Logo critique --> artist management

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Aaron Taylor-Waldman's picture
Joined: 29 May 2007 - 10:33pm
Logo critique --> artist management
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Logo for a small artist management firm located in Colorado. They specialize in managing singer/songwriter musicians.

What do you think? Anything you would change?

Thank you!
- A

Justin Chodzko's picture
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Joined: 21 Apr 2008 - 7:32am
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I'm not looking at a distant horizon. I feel that I am up to my neck in murky water and the sawn end of a floating log is just a few inches from my eyes.

I'd leave the top half of the rectangle blank.

Aaron Taylor-Waldman's picture
Joined: 29 May 2007 - 10:33pm
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ha thx for the feedback. Couple of alt versions.

Juan M. Guerra Jr.'s picture
Joined: 7 Oct 2008 - 1:31pm
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I agree, get rid of those white lines and the sun you do not need them. I like the color the type face. Try raising the box because the water is dead in the middle. Have ever heard of the rule of thirds?

Guerrizmo+Design

Craig Eliason's picture
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"Maybe by hiding behind this 2x4 I can avoid Spiderman's grasp."

I agree about trying a blank sky. Maybe lowering the horizon, and/or widening the "aspect ratio" of the box? The shading (getting dark left-to-right) does not make the "ground" recede.

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I agree with all the above. You could also simplify it more, since the "water" is coming across more as "blue wood grain" and go with a bit of a fade from the horizon forward. Also, I'm not sure the condensed font is working for you. And lastly, does it have to be in a rectangle? Historically, horizons have been viewed through spyglasses, creating a circular viewing field... and this would play off of your newly circular "o"s if you went with, I dunno... Gotham? *(you could play with kerning, bringing it looser towards the edges giving a feel of "converging towards center" if it was put back in the water) Play with it.

Ratbaggy's picture
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mmmmm horizon cigarettes.

just curious - why hand drawn spider web?

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Paul Ducco
Graphic Design Melbourne
Short Film Festival

Aaron Taylor-Waldman's picture
Joined: 29 May 2007 - 10:33pm
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thx for feedback, all.

initial idea was based off a b/w illustration of wood grain, which I redrew w/ earth tones. it was very detailed, so we cut back number of lines, which led to the illustration we've got here. then we switched to a blue palette. the whole time, its resembled horizon w/ sun, and now its losing the wood grain origin and becoming nicely simplified.

the type is gotham condensed.

Craig Eliason's picture
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Be sure to consider how the logo will work when reduced to one color (e.g. photocopied or faxed).

Aaron Taylor-Waldman's picture
Joined: 29 May 2007 - 10:33pm
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completely - that the logic behind having the lines to break up the colors

natalie_F's picture
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Those lines may fill in though after being fax or reduced to a smaller size. If this logo is going on business cards I doubt the lines will be visible at all. You may want to consider the non-line version but up the contrast of the blues a bit more so the shapes stand out.

Alex Pankratov's picture
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I'm not sure if a vast body of water works well as a concept. Maybe it's just me, but the first association is drowning. I do like 1A version though.

Have you considered turning this into a hill-like landscape instead ? Simply make an elevation map, use your existing approach to paint the elevation bands and then make a perspective 3D projection with flat horizon

Hmmm .. not sure how clear the explanation is, but basically start with something like this, replace color gradients in each individual band with a solid color and then rotate the whole thing to fill in the view and so that no peak sticks out above the horizon.

Ross A Maute's picture
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Joined: 12 Jan 2009 - 5:20pm
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What would it look like if you change the orders of your color "waves" so they don't get progressively lighter? That would help with the concern of them bleeding into one another and looking like a gradient. I do enjoy the palette a lot, though.

Ratbaggy's picture
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and just as an aside ... isn't the world round?

;)

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Paul Ducco
Graphic Design Melbourne
Short Film Festival

Michael Clark's picture
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Only the Southern Hemisphere Paul. The top half is flat... hence the wobble : )

Michael

Ratbaggy's picture
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hahaha.

excellent call.

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Paul Ducco
Graphic Design Melbourne
Short Film Festival

Aaron Taylor-Waldman's picture
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a simpler idea, one that was put on the backburner earlier.

thoughts?

Ben McElroy's picture
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Too cliche IMO. Stay with the previous approach but perhaps bring that "horizon" curve into it.

James Mark Hatley's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2004 - 11:00am
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I would ask what horizons has to do with management rather than what a management company has to do with a literal horizon.

Chris Rugen's picture
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Well put, jupiterboy. I second that thought.

Aaron Taylor-Waldman's picture
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I think what horizons has do w/ mgmt is a global, birds-eye view, a sense of scale where you can see everything, have foresight to plan for whats ahead, etc. For an musician working w/ the mgmt company, the horizon refers to their career path, their goals + aspirations.

I'd like to communicate scale, something earthly/geographic since its geared towards folk musicans, creativity, and authenticity.

Ratbaggy's picture
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achieving goals. continuing to look/move forward. your own horizon. worlds within worlds

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Paul Ducco
Graphic Design Melbourne
Short Film Festival

Patrick King's picture
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Joined: 29 Apr 2008 - 2:18pm
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Just say it with type. And how might that type choice and treatment also communicate folksiness, music, earthiness?

Head into the woods. Up to the mountain. The color scheme and look you've got going feels like a swimming pool at a motel. Not folk music.

darrel's picture
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Random thought: Keep one of the Os from your last concept (with the horizon line), but set the rest of the type in a nice serif face.

Chris Rugen's picture
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I re-read your original post. If the company is in Colorado, then you've got some very distinct horizons to draw from (mountains) which will give the mark a subject. Right now it feels a bit too depopulated. Horizons is a pretty common business name, so you should strive, as others have suggested, not to be too abstract with your imagery, or else you'll end up feeling like a nursing home (which is a business in my area) with the setting suns and vaguely placid look.

James Mark Hatley's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2004 - 11:00am
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Random thoughts:

Horizon, as it relates to celestial objects is used for navigation, rough estimates of time of day and other general figuring out. Celestial objects are generally visible at night. Thinking of the folk music, campfire, stars, moon, plus commerce and modernity, now satellite and stage light. I wonder if a stage light and a satellite could be combined into a hybrid and still be iconic and function as a logo? I wonder if a contemporary icon could be rendered in a handmade, warmish way?

Carolann's picture
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If the company is in CO, what do waves have to do with their company? I suppose they could be waves of a lake but that more readily alludes to the ocean in my mind.

If you are going to use waves, their colors looking like a gradient is inevitable. The fundamental way to create atmosphere is for the object that is further from the foreground to have a lighter intensity.

Is the company more about the management or the music? I'm not sure that this would appeal to a singer/songwriter.

Aaron Taylor-Waldman's picture
Joined: 29 May 2007 - 10:33pm
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hey thx for all the feedback + input, really appreciate it.

rethinking this a bit, trying to simplify and start with a solid visual concept. here a few _rough_ ideas, aiming to be tied more to mountains and horizon lines, and hoping these would communicate primarily to industry folks, and musicians second -- I'd like to settle into one direction and then try to incorporate something subtle that speaks directly to musicians if possible, but keeping it fairly general for now.

leaving 'management' out for now…

thoughts?

devilray2k1's picture
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Joined: 10 Oct 2008 - 4:34pm
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another good idea is perhaps something that includes an abstract 'vanishing point' type of graphic coupled with a simple modern font

originality is great but also consider versatility

if 'less is more' can work for company like..say ...Pepsi then it can work for you too

Carolann's picture
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I like the center logo. And I think I like it just the way it is!

Nina Stössinger's picture
Joined: 19 Jun 2006 - 3:01pm
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While I get the Colorado reference, just a word of caution about using a mountain (like you did in the second one of your most recent sketches): It could read as something that stands in the way – not a very good thing for artist management. (This struck a nerve as I just had the same discussion with a client of mine who wanted a mountain in her logo.)
If you want mountains, I'd rather think about the impression of standing on top of one, looking out over a vast landscape (and possibly, other mountains) stretching out in front of you – rather than a mountain towering straight in front of you, blocking the light!

By the way, it may help to think about the tone/voice this should have. Your
latest sketches cover a pretty extreme range from corporate to "skateboardish".
Which is more appropriate?

illustarellite's picture
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the second sketch

third logo ..... you are trying to give the word a mountain shape

but it is not clear......... try again to make it more clear by giving the H a smaller size , and re-size all the letter to give it a mountain shape... and i thing a different font will work better... a font with thicker typeface

about the first sketch...... there is something in the 3rd row on the left

the 3/4 white space gives a good impression.... unpredictable but good

Aaron Taylor-Waldman's picture
Joined: 29 May 2007 - 10:33pm
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some new ideas…thoughts?

Alexander Kominek's picture
Joined: 10 Dec 2004 - 6:27pm
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I would pursue the top-left option further. It looks like soundwaves, which fits with the client, and it's the cleanest out of all of these.

- Lex

illustarellite's picture
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Second row on the right,Third row on the right, forth row on the left r the best

forth row on the right... needs some editing... maybe get rid of the extra grey lines

the first on left.... combines mountains and horizon in a great way

i would see the first on left & the forth on left r the best

Chris Rugen's picture
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1a is a great concept. Tweak it a bit more and it is your winner, I say.

Nice work!

Alex Pankratov's picture
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I like the 2c the best. 1a is a second favorite, but it does have too much "sound" feel to it. All other versions IMO are deadends.

designtn's picture
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Joined: 25 Aug 2007 - 7:17pm
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try something like this?
it's a 15 seconds hack job.

:tony

Aaron Taylor-Waldman's picture
Joined: 29 May 2007 - 10:33pm
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@designtn that's clever.

client loves the 1a soundwaves direction, so here are a few redraws of the same idea. i'd love to simplify this and keep the same concept intact. anything jump @ you right away?

thx!

Penn Glendinning's picture
Joined: 25 Jul 2008 - 1:09pm
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These are a little too fragile for me. I favor the cleverer, all-in-one approach that designtn put forward. Perhaps a more memorable font, or one with more character would work better though.

penn

James Mark Hatley's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2004 - 11:00am
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Make sure it doesn't look like stylized lips.

Jake S's picture
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yeah, a few of those look like lips. You can also try different thickness on lines to give it some depth...right now it looks quite flat.

Alex Pankratov's picture
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2nd what jakes said - try varying the curve thickness. Though not on per-curve basis, but rather by a curve segment depending on its Z (depth) order and perceived obstruction by closer layers. Something like this - gray segment needs to be thinner:

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Joined: 30 May 2007 - 5:52pm
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Either 1A or 3B. KISS principle...

It's a pitty your client has gone this route already, because designtn's suggestion is by my opinion a better way to get to it. Especially for some management firm.

About the last image. Is it suppose to be the cutoff letter style? Because if it is, forget it. FAST. Either one or the other. not both.
___________
Robert Koritnik

designtn's picture
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if you are going to proceed with the waves direction, I would suggest not cutting the bottom of the type, that is too much going on with the logo. preserve the typography as is and keep it simple.

:tony

Aaron Taylor-Waldman's picture
Joined: 29 May 2007 - 10:33pm
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Thank you all very much for the feedback

I like @designtn's truncated type, it works well for a more general management company, IMO.

because this company is working exclusively with small recording artists in the folk/rock realm, and is based in colorado, it makes sense to me to have a graphic expression, ie the soundwave/mtn. they're striving not to look too corporate, yet retain a professional feel, and some personality and authenticity.

I also agree, its either a graphic expression OR a type treatment, not both.

Really like the thoughts @epsilicon had about shading -- I'd love for this to work in bw, but definitely plan on having this show more depth with shading or tinting of a couple colors.

@litera, I agree w/ you about picks from this round - they're less lip-like and quicker reads.

Alex Pankratov's picture
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@atw - thickness, Aaron, not shading. Gray segment on my sketch indicates the part that I meant to be thinner.

Aaron Taylor-Waldman's picture
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I lean towards 2

Ben McElroy's picture
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2 looks like some vaudeville's evil villain mustachio. 1 still has a bit of lip vibe. 3 is good but the lowest dropping line, I think, drops down a touch too much.

Aaron Taylor-Waldman's picture
Joined: 29 May 2007 - 10:33pm
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client decided to go w/ #1

James Mark Hatley's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2004 - 11:00am
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3