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I'm currently designing a logo for a friend's new business. I'm much more of a UI/UX designer than a logo designer (also a very bad drawer!), so I'm struggling.

The company name is 'Corellia', it's a reference to the Han Solo's birth planet in Star Wars (My friend is fan of Star Wars) mixed with a reference to the technology he loves to work with, aka '.Net Core'.

I searched a bit for inspiration and I tried something I really enjoyed. Here it is:

Corellia logo tryout

I love it because it mixes the two metaphors of it's company. The C/O looks like a planet and its moon passing by, while also illustrating the 'core' of the letter C. Also, the font is a bit Star Wars-like, as a bonus.

However, when we showed it to lambda people, they were not seeing the C and all wondered why it is called 'Orellia'.

So I was wondering, how would you find the balance between the metaphor and the legibility of the logo?

If I design the C to be less circular, it breaks the planet/moon. I could also get the C/O out of the logo and write the Corellia word next to it or beneath it, but I feel it lacks concision and efficiency.

SOLUTION

First of all, thanks to all of you for your critiques and help provided, it was really great !

Time being a constraint, I could'nt afford to try every one of your solutions. However, I tried to upvote every solution that helped me.

For the record, here's the final logo delivered: enter image description here

So I focused on the C which was the letter people were not seeing. I moved it on the left and also went for slenting edges. So it looks more like a C and the O is no more as obstructive.

The metaphor is a bit less obvious, but the client (my friend) is happy with it.

  • 3
    This is an exemplary for critique questions on this website. Welcome, Pierre! – Vincent Jun 21 '18 at 9:29
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    I’m quite surprised people are reading it as Orellia, to be honest. I immediately, and unambiguously, read it as Corellia (before I read the text in the question), and I can’t even make myself read it as Orellia. I can see it being either orellia (taking the green moon, not the black/white planet, as the lowercase o) or Oorellia, but reading the planet and the moon together as a single uppercase O is just impossible to me. Corellia is by far the most obvious option in my eyes. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 21 '18 at 11:14
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    Same for me. BUT... I did read the name "Corellia" in te text first, so when I came to the logo, I was already searching for that there. I can however force myself to read "Orellia" if I ignore the green orb as some sort of design element. – Vilx- Jun 21 '18 at 11:41
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    I read it as Orellia – Zach Saucier Jun 21 '18 at 11:45
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    I'm not a designer at all (programmer), but if people you were showing this to are programmers (I assume they are, because of .NET Core being mentioned), they might read it as "Orellia", because there's a well-known publisher called "O'Reilly" that publishes programming books. At least I know the logo reminded me of it, which may be why I also read it as "Orellia". – Alexander Revo Jun 22 '18 at 8:19

10 Answers 10

8

Your logo is great as it is, congratulations.

You only comitted one sacrilege, posting a tiny resolution image compressed with JPG... Shame! n_n

I am not going to explore "new" options (sorry guys) Instead, I am going to try to analyze your logo.

The confusion could be between two elements.

  1. Space

You have room to play with the imaginary letter spacing from the C to the other letters. As you can see, it is pretty close.

enter image description here

  1. The cut and shape of the C

The other element is very subtle. You did it right not using an outline of the green dot, sorry, the green moon, but using a straight line, which makes the C, not an O just cut out from this outline.

But it probably still depends on much of the symmetry of this two elements.

enter image description here

So, play with this. 1. Space, 2 the size itself of the moon (space) and the angle of the borders of the C to disassociate it more from the moon.

Here are two examples where I am trying to break the symmetry between this cut and the moon.

enter image description here

Play with this elements and find the balance you want/need.


But aside note. Do not expect EVERYONE understands a logo or even read the same.

A logo should positioned itself using it over and over and using it with some other elements, like slogans, and the company name next to it so, people starts to associate ideas.

What domino has to do with a pizza? Is the arrow of amazon a weird cartoonish smile like Alice in Wonderland's cat? Is the Nike swash based on a right answer on an exam?

  • Actually looking at this again, I think the "r" in this font also contributes to the broken spacing around the "o". Which again makes me think this font may actually be part of the problem, so my suggestion to possibly change the font completely should still be considered by the OP. – Lucian Jun 22 '18 at 19:44
  • I really liked his design, it is only a matter of some tweaking. – Rafael Jun 23 '18 at 5:51
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  • The green dot is filling the part of the C we need to read it as an O, just outlining the O and moving back the C fix the perception problem, but not the logo.

Corellia

  • Personally, I see it as a very primitive design idea, the concept is good and clear, but needs more design job. Look for the point where this logo is the particular one for this company and not that one of any headache pill.

logo 2

Logo 3

  • This is a great advice. Thanks ! However, I'm wondering if pushing away, even a little bit, the C isn't breaking the 'core' metaphor too much ? I know the overall design is poorly detailed, but it's my style to keep it as clean as I possible. Also doing it for free, so... :D – Pierre Burton Jun 21 '18 at 10:05
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    Free design is not the same as bad design. A good design can be part of your portfolio and when someone sees it, it will not be the first thing they ask if it was free or not. – Danielillo Jun 21 '18 at 10:12
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    I know, just joking. I love good work whatever happens. Ultimately, I just think adding more details is not mandatory. Look at Google's logo as an example. As logo design is only a thing I do on the side from time to time, I don't push it too much as it would mostly get worse. However, this is not the first shot for this logo. I went through some iterations and trials first. – Pierre Burton Jun 21 '18 at 10:19
  • The old and hackneyed resource of the Google logo ;-) – Danielillo Jun 21 '18 at 10:45
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    @Pierre I don’t think the ‘core’ metaphor gets broken. Or rather, I don’t think it came through very clearly as a metaphor to begin with. It’s obviously part of the name of the company, but the amount of overlap of the moon over the planet doesn’t seem to me to make any difference in metaphor efficiency: it’s not particularly obvious regardless of where you put it. Pushing the moon out a bit does make it clearer that’s a C + o. I agree with you that simple is better for this logo—I would prefer the first of Danielillo’s three options here. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 21 '18 at 11:20
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Two points I have are:

  • Consider moving in the 'orellia' such that the 'o' is the core of the planet.
  • Also, consider opening up the mouth of the C a little more

enter image description here
Please forgive the crudely-edited image

  • 10
    Now I can read it as Orellia. – TKK Jun 22 '18 at 18:56
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    It's Crellia from where I'm sitting. – Mr Lister Jun 24 '18 at 13:15
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Here is one example of how I would solve this to retain the metaphor you want plus some leads in how I've deconstructed your problem.

enter image description here

  • Orbits are often depicted as a thin line so I kept the wordmark thin to make sure the metaphor is well understood

  • The C from your wordmark stands out from the rest of the font because of its curves. I'd be willing to bet that it's square shaped in the original font you're using. Although it looks less "sci-fi", I think using a rounder font helps legibility and association between the C and the rest of the wordmark Note that you should also pick a geometric font with a C that looks like a circle and not an ellipse. You could probably find a similar font that has more of a sci-fi feel but I went with what I had on hand.

  • I used a gradient to suggest depth which is in context with "space" and suggests movement.

  • I put the C a bit higher so there is less potential confusion with an O.

  • I added some dimension and features on the "planet" to make it look more like a planet and make it stand out from the rest. I kept the lighting consistent with the gradient I used for the orbit.

In terms of logo, it could be better: gradients can be finicky and the thin font is not the best but I wanted to adress the metaphor vs. legibility part of your quesiton. I would definitely incite your friend to double check if the name Corellia isn't already trademarked.

ETA: Here is the same thing without gradients, in which the orbit is a bit less represented but with the metaphor still present. enter image description here

  • 1
    The image is nice, but I downvoted it for a reason. It does not only do not solve the O problem but also introduces a different issue, the usage of gradients and possibly halftones. It could be just a matter of "flat style" but it can be also a technical problem. in my opinion, a logo should not have a gradient as a core part of it. It is a matter of visual construct, not a matter of effects. But the image is nice. – Rafael Jun 22 '18 at 17:38
  • @Rafael Fair enough but I did point out these cons at the end of my answer :-) – Emilie Jun 22 '18 at 17:51
  • I upvoted because in my opinion gradients are fine, but otherwise agree with Rafael this does not quite solve the O problem. – Lucian Jun 22 '18 at 18:20
  • I upvoted because I feel the design works very well with the metaphors Pierre wanted to include and it simply looks stunning. Personally, I saw "Corellia" when looking at the original logo and still see "Corellia" looking at this one, so I honestly don't get the whole "O" problem. – Loki Laufeyson Jun 23 '18 at 20:58
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Try to make the C smaller so it doesn't look like an icon before a name, but instead it should look like its actually part of the name. At this point it is indeed like reading more like 'orellia' with something in front.

Making the O green is also not a good idea because that can also suggest a separation and visually pushes the C outside the actual wording.

  • I sense your feedback is really wise for the legibility part of the question, but I really think this would obliterate the whole metaphore. I might also juste write a plain old "Corellia" word. – Pierre Burton Jun 21 '18 at 10:00
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Lots of good conversation here. Didn't see mention of my first thought, so I'll offer it:

Maybe make the first four letters one color? PRO: This emphasizes the "core" part (of Net Core), and helps the eye see the "C" as a letter. CON: It might break the flow into the "llia" part, inelegantly. You could play with near-tones of color to soften the conceptual separation of "core" form "llia". Not sure how far that would help, but worth trying. And to retain the planet-moon thing (which is cool), you could use maybe shading between planet and moon, but retaining the same hue.

Daniellilo's advice about finding the design that says "Net Core" not "head ache remedy" (or, I suppose "Accounting Services") seems dead-on but ambitious. I'm not sure how many logos cognitively trigger an exclusive meaning before marketing departments pour $$ millions into brand recognition.

Another option might be to double-down on the planet-moon thing, making them more graphically dominant (playing with different design features, like Daniellilo did), then writing the full name across the pair, in a font smaller than the moon. PRO: Readers would see all the letters as letters first time, every time. CON: The meaning of the planet-moon pair might seem a little mysterious. BUT: (1) I kind of like the echoing (replication) of C-o between graphic and letters. And (2) most logos seem pretty arbitrary to me at first, then become synonymous with their owner company with repeat exposure.

3

To make the C more legible and appear as part of "core" you might make it the one letter with different color.

If you made the C have even flat ends, rather than contour around the planet it will make it more apparent.

The 2 circular letters do not blend well with the future font.

The solid 'o' next to regular C and other regular letters is not eligible but it makes the brain pause a sec to comprehend.

The metaphor is successful for me but its really bothersome that the core O is not centered. What kind of core is drifting out?

3

Another idea is to focus on the O and leave the C untouched, since this is about a planet, why not take advantage of that round shape. Just type in the C as you normally would with no adjustments, then turn the O into an actual icon. This will no longer separate the C and will keep your original round green O idea while avoiding the C-O confusion.

enter image description here

LATER EDIT: I am not suggesting you should change the font and I am not suggesting a larger than life shiny ball. You are free to interpret this in your existing context, with your own font and whatever ball size. This is just making the obvious point which is the O is already looking like a planet so that should be another logical way to elegantly resolve this!! :)

  • This might be something to try. Is this the Nutella typeface though ? :D – Pierre Burton Jun 21 '18 at 12:52
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    The "o" is extremely overpowering in this example – Zach Saucier Jun 21 '18 at 18:57
  • Probably, but only to emphasize the solution. The OP is free to play with this, i'm not designing this logo :) – Lucian Jun 21 '18 at 19:00
  • The "O" may be a little big here but I like the idea of making it bigger than the rest of the text, because planets are big! – Dan C Jun 22 '18 at 13:13
  • Personally, i think this is a drawback from the result the user already accomplished, The solution was a matter of proportion on the elements he already has, not to change fonts and completely new proportions. Plus the gradient is not necessary or recommended. – Rafael Jun 22 '18 at 17:43
2

Maybe all this design needs is for the C to have a serif. Even if the rest of the font doesn't have serifs.
enter image description here

1

Here are some of my takes. I'm not sure if I made it better or worse, but I did try to improve legibility.

Moved C

First, I moved the C slightly to the left. I think you had it in an awkward limbo: the O was right on the edge between being inside and outside the C. This places it firmly outside, like a normal pair of letters. I also shrunk the C by about 15%.

Underlined Underlined 2

The underline, I'm less certain about. I wanted to group the whole word together to further reinforce the C being a part of it. However, the C being centered makes this hard to do without leaving a lot of unbalanced white space. (I didn't want to move the C up because then it starts looking more like an occluded capital O.)

The variant on the right solves the white space problem and looks appealing to me, but it perhaps nullifies the underline's intended effect.

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