Design Company Logo Critiques
Design Company Logo Critiques


by John Freeman

October 20, 2005

Design firms tend to do one of two things: either they spend way too much time on their own brand, collateral, and website, or they spend far too little time on those aspects of their marketing.   Design firms usually have the talent to produce quality work, but sometimes their desire to be creative makes it difficult to maintain a brand identity because they're always changing it to match trends.   Others focus solely on their customers and forget about their own brand.   Both of these result in different problems and most should be avoided by companies that profess to know design.   Here are critiques for logos of a number of online design firms (including our sister company, Communication Design), some quality and some hard to look at.

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Horay for ahomunculus.

Logo Maker (6/10)

Design: 4, Functionality: 9, Representation: 8, Uniqueness: 2

Yay!   The checkmark/homunculus is cheering this logo on to mediocrity, but there are some good qualities, most notably its functionality.   This logo could easily work in two color (black/white), but the little man with a dot for a head is painfully overplayed in the dot-com era of logos.   The slogan, however, brings everything together.

Buzz buzz...

Logo Bee (3/10)

Design: 2, Functionality: 4, Representation: 6, Uniqueness: 3

Ouch!   I just got stung by an ugly logo!   The Picture Pages simplified illustration shows lack of skill with Illustrator and is not integrated very successfully with the logotype.   Is the bee stinging the 'g' in 'Logo'? Why is he sticking out his tongue?   The saving grace is the representation- the name is Logo Bee and the icon is a bee.

The Bruin's new logo?

Business Logos (5/10)

Design: 5, Functionality: 9, Representation: 7, Uniqueness: 2

Business Logos appears to be stressing the speed at which they can create logos that look like a hockey emblem.   The trident extending to the left of the 'B', which they've claimed as their unoriginal icon implies a fast turnaround, which is important for their industry.   The font matches the icon and the fast-looking feel of the logo, but the font has a bad '90s Robocop style and hurts the image.

Yes... Yes... Maybe...

Logo Yes (6/10)

Design: 7, Functionality: 9, Representation: 4, Uniqueness: 4

These guys should probably change their name to Logo "Maybe Not" due to their awkward little Atlas.   The icon and logo type mesh brilliantly, but the Futura-esqe font, combined with the circular icon look too much like a Volkswagen ripoff.

Very artistic of them.

Logoworks (4/10)

Design: 4, Functionality: 5, Representation: 7, Uniqueness: 3

While the palette is a fitting representation of an artistic endeavor, it's slightly clichéd and isn't worked into the logotype in any inventive way.   The three color blocks on the bottom of the palette mean nothing that is apparent, and the font doesn't match the painterly style of the palette.

Fly away to another logo company.

The Logo Co (3/10)

Design: 3, Functionality: 3, Representation: 3, Uniqueness: 4

The illustration of the flying creature is good and the typography reveals signs of sophistication, but the reversed 'the' is out of place, and pointless and the sun is brings down the functionality dramatically and confuses the elegant left wing.   Another problem is the 'o' has become food for the flying creature's chicks back at the nest.   The overall appearance is attractive, amazingly enough.

We didn't want to get fired.

Communication Design (7/10)

Design: 7, Functionality: 9, Representation: 6, Uniqueness: 9

As a logo-maker's logo, this representation of our sister company (Communication Design) is lacking in representation.   The portrait of Samuel Morse ties in the acronym, CODE (which is short for Communication Design), but his relevance to logo design is not immediately obvious, if there is one.   It is unique and nearly 100% functional, but the design is hindered by the propensity to pronounce the CoDe design as, "Codee."

Good concept.

Logo Design Guru (5/10)

Design: 6, Functionality: 2, Representation: 7, Uniqueness: 5

The concept of a meditating guru plays well with this logo, but the result is convoluted and the letters within the icon would be completely lost if it was reduced to two color.   The logotype and icon could work better together as well.

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For more commentary on logos go to page 1 and page 2 and page 3.


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