Coalition Logo

tenor's picture

This logo is for a new association of safety net clinics which are banding together to pool resources and talent. The goals are to create a strong, unifying branding element that can be used for communicating with government, private, educational, and charitable organizations in health care.

The hand is certainly cliché, but they really like the idea it conveys. It's automatically humanistic. To the client, it represents caring. In this logo, it's also catching those who are falling through the cracks.

The name is very long and it really can't be abbreviated. I am trying to give the type enough visual interest that it could stand on its own without the logo.

I respect all your opinions, so I'd love to hear feedback. What do you think of the type choice (Chianti)? The logo? Does the positive shape register more strongly than the negative shape? (I don't want the negative shape to pop at all... it doesn't represent anything.)

Thanks for your critiques!

dezcom's picture

I think the hand can work in that level of abstraction. The problem I have is with the negative shape creating a fish or a biting shark. Safetynet and trapped fish or shark seem to go against ehat you are trying to say. You may want to try taking away most of the top black line which completes the circle and letting it be open.
The star sizes and shapes are less successful. Try some other ways of drawing them.


Quincunx's picture

First thing that came to mind without reading your post, was that the positive shape looks like a wave.
When you say it's a hand, I can see that now, but at first glance the hand is not too visible.

aluminum's picture

I see a night time seascape scene. Perhaps with a tsunami approaching.

That said, I agree with works as an abstract shape just fine. Maybe some see a hand, maybe some see a wave. Your challenge is to put some spin on the hand/wave thing when you pitch it to the client "wave of the future in helping hand services..." or something like that. ;0)

If you do want it to literally be a hand, then be a bit more literal. I agree with Quincunx...try removing the top portion of the circle and refine the hand shape.

I don't know if you HAVE to do that, though...I like what I see right now.

AndrewSipe's picture

I didn't see the "hand" until I read your introduction. I saw a silly muppet face in the positive, where the stars were eyes and the thumb was a mouth agape.

I'd recommend maybe adding more detail to the hand, maybe indicate more of a thumb by adding an upward bend towards the tip (this'll help create a look as if the hand was cradling a ball.) Also you might want to add another curve to indicate the first fingertip, nothing elaborate, but enough to break up the immediate transition into the circle.

Another suggestion would be to flip the stars to break up the pattern, thus reducing the appears of "eyes". I think I see it because the largest star is closest to me, giving perspective to the "face".

I do like your type choice, though it does feel a bit tight. It's approachable.

Lex Kominek's picture

I saw the hand immediately, but it could be clearer, possibly by defining the fingertips better. I'd have to see both options to see what works better. The logo also reminds me of a marble.

As for the type, try setting the bolder type in the darker colour to mirror the dark area of the logo. This may unify them better.

Also, try aligning the stars along an arc from the wrist to the palm, to convey a bigger sense of motion. Pick either a point or the space between two points to be the leading edge of the stars. I hope this makes sense.

- Lex

tenor's picture

All these comments are extremely helpful. I feel like I am on track with this design. I'll post back soon with an improved iteration (or two!)

tenor's picture

Here's a second iteration. Hopefully HR Pufnstuf isn't as visible as before.

AndrewSipe's picture

Liking where 2a is going. The hand imagery is definitely more prevalent. Remember your proportions... the thumb looks stubby when the fingers extend that far and high.

I'm curious what the stars represent and if there might be a different solution instead of using stars?

looking better. I see no muppets today.

timd's picture

I find the combination of colour, swirled star and net in the text is a bit nautical, starfish washed up on the shore, the text makes a good shape with the form of 2a’s illustration, the other two makes the circle shape too obvious and enclosing, rather than acting as a safety net the hand has caught a ball.


sch2525's picture

I don't like 2c. I like 2a the best, but the negative space looks like a speech bubble; although it's not a bad thing.

tenor's picture

One more dip into the font of wisdom.... After some more feedback, I tweaked the design to arrive at this logo:

  • The kerning has been stabilized. Several of you mentioned the type was fairly tight, so I opened it up just a bit (especially the heavy text.) If you see any glaring imbalances, let me know!
  • Nodes have been checked and made orthogonal as much as possible.
  • The golden ratio was used to help refine the objects' positions in the lockup.
  • I made a horizontal lockup too, but it's not shown here.

Feedback I got today from the client (a very small subset of the decision-making committee) suggested adding more detail to the hand, but I disagree with that. The design is intended to be fairly abstract. With more detail, it would look too much like the United Way logo. For me, the abstraction permits at least a bit of uniqueness to an otherwise very cliché concept.

I also don't want to disrupt the smooth flow out of and back into the circle. I really like the pleasing and simple geometry. I might have to work to sell them on that concept, but I feel pretty strongly that the hand has just enough detail... especially after incorporating suggestions mentioned here which helped me clarify the finger and thumb shapes. (I really wanted to keep the finger transition I had originally, but I agree that it may have been too subtle and abstract to be seen as an open hand.)

Others have asked whether stars are the right choice. In my first draft sketches, the "hand" concept was just one of four. It had a star hovering above it for purely arbitrary reasons. It was just a sketch. I sent them a list of questions (inspired by the writings of Tony Spaeth) and asked them to "justify" the star and hand. I wanted them to explain to me why they liked those icons and what they meant within the context of their organization and mission so I could refine them. I didn't get much input!

This is MY interpretation of what it could mean for them. These stars are experiencing difficulty. They are patients being caught by the safety net. It hints obliquely at the Kansas motto, "Ad astera per aspera." After reading Gardner's "2005 Trends" article, I felt less guilty about relying on such simple iconography.

Also, pink hearts, yellow moons, green clovers, blue diamonds and purple horseshoes didn't work as well. :-)

AndrewSipe's picture

Nodes have been checked and made orthogonal as much as possible.

This sounds impressively technical... what does it mean? And I love that you threw in use of the Golden Ratio to refine positioning. Lockup is also great.

tenor's picture

It just means that the node handles defining curves are at 90º angles where possible. For example, the outer circle is composed of 4 nodes and the bezier handles are symmetrical at each node, and they extend horizontally or vertically from the node.

It just means that I cleaned up the curves as much as possible.

AndrewSipe's picture

Duh, I wasn't even thinking that.

aluminum's picture

I like it, but I think the hand is still in's neither literally a hand, nor abstract enough to just stand alone as an abstract shape. Right now, it just seems like a deformed hand.

Not that it's not a great logo--just that I can see where the client was looking for more details in the hand.

AndrewSipe's picture

Darrel you thinking something more along these lines:

tenor's picture

Minor tweak. The "finger" was starting to appear too long to me, so I shortened it.

dezcom's picture

Still looks like a dazed fish to me (seeing stars). Your older 2a was better.


AndrewSipe's picture

I hope I wasn't stepping on any fingers with my "suggested logo".

tenor's picture

Of course not! This is what critique is all about! In fact, the fingers in my "final" post looked too long to me AFTER I looked at your rendering. The proportions now are closer to the sketch you posted. So... thanks!

timd's picture

It’s the thumb, or rather where the thumb meets the palm, that is non-hand-like, the angle that Andrew shows is closer, I think if you nail (no pun intended Chris) that it will be less “dazed fish”, although I agree with Chris that the version that wasn’t enclosed is better, less Web 2.0 3d effect.


Ratbaggy's picture

ALWAYS less web2.0 look as a general rule.

I agree it is rather clichéd, I also don't get the 'catching stars' connection - it seems a bit chance like i.e, they just stick out their hands and hope for the best.

I wonder if there might be a more unique message you could convey with the logo. *shrug*

Paul Ducco
Web Design Wellington

Christian Barca's picture

Somehow does the hand look to much like melted wax on a candle, it needs more details.

adnix's picture

There's a hand? I see a comic book word balloon with stars in it.

I like the slight detail that Asvetic added. I think that is what your client meant. It is less ambiguous than your current icon.

Like the type, nice choice.

dache's picture

I see a paint palette. It may be my background though..

Concerning the nodes, you can do that in Illustrator? :^O

tenor's picture

I am meeting with them next week to hash out design changes. In the mean time I thought I would share this redraw of the hand, which I think addresses a lot of concerns. I still like the idea of the fingers blending smoothly into the circle, so I am stubbornly clinging to that for now.

kattttor's picture

I'm no expert but to me the thumb looks a little small compared to the rest of the hand. I'm also in favor of making the hand more detailed, like you've done now.

Have you tried placing the stars in a more random order aboove the hand? Instead of haveing them in a sort of curvy line, maybe a random placement would enforce the feeling of falling and catching.

I really like the way you placed the text though.

sch2525's picture

Yeah, in the latest iteration, you lose the hand. For some reason, it looks like a whale and reminds me of the old SeaWorld logo from when I was younger.

tenor's picture

Well, after many months I've finally revisited this logo and hopefully addressed the concerns mentioned in this thread... and those of my "client" as well. I'd love any additional feedback you'd care to share. All the comments here were incredibly helpful to me, and I really appreciated everyone's input.

henrypijames's picture

The lengths of the four fingers suggest you're depicting a right hand, but the position of the thumb suggest it's a left hand. What gives?

BTW, "dazed fish" association still not cleared, I'd say.

tenor's picture

Yes, I see what you mean. I'll see if I can address that. It is meant to be a right hand and the thumb should appear to be closest of all the fingers. It now has sort of a simeon stretch to it. I'll tweak it more later. Thanks for that feedback. I was blind to it before you mentioned it.

Of note, I am trying VERY hard to avoid looking too much like the United Way hand.

jayyy's picture

the thumb is deffo on the left it appears.

why not take it from a photograph and trace over it? this way the scale and proportion would look perfect.

AndrewSipe's picture

Isn't it when something is closer it's larger and when it's further it's smaller.

I'd go with a left hand instead of a right hand and just change the middle/ring finger lengths, that would be a more appealing solution than a giant thumb.

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