enter image description here

I included my design thinking in the picture above; I would greatly appreciate any comments or questions about my process and final result. The objective is to create an identity for a forward-thinking consultant and speaker. He wanted a Geometric, shape based logo.

  • Hi Ryan! Have you seen this post on meta? We love critique questions, but the more information you can add to yours, the better the answers will be. For example, what in particular are you unsure about in your design?
    – Yisela
    Apr 21 '14 at 0:29
  • I would love any comments about the process, and the final design, whether it is visually balanced enough, makes sense, is heavy/light enough, and which "RR" font works the best! Thanks!
    – grphc_dsgn
    Apr 21 '14 at 0:33
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    "my process" = what is your process? "final result" = what were your objectives? What is your business? What is your target market? In what context will the logo be used in? (In other words, we can't really answer your questions without you providing us a lot more details here. Give us the design brief, for starters).
    – DA01
    Apr 21 '14 at 1:00

First of all: I like it.

Hexagons are the most space-economical shapes there is, there is no other shape that would let you pack more stuff in a small space. Consider bee-hives. I think this is a good thing.

I prefer the colour combination of lime-ish and teal-ish, but consider how this will be used. In fact; I do like the idea of having a logo with several colour choices and using them all depending on context. That might be a little too much for some, but I believe what happens then is that you build a recognition for the shape.

Anyway; my first spontaneous reaction was that that little triangle looks like a down-arrow. Maybe not a connotation you want for your forward-thinker. It looks as if it is sticking out a little from the green line. It is in fact not (I checked) but it looks as if it is. You might want to consider adjusting/doublechecking that.

enter image description here

Second thought was that it is symmetrical but not quite. One thing is that the geometric figures are actually not entirely identical where they "should" be identical, but the little triangle makes it a tiny-weeny-bit off.

I think you should make the asymmetry more pronounced. Add a little something else, gently. This would also help making it a little more contemporary, a little less monograms.

I am glad you skipped the first font you worked with. I do realise that @HostileFork has a point; it might give association to other, more old-fashioned monograms etc, but look at it another way: RR is also Rolls Royce :D That might not be a bad thing. And honestly; I do not think many people will make these connection. Designers do, but we tend to overthink :) You could also try making the Rs lower case. This will remove some of these associations.

I do however think that having the name there is a good thing. I would place it to the right side, using the geometric baselines already there. I really do like the hairline background thing you got going there. It balances the solid geometry, it ads a little more sophistication.

Now; disclaimer: this is just playing with ideas and you will (have to) forgive my awfully crude sketches. I am just trying to give you some ideas, and hopefully you will find a way yourself. Just playing with the idea of accentuating the non-symmetrical. This example is too heavy, but consider it more a way of thinking and conceptual than a finished product.

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  • 1
    +1 for the suggestion to "embrace" design choices, in particular the asymmetry. The eye tends to look for "things that stand out" or are unusual, since they are the ones that give the most information. When one makes an unusual design choice it is bound to be noticed. If it is treated with coyness it can start looking like a mistake (wow, this designer did not notice the symmetry is out of whack!) A good approach, like Random O'Relly suggests, is to embrace one's decisions proudly and make it evident to the viewer that they are not overlooked details but intentional choices.
    – cockypup
    Apr 21 '14 at 13:55

Until you add some info on what in particular you are unsure about, I have some suggestions based on your image:


While I like the colors you chose for your final version, I see a small issue with the blue and pink when they are touching each other.

Something about the contrast is not working. This doesn't happen in your dark and yellow logo, blue being darker it makes the yellow/orange less 'conflictive'.

I'd suggest adjusting the colors (esp the blue?) so they don't create that noise in between them, but I see your 'original' brand colors are the ones in the last image, so if you have decided for your palette, adding a thin white stroke to avoid the colors touching could work.


I'd manually adjust the kerning, especially in "eed". To be honest, I'm not crazy about those ee. They are quite squeezed, and they make the "d" stand out as too separate from the rest.

The think is, I don't think adjusting the kerning will make them look more consistent with the rest of the font, I'm sure that e is great when lost inside a lot of other letters, but having two of them plus only one more that is also quite short in width gives me a funny feeling. Like your name loses size (and "importance") as the letters are added up.

I love the last R, great shape, great position (the top Rs are too thin, they get lost). The logo itself looks great in the last sample. As I said I'd just check the colors and the kerning if you are using your name.

  • Thanks! This is exactly the type of answers/comments I'm looking for. Good eye on the kerning, didn't see that last gap! I'm not sure how I'd adjust the colors to create less of that vibration, the palette is not set in stone but I do enjoy the contrast between the reds/blues/everything else. I'll work with the color.
    – grphc_dsgn
    Apr 21 '14 at 0:41
  • Did you try that dark blue with the pink you have in your last one? Also, how about some white strokes between (some or all) the shapes?
    – Yisela
    Apr 21 '14 at 0:43

My opinion is that graphic design represents communication, so you should make a numbered list of priorities of what you want a design to communicate. ("Geometric consultant speaker" isn't enough of a spec). If you test it on a target audience and they get the message as you intended it, you succeeded. If they don't get the message, you failed. Without that intent of communication it just becomes "de gustibus non est disputandum".

I once saw a redesign from a graphic design student who had redone the box design for Monopoly for a project, and the result looked like it was a box of chocolates. Nothing about it said "board game"...the dark brown tones and fonts did not communicate what it was. It looked "good" and by the book, but it would be out of place at Toys R Us.

Is the most important thing about your client his initials? Hexagons? Why? What is the intent, what are you communicating? What do existing geometric-based R R patterns of this sort conjure? Railroads?

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Or Richie Rich?

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Making interesting patterns is illustration. Graphic design is tailoring a visual image to communicate something. What are you communicating? How would you judge success or failure?

I tend to personally feel that initials are a dated and boring logo idea that should be left to the era of monogrammed towels and such. GitHub's Octocat is way better imagined and fun than a wacky font for GH. So I would personally consider that a last resort for a design concept. YMMV.

So that's the only real critique I can offer unless you really map out what would be the communication points you want to hit, and those which you want to avoid...

UPDATE: Regarding potentially pushing this in a direction that would be less off-putting to me would be to drop the initials and to make up some larger brand. To pick a random name:

enter image description here

Insert better name here. But that gives you a degree of freedom in naming to cohere the message, and takes the incongruous letters off. Though I still question if it really communicates a lot.

Also: as long as we're discussing intent, why the asymmetry of the joined piece on the left and separated triangle on the right? Is it meaningful? If not, why the asymmetry?

  • I'm trying to hit on a sort of modern, technology-themed badge/icon feel. A badge is what a speaker would wear. I'm also trying to stay within the constraints of geometrically based, hexagonal shape and the initials RR. Those were the basic parameters of the project.
    – grphc_dsgn
    Apr 21 '14 at 1:05
  • @grphc_dsgn Well, those aren't very good parameters; sometimes you have to push back and help people with branding sensitivity. You've technically accomplished a hexagon and the initials RR, but I couldn't tell if he's a designer like Calvin Kline or a photographer (I see an aperture). I think you've done a nice clean job of what you've got, but I'd still call it unmotivated; perhaps erring on the side of "shapes for shapes sake". Apr 21 '14 at 1:21

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