Identity Design

A custom logo design case study.


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Defining the general aesthetic direction of the design into one of two categories can help set guidelines for a logo project"

When we embark on an identity project, we always consider two primary components of the design: The logotype and the mark. The logotype consists of the lettering that defines the name of the company or service. The mark (sometimes known as a logomark or icon) is the graphic emblem which represents the business. An example of the distinction between these two logo design elements can be seen in the Nike logo. The “swoosh” is the company mark, and the distinct slanted lettering represents the logotype. Not all logos require a mark, but in the age of mobile applications and the responsive web, marks often extend to app icons and businesses on smaller screens.

We recently completed some identity concepts for a client here at the agency, and we're going to take a look at some of the concepts that didnt end up in the final delivery to see how the evolution of an identity project unfolds.

Where will the logo live?

This is always a critical ask, because if the logo is to be featured heavily in print, color display and printing costs are important to consider. If the logo exists primarily in digital, other considerations including size and aspect ratio are important.

Who is the target audience?

This question is self explanatory. The identity design should connect with its audience of consumers. While a fantastic identity can generally transcends target audiences, there are still considerations to be made when crafting logos. For example, seniors tend to have more difficulty reading text in white. So tread thoughtfully with your audience research before beginning a design round.

Is it modern or traditional?

While this may seem like a loaded question (and it is), positioning the general aesthetic direction of the design into one of two categories can help set guidelines for a logo project. Categories like "Traditional" or "Modern" help inform critical aspects of an identity design (think: type and color).

Lets take a look an example of a recent identity project

We recently completed an identity design for a client at eTecc / Interactive and some of the examples below showcase the different stylistic approaches we took while iterating through concepts:

Example 1 Example 1

Identity style example #1 - Client brief style

The example above shows a more reflective and stylized concept per the client’s brief. Note: it is always important to represent the identity design in full color and grayscale. While it may not be a normal use case, there are always potential circumstances in which the logo will be reproduced in black and white.

Example 1 Example 1

Identity style example #2 - Illustrative/Vintage

Our second concept used a more illustrative approach, lifting inspiration from 70’s sports apparel, ringer tees and three-quarter baseball sleeve shirts. We channeled the spirit of RoAch t-shirt design to provide a classic screen print inspired look.

Example 1 Example 1

Identity style example #3 - Modern

This final iteration is a reduced minimal look that pairs down the overall visual metaphor of the design. With bold and arch blocked text, this last identity concept focuses on mobility and brevity.

Three is the magic number

Delivering three distinct concepts on a logo brief is a good rule of thumb. 3 Concepts allow clients to preview their brand in 3 distinct styles, while avoiding an overabundance of choice.

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Eric Nardo

Eric designs, codes and only occasionally writes (if you've unfortunately read his work, you know why). He also never remembers that he has a twitter account.