SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy devbanana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,736
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    How Complex Can a Logo Be?

    I hope this isn't considered as a site review. I just want to see how complex a logo can be. I am completely blind, as some here may know, and I am trying to find a designer to do a logo for me. I have ideas, but I was told that an idea I had was too complex.

    My site is a religious site named Christ's Little Flock. Due to the name, I wanted the theme to portray at least one or more sheep, and perhaps portray Jesus in some way as well.

    In my idea, I had Jesus picking up a lost lamb, separated from the flock. But that is probably a lot to show in just a logo, though it'd portray the meaning of our site perfectly.

    So just to give me an idea, how complex can a logo be? I'm just not sure where to go here. The designer wasn't really helpful in giving me any alternative ideas, so I'm pretty lost.
    Laudetur Iesus Christus!
    Christ's Little Flock
    Jesus is the Good Shepherd

  2. #2
    Community Advisor silver trophybronze trophy
    dresden_phoenix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    2,734
    Mentioned
    31 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Clients take this personally, but they shouldn't .. it's merely the science of art.

    I understand why you would want (be tempted) to include a figure, a staff, some sheep, rolling meadows, a wolf and a sun, maybe some fluffy clouds, in the pictogram which would reflect your organizations name. This urge is natural for non brad professionals and non-designers. But keep in mind ( technical /reproduction difficulties aside) that logo building is a REDUCTIVE process. The urge that you feel is to create an ILLUSTRATION of your organization name or, better yet, mission. So simple , even abstract is better.. both technically and communicative in the long run.

    Keeping with your xtian theme, for example look at the "fish" logo. it's ONE BENT LINE ... the GESTURE which represents a fish. note the designer could have been tempted (by the way am not punning) to render a fish.. ( but what fish? a talipa, a guppy?) have used multiple fish, loaves of bread, the crowd.. a shore line...

    During logo design, one is forced to delete the details as unimportant and focus on the telling line.

    The APPLE logo for example was originally based on NEWTONS APPLE. Which is why the company targeted education early on... but it was HORRIBLE because it tried to tell a story rather than make a name memorable with a gesture.

    hope my advise has been useful.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy devbanana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,736
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dresden_phoenix View Post
    Clients take this personally, but they shouldn't .. it's merely the science of art.

    I understand why you would want (be tempted) to include a figure, a staff, some sheep, rolling meadows, a wolf and a sun, maybe some fluffy clouds, in the pictogram which would reflect your organizations name. This urge is natural for non brad professionals and non-designers. But keep in mind ( technical /reproduction difficulties aside) that logo building is a REDUCTIVE process. The urge that you feel is to create an ILLUSTRATION of your organization name or, better yet, mission. So simple , even abstract is better.. both technically and communicative in the long run.

    Keeping with your xtian theme, for example look at the "fish" logo. it's ONE BENT LINE ... the GESTURE which represents a fish. note the designer could have been tempted (by the way am not punning) to render a fish.. ( but what fish? a talipa, a guppy?) have used multiple fish, loaves of bread, the crowd.. a shore line...

    During logo design, one is forced to delete the details as unimportant and focus on the telling line.

    The APPLE logo for example was originally based on NEWTONS APPLE. Which is why the company targeted education early on... but it was HORRIBLE because it tried to tell a story rather than make a name memorable with a gesture.

    hope my advise has been useful.
    Thank you. I understand. Like I said I am completely 100% blind, so I have not seen what other logos look like, to be able to know what is the norm. I was just trying to figure out the complexity that is usual for logos.
    Laudetur Iesus Christus!
    Christ's Little Flock
    Jesus is the Good Shepherd

  4. #4
    Community Advisor silver trophybronze trophy
    dresden_phoenix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    2,734
    Mentioned
    31 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My apology, I thought you used that as a 'metaphor' .
    The idea is you want to make it a symbol not an illustration. My mentor used to say 'a telling line' . try to think of a concept with as few elements as possible. Hopefully the designer will also be able to make a minimalistic representation of said elements. If nothing else you can at least understand WHY having a myriad of elements is self defeating; I mean if you were to find a good, clean stylistic representation of a sheep.. only to clutter it by repeating it 7 times. Hopefully that guides you in refining your brandmark concept.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy devbanana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,736
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dresden_phoenix View Post
    My apology, I thought you used that as a 'metaphor' .
    Lol, most people seem to think that.

    Quote Originally Posted by dresden_phoenix View Post
    The idea is you want to make it a symbol not an illustration. My mentor used to say 'a telling line' . try to think of a concept with as few elements as possible. Hopefully the designer will also be able to make a minimalistic representation of said elements. If nothing else you can at least understand WHY having a myriad of elements is self defeating; I mean if you were to find a good, clean stylistic representation of a sheep.. only to clutter it by repeating it 7 times. Hopefully that guides you in refining your brandmark concept.
    Understood. I will certainly think about that. Your help is appreciated.
    Laudetur Iesus Christus!
    Christ's Little Flock
    Jesus is the Good Shepherd

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    85
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think you should keep the idea of the sheep, especially as it relates to the name. Adding a shepherd or something else (like a cross) will lessen the impact of the logo. In my opinion.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy devbanana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,736
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by zot View Post
    I think you should keep the idea of the sheep, especially as it relates to the name. Adding a shepherd or something else (like a cross) will lessen the impact of the logo. In my opinion.
    That's what I'm thinking about. My concern is whether just a sheep would really portray what we are trying to represent. Perhaps a sheep looking up towards a light or something.

    Thanks for your input.
    Laudetur Iesus Christus!
    Christ's Little Flock
    Jesus is the Good Shepherd

  8. #8
    Community Advisor silver trophybronze trophy
    dresden_phoenix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    2,734
    Mentioned
    31 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    again, a logo is a symbol not an illustration. consider that , properly styled, two or better yet a single sheep can REPRESENT a flock. I would also consider using a shepherd's crook .. perhaps that can be styled SUBTLY from a cross?

  9. #9
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sydney, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    16,603
    Mentioned
    24 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    I recently read something where it stated that a logo needs to work when it fills the entire side of a building and that it also needs to work when as small as a postage stamp. The smaller of these sizes combined with screen resolution means that your logo needs to work when it contains perhaps as few as 70 x 90 pixels (even less if you also want to use it as a favicon) - this doesn't give a great amount of scope for including anything even slightly complex. With logos simpler is generally better - what you need is something easily recognisable.
    Stephen J Chapman

    javascriptexample.net, Book Reviews, follow me on Twitter
    HTML Help, CSS Help, JavaScript Help, PHP/mySQL Help, blog
    <input name="html5" type="text" required pattern="^$">

  10. #10
    Non-Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    41
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The complication of a design lies in the hands of a designer. However, when a logo is concerned, simplicity is seen as its best. Why don't you try to creatively embed the image in the text? Or create an icon of Jesus holding the lost sheep? Like a silhouette maybe with a background all put in a small circle. I see its been a while since you raised this question. Have you found any luck? It would be nice to see what you have produced.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Zealot radiant_luv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    WebVille
    Posts
    130
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I would go for all font logo with a small bit of illustration. IMO less is more. lets make a memorable logo than a complex logo. If I'm a user I will come back to your website for the content not only for the logo.
    Personal Playground: www.sudipmondal.com
    Twitter: @iam_sudip

  12. #12
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    10
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    devbanana,

    A logo can be as simple or as complex as a good logo designer can create.

    I don't think the logo you envision is out of the question. It kinda depends on what you plan to use it for. Will it only be for your web site? If so, then you may be thinking of something more like a masthead. Which would be the top part of your site. Lots of church sites use that area for different graphical themes. This is common for sites designed for Wordpress. It's just a part of the site that takes the top portion of usually the home page (or all pages) and can have a nice graphic element representing the theme or feel of the site.

    Most logos are designed to be flat, versatile and vector based, especially when used for printing, like on business cards, t-shirts, paper stock, coffee cups, etc. Which is why they are usually very simple. If you just want your logo on your site then it can be any way you want. You'll run into trouble later on if you want to put it on business cards.

    When I think of complex logos, I think of movie company logos like Paramount, 20th Century Fox, DreamWorks, MGM and even Disney. When seen on the tv/movie screen they are usually pretty detailed and portray a vastness about them. But there are versions of the same logos made small enough to be put on stationary and still be recognizable -- just most of the detail is left out. For example, the DreamWorks logo is a boy sitting on the crescent moon with his fishing rod surrounded by clouds. The smaller versions are just the boy on the moon with the fishing rod usually in black and white and no detail, like a silhouette. Sometimes just the name of the company -- DreamWorks.

    If the artist can also make a silhouette version of your logo, then it is definitely doable.

    I think the person you talked to may just be thinking from a branding perspective and wants to stick with the rules of logo creation they were taught.

  13. #13
    Non-Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    160
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You are the client and what you want should be done no matter how complex or difficult. You should push to have it done and if they don't want to do it, you should find a new person to help you out.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Zealot behati's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    152
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    In all honesty, the more complex you make your logo the more you're "asking of the viewer", which can be a good thing if the viewer is completely in par with the story that the logo is telling, or immediately sees how clever the logo is. In reality I find that people perceive logos very differently, what is obviously a raindrop to person A may be perceived as an apple to Person B. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't make complex or even challenging logos, but it really comes down to the ability of the artist to convey the message as clearly as possible - which is why a lot of people lean towards simple and straight forward logos: to make sure that their message is conveyed.

    In short, a skilled artist in theory can make any logo accessible by anyone, but a crowded logo can easily throw off a lot of viewers who your logo is meant to be "catching" rather than confusing.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Zealot
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    117
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    hi everyone. It's good to read all of your posts. I am planning to learn about graphic designing, specifically logo creation. My problem is that I don't know how to create simple images or shapes that I can turn into an image for the logo.

    On the other hand, I do agree with simplicity. Most famous logos don't have much images but shapes and the like.
    Visigraph DECALS, BANNERS, SIGNS, and DISPLAYS!

    Rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau. ZERO complaints in 10 years!

  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    1,316
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I would suggest limiting the logo to one smiling cartoon sheep cradled in 2 arms, very tightly cropped. Use vector graphics software so it would scale to any size smoothly.

    I'm at a loss as to why your designer couldn't give you any ideas. A good designer should be able to submit 10 ideas.
    Steve Husting


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •