Deadly Sin of Logo Design #2 Fixed: Having Sufficient Mass

A. Michael Shumate

A. Michael Shumate

Having Sufficient Mass

Delicate Doesn’t Work
Corporate identity design is different from every other area of graphic design in that the end product must work in a wide variety of circumstances, be readable even at small sizes and be reproduced in every conceivable medium. For that reason, graphic approaches that might be appropriate in other design situations may not work in identity design. Thin type can be elegant and works well in many sitiuations, but it is a poor choice for identity design.

A company’s identity will be featured on signs, meaning they will be viewed at a distance. Visual elements that don’t have a certain minimum of mass are just not as visible as those that do have mass. There’s no getting away from it.

1. Phillips had their light-weight logo for forty years before fixing the mass issue. 2. When Macy’s added the star logo to their identity, they also opted for delicate type. After fifteen years they fixed that with a heavier version of the same font. 3. Big Nerd Ranch fixed contrast issues and gave their logo and signature some mass. 4. Yahoo! made a major improvement with it’s signature by adding mass. 5. Skyscanner has a much more visible identity with an improved logo and signature. 6. Huffington Post made two smart moves with their identity: A) they shortened their name and B) they gave their signature more mass. 7. Both logo and signature of Fitbit are improved with more weight. 8. The Recording Academy swapped its serif font for a humanist font. They’ll probably go straight sans serif before long. 9. Dale Carnegie’s new identity looks more modern and credible. 10. Experian increased their weight but will find the wrap-around logo ineffective. 11. MomentFeed separated its logo from the word and increased the type weight. 12. Santander also traded in their serif font for a heavier sans serif.

Adapted from Logo Design Theory: How Branding Design Really Works

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