Take the new France Telecom logo. The use of the colour orange refers to the British company 'Orange' which is now a part of the FT group. Using a different colour for the letters 'com' also highlights their new internet services. These references would be a lot more complicated in black and white.

old logo
france telecom logo 1

new logo
france telecom logo 2

Matha

hdschellnack's picture

Hmmm... but first of all it it's not all that inspired a logo and secondly, it *would* still work in b/w. Actually, it might look better than in colour.

matha_standun's picture

I agree that it's not the best logo in the world but in black and white you'd miss out on the whole Orange reference, surely. Or am I talking through my backside again?

Matha

jfp's picture

France T

hdschellnack's picture

Agreed on all points. The ampersand-idea, while theoretically better than the stylized numbers pad of the old logo, also looks generic and somehow not professional and clean enough, too playful, imo. The all-miniscule writing also, while as an Otl-Aicher-Fan kinda like that stuff, looks too much like

jfp's picture

HDS:
Ampersand work well when as a strong "sign" for sponsoring, for the I agree. for lc only, I'm agree too and the lack of caps push me to make the letterforms less creative, more formal -- without them (too informal) -- any funny forms move the logotype style/trend to children stuff. "Capitals" have some functions that we can't live without, its part of our visual culture.

hdschellnack's picture

I think majuscle and minuscle letters are to be played with. For example, we had the stationery done in an all-lc typo in FFInfo for some time and then switched to FFDin in all-UC, just for the heck of it and because the Uppercase adds to the strangely ironic aspect of the oh-so-authorative DIN-Typeface.

I think in a logo you can work without or only with capitals, depending on the actual look of the letters in the logo and on the comapny you work for. If carefully done, it can work pretty well, as a slight break with what we expect to read can make a logo stand out more.

For a logogramm for a company like france telecom, however, this design all in all just tries too hard to look modern and dotcomish. I dunno how old it is, but it already looks a bit old because of it trying to look so modern. Less would have been more, here.

matha_standun's picture

France T

matha_standun's picture

I was totally against to use orange color for com for several reasons...

Well, you were probably right. They have so little money now that for internal stuff, nobody's allowed to print in colour anymore. The logo's looking a bit grey.

ft grey

M.

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