Simplicious's picture

Hello again,

it has been a pretty long time :)

I was recently pretty busy designing a logo for Bernhard Kohl. He is a former professional cyclist who started his own bike and fitness shop 3 years ago. At the end of this year his franchise contract ends and so the shop needs a new name, new logo, new everything.

I will try to keep it short: We have already decided on the letters B and K to be represented in a logo. No real innovation but OK.

There are 2 versions I would like to get your expertise and your impression on. Version 1 is the one that has already been approved by our client. At first glance it is just a capital B with 2 diagonal strokes. At second glance you should be able to see a capital K. Everyone seems to like the concept (that is why it has been approved) but somehow I am not satisfied with it. I think the K looks strange.

Version 2 is still fresh and so I am not really objective about it. I can only say that I think it is more iconic and clear-cut which makes it a better logo in my opinion.

If we had to decide for one of these two versions, which one would you pick?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Simplicious's picture

The images do not seem to work. So I post them as a comment. Sorry for that.

apul's picture

I like the idea behind the first one but agree the K is a bit strange. Maybe the crossbar needs to be at an angle like the lines?

Also, the lines make me think of athletics more than cycling - maybe change the colour?

JamesM's picture

On the first one I have to try real hard to see the K. The concept is interesting, though, and perhaps with some tinkering it'll work better.

The second one I like better, although I've seen a lot of logos that use a similar positive/negative concept. Be careful that the vertical on the K doesn't look too thick, the open space on its left will make it look wider than it really is.

apankrat's picture

I'd say that the second version is pretty bland. It's one of a handful of most obvious ways to make a monogram out of two letters. For the same reason, the first one is awesome. I'd try and replace the middle part with the actual K and see if it should/can be blended into B for visual consistency.

Also, the URL in your profile doesn't work.

Luma Vine's picture

Yea the second one is clear and competent but not compelling or as ownable. The first concept has a lot of potential, especially if you go back to some subtle visual cues from the cycling world to inspire the cuts and lines. With some refinement you will have a winner!

Simplicious's picture

Thank you very much for your fast and helpful feedback :)

@apul: In the whole process I have never been able to convince myself to making the crossbar the same angle like the lines because I was too afraid of loosing the B. Maybe I should give it a try before I give up on this idea.

@JamesM: Thank you for the tip with the thick vertical bar. Really a great observation.

@apankrat: I have already tried to make the middle part of the logo an actual K and tried to blend it into a B. I have uploaded three of my favorite versions of this part of my journey. And thank you for your hint about the wrong URL. I have updated it.

@Luma Vine: Your comment sums it up nicely. Version 2 ist clear but dull and version 1 has potential but is not there yet.

It is great to get this kind of feedback. I really appreciate it.

What do you think about these versions?




eliason's picture

Those are much better.

JamesM's picture

The K is much more obvious now.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

That first sketch is amazingly strong. None of the others come anywhere close. Mark my words.

Simplicious's picture

Thank you for your feedback.

After some days have passed, I am back again to the original version :)

I have changed the angle of the strokes and made them a little thicker. This way the K becomes more obvious and the logo does not become too blurry at smaller sizes.

Here are different variations of the final logo:

hrant's picture

Nice, but the "K" isn't visible enough.

I think a simple tweak to the insides of the counters would really help:


Or make it more rakish -like a speed cyclist- by rotating it, making the "K" level:

Lastly, that ampersand seems a bit off. If you don't want to use a plus sign, maybe try an "Et" form.


HVB's picture

Maybe my built-in gestalt processor isn't working properly, but all I see initially is a B with some stripes through it. It took me a long while to see the 'K' in those versions of the logo. And when I do finally see the K, the B disappears. I agree with hhp's comments about the counter shapes, and his bottom-most design, with somewhat wider stripes, makes both the B and the K more obvious. My personal preference was for the more angular versions of the B-K combo - they were clearer if less artistic.

- Herb

JamesM's picture

> all I see initially is a B with some stripes through it

Me too.

> Or make it more rakish

I'd be cautious about an approach like that. I used to do design work for a large corporation that had an angled logo and it often caused problems because optically it sometimes looked "crooked". Or to be more specific, the elements in it that were actually horizontal (like the white stripes in yours) would look slightly off, even though they weren't.

Luma Vine's picture

The success I saw in your post (13 Dec 2012 — 12:31pm) was that the shapes started to reference a bike tire tread. The latest versions with 2 stripes suggest the side-by-side tracks left behind by a car. Focus on the concept a bit more and you will be able to have a stronger result.

hrant's picture

Well, there is a racing angle here, and you do need at least one competitor. :-)

BTW softening the corners would help allude to treads (although I have to think softness isn't a desirable attribute here).


aluminum's picture

The issue (to me) is that the 'B' remains fully realized and the 'K' has to be come a subset of the 'B' and has to deal with being a bit more abstract.

In other words, the 'B' is overly dominating the 'K' and I don't know if people will necessarily make the leap to even see the 'K'.

That may or may not be a big deal. Just an observation.

Maybe play with the contrast/color between the 'K' and the top/bottom of the 'B' to separate them a bit more?

eliason's picture

The success I saw in your post (13 Dec 2012 — 12:31pm) was that the shapes started to reference a bike tire tread

Yes, and I also saw hints of an angular bike frame in those shapes.

Simplicious's picture

Thank you all for your feedback. And special thanks to hrant for the visual inspiration :)

Basically what I did was to combine hrant's second and third version. I took the counters of number 2 and the wider strokes of number 3 and tried to be very careful about the negative shape so the B does not end up looking strange.

I am pretty satisfied with what I have right now and would love to hear your opinions about it:

Comparison of the negative shapes:

It feels to me like the K is way more obvious now and switching between perceiving it as B or K became a lot easier.

timaarts's picture

Your angles on the K seem a bit off. (Talking about the right upper stroke)

Like the concept of the mark.

The helvetica word mark is boring.

litera's picture

Why don't you go with version 01-01, because it's a really great logo. I could even see it applied to a bike if they produced them. But I suppose they just sell them...

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