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The 7 Biggest Logo Events in 2013

This year has seen a lot of big happenings in the logo design field. Yes, it’s been a crazy year, with no shortage of topics to buzz about. The best way to sum it up is that the year was simultaneously amazing and disappointing. We saw a lot of great design happen, and there were glimpses of a world starting to recognize the value of great logo branding. But we also saw companies unveil logos that look like a committee created it, and got frustrated during the revision process, ultimately finalizing on ineffective, unattractive design.

1. Google Freshens Up

GoogleLogo

One trend we saw a lot of was simplification. Many companies realized that a good way to refresh their image was to remove the gradients, drop shadows and other unnecessary elements from their logo.

Google cut the fat out, and came out with a simple, clean look for their logo and application bar. Experienced designers cheered, and the Bevel/Emboss function took Drop Shadow’s hand and slunk into a hidden background layer.

chrome

They obviously learned from the positive response to last year’s Chrome upgrade. The logo looks so much better with fewer gradients and effects.

google old

What a refreshing change from their earlier logo! Business world, take heed!

 

 

 

 

2. Appalachian State Forgets What A Logo Is

appalachian

Sluggishly waking from their post-turkey stupor, App State revealed its new logo the day after Thanksgiving. Yes, that’s the new logo on the bottom. It took many people a while to realize they weren’t kidding, because just look at it. He is named “Victory Yosef”.

Yosef.

With a straight face, Mountaineers director of athletics Charlie Cobb announced “The excitement that Victory Yosef has generated among our students, alumni and fans since we introduced it as a throwback logo last fall has been overwhelming. Due to its popularity, it only made sense to make Victory Yosef a permanent part of our branding. We hope that it endures as a recognizable mark of Appalachian athletics for years to come.”

The former logo, a beautiful, iconic mountain man, had been used for 14 years. It’s style is fairly common, but it communicates quickly the idea with interesting shading and highlights. Now the athletes get to wear a child’s drawing of Popeye Abe Lincoln on their helmets.

 

3. Yahoo Insults The Entire Graphic Design Industry

yahoo copy

Too many people think graphic design is not a specialized profession, but something anyone can do, because the tools to make decent-looking Web pages, fliers, business cards, etc. are readily available. But is design the act of putting something on a page?

After months of teases and false alarms, Yahoo! finally unveiled the overworked and distorted nightmare that is their new logo. Were we taught in school not to distort a beautiful typeface like Optima, because a lot of thought was put into its’ architecture? Yes.

Does the CEO, Marissa Mayer, think that anyone can do design? Yes, and that’s a common misconception that we urgently need to fight. According to her blog, she “rolled up her sleeves, and dove into the trenches with (her) logo design team” and spent the “majority of Saturday and Sunday” designing the logo “from start to finish”. There’s so many things wrong with this post, it brings tears to my eyes.

This debacle represents the worst aspects of someone who doesn’t understand or accept that typography and graphic design in general are professions that benefit from years or decades of training. She shows a love for design, while implying that she is equally qualified to participate in it without mastering the process. Which annoyed a lot of professionals that have.

 
4. Philips Re-Invents The Logo Reveal

phillsreveal philstweet

The marketing team at Philips really know the value of the slow reveal; it created a teaser social media campaign that allowed anyone to “claim” any of the 50,000 pixels in an image of the new logo by signing in with Facebook or Twitter and specific hashtag.

In this way, the shape and colors of the new identity were gradually revealed. On November 13, they officially launched their brand after engaging thousands of people and making sure their logo was talked about in all the right circles.

 

 

phillips

The reworked enclosure-style logo is cleaner, and works better at small sizes. It’s formerly thin lines are now stronger and the top is subtly rounded and friendlier. Even a novice can appreciate it’s clean lines and easy readability.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. The National Reconnaissance Office Goes With The Octopus

nrol-39-mission-patch

Should the agency that operates America’s spy satellites be a little more subtle? Especially in this age of concern of individual privacy and paranoia?  “Nothing is beyond our reach.” Ha!

After unleashing this terrifying logo for one of their spy satellites, a spokewoman explained: “NROL-39 is represented by the octopus, a versatile, adaptable, and highly intelligent creature. Emblematically, enemies of the United States can be reached no matter where they choose to hide.”

OK, great that we’re striking fear in the hearts of our nation’s enemies, but it also gives us a little glimpse into the agency’s mindset, that apparently is that they can strangle, devour or make little octopus babies with every soul on earth.

 

 

 

6. Farmers Strips Down

Farmers

How many discussions have we had with clients about the concept of “less is more”? Keep this image somewhere safe, so you can quickly illustrate your point.

They lost the tagline and found new respect in the design world by letting the text breathe while still retaining it’s essence; a sunrise and shield.

“The new logo captures our belief that by helping customers make more informed insurance decisions, we can provide them with greater knowledge, confidence and security,” says Mike Linton, farmers’ chief marketing officer. “The new logo is part of the Farmers transformation to an organization that not only serves our customers better, but also helps empower them.”

Yes, it gained an ink color. The logo makes up for that in white space and simplicity. Well done, Lippincott design agency, and well done, Farmers.

 

 

7. Miami Dolphins Now Swimming Without Head Protection

miami

Much like Stephen Colbert’s painting of himself in front of a painting of himself, the original logo for the Miami Football helmets featured a dolphin who himself wears a helmet. Whenever I saw it, I wished it had a smaller dolphin on the dolphin’s helmet.

For the first time in 4 logo versions, the dolphin’s head was let loose, allowing the dolphin to swim naturally and show off its artistic curves.  Instead of making the dolphin jumping out of the water, the animal is in a “more powerful and ascending position”, according to Claudia Lezcano, the Dolphins’ chief marketing officer. She stated. “We wanted to have a look toward the future but be anchored in our iconic past.”

When you look back on 2013, what stands out in your mind? Did you create something that makes you burst with pride? Did any of your design views change? Hopefully 2014 will be a year of growth and development for all of us.

Why should a dentist get a logo?

Looking into my seven year olds mouth I see countless reasons why it was not a good idea to skip the yearly dentist appointment, or why it was very bad to rush the child to bed—as he finishes his last bite of ice cream.  (Brushing the teeth would have been another excruciating step.)

The scary reality is now I have to find a dentist that not only can save me and my son from this shame and his cavity-infected mouth BUT ALSO is someone I can trust.  It doesn’t sound too difficult.

But in American Fork, Utah there are over one hundred dentists all screaming out to me saying, “I’ll solve all your dental problems!”   So I set out on this journey in a sea of “qualified” dentists.

Where do I start?  Google Maps.  I type in American Fork Dentists.  Fifteen pop up.  I place my curser over their name and there is nothing that sets them apart but their last name.

Except for…. Wait a minute!? What do my eyes behold?? Color…. design…. could that be a LOGO? It’s a simple one really but one that catches my eye probably because the rest of dentists listed did not have one. It beckons me to click on it.

Click! I am on his home page…I see his family, his office and practice. In my mind I say with relief, “He is the one”. Why? Well, to most potential customers, and me, if he cared enough about his business to create a logo then he must care enough about my kid’s teeth. The other dentists, if they have a logo, didn’t take the time to use it properly, and incorporate it into Google Maps. This dentist, paid for a professionally designed logo and implemented it into Google Maps.

It may sound silly, but it’s true, if you are one fish in the very big sea of your profession you have to ask yourself a few questions:

1. What sets your business apart from the rest?
2. What will attract the most attention immediately?
3. What will cause a call to action?

 

10 Awesome Examples of Typographic Logos

This post is about the type of logo that some people call a LogoType. It goes by other names as well, but I’m referring to logos that are essentially text with very little graphic elements. Michael Lambert at Fredd Design calls them Alphanumerics. This is what he said on his website about this category of logo. “This type of mark is the most widely-used logo and we are bombarded with them wherever we go on practically whatever we see. An alphanumeric logo is your company or brand spelled out, literally, but the treatment of the typography is usually unique unto the name itself and can therefore be trademarked and be treated as a logo.”

You can probably think of many logotypes off the top of your head, because they’re so popular. Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, Microsoft, and Google’s logos are just a few examples. When done correctly, it can last for many generations and always represent the company quickly and confidently, without distracting the eye with graphics that can get stale over time. Plus, it shows creativity…I mean, look at Red Lobster’s logo…”wow, you’ve put a lobster that’s red above your text…how did you come up with that?”

10. The Ambigram
The Ambigram is my favorite kind of logotype, because it takes a lot of patience and skill to create. It also stays in the mind of the viewer, because the eye has fun reading it in different ways. Ambigrams are words that can be read in more than one way, so it doesn’t have to just be turned upside down. They can also be read from the side differently, or can have words within words.

 

 

 

 

 

9. The “Literal Embodiment”

This style makes use of the company name, turning it into a visual metaphor. It doesn’t work with all names, but when it does, it really works to represent the name. Employing this style also ensures that the logo will be remembered. But you can only use this style with certain names.

 

 

 

 

8. The AlphaGlyph
This is a design using the letters to create art, thus eliminating the need for a graphic. This requires the designer to really get familiar with the shapes of letters, and to explore many different possiblities. When it works, it works, though, and you can get some really elegant designs. It also helps reinforce the name of the company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. The Integrated Graphic
This style works when the graphic is meant to be not subliminal…the comapny really is sure about the product, and wants you to associate them with the leader in that product or service. Amazon does it with the smile that also means A-Z. Creating it takes a lot of thought into something that really represents the company well, and won’t need to be changes if the company shifts directions.

 

 

 

 

6. The Typography Lover’s dream
This is when the text is front and center, and gets a lot of loving attention to each shadow and curve. ANy supporting graphics are incidental, almost unnecessary, because the shapes of the letters have been lovingly massaged until they’re perfect. This may not be a very common kind of logo, but this style is getting more popular every day, based on a quick search on Behance.

 

 

 

 

5. The Monogram
A close cousin to the Alphaglyph, this is where the designer uses an acronym and make the rest of the text very incidental, using visual hierachy techniques. It’s good for companies that WANT be known for their initals, like HP, AOL, and VW. Usually this logo starts out its career as an alphaglpyh accompanied with the explanatory text, and then evolves into just the acronym once brand recognition is established.

 

 

 

 

 

4. The Typographic Crest
Very similar to #6, but this one is text enclosed in a shape. THis makes it good fora ll kinds of backgrounds, and easier to embroider. New York Life’s logo does this, and it’s never seen without it’s enclosure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. The Dangler
This style employs a descender or ascender from one of the letters being put to good use to describe the business. It could be a tail, a moustache, or a piece of food, as long as it’s joined with a simple graphic. A close cousin to the Integrated Graphic style, but it has the graphic apart from the text, so either can be used separately.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. The Hidden Graphic
FedEx did this and did it well with their hidden arrow. They’re fun to find, and I find myself constantly looking for this kind of thing. You can find it in Tostito’s, Staples, and Baskin Robbins. This example isn’t very hidden, but I think it counts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. The Calligraphic Wonder
I am really starting to appreciate this kind, because it takes a designer that loves typography. This style is also good for t-shirts, hoodies, posters, and events. It gives weight to the text, and shows that the company cares enough to take time with their message.

 

 

 

 

 

All of these logos were done by the talented designers at BusinessLogos.com.

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Logo Critique-NextGen Web Graphics


This logo was submitted by Mani, and it’s for a web design and development company. What does everyone think?

I think this logo needs some work. The custom X is making the logo difficult to read. It needs to be integrated better, perhaps by not using such a condensed font for the rest of the letters. It uses 4 colors, one of the colors being the black for the drop shadow. If anything is used in a logo, it needs to have a reason. Is there a reason for the drop shadow? Not really, and it’s not even consistent with the letters and the X graphic. The Blog text is enclosed in brackets, and I don’t know why. The whole thing looks disjointed and incoherent.

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