Logo critique

Jan Sabach's picture

Hi guys,
attached is a logo for an internet base research agency that I'm working on. The client asked for a "clean, fresh, open minded feel", but it should also feel somehow "technical." More importantly I have a question if there already is such logo (since it seems like pretty obvious, but appealing idea.) I appreciate any leads or comments. Thanks. Jan

Celeste's picture

Mmmh… I really like the idea, but I would like the gap between monogram and full name to be less huge — the whole stuff would probably appear visually stronger. Besides, there's not much here looking "technical" to me: wouldn't it be possible to use another typeface ? This one, with the two shades of blue, reminds me of an optician's sign. But I may be wrong, of course.

Chris Rugen's picture

I really like the idea, particularly the implied FR. A really great start.

The 'S's bother me. The top loop looks like it's drooping a little. They also look too short. Is this type you designed?

Also, the mark, as a whole, sits oddly. How will it work when it's on letterhead or an advertisement? Be careful with the shape the overall logo creates.

nmacias's picture

I second Celeste about exploring another face; the weights don't feel up to the task of a logo just now. I think it starts mostly from the size & stroke relationship of the circle itself--perhaps get that looking right first, and then choose an appropriate type.

Just to throw an idea out there: what about a solid circle and a negative R? With a careful application of a "glass highlight" you might have something better. I say "careful" because a cutely "illustrated" treatment is right out.

The concept, here, is very smart and completely appropriate. Good job.

Jan Sabach's picture

Thank you guys for your kind words and great points. I agree that the relationship between the letter and the circle has to be resolved (I think I should push it a little more) The typeface is Engravers Gothic and I chose it because of it's extended character (so that I could accomodate the "F", "R" with the intersecting circle. I'd however prefer typeface with thinner strokes in its thin cut for "F" and combine it with medium or bold cut for the "R" (I welcome suggestions). The mark is meant for the website for now with a possibility of stationery application later. I'll exploree the relationship between the mark and type more. Thanks again. Jan

Nick Job's picture

Lighter of two blues is quite light and may not project well through LCD projectors etc. I never like to put two colours together without some white in between as this throws in problems when it comes to mono version or photocopied version etc. I think if you are going to go for two weights of type then you won't necessarily need the lighter of the blues anyway. Then you may want to change the colour of the magnifying device (again making it a single colour). I'm sure that some will say that will take the charm away from it. Agree with comments on the S. Also I would try not to get bogged down with the double occurence of the letters RES in both words. It might work it might not. Trying to force it maybe constraining you with the layout of the type.

Jan Sabach's picture

I changed the typeface to Avenir and I think it works better. I also worked on the proportions of the mark. I decided to worry about the color later. I'm aligning the RES parts of the words, because I'd like to use other complimentary words on the website that have RES in it (address, respondents, corespondence, press room etc.) under the logo for each section. Plus I thought it worked with the "research" topic (looking for and organizing results according to similarities). I tried one knock out version, but even though it might be visually stronger I think I'm loosing the "magnified" effect there a little bit (what do you guys think?). Thank you again for your comments. Jan
P.S. Technical question, how do I post the new image now? Thank you

timd's picture

From Forum's FAQ
>Image technical requirements:
If you have an image to accompany your post, please ensure that it conforms to the following guidelines: do not exceed 600 px wide, save images as an RGB jpg/gif/png (tips: gifs are usually crisper for black and white type renderings and not all browsers support png). The best way to post an image is to use the “Insert Image” function below the “Comments” box. To utilize this function, you must have the Flash 8 player installed.
Tim

Jan Sabach's picture

Tim, thank you so much, I didn't have Flash 8. Here is the new image.

aluminum's picture

My only concern (with it being tech related) is that I get an instant 'CA' vibe. They've redesigned their logo, but the old one is pretty pervasive in the tech industry:

http://www.sympanet.de/cmeneu2/bilder/partner_logo/ca.gif

Jan Sabach's picture

Thanks for the link. I remember seeing that logo. But their are not competitors. My client is only web based, their area of interest is sociological research. Also their idea is slightly different. I also got some new comments from my client and he wants warm colors now, to show a little more emotions. That should set these two logos even further apart. Thank you.

Jan Sabach's picture

Thanks for the link. I remember seeing that logo. Their are not competitors. My client is only web based, their area of interest is sociological research. That crossing circle is pretty close though. But their idea is slightly different. I also got some new comments from my client and he wants warm colors now, to show a little more emotions. That should set these two logos even further apart. Thank you.

timd's picture

Of your two latest the first is a stronger design, although I think in a two colour version you should probably work on the second version because you are losing the magnifying glass symbol. I think you might also have to use colour to draw attention to the RES alignment. The icon might also be better positioned slightly to the right rather than hanging off the H of FRESH.
Tim

nmacias's picture

I'm rather new here; is it inappropriate to post a visual revision in response to a critique?

It'd be easier to show it, but I'd suggest trying two things. Right now the type and mark are competing quite a bit, because they are so simliar.

One strategy: try a heavier weight for "FRESH RESEARCH", taking the point size down to about half of what you have now, and letterspacing it to lighten it up again. If you flush it left and rag the E of "FRESH" on the left sidebearing of your mark, it should lock up pretty nicely with the shape; I expect the line of the R's leg would lead to the end of "RESEARCH", which is almost happening now.

Tim is right that you are losing the metaphor slightly, in exchange for a stronger form. Try putting a gentle crescent knock-out on the circle and see how that strikes you?

Jan Sabach's picture

Thank you Tim and Nicholas, I agree that the sizes of the mark and the type were too close. And I'm gonna try the crescent or some other way to show the glass effect. Thanks.
P.S. Nicholas, please feel free to post your visual. I don't think it's inapropriate.

Chris Rugen's picture

I’m rather new here; is it inappropriate to post a visual revision in response to a critique?

The standard practice is to ask permission of the original poster, as you did, before posting.

nmacias's picture

Without solving it, here's a step in the direction I've indicated. I think there's still a lot that you can do. An alternative would be to pick a thinner type and bold up your FR mark... which might actually be closer to what you're trying to achieve.

Best,
Nicholas

Dan Weaver's picture

I would investigate creating more separation from the name and the mark. Try U&LC for Fresh Research. If it is Fresh Research make it look fresh and not stayed. It might even look fresh using hand writing.

Jan Sabach's picture

So I tried all your guys' ideas and reccomendations, all diferent kinds of allignments, cases and colors, so far I like this solution the best. I'm keeping the RES allignment, which I think works better when the type is smaller, I also feel it corresponds to the visual "jump" of the magnified effect. Again, thank you all.

squeeze's picture

Jan:

Since you clarified that this is a sociological research company I am looking for more of an emotional appeal and I'm not getting it, except for the striking red blood bubble. I have liked this logo concept since the original post, but I'm still not feelin' it.

Somebody suggested exploring alternative typefaces earlier. I think your Avenir selection is a good alternative to your original choice, but have you considered any options that change the overall feel? Right now, it does have a technical feel, but from your client's request to use warm colors (not necessarily a hot red) I wonder if a warmer, more human feel to the logo would be appropriate.

A couple of suggestions might be to use a softer typeface (not necessarily Meta, but something like it) and warm colors vs. hot (I believe in sociology, "red" indicates heat, violence, power, etc.).

I didn't attempt to recreate your logo, as you've done a great job with your concept, but maybe this could spark some ideas.

In regard to the lens glare, I wonder if decreasing the curve/arc would help flatten it out. Right now, it looks like a sphere to me.

Aloha!

Jan Sabach's picture

Scott, thank you for your post. It loks like a sphere to me too and it also bothers me. I think I need to make a step back. I'm gonna explore little more humanistic typefaces. Thank you.

Jan Sabach's picture

OK I made a step back and I have to say, that I'm glad. I think it works, sphere is gone and the magnified effect is pronounced even more. I'm still working on the color, but I thought I'd ask for your guys' feedback first. Thank you.

Miss Tiffany's picture

The very first and this last one are the one's which work the best, so far, for me. I'll echo the remarks about keep the logo and logotype separate or at least play the logotype down, put it on one line. The last one is an interesting idea, but I'd have the highlight/curve in the same color. I'd also change the gray to a cool gray from the warm gray.

squeeze's picture

Yah, this last one is taking a nice direction.

I'm torn as to whether or not I agree with Tiffany's suggestion to "have the highlight/curve in the same color". It works aesthetically, but I'm not sure if the magnifying glass would continue to be evident. Also, Tiffany, why the cool gray vs. warm?

Jan Sabach's picture

Thank you Tiffany. With the curve in the same color it still reads as a magnifying glass, and will make a b&w and k/o version easier. I also have the same question as Scott about the change to cool gray. Thank you.

nmacias's picture

This latest one is probably the best solution to the intial problem -- the generic logo circle. And I like where it's going a lot.

But as executed right now, the scale of the crescent to the R breaks the metaphor. You could clip the R along the bottom curve, or make the circle big enough (visually, if not technically) to hold the R. Try both?

Still, excellent progress.

Jan Sabach's picture

NIcholas, thanks a lot, very good point. I tried both and decided to go with the bigger curve. The clipped R looked funny, and even though mathematically correct, optically still bigger than the circle and then it started to look more and more out of proportion. I also decided to leave the RES allingnment and go with U&lc. I feel that the mark is done now, what might need work is the type. I'm gonna have to look at it for a while.

squeeze's picture

First of all, thank you for ignoring my italicized Meta usage. I don't know what I was thinking posting it.

I do like the U&lc usage, but as you said, it still needs work. I don't have anything against the type selection, but I'll be interested to see what you do with positioning and size relationships.

You're making great progress on this and I like the cleverness of the mark.

Nick Job's picture

Jan, looking excellent. I still love the powder blue you used at the outset. You could probably afford to go slightly thicker on the eyeglass/crescent. You might want to artificially 'finish' the ends/points of the crescent to avoid disappearance at smaller sizes and also to avoid a problem with vinyls if ever used. Sharp points and self adhesive (eg on signage) are not good bedfellows. I really liked your initial use of Engravers Gothic for the legend but agree that the S's left a lot to be desired. I prefer the type in one line too. Something like this...?

You could of course do your type in a different colour or do the device as a tint of the colour used for the type.

I did this one smaller so you can start to think of some of the practicalities of the mark when it is reproduced at small sizes. Some things start to suffer a little, particularly the crescent. You may even want to thicken the F up a little optically.

Keep going.

Nick Job's picture

You have one more potential problem point which is shown in addition to the points of the crescent. This is likely to cause inkfill unless you move the R and F down a bit relative to the crescent.

Dan Weaver's picture

Now you are at a point of testing the mark in terms of useage. Make it as small as you will ever use it and make it as large as you will ever use it and see if it fits your applications. Examples would be a business card and signage.

Jan Sabach's picture

Scott, Nick and Dan, thank you for your posts. Great and important observations. I'm gonna explore the size ratios, type placement and test the useage. Jan

Jan Sabach's picture

Here is what I decided to go with, I made some adjustments to the crescent and the possible problem areas. The smallest allowed size would be on the business card. Thank you all again for your comments, ideas and reccomendations, you've been extremely helpful. I'm happy with the result and the client was very pleased too, which is what really matters. Jan

Miss Tiffany's picture

Sorry for not replying to the questions.

This is all my opinion of course.

If you compare what has now been posted you'll see the latest gray (cool/neutral) doesn't clash as much with the pumpkin (warm). I tend to gravitate towards color combinations that have a neutralizing base color to use as accent or vice versa. Of course there are instances where I go against this.

Scott's version of the logo had a cool gray with the warm pumpkin, but because it had too much cyan/blue in it it grayed out the pumpkin color. Jan's version with the warm gray version also detracted from the pumpkin because I see too much magenta/red in the color. The last version above has a gray that is basically a neutral and I think acts as a counterpoint to the warmer color.

I miss my color theory books. :^/

gene ullery-smith's picture

The mark you have developed is really nice. Very thoughtful.

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