A very long company name

hughfire's picture

I am interested if any of you can think of any logos or type treatments of extremely long company names - preferably in a traditional style. I am currently working on an identity that is kicking my butt.

The Center for Aesthetic and Implant Dentistry

I had worked up some ideas, but they were a little too contemporary for the client (well actually for his wife) - they want it to reflect the same style they are decorating the new place (cart before the horse - happens all the time to me) They have chosen a very elegant style with brocades, lots of scrollwork, chevrons, deep colors, and even griffins. Also being in Louisville there is the ubiquitous fleur de lis (city symbol). I have come up with some solutions that are... eh ok but still seem somewhat generic. The only one that I really am feelling anything from is the one below.

The critique I need is twofold. Do either ofthe two type treatments work for anyone. When I keep all the words the same I either end up with something that is blah or my eyes just get lost about halfway through - this was my attempt at adding some breathing room in the name. I also feel like the typeface should be traditional and needs to be a titling font like trajan or requiem or Felix, as I think anything too scripty is too difficult to navigate easily and will be hell at reduced sizes - I also keep getting the vibe when I try Upper and Lower case that it makes it look less like a company name and more like a tagline - It gives it too much Title or Sentence structure (does that even make sense?). So any suggestions about type would be most appreciated.

The second critique I want is of the symbol itself. I used several Bickham ornaments to piece together a fleur de lis that is unique in our area - though they are everywhere - whenever there is an interesting interpretation it actually revives it somewhat. But does this work, is the construction ok with line weight and everything? Or does it seem all fluff and no matter (which I guess could be part and parcel with anything along these lines anyway - kind of like eating a merringue - yummy air).

Help me typophiles before I run out of energy to even type the name of this practice one more time...caid1caid2

soren_olsen's picture

The second worst design project is the one where you are in contact with the owner, but where the decisions are made by the the owner's wife.

The worst design project is the one where you are in contact with the owner, but where the decisions are made by the the owner's wife and she wants the new logo to be identical to the new chairs, or rugs, or carpets...

Of the the designs I like the first one best, the one that isn't mixing regular and italic.

What they need is a new name. If they're not already doing so, they will sooner or later start to say "C.A.I.D.", which is even worse than the long name.

But I guess wanting to create a new name is wishful thinking, there's nothing doing when dealing with a small firm, let alone a small firm where design decisions is made by the owner's wife.

Come to think of it: the *very worst* design project is the one where you are in contact with the owner, but where the decisions are made by the the owner's wife and she wants the new logo to be identical to the new chairs, or rugs, or carpets... and their son or daughter has passed the first year in the art school.

Well, make the most of it.


bwhitla's picture

sounds like an interesting job. how tied are you to using the fluere de lis imagery? it seems some (scanned?) ornamentation from the baroque period might work better than the bickham ornaments. I have to admit, though, that i can't help having a negative reaction to bickham in general after designing and printing way too many wedding invitation sets.

have you considered poetica for the type? it might be too heavy, but some ornamented initial letters and such could be really nice.

to my eye, the symbol feels a little light.. it might disappear at small sizes.

maybe dentistry on the same line as aesthetic and implant would work? then "the center for" could be smaller?

hughfire's picture

Soren - LOL - they actually brought me the interior designer's boards with all the fabric swatches, countertop and paint choices, photos of furniture and two rather large pieces of carpet - what a scream

ben - I actually had been rumaging through "The Grammar of Ornament" and pulled a couple of those in as well - as well as a few dingbats from type embellishments and printers ornaments to toss around as well.

soren_olsen's picture

BTW, Ben is right, the symbol seems too light for smaller sizes.

Soren O

Sharon Van Lieu's picture

I can't see the images. Not that I can help, but I'm wondering why I can't see them.


rush's picture

The typeface on your first example looks better to me. I think using small caps is a good choice, it gives a solid feel. However i would rather not vary the font sizes. Makes reading the name somehow bumpy and i feel emphasizing the words doesn't actually help. The name as a whole looks a little out of balance like you have it now.
The symbol is nice, but like others said, it needs a little more weight. And maybe you can extend the ornaments downwards to embrace the name so it connects everything.

kirsten's picture

The fleure-de-lis you created is lovely but i second (or third Ben's comment that it is too light) I too prefer your first design with all roman characters.

Have you thought of using an ampersand instead of "and"? You could use a flourishy type to mirror the fleure-de-lis and better intergrate the symbol with the type.

The Composition seems too symetrical and yet not symetrical enough. I'll try to clarify. Because the words are so balanced small Big small, then Big small Big I want them to be exactly centered but because "aesthetic" has more letters than "Implant" it's just a little off. That said I'm not so sure about my ampersand suggestion. Placing it smack dab in the center of all that type may put too much emphasis on the character. How does it look if the type is to the right of the symbol, kind of tucked into the downward curly-Q?

aschibono's picture

Have you considered exploring the creation of a smile within the fleur? - to tie it back to dentistry?

Just a thought...

aluminum's picture

I can't see the images either. Are you sure they are RGB JPGs?

pablohoney77's picture

hope you don't mind me re-posting your images, Hugh (they were CMYK)

hughfire's picture

Thanks for your ideas and critiques - I will try to put a few of them to work - in the meantime, I had already fleshed out a few things and this is where I am so far - I tried to find a middle ground between the two and chose requiem using its italics and small caps so that I could have the breathing room while keeping the font closer to the same origin - whaddya think? Also, I too was worried about using the fleur at too small of a size so I kept it rather large on many of the pieces in the stationery. I have tried other configurations of the text and my eye keeps coming back to this one as being the most consistent with his traditional tastes. Here is one of the other options I played around with. BTW the tan is PMS 871 metallic gold not just a dirty tan as it may appear. I also am uploading a sample with the new type, a sample with the positions changed and a bolder fleur and a sample with a truncated fleur.

Does anyone have a suggestion on a way to keep the typestyles and flavor of this rendition but eliminate the near miss between the R in Center and the f in for?

CAID Stationery.pdf (314.2 k)


pablohoney77's picture

i think you made a good choice with the smallcaps and i really like your fleur, it's very elegant.
To avoid the near miss of the tail of the R- you could always tweak it in illustrator to make it less "swashy" in that instance.
one thing i'd kinda like to see... a version with the fleur in the background as a kind of watermark.
it's looking great! keep up the good work!

mica's picture

The fleur has an abstract resemblance to a monogram:


if you imagine really hard :-)

Do these guys actually say, "Center for Aesthetic and Implant Dentistry" when they answer the phone? I woudn't want to be their receptionist.

soren_olsen's picture

Mica said: "Do these guys actually say, "Center for Aesthetic and Implant Dentistry" when they answer the phone?"

No I don't think so. But even if they do, why should WE be bothered with low usability.

They should be forced to get a new name, instead of having other people making 'repair design'.

Soren O

squeeze's picture

I haven't followed this whole thread because I couldn't see the art originally (thanks Paul). Is "Center" as important as the other large type elements? Have you tried "Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry" on a single line with an ampersand and "The Center for" in small type?

Here's a long name that I believe has a successful logo

pablohoney77's picture

i was gonna say something about the LDS logo
(very similar) but i'm glad someone else brought it up.
being LDS myself, i'm kinda partial to it,
but maybe you'll want to make sure that
your design diverges from it enough
so that others don't make the same association.
then again there probably aren't as many mormons
in St. Louis as there are in Utah and Arizona, so
you might be safe there.

hughfire's picture

Well the bad news is this practice went with one of the versions that I didn't even post - its a little too blah, plus there is nothing distinctive about it - the dingbat is from type embellishments fonts - ugh. Anyway good to be done with it. One of these days I will learn my lesson and if I only have one I really really like, Only show one. oh well here it is...for closure sake


The two tone gold will actually be foiled/blind embossed on stationery items and will often be seen as just a single color version (not two tone) but you get the idea.

adriano's picture

I had a client that when I presented the logo said: "So, where's the other logos you have done?" Other logos I ask? "Yes, The previous logo was choosen from more than 10 logos that a friend of mine did..."

kirsten's picture

Don't be so hard on yourself. Not to sound PollyAnna-ish but sometimes it's the journey not the destination. You had some beautiful looking designs. Hold on to those ideas they may be good inspiration in the future. My former AD and mentor always told me (after falling victum to it herself many times over) Don't show the weakest design in order to make your favorite the obvious choice, they always inevitably choose the one you don't like. Wish I could say I'm not guilty of this (foolish) practice myself.

Miss Tiffany's picture

In this instance, perhaps, the fleur de lis doesn't need to be big and bold. I wonder if the focus shouldn't be upon the company name and the fleur used as accent. This leaves the fleur open for size interpretation as well as allowing it to be light, airy, elegant, and a little non-descript.

I like the idea of mixing scripts, in this application, with the roman. However what if you chose a lighter version of bickham and made it larger, even to the point of mixing in (joining) with the others?

Stephen Coles's picture

Trivia: The LDS logo typeface, Deseret, was designed by Hoefler
and some others, but it's basically Trajan.

Here's another long name logo I made with the beautiful Percival.
(LDS connection purely coincidental.)

Joe Pemberton's picture

The ancient law lives on:
Clients will invariably pick the version you like least.

The corrolary (which never works) is easy:
So, don't show it to the client!


penn's picture

Wow 2004 . . . enjoyed the read through of the thread anyhow.


Ed_Aranda's picture


Come to think of it: the *very worst* design project is the one where you are in contact with the owner, but where the decisions are made by the the owner's wife and she wants the new logo to be identical to the new chairs, or rugs, or carpets... and their son or daughter has passed the first year in the art school.

Even worse = you are in contact with owner, but the decisions are made by the owner's wife who subsequently went to 2 years of art school. Yes, it happened to me.

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