Horrible things

harrykharryk Registered User regular
edited March 2011 in Artist's Corner
Oh snap, did I just make a thread here?

Anyway, I started taking classes at the local community college here and the student government is having a contest to redesign their logo. I've decided to make my own shitty logo to submit:

logo_asg.gif

I'd love to get feedback on this before I keep working on it.
Looks amateurish? Fonts are weird? The ASG letters I kind of hobbled together from stuff that I liked so I'm not sure if it all matches well.

This is their current logo as far as I can tell:

current_asg.gif

Also, here are some recent sketchy things:
2010_09_04.jpg
2010_10_11.jpg
2010_10_13_2.jpg
2010_10_26.jpg

harryk on

Posts

  • DMACDMAC Moderator mod
    edited October 2010
    Do the stripes under the ASG represent anything? My first thought was "barcode" then "bacon". It looks like uneven stripes coming out towards the viewer. The splits in the ASG look strange too. That sort of stencil letter look tends to have military or industrial connotations. With a logo, every little detail tends to be important.

    Have you looked at other government or educational logos? Sometimes when you're designing for an industry or a group of people you're not really familiar with, it's a good idea to see what's out there and figure out the visual "language" they use. A Google image search for "student government logo" is a good place to start.

    The other big thing to consider is whether your school has fonts/colors/symbols/etc. that would make sense to incorporate.

    DMAC on
  • GrennGrenn Registered User
    edited October 2010
    Logo/branding design should be an iterative and collaborative process.

    The ideal starting place would be to establish what the Student Govt want to achieve with the redesign - what sort of personality and tone do they want to convey? Does the redesign fit in with any specifc strategy they are working towards? Are there existing brand guidelines which the logo needs to adhere to, or is it a clean slate? In what ways will it be reproduced? etc. etc.

    If a client is unable to identify what they want to get out of a logo, how can it's success be measured?

    It sounds like they just want to choose a logo which they think looks nice, which is a poor way of approaching the design of something which wholly represents your company/endeavour, but there you go. (I will here take the liberty of saving my rant on 'design contests' for another time.)

    As for feedback on the design - it looks like you're just trying things for the sake of it. You'd be far better off coming up with a concept and refining and refining* until you come up with the strongest means of communicating the concept, without any of the clutter.

    Some pointers: Simple is often better; good logos have a strong, recognisable silhouette; ensure that every choice you make has a reason behind it (more meaning per mark); *refining means taking away, not adding!

    As DMAC's wholesome advice rightly points out, do a bunch of research in order to be better versed in the appropriate visual language.

    Good luck!

    Grenn on
  • harrykharryk Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    DMAC wrote: »
    Do the stripes under the ASG represent anything? My first thought was "barcode" then "bacon".
    ...
    Oh god bacon. The stripes I meant to be somewhat of a mesa shape and also be like raised arms to represent community, though I guess it might not read much like that.

    I did look at other student government logos and a lot of them looked like school crestish things, big circles with lots of text and olive branches and justice scales and banners. I didn't really like how they looked (really formal and pretentious bullshit?). But I guess it's not really my decision to make. I will take a closer look at that stuff.

    Thanks for the advice man.
    Grenn wrote: »
    Logo/branding design should be an iterative and collaborative process.

    ...

    Good luck!
    I agree with everything you said. I feel like I'm kind of taking a shot in the dark here with this cause there wasn't a lot of information about what they wanted, what they represent, etc. I guess it wouldn't hurt to shoot them an email to see if I can get some more details out of them.

    And you are right. The logo looks the way it does right now because I kinda liked the lines and shapes created by the letters and such.

    harryk on
  • GrennGrenn Registered User
    edited October 2010
    harryk wrote: »
    They want the logo submitted in .gif or .jpg form if that says anything.

    Sadly, it sort of says they don't know what they're doing!

    But, on a positive note I would definitely ask them some questions in order to clarify what they hope to get out of the design - you never know, you might be the only entrant who bothers to do this, and it may work in your favour.

    My main advice would be to just have fun with the task but keep in mind that it's not a very good teaching aid in designing - i.e. understand the limitations of the excercise, and how it falls short of the ideal process.

    If design is something you're wanting to get into, then a book should be out in a month or so which I think will be absolutely great for young designers:

    http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Workshop-Challenges-Sharpen-Design/dp/1600617972

    I'm an avid follower of David Sherwin's blog and certainly his design theory & teaching stuff; I honestly think the contents of his book will be more valuable than 90% of anything students are taught in design school.

    Grenn on
  • harrykharryk Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I will definitely take a look at that. Thanks!

    harryk on
  • DMACDMAC Moderator mod
    edited October 2010
    harryk wrote: »
    I did look at other student government logos and a lot of them looked like school crestish things, big circles with lots of text and olive branches and justice scales and banners. I didn't really like how they looked (really formal and pretentious bullshit?). But I guess it's not really my decision to make. I will take a closer look at that stuff.

    I'm inclined to agree about those logos being too formal but you may be able to take some elements of that format and give them a bit of a twist. I visited your school's Website and they definitely seem to have more of a modern/friendly/approachable vibe rather than traditional/academic. My instinct would be to try to blend elements of your school's visual identity with some of the symbols/format of those other crests.

    DMAC on
  • harrykharryk Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Small update on this thing. I had a short meeting with the guy in charge of the contest. I got a little bit more information on what they might be looking for, though it was hard because it seemed like they were not really looking for anything in particular besides something 'new' and 'professional' and eye catching.

    logo_10_31a.gif
    First idea. The mascot for the school is the Olympians so the olive branches kind of double up as a victory laurel type thing. Looks kind of like the orowheat logo? :D

    logo_10_31b.gif
    The idea of this other one, I like a bit better. 'Student representation' was something that popped up several times during our talk, so the squiggly stuff at the bottom is 'supposed' to represent that as a mass of students with their arms raised.

    logo_10_31c.gif
    Lastly, I polished up that first logo a bit, just for kicks. Not really feeling it at all anymore. D:

    What do you guys think? Am I going in a good direction here?

    harryk on
  • ZellpherZellpher Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    I would prefer the direction you are going with the first one (with the olive branches) to our current one. I didn't actually know what that logo was for until this thread.

    :P

    Zellpher on
  • MustangMustang Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Yeah I prefer your first one (olive branches).

    This:
    logo_10_31c.gif

    reminds me a bit too much of a low end lending institution whose home loans are advertised as the best thing since sexual intercourse but in reality are a one way ticket to bankruptcy. Am I right?
    So right.

    Mustang on
  • JeckalJeckal Registered User
    edited November 2010
    I have to agree with the others on the whole olive branch thing,
    even though I think of old school olympians and greece etc when i i think of olives branches.
    But I think that the the typeface for most school related things when it comes to schools in america,
    has a sport theme, ergo modern olympians etc. Ramble much.

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  • DMACDMAC Moderator mod
    edited November 2010
    I think elements of the second one could work. Incorporating the school's script logo seems like a good idea and the reversed out "S" in ASG could look good, although you'd probably want to make the "A" and "G" blue and have the "S" as a negative in white.

    I don't think the crowd of people idea is going to work at logo size. For something that's likely to be printed on business cards or letterhead, it's just going to be too much tiny detail and will come out looking like the letters just have some sort of corrosion on the bottom. Maybe if you incorporated something simpler like 3 raised hands in silhouette?

    DMAC on
  • harrykharryk Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    DLxEU.jpg

    Ok, I need to ask something. I am taking a drawing course at my CC, and I guess I imagined it would be a bit different than how it is turning out. For example, for the curtains above, the assignment was to draw the curtains in our classroom, and focus on using value to define form. After going through the critique, it seems like the actual assignment was: "apply value, make something interesting, also, look at these curtains for a while", because there was some seriously abstract/psychadelic shit that people came up with. People mention that they either got bored or frustrated with trying to draw the curtains so they just did their own thing. The professor praises these (some of them did look interesting) and encourages us to try different approaches if trying to accurately portray the subject is not working out. He walks around while we draw but avoids giving any feedback.

    Meanwhile, I feel like I was the only one who was actually trying to draw straight up curtains, the way they looked, the "realistic approach". (Isn't that how you train your eye? by careful observation?) My shitty curtain drawing gets heaped praise. It seems like as long as there is consistency in approach, anything is fair game. It is a beginning drawing course, but I feel like I am walking out of a gigantic hippie circlejerk whenever I walk out of that classroom, and I feel like I am just paying to rent space to draw in. Please tell me I am crazy and closed minded, and I will suck it up.

    Also, a wire sculpture I did for another class:
    pC2qd.jpg
    K86LB.jpg

    harryk on
  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    The kind of situation you're in is not unique. I think for entry level drawing courses the professor is more focused on getting people interested in art and taking the next drawing class than they are focused on getting disciplined students who produce good work. If that is the professor's goal, then it sounds like he is accomplishing it.

    However, do you have a course syllabus? Are there objectives listed on it? Is there anything on there about training your eye or drawing realistically?

    As with any college class, the people that eventually succeed in their work outside of the classroom will be the people that push themselves beyond the class.

    NibCrom on
  • harrykharryk Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    "This course introduces anyone with an interest in drawing to the techniques and theory they need to create naturalistic drawings in various media. It provides students with the means to see and describe the world three-dimensionally using lines and differences in dark and light, and it provides students with compositional strategies for making their depicitions meaningful and effective."

    Maybe I am imposing my own goals somewhat on this class. I'm just getting very frustrated because I feel like I'm not getting much out of it.

    harryk on
  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I think it's a good sign that you're frustrated. Hold yourself to a higher standard. If your goal is to be a professional illustrator, you're going to have a much better chance of being hired later in life if you push yourself to be an awesome illustrator. The guy in the class that gets bored doing life studies might get praise from his professor for trying something different, but that sort of discipline isn't going to get him a job.

    Edit: I'm not trying to say that stylized illustration is wrong, it's terrific, but I think you're going to be much better off if you are able to draw realistically. I think there are a lot of people that make amateur mistakes and make excuses like, "that's just my style." Stuff like short, scratchy line strokes might look okay to a beginner, but I think anyone with medium to high illustration skills can recognize those mistakes and differentiate stylized illustration from those mistakes.

    NibCrom on
  • MolybdenumMolybdenum Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    oh man
    that wire thing is awesome.

    I bet you could have a lot of fun with light effects on that.

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