Fox Valley Voice Logo Critique 81

Oct 07, 2009 / Erik Peterson

Categories: CritiquesWebsite

Fox Valley Voice Logo Critique Logo

Fox Valley Voice Logo Critique

Jamie submitted this logo for the Fox Valley Voice and left the following comment about the work.

“This is the logo for my local information website in the western suburbs of Chicago. The area is known as the Fox Valley due to its location on the Fox River. I'd like to be able to use this logo on several different types of materials, including print, apparel, promotional stuff, etc. Let me know if I'm heading in the right direction.”

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 Principles

Let me start by saying this logo is visually complex. There’s an awful lot for the viewer to take in. One way to help simplify the logo would be to reduce the size of the tagline or remove it completely. The scale of the tagline in relation to the other elements in the logo is too similar which contributes to the visual complexity. Another element that contributes to the complexity is variety in typefaces in the mark. Consider sticking to one or at most 2 typefaces for your logo. This will help to create unity and harmony within the mark.

Question for the readers

please respond in the comments below

Can you offer any ideas on how Jamie might be able to simplify this mark and make it more visually appealing?

Functionality / Versatility

I find the shadow on the logo distracting. Again, there’s a lot going on the mark already, the shadow just complicates matters. Remember a good logo is simple so it can be recognized and remembered easily. Read “What Makes a Great Logo Design?” for some tips.

Does the Logo Work for the Audience?

The logo and name both have a newsy feel to them which is good for what the logo represents (a local information website). However, I think you could probably get more creative with the imagery suggested in the logo. In staying with the fox theme, what if you eliminate the fox tail (which is possibly cliche) and work on something that represents the fox alongside concepts of voice or information. For example, you might create an icon of a fox head this speaking or relating information. Of course it can be hard to show speech in a static logo, but think about things like megaphones, sound waves, speech balloons, etc.

Question for the readers

please respond in the comments below

Do you feel the fox tail is working in the design? Is there other imagery that should be considered?


As I mentioned above, the use of a fox tail in the logo is somewhat commonplace especially in that area of the chicago suburbs (I actually grew up there so I speak from experience). I’d like to see a much more unique and memorable icon created to represent the Fox Valley Voice.


The typography is sorta all over the place. Three different fonts and one the one used for ‘voice’ and ‘.com’ seem to be the same but ‘voice’ appears to be horizontally scaled. I typically recommend against horizontally scaling a font because the letterforms become inconsistent, which is even more apparent when you have an unscaled (‘.com’) version of the font right next to it. Many fonts have extended and condensed versions so you don’t need to scale them manually. Another issue is within ‘Fox Valley’. I don’t have a problem with the script typeface necessarily, but if you’re gonna use it, make sure you edit it and get so it flows smoothly. The white stroke around the letters breaks up the flow by intersecting the letters, thus not allowing them to join and flow together as they should.

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. Eliminate or greatly reduce the size the of the tagline. It’s competing with the rest of the mark.
  2. Try sticking with 1-2 typefaces in the logo. This will help to create visual unity within the logo.
  3. Reconsider the iconography that will be used with the logo. The fox tail is very common and doesn’t actually contribute much to the mark. Try some alternate options that cover the concept of speech and information that have a stronger tie to the actual business.
  4. Correct the script typeface so the letters join without interruption, and create a nice visual flow.

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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We enjoy your comments

81 Comments so far. Keep 'em Coming.


By Lisa Youngdahl

10.07.2009 at 11:42 AM

Lisa Youngdahl Profile Image

This is funny! I live in the Fox Valley area, and posted a link on Twitter to a site called “Logos That Suck” (sorry, can’t find the link right now. Fox Valley Voice sent me a Direct Message asking if their logo sucked. I had a similar response to the critique above - too many fonts, don’t use a script, NEVER a drop shadow in a logo, tagline would plug up if reduced to a small size - all in 140 characters in Twitter. Fox Valley Voice sent another message, “Yes, but does it suck?” I responded that it was not quite as bad as those in on the site, but there was room for improvement. I guess they needed a second opinion.

I don’t a have problem with the fox tail, except I would try to integrate it more into the type - flow into into the type a bit more, instead of just stuck upon the “y”.  There are a lot of fox tail logos in this area, but also a lot of fox silhouettes, fox heads, etc.


By Andrew Brynjulson

10.07.2009 at 01:09 PM

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I think simplification is key. Drop shadow is unnecessary. Tagline clutters things. I actually really like the simplicity of the fox tail. I would however like to see the voice .com read better with the Fox Valley. I think there is too much of a disconnect between the two parts.



10.07.2009 at 01:56 PM Profile Image

Hi Eric!  Thanks so much for choosing our logo to critique.  Looking forward to all of the feedback.

Allow me to reply to a couple of your comments:

(1) I wanted to add the tagline to the logo in order to give the viewer some context as to what our website is about.  If there is a more elegant way to achieve this, I’m all ears.

(2) It’s almost a law that you have to have some kind of fox iconography in your logo around these parts.  smile



By john

10.07.2009 at 02:33 PM

john Profile Image

Crazy, I’m from Batavia!

In any case, I agree with alot of the points above. There are too many contrasting elements going on. You can use contrasting type to play up elements, but I wouldn’t go any further than 2 faces. None of the elements really seem to get along with one another, more so just a mashup of different ideas. I like the idea of the tail, (and know what the owner is talking about with playing up the fox thing), but again, it seems tacked on and not integrated.

Ultimately, I would tone everything down and really think through how the elements go together and why. Choose two typefaces, ensuring both are quickly and easily legible, simple and lasting. Decide if you need the ‘fox’ imagery, and if so try to get integrate it into the design. I don’t think you need the tagline, as the logo will already be fairly text heavy, and the tag doesnt *really* let you know any further information about what the site is.

Getting a logo to work on all fronts is a long tricky process. The simple fact that youre open to criticism and self critiquing makes me think you’ll get there. Keep at it, and good luck!


By Sherri Keller

10.07.2009 at 02:59 PM

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“I would however like to see the voice .com read better with the Fox Valley. I think there is too much of a disconnect between the two parts.”

I couldn’t agree with that sentiment more. I didn’t even realize there was a URL in there at first. Unifying those two pieces would help a lot.

Simplification is definitely in order here. A fussy script AND an outline AND a drop shadowit’s all too much.

While I’m not averse to the use of a script in a logo, there are other scripts that might be better suited for your purpose. The grainy edge on the letterforms adds unnecessary complexity to the logo.

I really enjoy the tail at the end of the Y, although, if it is as commonplace in other local logos as you say, Erik, Jamie should consider a different image to stand out from the pack (Herd? Gaggle? What’s a group of foxes called, anyway?). I keep picturing a fox in a fedora with a megaphone.

There’s potential in this logo, but it needs refinement.


By logolitic

10.07.2009 at 03:42 PM

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I really agree with you, there are too many effects put in same place. The first thing you should do it`s to remove the gray dropshadow and the white stroke. It looks much better in that red and white.
The second thing you should do it`s to remove that rectangle because it has nothing to do with the rest of the logo. The “fox valley” text express movement and the rectangle shouldn`t be there.
The “.com” make it smaller, the “voice” make it smaller too, change the font with something like Myriad or Helvetica and the tagline as LogoCritiqes said remove or integrate better in the logo, and absolutely you need to change the font. There are 3 or 4 different fonts in one logo, that`s not allright.


By clippingimages

10.07.2009 at 08:40 PM

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By ewadowsky

10.08.2009 at 09:45 PM

ewadowsky Profile Image

There are three different things I would do with this logo…

Firstly, drop the drop shadow. 

Also, ‘VOICE.COM’ is WAY too big in that shape.  I would make that font smaller, as well as making the tag line smaller (smaller than would end up being).

I do like the fox tail, but you see it all over the place…if you’re gonna keep it, it should have the same ‘texture’ as ‘Fox Valley’ does, ‘Fox Valley’ has a textured outline while the tail itself has a smooth one.  It’s good to be unique when creating a logo, so try something else, maybe using the letters to form a fox or a fox head?

Good luck!


By FCoruccini

10.13.2009 at 07:06 PM

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I agree with all that was said but wanted to elaborate on a few people’s comments: First, I strongly feel that the tagline “Local Fun for Everyone” doesn’t do anything to give the viewer an idea of topics on the site so much as detract from the logo. I am a firm believer that taglines do not belong with logos otherwise they would be called logos. I am from Central NJ and I assumed that Fox Valley was a local area and that Fox Vally was probably a site where local people in the Fox Valley region could get info that pertains to them. I would drop most of the effects on the logo and the box around “Voice” and tighten the spacing on Fox Valley so there are no gaps in the script type. If more complimentary fonts are chosen for “Fox Valley” and “” it will help viewers see it as one url rather than two separate pieces. The other possibility would be to make it a one-line wordmark with tall looking fonts that won’t take up as much horizontal space. Bottom line: stick to 2 fonts, 2 colors, 0 funky effects, and keep the fox tail. Thanks letting me share my thoughts on your logo!


By James Kurtz III

10.23.2009 at 01:07 PM

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Too much drop shadow and too much going on. Start removing elements one by one to simplify the mark. Does it have to say .com? It’s about to be the 10’s I think we all know about .com, the internet, and google by now. But that’s a broader debate than just it’s use in this logo.


By Ismael

01.26.2010 at 04:04 AM

Ismael Profile Image

If they’re sticking with a script, might I suggest a nice one like Bello? It looks gorgeous, and I can easily see a tail coming off that “y.”


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