14 votes

The Corporate Logo Singularity: Against the creepy cheerfulness of a thousand smiling san serifs

6 comments

  1. [4]
    bbvnvlt
    (edited )
    Link
    EDIT: this is a reply to @Gaywallet, mistakenly posted as a top level comment, as @alyaza points out. Simplicity can only ever be a means, not a goal. In wallplugs, uniformity supports their...

    EDIT: this is a reply to @Gaywallet, mistakenly posted as a top level comment, as @alyaza points out.

    The whole purpose of design is simplicity.

    Simplicity can only ever be a means, not a goal. In wallplugs, uniformity supports their function. In logo's, not so much. The purpose of a logo is to identify. That requires a measure of uniqueness. When all logo's look the same, they no longer perform their function.

    designed correctly

    There is no such thing. Design is always dependent on what the designer's/client's/owner's/user's goals and values are. In some countries, You cannot build new buidlings with doorknobs instead of handles (because difficult for elderly and disabled to operate). In some areas, it is required to have doorknobs on all doors (because they are difficult for bears to operate). What do you do in areas where those two cancel out? In design, there is no correct, only coherent.

    8 votes
    1. [2]
      alyaza
      Link Parent
      looks like you accidentally made a top level comment instead of replying to @Gaywallet

      looks like you accidentally made a top level comment instead of replying to @Gaywallet

      4 votes
    2. Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      But they don't look the same, do they? They all have clearly easily read font with no serif. That's the aspect of design I'm referring to here. They've converged on that because it's the easiest...

      The purpose of a logo is to identify. That requires a measure of uniqueness. When all logo's look the same, they no longer perform their function.

      But they don't look the same, do they? They all have clearly easily read font with no serif. That's the aspect of design I'm referring to here. They've converged on that because it's the easiest to read while maintaining a modern, clean look.

      There is no such thing. Design is always dependent on what the designer's/client's/owner's/user's goals and values are.

      While I agree to an extent, I also disagree.

      Objects perform a function. How well they can perform that function, without any need to train the user of said object is an inherent, objective value to how well it is designed.

      A door that many people fail to open correctly the first time is objectively worse than a door which never suffers from the same problem.

      Someone's subjective value of the failing door may be high enough to supersede it's downsides, but we can't account for everyone and we're talking about generic design principles here which means they should apply to how the average population approaches said design. Measurements of how the population reacts are important to determine worth.

      In design, there is no correct, only coherent.

      Again, I disagree. If I design a door that cannot open as the only entrance or exit to a house, it is designed incorrectly. When we get down to the minutiae of detail, there's certainly more wiggle room, but when we can objectively measure some things about design because objects are designed for a purpose and the efficiency of said purpose can typically be measured in a way that is either purely objective, or at least objective in the context of the most likely scenario.

      3 votes
  2. [2]
    Gaywallet
    Link
    The whole purpose of design is simplicity. Why did someone feel the need to write an article attacking simplicity? This reminds me of a short video recently posted about door design.. This author...

    The whole purpose of design is simplicity. Why did someone feel the need to write an article attacking simplicity? This reminds me of a short video recently posted about door design.. This author stumbled upon a world where all the doors are designed correctly, and then found the need to complain that archaic, worse designed doors should come back.

    Sure, diversity is great. I like to see diversity in the world. But when something is designed smartly, and for a reason, why must we attack it just because it reduces diversity a little? You hardly see the author attacking standardized wall plugs because they all look the same. 😐

    4 votes
    1. nothis
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I believe you didn't get the point of the article. Most of the logos mentioned were simple before and would be simple after any redesign because that's the purpose of a good logo (even though some...

      I believe you didn't get the point of the article. Most of the logos mentioned were simple before and would be simple after any redesign because that's the purpose of a good logo (even though some world-class studios can even overstep that and successfully break the rules). You can make a simple logo that doesn't look "creepy, like the painted-on smile of a clown’s face" (which is a brilliant analogy, btw). The point of the article is that these logos are intentionally designed to an almost childlike level of cheerfulness, which might be appropriate for an entertainment company but starts getting a bit weird with Mastercard or Uber. It's also weird how – indeed – all companies are currently opting for that style. The need for that is a visual message. Is it to hide the increasingly sinister role these technology companies play in our lives? Or is it just some other new trend, like the gamification of every aspect of reality? I get the article's conclusion that no matter what, it comes off as fake and manipulative.

      We're talking about logos, here. That's not an engineering problem, it's a graphic design problem and it hooks into a lot of psychological aspects of design. You can ignore that, of course, but if you want to discuss it, you can't just say "uhm, it's simple so it's good". There's a reason companies invest millions into graphic design, it's not just some CEO's hobby. They want to bring across a message.

      PS: This is a subtle issue that likely only graphic designers can truly get mad over (even though it probably has a real impact on other people as well) but as a more obvious analogy, take the 2000 redesign of the BP logo. The "p" stands for petrol and it makes it look like a goddamn flower. That's the kind of cynicism we're talking about. Only in mostly typographic form.

      5 votes