First Logo! Crits Desired!

Hey fellow Typophiles! This is my first post here, as well as my first logo. I would love your input on it!

I have two versions, a black and white one for purposes of evaluating form (of the utmost importance), and one that puts the logo on a simple background with a slight drop shadow (just for fun). Please let me know the following:

First impressions

Readability

What comes to mind when looking at it

How it reads

If it is directly infringing on anything (I hope not)

Recommendations, critiques, ideas

And so here they are:

Form:

Just for fun:

Also it should be noted that I will be integrating the word GRIFFIN underneath the logo. I'm thinking of designing my own font to keep it in keeping with the logo, but if you have any suggestions for typesets that would be awesome! Thanks!

Jean Paul Beumer's picture

Nice & strong!
Could read MW as well as MU.
Have you considered rounding all outer corners more so it's more in line with the inner ones? Perhaps even open up the counters more? In small print this will become one big lump...

Queneau's picture

I don't know what it's supposed to communicate. What will it be used for, what kind of business? I think I'm a bit underwhelmed by it, it's not very spectacular. I think the use of type under the logo will be very important for the logo. Start working on that.

And be careful creating nice shaded, gradient silvery versions of the logo before you get the shape as you want it. It's better to work in simple black and white, as it will give you the clearest picture.

Define what the logo is for, is there a target group, what are competitors in the same field doing. Is it recognisable? Does it jump out? What associations is it supposed to convey? etc. Don't jump the gun in trying to make it look like a final version and try out several ideas before settling on one to finalize. Process is everything!

Good luck

Bert Vanderveen's picture

Lengthening the third incision would make it more readable, imho.

mwgriffin's picture

Hey thanks so much for your feedback everyone! Your promptness and depth of your feedback astounded me.

@omashuisje I want it to read MW so I'm glad that was your first perception. It never even occurred to me that it could read MU, so I am now pondering what I can do to make it really read as MW. I feel like it should be clear. I wanted to incorporate the letters, to play off of their inverse relationship, along with giving it a singular form that speaks as a unified symbol. I agree that the corners on the outside could be a tad more rounded (they are currently the same radius as the inner rounded parts). I played with increasing the width of the inside lines, and I personally like this amount the best. I tried sizing it down, to a business card logo size, and even smaller to a favicon size and they both worked out and retained the form. The original version I had made had much narrower counters and not did not have the feeling I wanted, but also barely worked in a small form.

@Queneau I appreciate your critique! It always helps to receive feedback that gives you ideas on how to improve a piece. I will work on integrating the word GRIFFIN underneath it, simply adding it, without any thought to font etc, made the logo really seem to have more information. I have to admit I am most assuredly an individual that likes to play around with many different versions of a creation, so at least I have that under control. In reference to jumping the gun, I do that quite a bit. Even if I know its not done, it's just so tempting to play around with it. I am working on taking a much methodical and linear approach to my work, e.g. get the form down, then move onto other stuff, instead of form, color, other stuff, form, color etc. So I really appreciate your feedback! Do you think that integration of the type would make the logo less underwhelming? Once I have the type underneath it in place and the actual form completed I think I will play around with the negative space, and use it to help convey what I want my logo to say. I think it will be useful to write down attributes that I want it to convey.

@bert_vanderveen What did it say to you? After reading your comment I can only come to the conclusion that you read it as MU (It's supposed to read as a merged MW). Is that the case? If so I'm really going to have to think about some things...

So thank you again people! More comments or critiques are always wanted! I will have another update for you in the coming weeks.

Grondhammar's picture

I have the same response as Queneau. It's very hard to critique when we have no background on who/what the logo is for, what it's supposed to communicate, etc.

To me this says "muscle-bound power & utility company of the '90s".

Queneau's picture

It would help us in giving critique to tell us some more about the why and how of the logo. It might be an okay logo for a construction company but completely unfit for a church... if you catch my drift.

As for the shape itself: If they are supposed to be letters it reads MW to me. It somehow reminds me of the Enron and Caterpillar (CAT) logos somehow (I'm not saying that this is necessarily a bad thing) I feel like the shape is not great because it's too simple and unrefined. There is no tension in the shape because it's all straight lines and these lines are all of equal thickness. Tension can be created for instances by optical illusion, diagonals, etc. There is no one way to do this. You can also look at letter shapes to see how tension is created within a shape.

The combination of type and logo will make it more complete, but they have to be a good match, these two elements have to be good in themselves and have to work well together.

And keep showing us your progress, to see how you're getting on.

Unified's picture

that's stretch to say it may not fit a church. i've seen some very similar treatment to some pretty awesome modernized churches. anyway, that's besides the point. i do agree we need more background info logo. love it's simplicity.

mwgriffin's picture

Thanks everyone! I figured I didn't want to bias your opinion by telling you what it was for, as I wanted to get an idea of what you thought it meant. Here's some background information: This is going to be a personal logo, that will represent myself and my website. The site will be a mixture of a portfolio, and a blog. I will be marketing myself as a webdesigner and 3D artist, that will (in three years) be an environmental scientist. I wont really be stressing the environmental scientist part, as that is not what I will be trying to sell myself as, although I may want to incorporate that in somehow. In some of my drafts I considered angling the logo and doing a 3d extrude, but I decided against it, for two reasons: first was that I just didn't like the feeling as much, it made it feel like I was a game designer or something along those lines. And second is that when it was at an angle, it could almost be perceived as two letter E's (like the Enron logo) which I obviously didn't want to go for. I wanted it's shape to be simple, but I agree I would like it to be attention grabbing as well. And the type face will most assuredly have to fit the feel of the logo. Thanks again!

mwgriffin's picture

Here after many months is an update of my personal logo! I stopped working on it for a long time, and then I had a sudden great desire to work on it. So, I did. I thought it was lacking something, which I realized was my last name, and some tension. So I added both with that last letter. I think I might adjust the width of the negative space... Please let me know what you think!

Oh also I was really curious about blocky typefaces and I looked some up and I came across one that is very much like what I have here: Zip-Sonik. Funny coincidence. Anyway hope you like the change!

Justin_Ch's picture

I like the look of it but I read "mig" too, and I'm afraid I see a couple of rude hand-gestures in there.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

I'm pretty sure I've seen one just like it: a piano-ish symbol.

Chris Dean's picture

@mwgriffin: For more meaningful feedback, it would help if you gave a bit of context. Such as:

1. What do you do?
3. Who are your (desired) clients?
4. What/who is GRIFFIN?
5. What is your greatest strength?
6. Is this personal, professional or academic?

Good design is based upon informed decisions and fitness for purpose, not simply aesthetics. Without context all one can do is make subjective comments such as “my favorite colour is blue” which at the end of the day just pushes you (and your clients’ time and money) around in a circle.

mwgriffin's picture

Hey thanks everyone for your comments!

@riccard0, Justin_Ch I was worried about that. People had no problem identifying the logo as MW when it was just MW, but now most people I've asked think it looks like MIG. I have thought about what I should do to address this issue and the only solution I can come up with is to separate the letters into their individual entities. I really like the incorporated look, but I think it just cannot work in terms of readability.

@frode frank I think I know what you are talking about. I had someone point that out to me on logopond. It's the Wiesinger Music logo: Wiesinger Music

@Christopher Dean Hey thanks Christopher for reminding me. I answered most of those questions in my post just above my most recent one. To reiterate what I said before and directly answer your questions:

1. I do some web development, lots of 3D work, and starting back at ceramic sculpture work.
2. Where's 2?
3. Because this will be used on my personal website I will not have any clients. However I do want it to say something about myself. I do not know why I want it to be this way, but I have a strong feeling that I want it to be simple and bold. I am a fairly complex person, with many talents, so it may be that I am striving for some simplicity.
4. Griffin is my last name. The logo is my initials. I think I should incorporate my full name somewhere, but I have no clue where to start on that... Any tips would be great.
5. It is personal. I am very tech oriented and logical, while still manage to maintain creative on my 3D cgi and sculptural fronts. I am a very 3D oriented person, so I sometimes find it hard to work in 2 dimensions and I am in a transitional point in my life. So please forgive me if I do not operate with complete certainty on this logo. I was thinking about designing my personal logo around the theme of a griffin (the mythological beast) but I think I've psyched myself out of that on the basis that I have so little experience designing in 2D compared to my 3D endeavors. Hope that answers your questions! What do you think?

Here's an update! I separated all of the letters so it is actually readable as MWG. What do you think? Any suggestions on where I should go from here?

apankrat's picture

WM in a monogram form from the top post -- I saw the exact same logo (ex-act, down to the rounded corners) in use here in Vancouver. Cannot quite place it, but it had to do with construction, most likely demolition or waste management. I will try and snap a photo of it next time I see it.

Which brings me to my point - I saw that logo, I liked it for its geometrical construction and then immediately forgot what it was for. Remembered the MW, but it didn't connect to the actual branding subject. And that's the problem - the design is nice, but it is sterile and it exists in isolation just for the sake of itself. If you are to scribble MW with your left hand, that would probably make a more identifiable logo.

That said, I think that with the addition of G and the separation of all letters things got much better, the logo acquired personality, so it is definitely a move in a right direction. Now just bring MW to life somehow and that will be it :)

mwgriffin's picture

Thanks so much Alex. That's what I was needing to hear. It validates what I was thinking that, I'm moving in the right direction, but I need to make it more original, more... ME. I like it much more than I did before, but as you so aptly stated I need to work on making it more personalized, unique and memorable. I'll do some serious brainstorming, I'm really sick right now so I've got plenty of time. Oh check out my suggestion on your 7Z posting. I don't think you necessarily need to go that direction, but I thought it'd help get more juices flowing.

mwgriffin's picture

Alright so here are some more variations. Please let me know what you think!

riccard0's picture

Last one is the graphically most interesting.

litera's picture

P.S. I wish there was voting on typophile, so wouldn't have to write I agree with ricard0 but rather just voted his post up (meaning I second his opinion).

mwgriffin's picture

Thanks for the feedback gentlemen! I too am leaning heavily toward the last one as well. I'm going to keep playing around and keep you posted!

Luma Vine's picture

If you made the right side of the G match the stepped profile of the other letters it might be sweet. Just push the lower third of the G a bit left. I like that it is starting to take on more personality. Good progress.

BrettR's picture

I agree with Luma Vine, if you could find a way to make the "G" fit in with the general theme of the logo, it would look a lot more slick.

mwgriffin's picture

Hey there guys here's an update after I came back to it after many months. Please let me know what you think. I just drew it in so it isn't perfect. I'm going to recreate it in vectors soon. Here it is!

apankrat's picture

I think it's a great idea. It interweaves the precision of geometric construction with fluidity of freeform curves.

I would try perhaps refine the relationship between two parts a bit more by making the flowy thing go through principal points of the wordmark... It may though not be a good idea and it could make the whole thing look rigid and artificial.

mwgriffin's picture

Hey thanks for the feedback Alex! I've redone the curves in illustrator and I've tweaked the flow. Please let me know what you think:

Birdseeding's picture

I first read it as TWG.

JamesM's picture

> I first read it as TWG.

Me too.

eliason's picture

Me three.

mwgriffin's picture

I realized that there was the possibility that it might be seen as a T before I posted my last update. I wanted to know if you saw the same thing. Glad you saw the same thing I did. Here's my latest version. Hopefully it reads better!

1996type's picture

It reads better but it doesn't look good anymore.

typojess83's picture

I liked the first one the best actually. I read it as MW immediately. What about keeping the first rendering and making it look more 3-d cube like? The last two didn't seem like what you were wanting to work towards.

ophello's picture

I think you should be bolder with your experimentation. If you work in 3d, I'd echo the other comments and suggest your logo reflect that.

Just playing around with the idea. This is really just a quick and dirty impression. I'm sure there are many more interesting ways to play with it.

Ed_Aranda's picture

The latest incarnations I initially read as “THUG”. I like ophelio's suggestion. Also maybe shorten up the center legs of the /M/ and /W/ by about 30% – it might break up the uniformity and add some interest.

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