Please would you critique this logo for a university course?

ihoff's picture


Three university courses will be united under the title 'B u c k s A d s c h o o l' and I've been commissioned to design the logo.

The client has asked for:
- a word marque
- that Bucks be incorporated (lowercase in Flux).

They like this one, but an informal internal review has resulted in mixed feedback. I won't mention what the comments yet – would like your input first. Since the review, I've been told I don't need to stick to Bucks in lowercase Flux and they'd like to see a 'normal' version (so no creative twist). If you need me to highlight the 'creative twist', let me know.

Many, many thanks!


Bendy's picture

I think perhaps the size difference between 'bucks' and 'adschool' will make it difficult to use. At small sizes the 'bucks' will be too small; to make that big enough the rest will be quite large?

I'm not sure I get the concept of sloping the text up the side of the A, or putting the H inside the C. Is there something you can do to make the concept clearer?

ihoff's picture

The 'bucks' bit reads surprisingly well at smaller sizes (see below), but I see your point it could be a problem. Now it doesn't have to be that font/case, I could move it and make it bigger.

This older version shows the reason for putting the H inside the C (but I'm not sure about emphasising it now).

The mixed feedback I've had (both from designers and laypeople) is:
1. Love the C in the H.
2. Don't like the C in the H.
3. Very clever, like it.
4. Too punny, don't like word cool (dates).
5. Love the slanted bucks.
6. Hate the slanted bucks.

So, at the moment it's 50/50.

So, I appreciate input, suggestions, etc.


Alaskan's picture

2. Don't like the C in the H. (Actually, it's an H in the C, either way I hate it)
4. Too punny, don't like word cool (dates).
6. Hate the slanted bucks.

It looks like an 80s letter salad. I don't see anything worth saving, sorry. If these courses are meant to teach advertising, this logo would literally stop me from registering for the classes. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but if they want to tout advertising expertise, the logo needs to reflect that.

I suggest you look around at some university websites to find a more refined approach; look at big, old universities, not community colleges! Perhaps look at design schools, too, like or .

Oh, and shouldn't it be "Buck's Ad School" with the apostrophe?

Steven Acres's picture

I think there's way too much going on. Slanted bucks, ADS, AD SCHOOL, ADS COOL, etc. It's not a very strong visual... definitely needs more refinement.

ihoff's picture

Alaskan – the two examples you gave are fine universities, but I find the logotypes bland and lacking creativity. Bucks doesn't have an apostrophe, by the way.

Bendy, Steve – Placing the 'bucks' at a slant seemed to be the best solution in view of the slant of the A and the original instruction to keep it lowercase, but I agree at very small sizes it will be a problem (and some people don't like it).

Thanks for all your comments. Am off to refine.

Alaskan's picture

So, keep looking at other universities. I didn't give you those links just so you could try and prove your work is more "creative." There is a huge gap between "creativity" and "gimmicky" and what you have here is VERY gimmicky. Honestly? I didn't even see the word "COOL" until long after I posted my first comment in this thread. The H inside the C is so puzzling and awkward, I couldn't figure out why it was there.

Q: What does the word "COOL" have to do with classes?
A: Nothing.
Q: What does tiny slanted letters add to the logo?
A: Nothing.

But, it seems you're not interested in starting fresh. The hysterical fact that you have the stones to call RISD "bland and lacking creativity" indicates to me you're not looking for a professional solution, you're just looking to be right about your design. I know from experience how counterproductive it can be to get so attached to an idea that you can't do anything but try to force it to work...and then defend it. When this has happened to me, the only thing that eventually produced a successful result was the ability to completely scrap the sketches and start fresh.

ophello's picture

The slant of the "bucks" butting up against the word detracts from the encircled "H." If we're going to read this fluidly, we shouldn't have two visual inconsistencies to decipher all on the same line. You've employed one "trick" with the "CH" and that should be enough. I'd consider finding a less playful, more harmonious way to treat "bucks" in this example, perhaps something more normative than you've been trying. You might also consider experimenting with making the typeface and case for both words match.

Overall, I want this to read quickly and instantly but something about how you've put the "C" and "H" together stops my eyes dead in the middle and my brain tries for too long to decode its meaning -- it isn't flowing quite yet. Perhaps the H can poke a little out of its nestled cave in the "C"?

Refer to the logo for "Fast Company." They use inscribed letters as well but it's done in a way that flows effortlessly. It might inspire you.

BTW...Alaskan may sound harsh but he/she's got a point: always be prepared to kill your baby. Personally, I like the play on words you're attempting, but it's gotta sing to be effective. And in my opinion, school CAN be cool. :D

P.S. ...the original instruction to keep it lowercase
I suggest fighting that instruction. Show your client examples of it in uppercase just to see their reaction. You can always state that you're just experimenting with all possibilities. could always mix the cases. If the letters were all the same x-height, ThIS mIGht LOOk moRE InTeresTiNG.

ihoff's picture

Alaskan and Ophello – thanks for the comments.

Alaskan, why are you adopting such an antagonistic tone and twisting my words (I find the RISD logotype bland, not the university)? I've approached you guys for comments, because I've been getting polarizing feedback (positive and negative).

I am pursuing other directions and don't have a problem dropping things. But, I've not been asked to drop the existing design, but to see if I can improve on it, hence the post.

I don't share a studio with anyone and I'm sure you're aware sometimes all you need is for someone to nudge you in a different direction or help you 'see' what's going wrong or what else might work. Ophello, your comments do just that. Thank you very much.

I'll post the final result when it's been approved by the client.

PS 'ads' + 'cool' is sort of an embedded mission statement or promise.

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