If I could, I'd marry them.

I love logos. I mean, I LOVE them. I love to look at them, critique them, analyze them, take them apart, create them, think about them, and redo them. I have said it numerous times before, If I could I would happily spend every day coming up with a new mark. I would be perfectly content with that career.

This comes as a surprise to many graphic designers. Ever since I was in school, I have been asked how I can possibly LIKE creating logos. Many people believe they are the bar-back of graphic design, the janitorial work, if you will. I love them.

If pressed as to why I enjoy them so much, I’d have to say it’s sort of the same way I feel about prime numbers and stacks. If you were to come over, you would see my stacks in place; the newspapers are with all the magazines but not with the mail and every stack gets smaller as it rises. The mail is with the receipts on top of the new magazines on top of the refrigerator. Most everything that doesn’t need to be readily available is sight and stacked. Everything needs to be just so – not neat and tidy – but just so. I make the best stacks. (Maybe that’s why I like pancakes, hmmmm.)

Prime numbers are clean. You can’t do anything more to them to make them any cleaner. A prime number can be divided evenly only by 1 and itself. That’s one hot number if you ask me.

I feel the same way about logos. I realize that they are never perfect (you can always change a mark, even a “perfect” mark can be tweaked indefinitely) but they’re kinda like the prime numbers of graphic design. They need to work when they are small and in black and white. They need to work large as well, all the while holding onto whatever integrity you gave them when they were born.

I love that. They are the nearest example of perfection I can think of in Graphic Design.

Anyway, as I was sitting here the other day finishing up a first round of logo I am working on for a client in Ohio, my eye fixed on one mark in particular. I knew that was the one they should pick. I knew that was the better of the bunch. Yesterday, they client wrote letting me know not only that they were going to choose that mark, but that they loved it as well. I was elated.

Anyway, I want to talk about logos. Here is my favorite mark right now:

The more I see it, the more I like it. (I think we know one of its creators.)

A few other marks I like: FedEx (of course), Northwest Airlines (before they recreated it), Saturn and Amazon. Those are the bigger ones that come to mind. However, I can think of a hundred logos most people probably haven’t ever seen before (because of the exposure) which are pretty incredible. I just don’t have the time to search for them all.

On the flip side, I can’t stand the Verizon logo. Quite frankly, I have no idea what those people were thinking.

22 Comments

  1. Ever since I was a child I have loved the Goodyear logo. Something about the company’s name bisected by Mercury’s winged foot just spoke to me. When I was VERY young I didn’t recognize the image as that of a winged foot…it looked to me like a glove that was pointing to the right. Very stange.

    I also like Mobil’s logo and Fisher-Price’s, but these are big brands. My friend at http://www.buffaloyoga.com has a great logo, too, I think (but I like that sort of play with letters/words/images).

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  2. Yay! More to look at! I was going to add the Westinghouse logo to this as well. I have always liked it. Not sure why. :]

    ::runs to check on these marks::

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  3. i love the bahamas logo too! (did u know it’s really a map of the islands!)

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  4. I do! It’s lovely. I am particularly fond of the fact that the designer paid really close attention to detail. The spacing on the logo is superb. Everything is equal. It’s really hot.

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  5. That logo was done by Fallon/Duffy, michele. You might wanna look into them. David always spoke highly of the place.

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  6. Why even bother, it would just mean another rejection. :] My charlie brown comment for the day.

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  7. i didn’t realise you were a graphic designer! logos are a favourite part of my day too when i’m actually being given time to work on them properly. boo!

    that bahamas logo is beautiful!

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  8. Looks like Duffy split from Fallon and is indy again, and they’re in MN. I wonder if David moved there… Hrmmm..

    Anyway, here is their page on the Bahamas job:

    Duffy.com

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  9. Man, that’s hot. Yes, Melanie. I am a graphic designer. Sometimes, I become a bit cynical but don’t we all? In reality, I love it. I just wish it wasn’t always about money.

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  10. no.1 HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY (i need to start writing these things down so i can drop the lame ‘belated’ prefix)
    no.2 What do you think about Chrysler’s switch from the pentagon logo to the retro look?
    [http://www.daimlerchrysler.com/dccom/0,,0-5-7163-1-74014-1-0-0-0-0-0-8-7163-0-0-0-0-0-0-0,00.html]
    It took me awhile to realize they were doing this… at 1st I thought it was just the PT Cruiser.

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  11. Sorry, I went to my first Auto Show a few weekends ago. Talk about a design explosion! It’s kind of sad how hard they all try.

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  12. logos are my design treat – definitely my favourite thing to work on when I’ve got the chance. So, you’re not the only one. But I, too, have gotten those crazy ‘you like logos?’ looks.

    That bahamas logo is great.

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  13. Wait, what am I looking at? is this the site? All I see is the ram. Please forgive me, I am very slow today. :]

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  14. By the way – you all love the Bahamas logo because it looks like a dripping penis.

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  15. Speaking of which, I need to update my mihow.com slogan.

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  16. …between the Ram and Jeep, but that’s exactly my point. It’s a non-logo. I don’t care for it at all.

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  17. I will say one thing, that Sterling Truck logo hurts my eyes. While I understand the need to market to a certain audience, can we meet somewhere in the middle? Does it make it ok to stick to the safety of an overused theme just because the clientele is smitten on things that look like throwing stars and WWF wrestling gear? The AMW logo bugged me, too. (The new one, not the old one. Seen At the bottom of the page here.) I don’t know, there’s just nothing special about it. Plus, it reminds me of the 80s. Then again, I might just be bringing my opinion to the table again and I know that I’m not their audience. :/

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  18. I don’t know if you are aware or even if you like this logo or not but the logo for GE is called the “Meatball” within the GE company. Just a little inside scoop for those of you interested in logos.

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  19. I like meatballs.
    I like the wizard of oz.

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  20. I like doing logos, I really do. What bugs me to no end is what clients tend to do to mine. “Can we stick item ‘a’ from option ‘b’ onto the left side of option ‘c’. Oh and we forgot to tell you that istead of the acronym we have to spell out the name…” As though it were a Mister Potato Head or something.

    I think whomever is responsible for the Verizon logo should be publicly caned. A bad logo is bad enough but my gosh I must see the verizon logo 100 times a day.

    I’m really fond of the British Petroleum to Beyond Petroleum rebranding. At a cost of $7 million it ought to be nice!

    And I really love the vodafone logo. The quote marks in the ‘O’s are a stroke of genius.

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  21. Donald, I love the BP logo, too. And I hadn’t seen Vodafone before today—super nice! Man, I love discovering new things.

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  22. i’m not really big on the new ups logo, but i am very much in love with thier new mailing boxes and packaging. every time i see them in the mail room i want to pet and slobber over them.
    thats not really a logo comment though, i guess. :)

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