Logo for a technology based start-up

limi's picture

Hi all,

I've designed the following logo for my husband's start-up. I'd appreciate your opinions.

Here's a quick blurb about the concept:
I started by playing around with the letters CCI (the system which is the core of the company) which came to visually depict a butterfly - CIC (imagine the C on the right as a mirror image). It made a lot of sense. For me a butterfly is a symbol of new and fresh beginnings. It's light weight and easy and something everybody wants around - just like the company's products.
When I showed it to the guys they were even more excited because it reminded them of the butterfly effect which relates to the Chaos theory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect). It can get complex, but in short it is the idea that even small things can have the greatest impacts. Simple and profound.

Anyhow, this butterfly went through several revisions until reaching this final one. To enhance the BF effect concept, as it flies over the word Nuveon, it effects the letters by changing their colors from blue to a complimentary yellow. The color of the E is a mix between the yellow and blue to indicate partial change that will be complete once the bf has passed the letter. Makes sense?

Thanks for your input.

riccard0's picture

Too many colours.
Uneven spacing.
Strokes of v a little too thick.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

I understand constructing the letters make for these kind of forms, but optically the n/u looks a lot wider than the o (even though they might not be). I don’t think the letterforms are especially interesting in themselves, but they also lack overshoots and appear to be heavier in the horizontals compared to the verticals (optically correct monoline is not actually monoline).

Your butterfly is not such a bad idea, only it does not look very much like one now. The body is out of style with everything else in the logo, and the wings are maybe a little too rigdid? I’d love to see a head or some antennas on there. Colourwise it’s not very butterflyish.

The colour, as Riccarod mentions, are troublesome. A logo needs to work in b/w, and with the current concept you’ll loose everything.

That said, I think this could evolve into a fairly decent logo with a little help.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

A start up might not be strapped in cash, but their identity is a very important aspect of their business. To make a living they need to attract clients, much more so than they need to save money. Depending on what business they’re in, chances are one job might be all it takes to earn the money spent on a professional logo.

Ratbaggy's picture

If this is current technology, I'm not feeling it.

If however, it's technology from like 10 years ago...maybe.

limi's picture

Thanks for your honest feedback.

@frode frank, I took your suggestion and modified the bf to look more like one. I really liked the simplicity of it's 'body' so I left it as is.

The reason for the multiple colors at the font is to reinforce the concept by having the bf impact elements as it flies above them. I like the yellowish color juxtaposing the dark blue because it seems like the bf 'turns the letters on' as it flies above them. I've created 2 different color palettes and 2 ways of handling the font. One with 2 colors, the other with just 1 color at different opacity.

I've changed the font: I think this one works better. Looks more unified. All letters are at the same hight. I've modified the N a bit to make it even more unified (removed a little line it had). Also it seemed to me more like a tech startup co. font than the previous.

@Ratbaggy, it'll help if you're a bit more specific. What makes it feels like technology from 10 years ago (gosh, I think I still had a Windows computer back then. The horror!). Does it look more current now, after I've modified it? I'm actually facing a bit of a challenge as this company offers products some of which are geared for more traditional clients (i.e. car manufacturers factories here in Germany), that's why I initially kept dark blue as one of the colors as I see it as more of a traditional color.

Thanks again for your feedback.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

@Limor: I really think you’re husband’s company would benefit from hiring a professional designer.

There are very good reasons for the advices we give, but you choose to ignore them because you “like” how it looks. Logo design is not just about what you like. First and foremost it’s about what you communicate (what others see when they see the logo), and second: it’s about meeting the technical requirements to make sure it will work in all circumstances they might need it.

limi's picture

@frode frank. I've modified the logo following some of the feedback here (the most on the font), so why do you write that I choose to ignore the advice? Yeah, I didn't take all of your advice simply because I don't agree with it all. For instance in regards to the bf head and color you've suggested. I've looked at many bf treatments in great logos and some are created using only a few simple lines and one color. I don't think it has to be so descriptive to be successful.

That said, hiring a professional designer is not an option at this point. That's why I'm here, asking for advice.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

And I’m giving it. It’s up to you to follow or not. Ask yourself why you disagree! If your reason is good, stick with it. If it’s because you lack the knowledge — swallow your pride.

Alaskan's picture

The new font isn't better. It's too rigid to pair with a butterfly - it'd pair well with a robot. The original font has much more potential, but it truly needs all the help Frank and Riccard0 offered.

The butterfly's morphing of color you describe in your top post isn't evident in the logo. If you have to explain it, it's not working. The colors you've chosen are lovely, but there are too many and they separate the letters into two words - nu veon, or nuve on. If that's not what you intend...it needs fixing.

eliason's picture

Be aware, too, that there are already associations in technology branding of the butterfly with MSN.

limi's picture

@frode frank, I truly appreciate your advice. It's helpful. I assure you, pride is not in the way ;-) It's just a real struggle to get this right. But I won't give up. I can't.
@Alaskan, yep. I see that. I'm going back to Google to look for a new font. And will try to find a way for this bf to effect the text without splitting the word.
@eliason, thanks. I'm aware (damn MS :). But Nuveon offers very different services so it should be fine (until it's as big as MS and then we will fight over the butterfly branding ;-)

DavM's picture

The wings look strange.
The one closer to the viewer should be larger.
I'd also drop the stroke and keep working on the shape.
Definitively better than your first attempt but still not right.

Alaskan's picture

Sorry, DavM, but butterflies have a larger wing on top near their heads....no matter where the viewer is.

wongxiao's picture

Alaskan: I think you and DavM are interpreting the logo differently; you are seeing one set of wings (say, the butterfly's left side). DavM is interpreting the butterfly to have one wing on the left and one on the right, (hence the alpha blending of the two wing shapes), and we're seeing sort of an incorrect perspective here. To be honest, I'm not totally sure which one is the original intention....

I know it's a very attractive idea, but I would strongly consider rethinking the "butterfly changing the letters" concept. The usage of color to set off two un-spaced words is so common, I can't imagine how you'll overcome the immediate reaction in peoples' minds to interpret it this way...but perhaps I'm just not imaginative enough. On a side note, if you ever found yourself in need of an an animated version, say, for a TV commercial (hey, anything's possible, right?), the element of motion would convey the idea unequivocally.

moggycat's picture

I enjoyed reading the following comments on this design project. There are many different interpretations of good design meaning there is good design and there is better design. I think the following discussion has been a effective design process - a well balanced discussion between laziness and overly imaginative art. By laziness I mean it's easy to just create something that communicates the idea of your company, this could of been done in a few minutes. However, you have invested time and energy in this project in an endeavor to produce a logo that is well thought and meaningful. On the other-hand, logo design is not creative art it is design (a concept poorly understood).

My opinion is keep going - produce as many logo's as possible, write a list of single word adjectives that describes your company and create a simple logo and then get feedback. Exactly, the process your undergoing. You obviously enjoy art and design.

Rest assured, you get to point realizing after all - we are polymorphic and need to draw the line eventually and this what will define your company. If you feel stuck employ a designer. Cheers.

limi's picture

Hi all.
In regards to the wings, this is a simple side view of the butterfly. Not a perspective. We see only one side of the wings, the left side. I wanted it to be as simple as possible but still recognizable. I've made the wings with 80% opacity as an interpretation of the light coming through in wings of a real bf.

Now I'm trying to find the right font for this little insect and figure out how to get it to effect the type somehow (the butterfly effect concept). @wongxiao, I agree about the splitting of words with colors. It's confusing, unless there's a clever way to do this while keeping it clear it's only one word. I'm trying other ways to impact the font. I'm sure it's there, I just need to find it :)

@moggycat, I like your philosophical angle. I used to work in the architecture field and we've always wondered if there's really any 'new' design any more, as everything evolves out of inspiration of something else that has been already created. I've also always wondered if a design is ever truly finished. Seems like drawing that line is the biggest challenge.

moggycat's picture

Hi Limi.

A small comment on the right font.
Try to draw the font your after as looking for a font might ambush your design. When your happy with the design(drawing), look up a font book for a close match or use a program like illustrator or Fontlab studio to create your finished art.

No need to design an entire font but you have the option in the future.

Alaskan's picture

Moggycat...I can't stop myself from correcting your written English, so my apologies if English is not your first language. I notice you've made the same mistake repeatedly.

"You're" means "you are" and "your" is a possessive pronoun (as in "your name is Moggycat.")

So, your post above should be written:
"Try to draw the font you're after as looking for a font might ambush your design. When you're happy with the design(drawing), look up a font book for a close match or use a program like illustrator or Fontlab studio to create your finished art."

Ratbaggy's picture

I've made the wings with 80% opacity as an interpretation of the light coming through in wings of a real bf.

This sort of conceptual 'development' would be fine as one component across an identity, but for the logo (as you've presented it) the rationalisation is really clutching at straws.

Now I'm trying to find the right font for this little insect and figure out how to get it to effect the type somehow (the butterfly effect concept).

I'd suggest researching the butterfly effect theory and background – any good design outcome starts with research and understanding. Here's an interesting diagram straight from the Butterfly effect wiki page...which I would have thought would be the starting point of any insight into the theory/effect.

I used to work in the architecture field and we've always wondered if there's really any 'new' design any more, as everything evolves out of inspiration of something else that has been already created. I've also always wondered if a design is ever truly finished. Seems like drawing that line is the biggest challenge.

you've essentially shut down the very concept behind your design. cause and effect. nothing new is discovered when nothing changes.

there's also an argument that suggests concept evolution has existed from the dawn of time. understanding one thing leads to knowledge in another and so on.

apankrat's picture

That is just a plain Lorenz attractor. Butterfly Effect my @ss :)

Ratbaggy's picture

heh. no worries...

These figures show two segments of the three-dimensional evolution of two trajectories (one in blue, the other in yellow) for the same period of time in the Lorenz attractor starting at two initial points that differ only by 10−5 in the x-coordinate. Initially, the two trajectories seem coincident, as indicated by the small difference between the z coordinate of the blue and yellow trajectories, but for t > 23 the difference is as large as the value of the trajectory. The final position of the cones indicates that the two trajectories are no longer coincident at t=30.

litera's picture

One suggestion I hope @limi would follow: Whenever you design a logo and you're inexperienced start in this order:

  • Get some paper and a pencil. Draw. Write. Associate... For a few days.
  • Evaluate what you've drawn and find good and weak points of your best designs. And the ideas/impressions they give. Ask a few people you know what they think these designs provoke in them.
  • Put your design into a computer. Most important: forget about colour for now. Do it all in black and white. No greys allowed either.
  • When you think you're done and others approve it, go and do the full colour version of your logo.

Most professionals still work in this order. Amateurs tend to do the opposite. Start from the last one and go upwards. Don't do the same mistake yourself.

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