Thoughts on the logo ?

apankrat's picture

Playing with logo ideas for a company that focuses on producing intuitive and visually polished software. In other words, it's about starting with a detailed design of the user experience and then dealing with technical details that support it. This may sound as an obvious approach, but very few products are actually developed this way.

Thoughts ? Overall impression, etc..

Thanks

Alaskan's picture

I think the concept is more suited to a flash animation than a logo. It's just way too hard to read - it nearly made me cross-eyed at first.

The artifact of 'LETS DESIGN' is also problematic because it reads 'YA OWN OFTWARE' not the whole name 'YALETOWN SOFTWARE DESIGN.'

apankrat's picture

Thanks, Alaskan. Yeah, I agree. :)
Case closed.

apankrat's picture

If anyone's interested, we went with this version for now. Still need to kern it properly though. And, yes, I really like Trade Gothic Condensed Bold in all caps :-)

Bendy's picture

Sorry, I read it as 'towns of tware'. :)

nina's picture

Me too. Was just wondering what a "tware" is.

jakes's picture

The word "Software" is totally lost in there.

apankrat's picture

Well .. yeah .. I know that at the first glance it reads "..towns of tware..". But the idea here is that it's not that hard to figure out what it should read like. And once you do figure it out, the quirkiness of the initial impression makes the logo that much more memorable. I'm pretty sure the next time you see it, you will realize you saw it before.

Just try to view it not as a text, but rather as a wordmark. Obviously if a novel were set in such a peculiar way, it would've been a disaster :-)

BTW as some of you may remember we had similar discussion before in the context of the "precisionetworking" logo. And this logo is basically an evolution of the core idea behind that one.

apankrat's picture

Higher contrast, kerned version:

.
PS. How does the kerning look by the way (it is intentionally a bit loose between the words) ?

Bendy's picture

>it’s not that hard to figure out what it should read like

I must be rather dim then :) I had to go back to the original one to figure out what it was supposed to say.

I'm really struggling for the reading of it to become 'intuitive'*. Even when seeing it again, the broken word means I have to think deliberately (as Nina said in the other thread 'decipher') to read it. It also places emphasis on TWARE.

Also the broken word might make me wonder about the actual product. Is there a reason you wanted to fit the words on two lines?

* I think the logo should fit with the premise of the user experience (e.g. wonderfully easy to read). At this point the logo is slightly vexing.

Sharon Van Lieu's picture

I would never bother to figure it out. I don't think a logo should be such a puzzle.

Sharon

apankrat's picture

Having slept on it I now think it might actually be worth changing the company name to Yale towns of tware design :-)

Jon Evenchen's picture

Try putting each word on its own line. This way the two tone color scheme will make more sense, the word software won't get cut up and it will make for playful variations. I like your idea of trying to incorporate "lets design" into the logo.

JonE.

litera's picture

I hope this unreadable collapse of words isn't really intended to be used... One liner was already having readability problems where the two line version is not actually having those problems. It's plain unreadable. At first, at second, ... at always...

Anyway. Should it be "Ya let own software design" or "Yaletown software design" or something else I've completely missed?

Apart from being nice and clean... It's inappropriate.
___________
Robert Koritnik

Ratbaggy's picture

perhaps tiling what you have ...


*Contrast affected quite strongly for illustration purposes.

----------
Paul Ducco
Graphic Designer
Short Film Festival

bobbybobo's picture

How about this one?

apankrat's picture

Haha .. that's some quality feedback, guys and gals. Subjective and opinionated, the best kind. Thanks a bunch.

@bendy - well, have you managed to "decipher" it on your own ? It could've not been THAT hard :)

@sharon - it typically depends on the logo. There's plenty of logos that are effectively puzzles, especially those that make a heavy use of a neg space. They look nice at the first glance, but you can see something's off and there's something else going on. So you stare at them and then there's that AHA moment after which you remember the logo for a long time. So, yeah, they don't need to be puzzles, but they certainly can be.

@joe324, @bobbybobo - these are certainly the options, but this effectively kills the core idea of my version - the quirkiness. The "software" is cut up in a strange way on purpose. If it's just "soft-ware" or "software", then the logo is just a collection of three words. They can be made look nice, but that's secondary.

@litera - that's pretty much the exact effect I was going for. May be a bit milder and more accepting, but conceptually that's it :-) You will remember this logo now, right ?
Also, regarding what it should be saying - if you step back and consider basic color clues, it should be obvious how the words are split. Additionally, the logo will almost always be used in the context that would suggest it's a computer-related business, so that would give yet another parsing clue.

@ratbaggy - simple and great idea, thanks. I will use it.

bobbybobo's picture

I get it better now.
But people are easy and lazy. When they don't get it, they don't like it and move on. You can't leave people in the middle. You can loose clients (or your client will) over this and they will not come back. Not easily at least.

I do have to add that the target audience is important.
But generaly, this would be the case.

You are trying to create an effect like an upside down ad in a newspaper or magazine.
I don't turn the magazine or paper upside down to read. I don't even sigh or shake my head. I just move on. Don't pay attention.

But I am sure there is a middle ground.

In my opinion a logo/brand/identity must give away a few things of the company.
I find it important that you will have a general clue about what kind of business it is.
Beside that a few core values will help.

I don't see a software company immediately. But it could be.
However, you have shown a core value: we are not like others. But, is that true?
The other value you show: we are difficult. Are they?

At the end of this all:
After a while every logo will find its way (not saying it is not important) and has its own reason to exist. But that is not how I do things.
There are tons of logo's out there that are common ground but could be a bit better.
You have to get this logo out quit a lot for people to understand.
You have to communicate it over and over.

Then it could work, I think.
Especially on displaying certain values.

jakes's picture

Doesn't readability suppose to come before all else?

It doesn't matter how cool the design is...if people in general can't read it you don't have a message to get across.

apankrat's picture

@bobbybobo - I hear you on skipping over stuff that's hard to digest. It's a good point regarding the "we are not like others" message, which is incidentally true and I should've mentioned that at the beginning. It is also an excellent point that it says "we are difficult", I haven't considered this angle. Thanks for that. Any thoughts on how to alleviate this impression ? I realize your version does that, but somewhat at the expense of the "different" part.

All in all, just to explain a situation a bit more. It is a small company, and the main focus is on the branding of the product rather than the company itself. The product is positioned as "unique, not like others" and (you are going to like this) "simple". So in a sense the company logo is secondary, and it just needs to be bold, unique and not to compete or contradict the product branding.

@jakes - my take is that in the context of the logo design the readability should of course be considered, but it's just one of many factors. Some of these do not apply in other cases (e.g. a book design), and the readability floats to the top.

melo's picture

I've only quickly read the comments but from what I can tell the majority of the feedback is somewhat negative. I for one don't find this solution particularly interesting to look at myself. What if you tried breaking up the words evenly or maybe just using different weights?

Here's a crappy example of what I mean by evenly... not sure where you would put the design portion but I'm just suggesting that maybe it's time to take this a step further.

Ratbaggy's picture

but you missed the word design ... and then it falls apart

:)

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Paul Ducco
Graphic Designer
Short Film Festival

melo's picture

I know it was a quick suggestion and I guess a useless one, but I was just trying to inspire possibly considering going in a slightly different direction. To continue to play with what they've already done.

bobbybobo's picture

@epsilicon: I feel you need an accesible design which says 'unique'.

You say it needs to portrait 'simple'. Not to be negative, just hounest: your latest version says quit the opposite. It is hard to read. It is unique in a way. Which is most important?

You have choosen a certain font and used certain colours.
Perhaps the answer lies in a different font and colours.

I can recall a phrase someone told me: Kill Your Babies.

I can relate to that. Sometimes you think you have something wonderful. Truly pleasant which makes you happy, but I can't get it to work for that I want it to work for.
With pain in my heart I start over and move on to an other angle.

Not saying you should do that, you have a better overview, but it can help to put this in the waitingroom and try something else.

Ratbaggy's picture

So the answer is KILL BABIES!?!

can't say it's not a different approach.

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Paul Ducco
Graphic Designer
Short Film Festival

bobbybobo's picture

If you put it that way ...

;-)

I meant that you sometimes create something that looks great, feels good ... but somehow doesn't fit the design needs.

But you knew that, didn't you?

apankrat's picture

I am guessing he did :)

Ratbaggy's picture

bobby: you'll need to appear in court ... I took it literally.

:-S

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Paul Ducco
Graphic Designer
Short Film Festival

apankrat's picture

Hehehe .. you guys may want to have a look at this:

http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/punctuation_universi...

Bendy's picture

Ha! I find it visually jarring with the punctuation interrupting the letters like that. It gives the impression the university courses might be a bit unpredictable and confusing. I guess some people must like that effect, but it doesn't really work for me. :)

Lefty's picture

OK, i admit it, i did'nt read all the posts here. But i think there some good idea about the first one. Have you tried to put the "lets design" in color to have a high contrast with the grey, i don't know what color but (i am very bad at that) but not a light or dark color, something like orange or red, a color with impact.

EDIT: and of course separate the words, if you have a color with great contrast, you don't need to collapse the words

awesome.omen's picture

I like bobbybobo's idea.

apankrat's picture

Yep, it grew on me too.

apankrat's picture

If anyone is interested, I have dropped this idea altogether and went with something simpler and more restrained - http://www.yaletownsoftwaredesign.com

If you have any comments or thoughts, I would appreciate to hear them. Thanks.

Ed_Aranda's picture

I like that, in a super-minimalist kind of way.

bobbybobo's picture

It is different.
;-)

For some odd reason it doesn't appear in the center.

Must be me

apankrat's picture

Hmm .. What browser are you using ? I just checked the page with www.browsershots.org and the only browser that didn't have the logo centered was IE 5.5.

apankrat's picture

Ok, so I have slept on the idea for close to a year and I still think that 12.Apr.2009 11.30pm version is better than what I have on the site now.

Anyone mind looking at it again and seeing if they perhaps have a change of mind? :)

litera's picture

Good morning. :)

apankrat's picture

I take it's a "no" :)

penn's picture

Well the one on the site is kinda boring.

I like the look of the '12.apr.2009' version, but the word break throws me and is a current fad that won't last.

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