Logo for Experiment

Caffeinomane's picture

Hello,

my boss asked me to provide a logo for our experiment so I put together some ideas, but I am looking for help since I am not a professional designer nor I am planning to become one.
These ideas come after various iterations with the boss, so I have to stuck with Skia since he likes it.

Thanks

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Apotema.png97.29 KB
hrant's picture

Skia is inspired by Greek. Is there a Greek element to your experiment?

hhp

Caffeinomane's picture

Not really, it is an Italian collaboration.
I just picked it up and make a proposal with it, along with some other fonts, and he liked that one.

Caffeinomane's picture

I just realized that it is better if I explain more about the experiment and the logo.

'Apotema' means Apothem but it has nothing to do with the meaning of the word. It is just an acronym. With this experiment we aim to produce Technetium, that is a radioactive source used for scintigraphy, with a cyclotron, that is a particle accelerator. In a cyclotron, particles are put in the center and are accelerated following a spiral trajectory inside a cylindrical cavity and come out from one of more wholes on the side of the cylinder. The generated beam is forced to go through some tubing and just outside the cylinder it is forced to bend.

The upper left logo is just centered on the meaning of apothem, so I used a regular polygon and emphasized one of its apothems.
The other logos are more centered on the experiment itself. The 'o' symbolizes the cyclotron and the lines, coming out of it, symbolize the tubing in which the beam goes along with the bend. The spiral inside the 'o' is the particle trajectory.

hrant's picture

So is it too late to change the font?

I assume the accelerator involves collision? If so instead of that swirly thing* you might make the left half of the name tilt forward and the right half, backward.

* Which isn't a bad idea - it's just hard to make look nice.

BTW the name not being related to the experiment is not good.

hhp

Caffeinomane's picture

Maybe not, what font would you suggest?
Yes it involves collision, the beam is collides with a fixed target --the target itself is one of the main aspect of this research-- but I usually do not like slanted text.

Well, this is not the first time that the name is not related to the experiment in Physics, for instance Alice, Atlas or Totem. I would say it is the usual practice.

Caffeinomane's picture

Maybe not, what font would you suggest?
Yes it involves collision, the beam is collides with a fixed target --the target itself is one of the main aspect of this research-- but I usually do not like slanted text.

Well, this is not the first time that the name is not related to the experiment in Physics, for instance Alice, Atlas or Totem. I would say it is the usual practice.

JamesM's picture

Your company can afford a cyclotron, but can't afford to have a professional designer create your logo?

Caffeinomane's picture

Thank you for the suggestion!

Well I am working in a small research group and we do not even have money to buy oscilloscopes...
While the cyclotron will be bought by the National Laboratories of Legnaro and the official logo of the cyclotron is:

I do not know whether the logo was commissioned to a professional designer or to some random Physicist.

hrant's picture

The one on the left was done by a medium-sized faceless design firm. The one on the right was done by the best friend of the director's daughter.

hhp

JamesM's picture

The one on the left was probably done by a professional But the other one literally looks like a child did it; very odd. Could it have been for a science program for a children's museum?

apankrat's picture

James, I highly doubt it's a conventional commercial company. For two, this sort of a project doesn't need any branding nor it would typically have one. So instead of putting Caffeinomane and his colleagues down, I'd try and encourage them instead.

Caffeinomane's picture

Yes, it is not a private company but a public-funded research institute.

Here is the new logo with hrant font suggestion. I like it, better than Skia!

JamesM's picture

Apankrat, my comment wasn't intended as a criticism of Caffeinomane, but instead of his boss/company which put him in the difficult position of having to create a logo even though he isn't a designer.

Most companies wouldn't think of asking an employee to do their bookkeeping, or prepare legal papers, or even fix their plumbing, if that staffer was not experienced in that area. They'd hire a pro instead and view it as part of the cost of doing business. But when it comes to design, companies often use the do-it-yourself approach, usually with bad results.

Not a criticism of Caffeinomane; I hope his project turns out well.

hrant's picture

In those renderings two things have to be fixed: the sharp turns and the terminals in the spirals should be made Biome-style; the points where the spirals touch the "o" have to be modulated so as not to look clotted.

hhp

Caffeinomane's picture

Thank you again for your suggestions, here is what I came up with:

I did not take it as a criticism toward me, as I myself admit that this is not my work and I am trying to do my best. I share your views about companies, people usually think that graphics design is easy to do because everybody can have all the tools that pros use but this is not enough. Plus Physicist are usually very bad at graphics, for instance take a look at SRIM:

hrant's picture

I say this very rarely: OMG. :-)

The rounding of the terminals and turns (do even more for the latter though) looks good, but I have to apologize for suggesting thinning the joins - that was a knee-jerk reaction and did not consider the nature of Biome... Actually you need to make the joins thicker. :-/ In fact even filling-in, like the joins in Biome. Also, I would use a darker weight, and space the letters tighter. And shorten the descender of the "p" (it seems to be overshooting the bottom spiral arm). Lastly, the overshoots of the spiral arms are different: the top-left one seems to be going further out than the bottom-right one; I would shoot for the latter degree.

BTW, if you really have settled on Biome you might consider making the spiral arms shallow arcs, not totally straight.

hhp

Caffeinomane's picture

Here is the last version:

apankrat's picture

@Caffeinomane - Drop the decorations. You have a solid footing with using O as a cycle reference, so just simplify what you have and go with it. Something as simple as this could might just work -

Alternatively trim the horizontal arms, but keep the stumps sticking out of the O.

@James - I know what your comment is directed at. I think I've seen pretty much all flavours of "No spec work" and "Hire a designer" comments there's to see. The problem is that they are never constructive. Frankly, I was twice as surprised to see it coming from you given how routinely helpful you are with this sort of questions.

hrant's picture

I think that latest version is a go (just loosen the sides of the "o"). Although I like Alex's idea too.

The problem is that they are never constructive.

Bingo.
One great reason to help is it makes people more aware of how hard it is to do it right, making them more likely to hire a designer in the future. There's no use pressuring people into paying us - you need to lay it on soft.

hhp

JamesM's picture

Apankrat, I understand your point, and I agree with you that "hire a designer" comments are usually a waste of time. In many cases it's because the company is a startup with little money, so hiring a designer just isn't going to happen.

In this case, with the poster talking about using a cyclotron — a very expensive piece of equipment, and one that you'd expect to be handled by well-paid engineers and scientists — I assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that the budgets were considerably larger. But if my comment came across as snarky, I apologize.

Caffeinomane's picture

Thank you very much for your help to everybody!
And thank apankrat for your proposal which I like, but I prefer the idea of the tubing coming out of the cyclotron.

Yes a cyclotron is a very expensive apparatus but the problem is that the people working on it are not well-paid, at least here in Italy. A plumber here earns more money per hour than what I am paid for giving lessons at the University.

By the way, our institute does have an official pubblic relationships office. I think that office should be the one taking care of the design of experiments logos and such. I am wondering, though, why is the official website for the PR office not even in english?
Here are some examples of their editorial production:

Luma Vine's picture

Your last version is really fantastic Caffeinomane. You say you are no designer, but I think what you have arrived at is a very smart and professional solution. I'm impressed!

Catharsis's picture

@ Caffeinomane: Yeah, great job with the logo! I prefer your version with the tubing; the broken |o| design could be just about anything.

As a fellow physicist, I have to agree with you — our community is crawling with typographic crimes, with the use of red-on-blue Comic Sans on PowerPoint slides ranking among the mildest. Logos are particularly bad. The one linked below is a pretty mild case for science standards, just rather shrill, impractical, and unrefined. It represents a large-budget international consortium of European scientists that have been designing and building an instrument for the Very Large Telescope for the past 10 years or so. I haven't even tried to propose an alternative because it's so well-entrenched and design just seems to be everybody's lowest priority.

http://www.staff.science.uu.nl/~kelle105/Logos/sphere_logo.jpg

And no, just because we get to use hugely expensive accelerators and telescopes doesn't mean we get paid well. :( The problem is that we're enthusiastic enough about our work to endure underpayment, non-existent job security, and the need to move to another country every 2–3 years.

JamesM's picture

> doesn't mean we get paid well

I had an uncle who was a nuclear physicist. His first job was being a lab assistant on the Manhattan Project during the secret development of the atom bomb during World War II (he was in a betting pool at the lab on the yield of the bomb's first test and he bet it wouldn't work), and then he went on to work as a scientist at the Las Alamos Nationals Labs his entire career. But I never got the feeling that his income was high — always lived in a modest home, drove used cars, etc.

hrant's picture

Well, they're still getting paid more than the designers they're not hiring. :-)

hhp

Caffeinomane's picture

Thank you all for your compliments! But we have to compliment also hrant and apankrat for their help.

Speaking about the salary, they can vary much depending on the country you are in, and, yes, they are anyways more than the zero salaries of the designer.

justina.sanchis's picture

i agree with you a 100%

Luma Vine's picture

p.s. apankrat's idea is similar to the shutterstock logo:

litera's picture

@LumaVina: Even though his version has a similar execution to shutterstock it's still marginally better than the original that's been progressed.

That /0/ could be done with several lines spiralling toward the centre as well. Lines above and below (as in the last logo version) just don't work for me.

@Apankrat: great idea.

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