Stop talking about logos on a white background!


Stop talking about logos on a white background!

To understand what this is about, imagine for a second that you understand wines. No, you don’t just understand – you have devoted many years to this, follow the news, know the history of famous varieties and most winemakers. Why, you yourself have made wine more than once. When it comes to wines, you have every right to say: “Guys, I rummage about this.”

Now imagine that every new wine causes a public stir. News about wines also appears on, and in the comments they write: “this is a terrible wine”, “this wine does not cost so much”, “the wine should be tasty, but what is this?”, “The wine should be original”. Everyone has an opinion about wine.

What would you think if none of the commentators tried a new wine, but everyone just looked at the photo of the bottle and wrote their opinion? Wine is made to be drunk – try it before discussing it! But everyone looks at the bottle and thinks: “Hmm, this wine is bitter.” It seems like everyone is crazy.

But that’s exactly what happens with logos. Here is a company logo:

lightestNike logo

Everyone looks and comments: “I’ll draw this in a pint in a minute!”, “I paid $ 35 for this snot”, “the logo should be recognizable, original, but what is this ?!”.

Let me tell you a secret: this is the first and last time you look at the logo on a white background point blank. I call this a “vacuum logo”. For the rest of your life, you will see this logo like this:


Notice how much space the logo takes up:


I marked with red the place where there is no logo. For example, a logo on a website usually occupies less than a percent area:


Everything else is brand colors, fonts, shapes, patterns and rules. This is called “corporate identity” or “identity”. I have already said many times: the useful effect of a logo is the recognition of the company and the impression it makes. The style influences this more than the sign; you can easily recognize the cola by its colors and silhouette, although the logo is not visible:


In life, you will see the logo in a small format, on the go, from afar, in passing. More often, branded color combinations will be visible. Why then at all look at the logo at close range and try to draw any conclusions? See how they plan to use it! In short:

Discussing the success of a logo on a white background is like discussing the taste of wine in a closed bottle

Not a single logo is created to hang in a vacuum – it is put on the site, applied to clothes, printed on business cards. There you have to look at him.

If a designer shows you a logo in a vacuum, run. If the designer hasn’t asked where exactly you will be using the logo, run. Hundreds of logo options on a white background – money down the drain.

Any logo can be used talentedly and talentlessly. There is no incredible power in the Nike logo – it just does a good job and invests a lot in design and advertising. That is why Swoosh has become so recognizable and stylish. We will begin to recognize the mermaid with its tails spread apart, if we show it at every corner.

In a “logo in a vacuum” one can only discuss the quality of graphics, but this is a very complex and subjective question. This can be done by designers on duty, but finding the golden ratio in Apple’s logo does nothing to get us closer to understanding the company’s success.

If you’re far from design, don’t rush into thinking about composition, recognizability, or beauty. How should I not argue about the nativeness of someone else’s C ++ code, if I have not written a single line in my life. I just do not rummage.

Ultimate guide to how to react to logo news

1. You need to look at how you plan to use the logo. If there is no information, it is pointless to discuss a “logo in a vacuum”.

2. No, you shouldn’t look at the logo on a white background and talk about proportions and the golden ratio. Even if others like it.

3. If there is a photo of the logo “in real life”, it is useful to say what impression the design makes on you as a whole: it looks attractive, repulsive, expensive or cheap.

4. No, there is no need to write “this logo is not recognizable” – no one knows how to measure recognition by eye. Moreover, it will depend on the advertising budget.


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