ArchSpace Logo Design Critique 31

Jul 01, 2009 / Erik Peterson
ArchSpace Logo Design Critique Logo

ArchSpace Logo Design Critique

Vassilis designed this logo for an architect friend that plans to build a website offering free training tools for architects. He submitted a whole page of variations on this logo, but I chose this one to critique because I thought it was working the best out of the bunch. Vassilis left the following comment with his submission,

“The client told me she wants something “design-ey” and not strict, with grey as a dominant colour, and she also decided that probably grey and green will be the main color combination for her ‘company’ identity. I have here the main idea for the logo arranged in many different ways. Its basically a stylish compass (common architect tool) which forms the letter A. The typeface I used is Myriad Pro and I customized it to look a bit more modernish. I've made a whole other lot of concepts and ideas but I think this is my best one. I'd appreciate any thoughts and comments.”

The following critique is based on one designer’s opinion and experience. I always appreciate the readers thoughts as well. So, I’ll ask a question of two in the critique, please share your perspective in the comments at the end of this logo design critique.

Design Principals

I have two big problems with this logo. First, I keep reading the first part of the name as ‘arch’, “a typically curved structural member spanning an opening and serving as a support (as for the wall or other weight above the opening)” (source). I believe it is supposed to be read as ‘arc’ as in ‘architecture’. Now for the second issue, because I read the first part of the name as ‘arch’, the supposed compass looks like an arch to me. Which in isn’t a huge problem, I suppose. I mean arches are used in architecture all the time, but then I’m left wondering about the meaning of the green dot and crossing line. In the end, the problem comes from the name of the company/website in conjunction with an arch like icon. The two pieces make the perception problem bigger because one perpetuates the other. I believe many people will read the name just as I did before reading your description about the mark.

Question for the readers

please respond in the comments below

Forgetting the explanation of the logo and iconography, did you see the compass? How did you read the company name (arc vs. arch)?

Functionality / Versatility

The logo is well put together from a functional standpoint. It will reduce well and also will work fine as one color. The mark will work well in most mediums (print, textile, web, etc.).

Does the Logo Work for the Audience?

The logo portrays movement and forward thinking with the skewed compass/arch and active crossing line. I think the green is good color choice for the audience. It feels fresh and conveys the eco-friendly theme which is becoming more and more important in modern architecture. As I stated before, there may be a problem with how the name is read and in turn how the ‘A’ icon is received by the viewer. There’s always a chance that the interpretation will differ by culture. I believe Vassilis is not from the U.S., like I am, and therefore I may interpret the mark and language differently.

Question for the readers

please respond in the comments below

Do you think the interpretation of the words and icon in this particular logo are affected by culture?

Typography

As you suggested, the type does have a modern feel to it. I’m not totally sold it on it though. It seems a little weighty in my opinion. I would prefer to see lighter weight letterforms, to reflect the modernity, refinement and structure that is often a part of architecture (type more like version 15). I think you need to adjust your kerning though. In particular, the ‘a’ and ‘r’ seem a little open. Same goes for the ‘s’ and ‘p’. Also pay attention to the spacing surrounding your icon. The ‘h’ is a little close to it. Some minor adjustments will resolve these kerning issues.

Possible Improvements

Designing a logo for yourself or own business is one of the hardest logo designs you’ll ever work on. So what is the best way to improve the logo? Well I think have made some comments above that can certainly offer some direction. Here’s a list of actionable items.

  1. Consider rethinking the name of the company or figure out a way to make it read more like ‘arc’. Maybe just drop the ‘h’.
  2. Experiment with the iconography. Perhaps the concept of an arch is a better icon than the abstracted compass.
  3. Take another look at the kerning. There are a couple of inconsistent gaps between the letterforms.

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 don’t 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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31 Comments so far. Keep 'em Coming.

#1

By Vassilis Mastorostergios

07.01.2009 at 02:41 PM

Vassilis Mastorostergios Profile Image

Erik thank you very much for the review.

The name was also one of my biggest worries (it should be read arch like in “architecture” but for English native speakers it is read arch as in “Archbishop”.

I forgot to mention that I made the compass that way exactly to remind an Arch as well as a compass (more weight put on the compass of course).

“I believe Vassilis is not from the U.S., like I am, and therefore I may interpret the mark and language differently.”

Indeed I am from Greece and the company is established and will work here, every Greek read “arch” as in “architecture” so the pronunciation will not be a big problem here.

Again thanks alot for the feedback, the kerning is already fixed.

#2

By Joshua Davis

07.01.2009 at 07:57 PM

Joshua Davis Profile Image

I visualized the mark as a space capsule leaving earth’s atmosphere. The green being the atmosphere, and the gray the after trail from launch. Maybe I just have an active imagination.

I agree with the critique that it is a solid design with some minor kerning issues. I’m not a fan of the colors, because I feel they are overused. I also think it works well with the symbol above or to the left side of the brand name.

Good job!

#3

By maflew

07.02.2009 at 05:24 PM

maflew Profile Image

First when I saw the logo I said that is an arcade. At the first look I didn`t realized that is for an architecture company. It looks a bit too cartoony and the font is not in touch with the design. I also read “arch” than “arc”

Nice critique.

#4

By Lavonne

04.19.2010 at 02:54 PM

Lavonne Profile Image

My first impression was of the uniform communicator worn by the crew in Star Trek. The word ‘space’ backed this up. I didn’t see the compass until after reading the description. I also read it as ‘arch’. Yes, I think culture played a part in my seeing something from a sci-fi movie in this logo. Maybe the target clientele wouldn’t be Treckies…

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