Logo Rants & Raves

Logo Rants & Raves will be an ongoing project on We Design and Conquer where we feature both the glorious and hideous sides of logo design, everything from smile inducing gems to "the others" which make us cringe at their very mention. We will feature logos from both action sports / youth culture and the world beyond.

Valhalla's 6 quick and easy rules for successful logo design.

1) Logo should be unique to the brand.
The logo should create an instant, genuine association with the brand. Inspiration from other logos and trends will surely happen, but for a logo to be successful there should be no possibility of confusion with another brand's logo.

2) The logo should work at any size & distance.
It MUST be scalable; large, small, three inches from your face or 500yds away - people should be able to easily distinguish the logo and associate it with the brand immediately.

3) It should look good in a single color or with no color at all.
It's tough to debate the impact of an outstanding single color logo. Even if it can be printed in 4 color process with 14 spot colors, a successful logo must work in one single color - whether that be a branded color or black & white. The Golden Arches are a perfect example, the logo is instantly associated with McDonald's whether they are in the branded gold color, black & white or a shade of grey.

4) KISS - Keep it Simple, Stupid.
No need to overdue anything, less is more.

5) Logo should be visually balanced.
Visually lopsided anything are bad, . If a logo has visually "heavy" side, there must be a counterbalance. Balanced doesn't have to mean symmetrical - the Nike Swoosh is very well balanced yet far from from symmetrical.

6) It must be translatable to vector.
There's no way around this one, if your logo can't translate to vector (ie: adobe illustrator) - it's not a logo, it's a pretty picture.

Bonus Points
Coming from an Action Sports / Youth Culture / DIY background, having a logo which can easily translate into a stencil is a good thing. Kids are going to make a stencil out of the logo anyways, it's beneficial to have it be easy to recreate since they're essentially going to be members of a brand's street team.

the CBS Eye logo

April 28, 2011  |  Logo Rants  |  No Comments


On Sunday October 17th, 1951 CBS revealed their new logo placed over a cloud formation photograph. What was intended as a logo to be used for one year has went on to become one of the most recognized logos ever created.

CBS President Frank Stanton wanted a new logo, Bill Golden – CBS’ Creative Director was asked to fulfill the task. Inspired by Shaker art on the side of barns in Pennsylvania Dutch country. Golden rand across an article on Skater art in Portfolio Magazine and worked with Kurt Weiss to create a logo with an “all seeing eye”

Here’s an article on CBS about the logo 50th Anniversary
LogoHistory has an interesting article on the logo, as well.

Seattle’s Worst Logo?

July 20, 2010  |  Logo Rants  |  No Comments

Next up on Logo Rants & Raves is the new Seattle’s Best Coffee logo. Is it a rant or a rave? Well, in case you can’t read any longer before you know, It’s our first RANT! Yep, Seattle leapfrogged the logo which we had planned for our first rant to take the honors!

While I don’t necessarily hate the theory behind the logo, the execution is really poor. I really like parts of it. I like the minimalist style font (although it feels a bit ’02 to me when the whole ornate logo / look is coming back around) but just think it’s not quite there.

Things I like:
Round. Symetrical. Simple. The mouth smiling at us with the weird drip in the middle that seems to come off the end of the last e in coffee.

Things I dislike:
The weird drip in the middle. I guess that’s what’s supposed to show it’s a coffee place? The fact that It doesn’t much say coffee at all. Oil Change? Yep, Blood donation? I can see that, too. Coffee? Not so much.

Things I hate:
Coffee is just hanging out there on it’s own line. Different color completely unrelated to coffee. Hate how the font sits to the right of the edge just a bit too much (or not enough) so you almost think it’s a mistake. The colors are terrible. Bright red and grey? Is it a blood bank? The burgundy red and gold from the original logo would have worked much better while tying the new logo in with the original at least a bit.

More can be said about it, I really think that it’s almost there and yet is very far away from what it should be. To me, it seems like Starbucks (SBC’s owner) is trying to dilute the brand for some reason.

Click on the picture above to check out what everyone’s saying about it on Brand New, there’s no shortage of comments about it and it’s only been out for about a week.

The Chocolate Logo

April 20, 2010  |  Logo Rants  |  No Comments


We know we’ve neglected the Logo R&R section for too long here. Don’t think there’s not a slew of both great & wretched logos out there to comment on. Next up, we’re going to bring it back home a bit – to an iconic piece of skateboarding today, the Chocolate logo by Evan Hecox. Done is his signature style, it’s instantly recognizable as his work. For those that don’t know, Chocolate is a premier skate company out of the same house as Girl Skateboards. Headed up by Andy Jenkins (who did the previous cursive version below), the Art Dump is legendary around both the art & skateboarding worlds for creating some of the best skate graphics on earth. Evan did the “Big Chunk” logo in 1997 for them and pretty much opened the floodgates in action sports for other brands script logos, the most notable of which is Natas Kaupas’ much copied Quiksilver script logo shown below.

USA Network by Sean Serio

January 20, 2010  |  Logo Rants  |  1 Comment

usa

We start off this series on a good note, with an example we’ve liked since we first laid eyes on it. The latest iteration of the USA Networks logo, by Sean Serio for Peloton design, was a giant step forward for the network. Through the clever usage of positive & negative space, the visually pleasing logo boldly displays the brand’s name. The Futura derived solid lowercase U and A are balanced bookends for the lightweight negative space S between them. Simple, effective and to the point, this logo succeeds passes our 6 quick and easy rules to creating a successful logo.

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