Freethought group needs a new logo

awelfle's picture

I am involved with a small group of Freethinkers in Fort Wayne, Indiana that want to eventually incorporate, and an trying to help spiffy up their design. Although I like to think I'm pretty good with typography, logo developing isn't really my thing, so I figured this is a great place to gather some ideas.

In case you don't know, the Freethought movement is to promote critical thinking, science, and logic, and reject dogma, superstition. Things like pro-science, evolution, positive atheism, and secular humanism go hand-in-hand with our group, which as you can imagine is often a touchy subject, considering we're in conservative Indiana.

Attached is our current logo designed by an enthusiastic founding member, which is more of just a stylized wordmark. It's nice, but it doesn't really have anything to do with freethinking, or any of the above points I was talking about. I've included a few other concepts.

I've been thinking about trying to use a graphic of a brain, or a head in there somewhere. Something that implies thinking. Basically, I need something punchy, simple, and looks good in B&W and color as well (with only a couple colors, maybe blue and black?) If we could incorporate our tagline, "Be Reasonable.", it would be better all the more.

Here are some ideas, heavily inspired by a couple awesome iStockphoto graphics.

Any ideas, concerns, brainstorms? Thank you for your time, and I love this forum. It's always a wellspring of good, constructive criticism!


aluminum's picture

I imagine it really depends on how you are positioning the group and who you want to target.

To attract fellow freethinkers, I think a logo more in the style of your avatar would make more sense...maybe something with a bit of humour. A head with the top sliced off and a funnel.

If, on the other hand, the target is the community at-large, then I think you probably need a more conservative/straight-forward type treatment with perhaps a more abstract symbol.

sch2525's picture

I like the ring of lightbulbs idea in concept #4, but that's about it. I'm not sure how practical the tangle of wires would be though.

It's been said plenty of time in these forums: Don't go right to the computer - sketch first.

blank's picture

I think #1 is a strong concept and a great use of space. 2 is really good, but I worry that people might think someone botched a gradient, using two fewer steps in the blend might work better. 3 is cool but won’t scale well without multiple versions or manual intervention, so save it for a t-shirt. 4 feels like a throw-away.

Across the board:
•The caps are tracked much too tight, and will look better in a lighter weight.
•Capitalize “Fort Wayne”. Proper nouns in sans-serif lowercase feels very dated.
•Do not incorporate your tagline into your logo. A tagline is a tagline, a logo is a logo. If you want to use them together that’s fine, but you’ll get better results by leaving the tagline out of the logo and treating it as a separate entity.

eliason's picture

The black profile head reminds me of Victorian-era silhouettes - very dated to me. I agree with Scott - I rather like the string of lights concept and think more sketches along those lines might lead to something.

speter's picture

For me, the string of light bulbs evokes something in the range of electricity, perhaps some sort of green electricity initiative. Of the four, I like the first one best.

enthusiastic founding member's picture

Boy, you really get around, Andy! This is the second time I've stumbled upon you.

Thanks for calling my logo nice. I hadn't figured out what image to put with it. It was intended for simple recognition by anyone, and to be easily reducible. I was hoping to add something along the lines of what you were thinking or just making a completely new one.

I talked with the other Andy and he said we are welcome over there any time to work on developing a new logo. We just need to get together to brainstorm and pound out a few more ideas.

I like your way of thinking though. Forums like this one are full of great ideas and good suggestions:

James Puckett had a good suggestion concerning keeping our logo separate from our tag-line.

aluminum's idea of a sliced head with a funnel sounds interesting. We might have to play around with that one a little bit.

Thanks for the help everyone!

Jake D.

Lex Kominek's picture

Just thought of an image - a brain with wings. Don't know how useful that will be to you.

- Lex

plasmator's picture

Something that comes to mind on this one is the fact that freethinkers pride themselves somewhat on breaking the bounds of traditional thinking. It would be nice to communicate this by introducing some irregularity into the design. Something irregular, but considered. Not punk, freethought.

I'll post some specifics if I get time to sit down and play with this.

Ratbaggy's picture

I agree with the concept of not incorporating a brain or stereotypical "brain" imagery.

Free thought ... thinking outside the square. progressive.

One concept I threw together, happy to talk further if you're interested.

Paul Ducco
Graphic Design Melbourne
Short Film Festival

imavery's picture

I agree with James, about the type treatment. The whole lightbulb in the head thing is rather overused, and doesn't necessarily promote free thought, but an realization. Why is Free Thought one word? If it's a movement then shouldn't there be some sort of community aspect brought into the logo? I think number 4 is probably the closest out of the samples to express that, but I agree, it's more an electrical based theme.

For some reason, a 50's style mind control type of image came to mind.

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