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I'm a computer programmer, and I have no idea what I'm doing, nevertheless, when I founded my company, Rebus FM ("Rebus Fleet Management"), I went ahead and designed my own logo.

It's basically a lowercase "r" with inverted hints of "F" and "M" embedded. It's in a cloud.

Check it out:

Rebus FM logo

Here are my thoughts:

  1. The letters represent my company's name, i.e. "rFM" = "Rebus FM" = "Rebus Fleet Management".

  2. I'm a low-ceremony, unpretentious, informal kind-of-guy, and I wanted the logo to be informal, too. Also, the product I build is trying to be low on ceremony. So I lower-cased the "r" – to be chill, you know.

  3. I really like slightly esoteric logos, so I like the fact that the logo does not spell the name of the company directly.

  4. I like how monochrome logos can be varied indefinitely.

    Black version

    Logo "floor" (e.g. jumbotron background)

  5. It's in a cloud because it frames the "r" nicely. Also, I'm in the business of building (and helping people build) distributed software systems, which are often deployed to cloud-based environments, so I thought the cloud was fitting.

I am very curious to hear if anyone has any ideas on how I might improve this logo, or if anyone has feedback in relation to e.g. unintentional signals, plain bad graphic design, etc.

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    Hi there and welcome. Nice question - I'm sure someone will give you a detailed answer. For now I just have a comment. Maybe it's just me, but the "hint of the M" (the triangle shape in the bottom) gives me associations to a tie. Especially with the white shape around it which could look like a white shirt. – Wolff Feb 19 at 16:30
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    Another thing to consider is how it's gonna look at a very small size (favicon)... those hints will likely not do too well. – WELZ Feb 19 at 16:38
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    I don't see any hints of an "f" or "m" in the logo. to me the triangle part of the "r" makes it look like a stake going into the ground. If I were guessing the type of company solely based on the logo, I'd guess it was a way to securely host cloud storage without risk of data loss. – Zach Saucier Feb 19 at 18:08
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    @ZachSaucier I agree, also the r look like a pencil.. perhaps meaning writing down data or something like that... – WELZ Feb 19 at 18:45
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    Rebus is an old term and it means a kind of image or text puzzle. Here's one: dropbox.com/s/rldib3ntol3rpnt/RFM.jpg?dl=0 – user287001 Feb 19 at 23:25
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Overall it's a solid, fairly well defined, image. Even at smaller sizes it holds up for the most part:

enter image description here

  • There is no "F" implied. With a gun to my head I might be able to say there's a reversed "E" in the r, but that's as close as I'd get. (Unless the Danish F is different than the English F)
  • There is no "M" implied. I have no clue where you may be seeing this. The triangle in the cloud does not convey "M" to me in any way. If anything, it's closer to a "V" than an "M"

That is not necessarily a bad thing though. I merely think you may be so close to the image you see what isn't there, or what no one else will see.

What I immediately percieved..... I see "cloud", "r", and the divots in the "r" appear to me to be like the end of a key indicating "security" or "lock". My inclination would be to think it's some sort of cloud-based software security system which is downloaded. If this does not convey the basis of the company, then it may not be the best suited logo for the company. Then again, logos don't have to be literal at all. So some ambiguity can be fine.

If it were my design, I'd explore...

  • removing the divots in the r
  • increasing the size of the divots in the r to increase their contrast, making them more prominent at smaller sizes. Perhaps playing with the top of the primary stroke in the r to make it pointed to more the shape of a key's end. (if that's the direction it should go.)
  • Increasing the the space between the cloud callout and the bottom of the r. Again to make it more prominent at smaller sizes. Perhaps angle it rather than having a straight triangle, so it's closer to a "chat" callout. Again, if that's a direction you'd like. Based on the web site and the "messaging" and "communication" features of the software, it may be a valid direction of exploration.
  • Perhaps use a different lowercase r which has a more defined ear (or is that a shoulder?). One with perhaps a rounded ear/shoulder to play off the "bubbles" in the cloud, similar to this. Not this r exactly, but something with the bulbous ear may work better. Using similar rounding in the r would help the overall image "feel" more cohesive.
  • If the goal is to include connotations of an "F" and "M" then perhaps start over. I can't provide any direction off-hand as to how to incorporate such glyphs in this existing image. I'd have to sketch and explore a great deal.

Something to maybe consider...

The "cloud" icon is exceptionally commonplace today. Using such a well known visual immediately removes a great deal of "uniqueness".

This will cause the logo to merely blend into a viewer's spectrum and not stand out or be prominent to any great degree.

If you deal in software which integrates with other software, then using something which indicates that more than the "cloud" may be a more unique and viable visual. The web site would indicate the market is not the "average" web user, but a more educated development environment.

Using the cloud icon, to me, is more for end-users. It's a "sticker", an "emoji", a "badge", which is seen but never really acknowledged. I wouldn't want my logo to fall into that "user blindness" level.


This is all merely opinion. There are no rules and nothing posted in this answer should be seen as a "must do". It's all merely suggestion and what I would explore if a client walked in and asked me to rework this logo.

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    The 'divots' in the r -- if that's what you're calling the notches on the stem -- possibly are the 'tines' of a capital F implied by the white space to the left of the R. (And possibly a lowercase 'm' in the negative space to the right of the 'r' under the curve -- I saw it briefly but it was very faint. Those were the only impressions of the 'F' and 'M' I got, though, and only after OP mentioned they were attempting to incorporate.) – Roddy of the Frozen Peas Feb 19 at 22:46
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    I could possibly see those, but it's quite a stretch. – Scott Feb 19 at 22:47
  • Your "similar to this" link returns 404. – John Feb 20 at 6:21
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    Works fine here: samples.myfonts.net/b_92/u/b0/… - But I edited nonetheless – Scott Feb 20 at 7:02
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Like the logo. For what it’s worth I do not see the F or M. I see a pencil maybe.

I would play with trying to be a bit clearer with what you are conveying. If you are google or a well known brand people will recognize your logo no matter what you do with it. If I’m an up and comer that wants a sticky logo, something people will recall or remember I would try and be a bit clearer. There is something I suppose to evoking curioisity and that dwelling on interpreting the mystery of the logo may work in a kind of unintuitive way but there needs to be a reason for someone to want to solve that puzzle. If you are just introducing yourself to the world IMO it’s fine to be unconventional but you want to be clear as day about who you are.

Suggestions? Punch the R out of the cloud. Nest the f in the curve of the r and the m in the curve of the f. Continue to play overall but I would want to have a more clearly defined logo.

Best of luck!

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Your own attempt is solid. But you should use also this place to keep your name visible. Have the cloud, if you see it essential, add some minimalistic decoratives, but keep your name visible!

enter image description here

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