The IMPOSSIBLE Logo Redesign Project

thedoze's picture

Help. I'm frustrated. I work for a computer science group who builds model-checking software. I am in the process of redesigning their logo. I have attached a file that shows what their original logo was, and what I have done to redefine it. I need some help and/or feedback. The Santos group has several software projects, and they need one logo that will represent them all. The various individual projects include model-checking, software verification, and construction of high-confidence software systems...if that means anyone to the technical readers out there. I feel that I have improved on what they had before, but I think I can still go further. Let me know what you think.

Thanks,
Ben

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santos_redesign.gif12.41 KB
Joe Pemberton's picture

First, you cannot possibly fail! Anything is an improvement over what they have. =)

Second, the two conjoined Ss (one S?) remind me of old school, reel to reel, computing. Good or bad, that's what I see. Beyond that I'm not sure what the S could mean or infer. The leaning "o" doesn't strike me at all. *Shrug*

Cheers.

Rene Verkaart's picture

WOW! That original is NOT A LOGO. Horrible.
But back to topic.
I agree with Joe about the conjoined Ss. I guess for you it was just a 'spielerei' (playfull element). Am I right?
If I design a logo I start from the core business of the company. What do they do, how do they do that, what targetgroup are they aming at, etc. etc.
In your logo I miss the point. It doesn't trigger me in any way to think what they could be doing. Joe's idea is great, to make a single S, perhaps like an infinite sign (the horizontal 8). But I'm afraid that has nothing to do with the core business of your company.

I've checked out the Santos Group website and I see the different projects they have. In that case I'd say it's very important that you find a good typeface that you can use with ALL of these projects. You can transport the typography throughout the CI and it'll be nicely consistent. But it needs to have a bunch of personality, if you ask me. Than you could even use it stand-alone, so without a sign/mark.

This would be my approach for this logo. Ofcourse there are 1.000's more, so you have to find your own way.

For some impressions of logo's that we've done and might fit to you, have a look at:
http://www.stoerebinken.nl > Portfolio > Logo/Huisstijl (InBase / Spierts Holding BV / Artefysia / Internet Cafe Kickx / 3Some / MicroMotive / NFG)

Regards,
®ené

PS What's with the favicon? Is that a lion?

*** www.characters.nl { Typography to express yourself } ***

Rene Verkaart's picture

WOW! That original is NOT A LOGO. Horrible.
But back to topic.
I agree with Joe about the conjoined Ss. I guess for you it was just a 'spielerei' (playfull element). Am I right?
If I design a logo I start from the core business of the company. What do they do, how do they do that, what targetgroup are they aming at, etc. etc.
In your logo I miss the point. It doesn't trigger me in any way to think what they could be doing. Joe's idea is great, to make a single S, perhaps like an infinite sign (the horizontal 8). But I'm afraid that has nothing to do with the core business of your company.

I've checked out the Santos Group website and I see the different projects they have. In that case I'd say it's very important that you find a good typeface that you can use with ALL of these projects. You can transport the typography throughout the CI and it'll be nicely consistent. But it needs to have a bunch of personality, if you ask me. Than you could even use it stand-alone, so without a sign/mark.

This would be my approach for this logo. Ofcourse there are 1.000's more, so you have to find your own way.

For some impressions of logo's that we've done and might fit to you, have a look at:
http://www.stoerebinken.nl > Portfolio > Logo/Huisstijl (InBase / Spierts Holding BV / Artefysia / Internet Cafe Kickx / 3Some / MicroMotive / NFG)

Regards,
®ené

PS What's with the favicon? Is that a lion?

*** www.characters.nl { Typography to express yourself } ***

Rene Verkaart's picture

WOW! That original is NOT A LOGO. Horrible.
But back to topic.
I agree with Joe about the conjoined Ss. I guess for you it was just a 'spielerei' (playfull element). Am I right?
If I design a logo I start from the core business of the company. What do they do, how do they do that, what targetgroup are they aming at, etc. etc.
In your logo I miss the point. It doesn't trigger me in any way to think what they could be doing. Joe's idea is great, to make a single S, perhaps like an infinite sign (the horizontal 8). But I'm afraid that has nothing to do with the core business of your company.

I've checked out the Santos Group website and I see the different projects they have. In that case I'd say it's very important that you find a good typeface that you can use with ALL of these projects. You can transport the typography throughout the CI and it'll be nicely consistent. But it needs to have a bunch of personality, if you ask me. Than you could even use it stand-alone, so without a sign/mark.

This would be my approach for this logo. Ofcourse there are 1.000's more, so you have to find your own way.

For some impressions of logo's that we've done and might fit to you, have a look at:
http://www.stoerebinken.nl > Portfolio > Logo/Huisstijl (InBase / Spierts Holding BV / Artefysia / Internet Cafe Kickx / 3Some / MicroMotive / NFG)

Regards,
®ené

PS What's with the favicon? Is that a lion?

*** www.characters.nl { Typography to express yourself } ***

aluminum's picture

Do you need the mark? The type seems to work on its own. Nice, clean, simple.

thedoze's picture

Thanks for all of the positive feedback. No, the logo doesn't need the mark, but I felt it might be nice to create a symbol that would be easily recognized and associated with our group. The concept behind the mark is very abstract...much like the work we do at Santos. I chose the interlocking S for santos(not abstract), and broke it up to show how our model checker makes software complete (more abstract). I guess I need to really sit down and look at what we do here...which is difficult for me. I don't think like a computer scientist; i think like an artist. (insert sigh)p.s.- the icon is a B, for Ben. :)

Rene Verkaart's picture

I don't mean your icon, but the one on the Santos website. The favicon (icon next tu the url) looks like a lion or a tiger to me.

Regards,
®ené

*** www.characters.nl { Typography to express yourself } ***

Dan Weaver's picture

Ben, I might do a few things: Loose the tilt o. Loose the abstract mark if you are going to consumers (they won't get it, and you don't want a logo to be an inside joke). Loosen up the letterspacing and under the name use "software verification" as a division (smaller) and the same your other diciplines, and color code each division. Color coding is not pracitical for print but for your web site it makes sense. In print you could use tints of a color, but make sure they are 20% differences. That is what the eye can see as different.

Joe Pemberton's picture

If the S in Santos also had some connection to computing it might be stronger... The infinity symbol as a hybrid S for example.

I agree with Dan that you don't want something that will only be understood by people at Santos, but I don't agree that you should throw out a mark entirely.

Showing a building as part of a corporate identity was very popular in the 1950s (in the US anyway) but it has become retro-cool recently. (See House Industries.)

thedoze's picture

I understand. That's a Powercat...courtesy of the Kansas State University Wildcats. The Santos group is part of the computer science dept. at K-State.

WurdBendur's picture

Here's an off-the-wall idea: You could keep the mark (as it is, or more like an infinity sign) and break it with vertical lines to create a gradation. Well, it would seem like a good idea, if it didn't remind me of IBM.

But if you want to convey the idea of software becoming complete, it could work, though something else to give it direction would help that along. Something like an arrow could emphasize that the software (or whatever) on one side is making a transition and becoming complete on the other, rather than just being broken. A simple triangle could do the same.

Dan Weaver's picture

Be careful with fine lines or gradients with a logo. Think of the end uses. If it will be used small or printed you will want a simple solution (Many typefaces have Inktraps that are designed to fill-in when printing). Develop you logo in black and white when it works at that basic level then explore color options.

thedoze's picture

Hey all. Thanks for your comments. I have tried to implement some of the suggested changes into the Santos logo redesign. Here is what I have come up with so far.

http://www.cis.ksu.edu/~dolezal/santos_redesign_update.gif

I feel that this design is getting closer to what they need. The software projects are not commercial yet...in case that makes a difference. Our main audience is the U.S. Dept. of Defense and various University Computing and Information Science Departments around the world. It seems as though we have a very narrow audience. Any other comments? Thank you, in advance.

timd's picture

I like the concept of the mark but I feel it's missing some depth and has an awkward feel about the centre, you might do well to look at something like a moebius strip which because you can travel both sides of it without lifting you finger has something of the examination process about it (I'm getting carried away here). Your strap line is going to fight a losing battle against print technology at smallish sizes you might need to go to two or three lines or abandon the justification and let ir run the full width of the logo and print it in black.
Tim

Rene Verkaart's picture

Or you could devide the infinite sign (like a stencil font) into the amount of divisions Santos has. It would suggest that all the separate blocks are part of the infinite cycle. They all are connected and you could even put them in the right order, if that is apropriate for the corporate communication.
You could colour the separate blocks and use these colours as identification for the divisions. Each division has his own colour and place in the cycle. Sweet...

Just another idea.

®

*** www.characters.nl { Typography to express yourself } ***

Dan Weaver's picture

I lean towards version 2 but because of the audience you are trying to reach, its not formal enough. Going for government projects, don't look loose and informal, make the look buttoned up and as formal and stiff as you can. You might even look at all caps for your name. Just some thoughts.

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