16 Nov

Considerations when designing a Logo

At its most basic level, a logo is a mix of words and symbols that represent your company. A logo is part of what helps your company stand out from its competition. It is part of your brand. A logo has the power to signify what your company does, your company’s values and even who your target audience is. Many aspects need to be considered when designing – or redesigning – a logo and we’ve outlined a few of them below.

Simplicity

A logo should be simple and clean to make it recognizable, versatile and timeless. A complex logo requires the viewer to decipher it. The complexity makes it more likely to be forgotten and less likely to be recognized the next time the viewer sees it. That doesn’t mean your logo has to be boring. Your logo should have interesting elements without being overly detailed which will make it easy to read and/or understand. When designing a logo, less is more.

Color

Color can convey meaning, emotion and even company values. For example, if your company works in the environmental realm or is known for being environmentally conscious, including green in your logo can help convey that. Companies that work internationally should keep cultural implications of colors in mind. While a color may convey positive emotions in Western culture, it may convey negative emotions in another.

If your company works in the Federal sector, you should think about taking 508 compliance into consideration when choosing colors for your logo. 508 compliance refers to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and was added in 1998. It requires Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities. One way to make your logo 508 compliant is to ensure adequate color contrast. There are numerous websites that can be used to check color contrast, but this can also be done by converting the logo to grayscale to see if the color values are different enough to be seen clearly.

Typography

Typography can also be used to convey meaning and values. Different font types give different impressions. For example, serif fonts are considered to be more traditional or classic while sans serif fonts are considered more modern and straightforward. A company wishing to be seen as more established and grand should consider using a serif font. A sans serif font would be a good choice for a company wishing to show that they are forward-thinking. Using a mix of fonts – to include script, modern or decorative fonts – can help to balance the message your logo sends and create visual interest.

Adaptability

Your logo will be used anywhere and everywhere within your company. Signage, letterhead, websites, email signatures, coffee mugs, etc. could all bear your logo. With that in mind, it is imperative to make sure your logo will scale well no matter what medium it is being viewed on. A more recent trend, logos optimized for social media and mobile sites, is likely to only grow in the coming years. If your current logo doesn’t scale well for these purposes, there are a couple of ways to handle a logo optimized for view on a mobile device or social media site. The optimized logo could become the new logo for your company and be used across all forms of media. The logo could also be a variation of your original logo and used only for your social media and mobile sites. Either way, properly scaling your logo for this use will help to keep your brand current.

While there will be many decisions to make while designing your logo, keeping these elements in mind will set you well on the path to a timeless, recognizable logo that enhances your brand.

20 Oct

Mastering the Art of Logos: Re/Max

The most prominent realtor company on the planet with one of the most identifiable brands went through its first ever brand-refresh in over 40 years. This year, San Francisco-based firm Camp + King transformed the RE/MAX brand, and we are so glad they did. 

Today’s market is a young man/woman’s game, with more buyers under the age of 36 than any other age group. RE/MAX needed to modernize their brand to attract younger clients and agents alike. They did just that by keeping all the goods (i.e. their brand’s recognizable color scheme, “slashed” wordmark, and iconic hot-air balloon) but giving them a little face-lift. Camp + King sought input from over 20,000 RE/MAX clients to inform the logo design. Their findings indicated that simple, classic word forms are the most successful across all audiences.

 

Source: RE/MAX(left: old wordmark, right: new wordmark)

The use of the understated Gotham Narrow and the seamless incorporation of the slash into the letters gives the logo higher legibility and makes implementing it in a one color format a breeze. By doing this, Camp + King made the brand application more cohesive across an ever-growing breadth of distribution platforms.

 

Source: RE/MAX (left: old branding, right: new branding)

We have to say upfront that we have always loved the hot air balloon, but never understood why it was so overdrawn. The new version is simplified, elegantly dimensional, and can be used in a multitude of platforms without losing its appeal.

 

Source: RE/MAX

Something else we love? Before Camp + King refreshed their logo, they revamped RE/MAX’s marketing strategy. Buying a house can be truly terrifying for a first-timer. RE/MAX humanized the process by showing what realtors do for their clients in addition to shining a light on the previously “not talked about” anxiety and fear that buyers and sellers experience. Camp + King accomplished this by creating a new ad campaign as well as completely reimagining the RE/MAX social media space. Click here for a little glimpse of their work.

 

We want to know what you think. Give this article a like, comment on social (Facebook/Instagram), whatever you need to do to let us know if you love the refresh or think that the RE/MAX brand was better off left alone.

02 Jun

Mastering the Art of Logos: NBC Universo

Okay, can we just say up front that we LOVE this redesign? We’re not even going to make you wait for it, it’s just that good. We have to give a huge shout out to the very talented group behind this redesign, Trollbäck+Company a New York, NY-based branding and design studio.

First, so happy they got rid of calling out NBC in the wordmark… the NBC logo itself is pretty universal and by removing it Universo can now stand on its own; create its own unique voice that better personifies its audience.

Source: NBC Universo

Next, we love the bold color choices… on top of that; the singular use of those colors against the grey-tone backgrounds and vice/versa makes everything pop that much more. The new look-and-feel comes across as very vibrant, playful, and yes… loud, and we’re all about it.

Source: NBC Universo (right: old branding, left: new branding)

We also noticed that while the type itself hasn’t changed much, the new branding incorporates increased kerning and leading which results in negative space. This negative space really allows everything else to jump off of the page/screen/billboard/etc. The pristine hierarchy throughout makes the design exceptionally clean and precise.

Source: Trollbäck+Company

Finally, there is also this “jolt” effect that takes over in between letters and is carried all throughout their branding and programs. While the hierarchy is very strict, it’s interesting to see how this effect “breaks” it. This now becomes the obvious theme for the brand and all the accompanying typography.

So, yeah. We’re sold!

To check out Trollbäck+Company’s full redesign package head over to their Universo project page.

27 Jul

Mastering the Art of Logos

Eleven Peppers Thoughts on the New Mastercard Logo

Mastercard has been issuing credit cards and processing payments since 1966. They operate the world’s fastest payments processing network and are active in more than 210 countries. To uphold their success, they recently announced a global digital payment service along with a brand new logo— their first change in 20 years. The identity was designed by NY-based Pentagram partner, Michael Beirut.

Eleven Peppers Studios took a good look at the logo and we can’t help but think: Simplicity is always the key. Beirut does an excellent job taking the basic elements of the original 1968 logo and giving it more of a purpose for our world today. The mark adapts well to giant billboards as well as tiny Apple watch screens.

But what we thought was even more interesting about Beirut’s new design, is his reasoning for using these two primary colors. It was intriguing to learn that Beirut and his team turned to Michael Eugéne Chevreul’s theory of simultaneous contrast. Beirut explains, “The way a color looks depends on what other colors are adjacent to it… it’s three flat colors, but when you put them together the orange in the middle looks lighter when it’s touching the red and darker when it’s touching the yellow.”

The mark is undoubtedly clever without having to scream it. It’s a mark that has the potential to endure the modern and contemporary years ahead all while making a bold statement.

So if we were to rate Mastercard’s new logo on the Eleven Peppers scale of creative spiciness, we would have to give it an 11/10!

Mastercard image courtesy of Pentagram