If Visual Identity is the Tree then the Logo is the Seed.
Logos are an important component of a brand but not the brand itself. Brand concerns itself with a larger experience and personality. Likewise, logos are not visual identity but a piece of a larger vocabulary that makes up visual identity. We often describe logos as the seed that a visual identity grows out of. Logos are one of the most difficult exercises in graphic design because the designer is most often working towards the distillation of complex ideas or layers of ideas into something that is easily understood at first glance but has carefully orchestrated layers of subtext that can be revealed either simultaneously or over time, without getting in the way.
From a design perspective, the perfect logo is one in which the final solution has a sense of rightness, and that by either adding to or subtracting from, causes the logo to be less successful. Following are a number of the ones that we like. Not necessarily from the biggest projects but the ones that we like.
Overdrive Design Limited
Nic & Syd
The logo for this jewelry company was designed to integrate a visual “hook” that reflected their products.
Robbins Hebrew Academy
The word for “life” in Hebrew is “chai.” The two Hebrew letters that make up the word “chai” are chet and yud. In Gematria (the numerical value of Hebrew letters), chai is equivalent to 8 and yud is equivalent to 10. So “chai”, chet and yud together, equals 18. The symbol is assembled from 18 separate pieces resembling a flower surrounding the star of David.
Inkling Music Studios
The logo design is informed by the elements of a guitar fret which simultaneously also resembles eyes and mouth. The “I” can be broken off and used as a symbol on its own.
One of my favourite logos. Circa 2000. It still holds strong. Nothing is extraneous. Everything is integral.
Trident Cycle Works
God knows there’s a ton of skull logos and more specifically a ton of bike logos that use skulls. If you take away the Trident it would be one of them but that’s the thing about logo design. Finding a simple idea that makes sense, sets it apart visually and infuses a personality.
Up is Loud Sound Studios.
Sound engineers understand that when you move the sound slider up, the volume increases in the sound mix. This logo evolved when one sound engineer needed to clarify the process with an uninitiated layman. He drew an arrow on a Post-it note and stuck it on the slider. We thought it was kind of clever. Voilá, an identity is born.
Angel Investor partnership. No concept. Good type. That is all.
Logo design for a service that matches university students to scholarships and other student awards. The paper plane is an irreverent nod to the classroom.
Pure Home Couture
Beginning as a retail business selling French bath items, candles, jewelry and cosmetics, Pure Home Couture has added wholesaling of their own proprietary brand to the business. The logo design reflects the elegant product line and the owner’s fascination with French Empire aesthetic.
Logo design for a company that provides document management, workflow and document storage products for accounting firms. The mandate of the company is to help accounting firms become paperless. The logo suggests a “now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t” notion for a sheet of paper.
Massive Tank Studios
A logo design for a music school. The name reflects the owner’s previous stint in a metal band.
Formerly Student Awards. Yconic provides a service that matches post-secondary students to scholarships and other student awards.