Logo critique

JSayer's picture

At university we have been given a brief whereby the 'British Typographers' Guild' is being re-formed and we are to create an identity for it. I created the logo attached using the outlines of the characters 'btg' in type metal used for letterpress. I have been told it 'lacks presence'. What are your thoughts and how could I improve it?

cuttlefish's picture

One criterion I ask myself on whether a logo has presence is "will it fax?" That is to say, when reduced to the size it will be used on a stationery letterhead, will it remain recognizable when scanned crookedly and then printed at 100 to 200 dpi monochrome? I don't think this design would survive that test.

But that point aside, the letter b is reversed, as it should be as the logo represents a type slug, but it reads as d. The flipped form of t and g do not become other letters in the Latin alphabet, so those aren't problems. But the type is a light face, the shadows are shallow, and the block makes use of implied edges which might require too much thought for some to interpret.

JamesM's picture

I agree with cuttlefish's thoughts about legibility (although faxing has mostly been replaced by email, PDFs, etc. by most businesses; I would worry more about things like small web ads and other situations where it is reproduced very small). Also your logo lacks presence as you mentioned. You need to find ways to make it heavier and stronger.

sim's picture

The idea behind this logo is excellent. However it need to be refine as other people explain. Increase the weight of each letter, reduce de height of the block fro instance. May be try to play with capital letters. Keep going

cuttlefish's picture

When I say "will it fax" it's just as one useful, if nearly obsolete, example of how a design can endure low quality reproduction. Other examples might be broadcast on standard definition TV, or flexographic printing used for shopping bags and cardboard boxes.

JamesM's picture

Years ago when faxing was used more frequently, a designer friend of mine made a letterhead for a business with the logo blind embossed (no ink). And when they faxed it, the logo totally disappeared. The client was furious and they ended up redesigning it.

But some businesses still use fax. I have a relative who's a doctor and they use it all the time. And one of my corporate clients still faxes me purchase orders.

JSayer's picture

Thanks a lot for the feedback!

Martin Silvertant's picture

In a way the talk about faxes and other such printing methods or applications is not completely valid when it comes to a logo. In many cases an alternate version of the logo is designed to use in smaller applications or certain printing techniques. So that's an aspect which could always be fixed. However, you have some other issues with this logo which the others already alluded to and I have nothing more to add in that regard. I will say however that it's smart to think about what this alternate variant of the logo would look like. In this case you would probably remove the shadows from the type and make the type solid black, but this goes at the expense of the concept of the logo. So in this case an alternate version for specific applications is no solution. You first need to find solutions to the other issues mentioned here.

Rather clever concept though. I wish this would be better possible in execution, but I'm afraid this concept will always go at the expense of legibility and application. I have to admit it's possibly narrow-minded to think this way, so I'm really eager to see solutions to the issues you're having.

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