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NOTE: This is a continuation from a previous question: Critique Request: CAD drafting contractor logo

Old logo







I've implemented some of the suggested changes from my previous for this logo redesign project, incorporating a simpler grid (to hopefully keep my client happy). :) Here's where that led:

Simpler Cube







Then I decided to try something even simpler, working a little harder at incorporating the name into the logo, hopefully to emphasize the "CAD" part a bit more, but retain the idea behind the cube:

More modern design

I have shown these to my client, and he told me he likes the second one better of the two, but he voiced concerns that he is apprehensive of moving away from the logo he has had for years (the old logo at the top of this post). He mentioned the possibility of getting another professional opinion on the matter, so here I am. :)

My main questions are:

  1. Are these new logos an improvement on the original? (I need a more objective standpoint than my own.) :)

  2. If yes, do you have suggestions on improving either of these designs?

Thank you once again for your help!

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Isn't it nice to work on something that can almost only be improved?! The initial logo looks dated (type and perspective grid effect) and overlaying both doesn't help the legibility. Unless your client is famous for his image, I think it's a good thing he's getting it fixed.

Personally I prefer your 1st design with the cube because it maintains a link with the idea of the grid in the original logo. You will want to print it at a small size to make sure that grid comes out clearly.

I see a bit of the problem with the font; it looks a bit trendy to me. Also the very geometric shapes of the CAD makes the kerning look off and I think you're going to struggle to fix it. Unless you're designing a logo for an event, I would stick to something a bit more intemporal. Not to say you can't pick something that is current, just make sure it will last at least another 5 years minimally. I think you might also need a bit of work on the symbol/type ratio but overall, I think it's a definite improvement. Is there a reason why the tagline is gone?

  • Thanks; I'm going to change the font, but how can I know how long a font will "last"? – CullenJ Oct 3 '14 at 21:25
  • @CullenJ Excellent question! I would really pick a font according to what my client does and his audience and try to avoid trends completely. So if you picked a font because you enjoyed the look or because it's a popular style lately, it's probably wrong. Look at what their competitors use and if they all have logos that are so-so, look at bigger companies who are in a similar field. Don't necessarily pick the same font but check the features. Also, pick a font that is well legible in small formats. That is usually dependent on the counterspace in the letters. – curious Oct 4 '14 at 2:37
  • You might want to pick a sans that is a bit less geometric, it will bring out the geometrical aspect of your symbol and make it stand out more. – curious Oct 4 '14 at 2:38
  • Thanks! Ironically, I chose the current font because it was so geometric. – CullenJ Oct 4 '14 at 5:35
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    @CullenJ Makes sense too! Usually I think it's an either you pick something that is similar or something that offers a nice contrast (while retaining the meaning so don't go script on this!) You could try other geometrics too, possibly with a bit more weight and rework the glyphs of CAD similar to what you did in your 2nd option to fix the kerning but it would have to be more subtle I think (just a slight overlap with a bit of cutting maybe, no messing with heights and angles and all that). – curious Oct 4 '14 at 15:10
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The first one looks good, the second one doesn't. The first one however needs to have the perspective fixed, the bottom and top are not correct making it look "wonky." I'd go with the top angle and change the bottom side to match. I also think the D in the font you're using looks bad so would change the entire font.

You might also want to make the type a bit bolder so its easier to reproduce on different backgrounds.

Edit

For the second one I'm saying your perspective is all wrong. If you're going to do Birds-Eye Perspective, then do it right. If you want to make it ortho then that works too. But right now its neither and therefore unpleasing to the eye. This was fairly quick sketch but shows what I mean:

enter image description here

Those should all diverge at the same point and even being rough, its not even close.

Here's a quick image example courtesy a Google Search finding http://mrcotton.wordpress.com/

enter image description here

  • @CullenJ see the update – Ryan Oct 6 '14 at 14:07
  • Thanks! I understand now. I was meticulous with the top and bottom angles, but didn't think to check the grid angles, which I assumed would align when I did a transform to make them fit the sides. – CullenJ Oct 6 '14 at 14:15
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Original logo is really bad. I am glad you are doing a redesign. Aside from the other issues addressed above I am not seeing a concept. What is the overall theme? What and how does this company want to be portrayed by their clients? Do you have an aspirational statement or key words you are working from. I am hoping this is a first draft and you have hundreds more to do.

What I am seeing in the logo is nice enough layout with nice enough type but the arrows are distracting and a bit common. The font choice isn't a good contrast with the grid you've set up. There are some big typographical issues such as the space between the C&A the A&D and the size of the D is really strange. I would print this and see what it looks like at 1 inch and 11x17. Then print out some famous logos and loo at them side by side and see how it compares. Again though if you don't have a strong concept (I kept the grid to keep the client happy) is not a concept then it's going to be difficult to nail down a logo.

  • More like hundredth draft with hundreds more. :) The concept is a cube on the 3D X, Y, and Z axes. No aspirational statement, but I have added notes about my client's business and what he does in my previous post. Thank you for your comments. :) – CullenJ Oct 3 '14 at 21:20
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Rubik's Cube and a bunch of arrows doesn't really mean much.

I'd keep the original grid, remove the text / line / slogan, and render CompuCAD in Helvetica face down along the lines of the grid using a 3D tool like say LightWave 3D with a wide angle lens.

That way you'd get perfect a perspective and don't have to worry about any of the stuff in Ryan's answer. You also get to keep some of the original brand recognition.

I don't have LightWave 3D where I am right now, but here's a sucky 10 second mousepad sketch to illustrate my point:

enter image description here

If done properly I can imagine it would look quite nice. It's neutral and doesn't try to be something it's not. CAD drafters are paid to transfer other peoples designs -- not to come up with designs themselves -- and I believe their logo should reflect that.

  • But when you come up with stuff that has no connection with what it's trying to represent, you might as well drop it and start over. Save your client the embarassment from the architects they work for who have actually studied design for 10+ years. As they say, "perfection is achieved, not when there's nothing left to add, but when there's nothing left to take away". – Mark Boulder Oct 6 '14 at 17:40
  • My client teaches 3D drafting as well as converts architect's designs into 3D drawings. I'm not going to claim that my idea of the cube in the axis is the greatest idea in the world, but my hope is that it does have a better connection to 3D design than text laid on an ambiguous grid. Please don't take my criticism personally, but I feel like you don't understand my intent of design. I don't fault you for this; it just tells me I need to make my intent clearer in my design, or start over (as you said). – CullenJ Oct 6 '14 at 18:08
  • Having a grid's axis 3D-rotated downwards is already plenty of suggestion of this being 3D. I didn't mean to offend you. I understand your intentions perfectly and would have done the same 10 years ago. Have you considered enrolling design school? – Mark Boulder Oct 6 '14 at 20:33
  • I also recommend buying all of the "Logos" series at shop.gestalten.com for primary examples of the world's best logo designs. – Mark Boulder Oct 6 '14 at 20:46

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