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chriss2014's picture

Very detailed Logos, good or wrong?


Hello! I've seen a few designers who are against logos with details / many gradients. I want to find why - are because of personal aesthetic preference or what you've learned at graphic design school, books? I hope this thread will make some light over this things.
(My post is not because I don't like classic / less detailed logos - i like many types of logos :)

Someone said I confuse logos with product branding? Maybe in theory, but freelancing websites usually don't make that distinction. Some of them consider mascot as a type of logo. Most of clients for sure don't see that difference. They order logos for websites, businesses, products, iphone apps, mascots, labels - all in the the generic name of "logo". If a bar owner order a logo, most probably he will use the logo as the bar sign too.

In my opinion, detailed logos are just another style of logos. I've seen many logos in use that have tons of details. Some designers create this kind of logos and clients buy them. Here are a few logos that are in use and have lot of details/gradients. Many of this projects are posted also in online portfolios, freelance or contest websites - under the name of "logo", so I hope there is no confusion this time.
The websites are collected here in description

Image icon graphic1.jpg135.69 KB
Jacques LeStrapp's picture

The only issue I've ever seen with detailed logos is that they're very hard to recreate on t-shirts, etc. Very detailed logos can be very nice indeed, if used on the right medium.

cubby's picture
15 pencils

The reasons for well-designed logos being simple are actually very pragmatic:

- Print costs
- Rememberability
- Recognizability
- Longevity (ages well; doesn't date a company like a cellphone or computer dates a film; designs trendy now may not be fashionable in five years; logos should be relatively/somewhat timeless)
- Versatility (single-color printing, for example)

Longevity is important because updating various materials with a new logo is expensive, changing a logo hurts recognizability, redesigning a logo is expensive, etc.

Versatility is also about being able to use a logo in mediums that can't allow multiple colors. For example, laser engraving various materials (metals, plastics, glass, etc.) allows only a single color.

From David Airey's excellent book “Logo Design Love”, because he explains these things better than I can:

Understand print costs
Ask your client very early if she has set a printing budget, because color usually costs more and may limit the scope of your design. Every printer’s prices are unique. With some printers, you might find that full-color print costs are nearly on par with single-color jobs, but this is usually rare. It’s your job to inform the client about commercial print requirements and limitations early in the process.

One thing to remember
All strong logos have one single feature that helps them stand out. Apple’s is the bite (or byte). Mercedes is the three-pointed star. The Red Cross is, well, the red cross.
Leave your client with just one thing to remember about the brand identity design you’ve created.
One thing. Not two, three, or four. Just one.

Leave trends to the fashion industry
Trends come and go. When you’re talking about changing a pair of jeans, or buying a new dress, then going with the trends can work for you. But where your client’s brand identity is concerned, longevity is key.
Don’t follow the pack. Stand out.

Offer a single-color version
The logo you design for your client might show a number of different colors, but you must also supply a version that uses just one. By doing so, you’ll improve the overall versatility of the identity and save your client from having to come back to you if the company opts for a single-color print run.

Pay attention to contrast
When your logo is applied to the design of promotional material or corporate stationery, you must keep an eye on the contrast between the logo and its background, as well as between actual elements within the logo design. The tonal range should be contrasting enough to allow the mark or symbol to be clearly identified.

Aid recognition
Keeping your design simple makes it easier for people to recognize it the next time they see it. Consider large corporations like Mitsubishi, Samsung, FedEx, and BBC. Their logos are simple in appearance, and they’re easier to recognize because of it. Keeping it simple also allows for flexibility in size. Ideally, your logo will work at a minimum of around one inch without loss of detail.