Rarely is there a company whose logo is not as equally famous as its name. While the public may be surprised to learn how much time and consideration go into perfecting an iconic emblem, designers know better. A logo is the result of days (or months) spent conceiving dozens of different concepts; fine-tuning the smallest […]
A trend I’ve noticed more and more in logo design recently is the symbol within the backing circle or outline. It’s certainly not something that offends or goes against the rules of design, more of a trick to allow for adaptability and contrast. That being said, it’s increasingly common occurrence in the logo galleries and portfolios leads me to define it as a ‘trend’ – browsing classic logo books shows a distinct lack of the shape in question.
The title suggests lazy design, the mindset of “just stick it in a circle and it will look good” but I do admit there is oftentimes a sound and logical reasoning for it’s usage. Minimalism is generally associated with white space, straight lines and clean visuals – having a circle allows for contrast against said backdrop; the solid colour, presented in a non-liner mark. So it makes sense, sometimes.
My concern is more that by falling into the whole category of ‘trends’ is the easy way out. As a designer, you need to push the boundaries and leave your own comfort zone. Constantly falling to the tried and tested techniques that you know work, is just too safe. Yes, you need to please the client, who often sees the currently fashionioned galleries as what’s important, but even things as current as drop-shadows and gradients are becoming staid in logos – the mark of an aging design. A previous client of mine asked specifically to see it outlined, but when I asked why, they didn’t really have an answer. My explanation of why it didn’t need outlined left them with a better understanding of what I was trying to achieve, and they were happy. Before you think of me as being arrogant, or above others, it should be noted that I have used the technique as well, often to good effect in creating an interesting contrast for branding – what I’m trying to say is that going with these methods every time is not allowing you and your work to grow naturally, it’s being constrained.
So my suggestion is, before reverting to your safe zone, experiment with different colours, shapes and layouts, try to show the symbol you’ve spent so long creating in a way that gives it the respect it deserves. Don’t simply give it an outline and hope you pull it off.