Logo Exploration (The Book of Life with Esther)
When you start a business from scratch you have a blank page when it comes to the corporate identity. I love that!
It leaves lots of room to explore, lots of room to ruminate and to make lots of false starts, go down dead ends, and generally make a mess of things – along the way.
I am of the “try it out and see what happens” school of thought – taking even a hint or hunch from the client and running with that to see where it leads. This is not very efficient. I am sure I spend more time than a classically trained graphic artist on projects like these. And that would be a real drag if I did not like the process of designing logos so much.
I know how important it is to capture the essence of a business with a good mark. Color, shape, clarity, name, message all have to come together in harmony.
Harmony – by Elton John
Logos I Admire
I hate to look at a famous logo with admiration if I suspect that I like it so much because I just see it so often. I know from experience that “exposure breeds fondness” from eight Superbowl experiences. It goes like this:
At each Superbowl, we would see the new NFL Superbowl logo pretty much when we arrived at the venue, a week or so prior to the game for “The NFL Experience” festivities. It was just a logo then – and we rarely liked it. The obligatory numerals (Roman or otherwise), the flavor of the venue (palm trees for Miami, of course), and a shape that fits on just about everything. Ho-hum – another Superbowl.
And then something would happen – with thousands, dare I say tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of exposures of that mark over the subsequent days. We started to like it a little. Then a bit more. And by the day of “the big game,” we were maxing out our credit cards buying up everything we could with that logo. It was like a fever. You simply loved it, embraced it, wanted everyone back at home to associate you with that beautiful mark.
A few days later, bags and bags of logoed gear would find its way into already stuffed closets… never to be worn again. The fever had broken… a few thousand dollars too late.
All that said – here are logos that I love – that I think were not overly influenced by frequent exposure.
FC Barcelona – for example:
How brilliant that there is so much going on in this logo – kind of discordant actually – yet it is still so attractive. From the Barca site:
The top quarters contain the St. George’s Cross, representing the patron saint of Catalonia and which is also present in the coat of arms of the city of Barcelona, and the Catalan flag. The bottom quarters contain the colours of the Club and a ball, which is central to the crest and the BARÇA style of play.
I was involved (after the fact) in this one. It is truly brilliant… for real. The blue in the logo actually represents the actual function of the machine – the motion of the arm – to help people move to 0º extension and 130º flexion with their knee. Really. So the logo shows what the device does. Truly amazing!
GAGGIA: An Italian coffee machine maker. Yep – just a logo and a line. And I am sure they send months looking at that font, designing that font… and ended up with a classic image. If you want to read an amazing story of a brand – click here: GAGGIA
GE: Classic lettering – evokes history and expertise to me.
Fiat – Italian all the way – not a pyramid shape – inverted… rounded, highly designed. And it looks like the grill of a car.
Superbowl XXX: Well, I didn’t really have a choice, did I? After all I was brainwashed in Arizona to love it forever! 🙂
The Book of Life Logo
I am in the middle of this one right now. Job not yet done. But you can see the story of the logo in the images below. The story:
- A friend’s design – amazing but not a logo
- Then the book concept
- Then a “logo-logo” – too corporate
- Then a blend of words and images from the original illustration
I think we are getting close with the final example – we have the core name – albeit long. And we have our core iconography (the cosmos). It is busy – yes – but our use of it makes it work – I think.
So the fun continues… I’ll share where we land with you – once we get there.