$99 Music Videos
Lee submitted this logo for $99 Music Videos, an independent music channel of music videos that have all been made for less than $99 (time not included). He made the following remarks about the company,
Most musicians and filmmakers are unable to spend thousands of dollars on a music video. But in the age of digital film making, you no longer need those kinds of budgets. In fact, amazing original music videos are being made for the web every day for next to nothing. It was in this spirit that $99 Music Videos was born. We wanted to get back to the basics about what it is to make a music video; so we went with a really basic, yet strong logotype.
The following critique is based on one designers opinion and experience. I will ask a question or two during the critique and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.
The $99 Music Videos logo is simple and bold. The typeface appears to be Helvetica Neue Bold. I dont understand the upc/barcode graphic below the text. To me, the upc graphic says nothing about music, videos, or cost effective music videos. More than anything the barcode evokes ideas of retail and monetary transactions. I say loose the upc/barcode graphic, its not doing anything for the design.
Question for the readers
please respond in the comments below
What do you think about the upc/barcode graphic? Is it working for you?
If you take the upc graphic out of the design, you might consider bringing in a graphic element that ties to music or video. Another option would be to rework the type and not include a graphic element at all.
Functionality / Versatility
The bold typeface choice for the logo works well from a functionality and readability standpoint. When the logo is used small next to the artist and song name in the videos it is still legible. However, the upc graphic does get a little blurry when used small.
Does the Logo Work for the Audience?
I think Lee did the right thing in keeping this logo simple and somewhat generic. The music video channel focuses on low cost collaborative work. The generic look of the logo represents the overall concept of the music video channel quite well. Ok, maybe the collaboration part isnt communicated, but the low cost part is conveyed.
The logo is not particularly unique, as a matter of fact its really quite generic with its use of Helvetica Neue and no color. As I stated before though, I think it fits the business.
The typography in this logo is extremely important, since thats about all there is to it. With that said, very close attention should be paid to the kerning, leading and alignment. These things are always important in logo design, but here they come to the forefront as there is nothing to distract the viewer. Your typography must be spot on! The problem here is, its not. There are kerning issues throughout. One glaring example surrounds the letter o. I would also like to see some more leading between the words music and videos. The d is uncomfortably close to the u.
The alignment of the left edge of videos is off. Just a bit too far to the left. The word music (in exact alignment with the top of 99) visually appears slightly higher than 99 because of the curved top of the 9. Sometimes exact alignments need to be adjusted in order to look right visually.
So what is the best way to improve the logo? Well I think have made some comments above that can certainly offer some direction. Heres a list of actionable items.
- Consider removing the upc/barcode graphic from the mark. With the upc graphic removed, youll have to revaluate the design. You could just drop the text music videos to the baseline of 99, however that may not be enough to stand on its own. In which case you could reorganize the type or introduce a graphic that makes more sense for the business (think: film, video, music, bands, collaboration, etc.).
- Really take a close look at the typography. Make the kerning, leading and alignment adjustments needed to make the mark pleasing to the eye.
Overall, I think you have a good start on the logo design. And with some refinement you can definitely improve it. Please know that my intention in critiquing your work is not to hurt feelings, but to offer constructive feedback. I hope it was helpful. Best of luck, to you!
I appreciate and welcome your comments, and look forward to hearing from you soon. I purposely dont cover every possible improvement that can be made to this logo, so go for it if you think I missed anything. All I ask is that you keep your comments clean and appropriate.
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