Architects firm logo design

WhiteRoses's picture

This logo is for a small architects firm. The majority of their work is for local homeowners (house extensions, refurbs, etc). They are a small company, with only about 5 employees.

Although this is pro bono and no real brief was provided, I talked to the owner of the company and he said that one of the main selling points of the business was that every client got the full and undivided attention of a fully qualified architect (I had presumed every architects business would do this but there you go).

Based on what I was told about their audience and business mantra, I tried to design something friendly and personable that would appeal to their clients without losing the professional look required for something people would be spending a lot of money on. At the moment it is just the logo, I plan on adding the company name later, but want to hear critique of just the logo for now.

I've spent quite a bit of time on this and am in need of fresh eyes. Would be great to hear some critique.

Randfield logo.jpg41.81 KB
Ed_Aranda's picture

Did you draw the letters, or use a font? The aperture of the R seems too tall to me – well maybe not too tall but too “open” compared to the A. The A also doesn't really match the R stylistically. The A seems almost Asian, and is a bit more dynamic whereas the R is similar to Goudy and is more traditional. I'm curious about the circle on top of the A. Does it have significance, or is it just a design element? I wonder if there's a better way to communicate what kind of business is being represented, since it's rather ambiguous – unless that's what you intended. Is the firm known for a particular style of design? Are they conservative, traditional? Or a bit more creative and experimental? The letter forms should reflect the personality of the firm and it's work. This is totally my subjective opinion, but a mark with a firmer structure might be better suited for an architect firm.

PublishingMojo's picture

This says professional to me, but it doesn't say personal.
The old-style R (Goudy?) also says old, as does the compass (I assume 21st Century architects draw circles and arcs with a computer). If your client's core business is renovating historic homes, the message of old-school craftsmanship might be just right.
Otherwise, I'd look for imagery with less emphasis on the process (here's how we do it) and more on the outcome (your new kitchen/living room will make you feel so comfortable/proud).

Ratbaggy's picture

I'm seeing an old shipping company more than architect.

Paul Ducco
Graphic Designer - Melbourne

Alaskan's picture

Very nautical. Inexplicably nautical! I haven't read any other comments here - this was my first impression. It's hard to shake off and see any other interpretation; I see this logo on a floating restaurant on Cape Cod.

Navy blue + anchor shapes = nautical in my brain. Am I alone in this stereotype?

Sindre's picture

I have to agree on the nauticality and the vintage vibe of this design. Besides, putting a circle on top of an A makes another letter: Å. The ring is not a diacritic, Å represents the sound "aw" in all Scandinavian and several other minor European languages.

WhiteRoses's picture

Thanks for the comments so far, I'll definitely put them to use later today when I work on the design.

Ed_Aranda - The 'A' was drawn by myself and the R is Garamond (if I remember correctly - I'm at work now so can't check) with a bit of customization. The 'A' is supposed to be a compass. The work they do is definitely on the traditional side - they do indeed renovate old homes and are also known for doing church renovations so I thought this would work. I hear what you say about a firmer structure though. I'll post a few more ideas later.

Mojo - you're right about the old school craftsmanship vibe, I do think it works for the company as their business revolves around renovation of older buildings rather than modern design of steel and panel buildings. I'm glad you recognized it as a compass! I think what you say about looking for imagery concerning the outcome will help make the logo more personable, I'll have a think about other concepts.

I think the nautical vibe might be coming from the traditional serif font and of course the compass being a map readers tool! Alaskan, you are seeing the logo as blue? Might be the JPG because it is actually black. Is the 'A' reminding you of an anchor?

I'm thinking of changing the R to a Sans and changing the A a little to make it feel a little more modern, as well as hopefully losing the nautical vibe.

Alaskan's picture

Yes, the A looks like an anchor awkwardly leaning on a post. The pencil compass isn't obvious at all; for starters, the ring on top is too thick and as I recall, they have knobs on top, not rings. But, even if it read as a protractor, I'd be saying it's a cliche choice. This compass-as-a-letter idea has been so beaten to death that I (personally) don't think it's even worth exploring.

Architecture is filled with beautifully structured visuals; why would you choose a tool that most people associate with elementary school?

WhiteRoses's picture

Yeah I think I need a few more concepts as this one probably is overused. I did look at a lot of other architects firms logos and the vast majority didn't have any imagery so I thought I'd try and incorporate something that says 'architects' without having to actually write it. From the responses so far I obviously haven't got there yet. Back to the drawing board for now...

WhiteRoses's picture

Here is the latest version, after deciding to scrap the compass idea:

AndreaC's picture

I like the lettering, but I find that cyan disturbing, at least on screen.

apankrat's picture

This one looks more like a logo for an graphics design or movie production company than an architect firm to me. I also agree that cyan looks rather unpleasant against the white background.

John Lyttle's picture

I agree with epsilicon that the updated logotype doesn't exactly shout out architecture, but maybe the client doesn't need to try too hard to convince people of what line of work they're in. I'm with AndreaC with regard to the shade of cyan: it's a little harsh on the screen and it could fade away on paper. Museo has a structured look that suits architecture, but I wonder if it's too trendy, and since it's a free typeface, possibly too ubiquitous.

reinis's picture

The color choice is certainly bold. If would work better if you chose a different hue or desaturated it. The perfect symmetry itself is very cool, even if it's not explicitly telling about the company's area. I would opt to try to keep it if I were you.

WhiteRoses's picture

Fair point about the color scheme, here it is with darker tones:

apankrat's picture

Have you tried using just two colors instead of three ? I.e. paint the overlap differently. By the way the shape of the mark is really nice, though again not sure if it's a bit too smooth, curvy and rounded for something as precise as architecture.

Kirs10's picture

Having the "a" in the darkest tone puts the emphasis on that character. It should be the other way around. R for Randfield is more important than A for associates.

WhiteRoses's picture

I have tried using 2 colours, though I think it makes it look a little old fashioned, the picture below shows it with 2 colours and harder edges (might rework it into squarer letters to explore your point about it being too rounded) and also with the colours swapped to put the emphasis on the 'r'. I'm not sure about that as having the a darker seemed to look more balanced, could always adjust the colours a bit I suppose.

apankrat's picture

Yeah, I agree that top version is not very good. Kind of boring really. And the sharp corners are not working either .. though on the other hand the corner radius in the other two is a bit too big.

Another idea - what if the "r" was simply sitting on top of the "a" ? Just forget about the overlap. The "a" should still be easy to see I think.

akluna's picture

To me, you're done with the bottom one. Architecture is actually a Humanities field, opposite to what people think. Engineering is an Exact field (I have a BA in Architect and an AAS in Graphic Design). The logo is structured, well-aligned, symmetrical, suggests spatiality, layered, all things that relate to architectural drawings and how they work.

penn's picture

The bottom scheme of this last set is the best arrangement. Though I'd go with a darker grey / almost black for the "Randfield" logotype, and I'm not sure I'm digging the teal color scheme too much. Any other variations on colors? (maintaining the same "r" to "a" transparency format)


all about seb's picture

No harm intended as I quite like the overall look, but I keep seeing a toilet seat.

reinis's picture

I had to look for a long time to see it too (tired). It's very indestinct and not worth concern.

zevbiz's picture

Love that last example you posted. That "ra" is dynamite.

For text though you may want to experiment with another font or increase the letter spacing

Lefty's picture

i kinda like it - the last one. Maybe my comment is displaced but it makes me think of the Green Lantern symbol (just rotated 90°). But maybe i'm tired too.

WhiteRoses's picture

Thanks for the feedback. I'll post the final version soon.

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