Incubox Logo Design Critique 73

Aug 05, 2009 / Erik Peterson
Incubox Logo Design Critique Logo

Incubox Logo Design Critique

Geoff submitted this logo for incubox, a graphic design and web development company. He left the following commentary about the logo.

“I came up with the name ‘Incubox’ after several days of trying names and seeing what domains were available. I started looking for variations of ‘(something)box’ as I was inspired by a commercial studio in LA called Smashbox... The egg represents the place where the idea derived and was released into the world. I like the egg concept, I'm just not sure THAT egg works. And on a practical level, when I try and make an avatar using the egg it doesn't work - too small. I would love to get some feedback on the logo because, frankly, I'm confused by it. Or rather, I'm not sure how to use it best. I'm frankly not sure if the composition I'm sending you should be considered the logo, or if I should drop the mark or the ‘creative’, etc. The three elements don't seem to tie in together well as one. In summary, I like the name incubox, I like the egg concept, but I'm not sure the logo represents well.”

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

I agree with Geoff that the three elements that make up the logo don’t work well together. The mark feels disjointed and the viewers eye doesn’t know where to focus. In the process the ‘incu’ part of the name tends to get lost because of its light weight. One possible revision might be to incorporate the egg concept/icon into the ‘o’ of ‘box’, thus creating a more unified and contained mark. Have you considered having the egg cracked instead of all the way open? Or maybe the egg could have a small hole in it with something starting to emerge (birth of an idea). Ultimately, I think the empty cracked egg may not send the appropriate message to the viewer. It’s almost as if the ‘idea’ has gone and there nothing more to offer.

Question for the readers

please respond in the comments below

How do you perceive the open and empty egg and the rest of the mark? How do you think the concept can be improved?

Functionality / Versatility

The logo is a single color, but in this case, I think the single color is contributing to the disjointed appearance of the mark. The viewer just doesn’t know where to let the eye settle. I see the word box and the egg having the same visual weight which is problematic. Perhaps a secondary color in the egg would allow for the eye to focus on the word ‘incubox’ instead. As it stands, the logo should reproduce well however, the script typeface may get hard to read at smaller sizes (like the current version of the logo on your website).

Does the Logo Work for the Audience?

The mark needs more work and refinement, it’s just not there yet. The concept of ‘birthing and releasing an idea’ is solid and can definitely work once the appropriate supporting visual and typography come together.

Typography

There is too much happening in the typography of this logo. You have the light weight ‘incu’ followed by the bold ‘box’ and then the script ‘creative’. All these different elements leave the logo feeling schizophrenic and unsettling. Introduce some unity and personality into the type. The mark is very static and lifeless in it’s current state. The concept of ‘life or birth’ should come through the whole mark.

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. There is too much happening in this logo. Explore some solutions that eliminate all the different typefaces. One or two typefaces should be enough.
  2. Experiment with some different egg shapes and concepts (i.e., cracked all the open, still whole but a crack in the side, small hole in the egg with something emerging from it, etc)
  3. Create some life and personality in the mark.

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

73 Comments so far. Keep 'em Coming.

#1

By Marc Swarbrick

08.05.2009 at 11:14 AM

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How do you perceive the open and empty egg and the rest of the mark? How do you think the concept can be improved?

I think this is the beginnings of a concept. The open egg does convey the message but it looks like the idea has escaped! I’d probably explore what you could do with the ‘incubation’ concept. Maybe an egg in a box?

The script font should definately change. I’d maybe use the sans font ‘incubox’ in the bold weight and the ‘creative’ in light.

Less design elements = more simplicity, which would result in a more refined and polished product.

#2

By Geoff Towle

08.05.2009 at 01:48 PM

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Erik-

I’m so glad you selected my logo for critique!  I agree with everything you said.  In fact, after submitting the logo I played with it some and one of the concepts I came up with was incorporating the egg in the “O” in “box.”

Thank you for the words of wisdom.  Back to the drawing board!  smile

Geoff

p.s.  I’ll send an updated version some day.  On that note, it would be cool to see updated (hopefully improved) versions of the logos you review.

#3

By Randy

08.05.2009 at 03:01 PM

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Completely agree with Geoff. I would love to see updated versions of logos. Either revisit the original posts, or create a dedicated updated logo page.

#4

By Julie Cajigas

08.05.2009 at 04:10 PM

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Alright, I’m gonna throw a few random ideas out there that I had when looking at the logo. I can’t promise that any of these will work out in the end, but you might have fun playing with them - and something genius could come of it!
(your playing, not necessarily my ideas).

1. What if you used the silhouette of a chick in addition to the egg? Maybe, it’s perched on the egg (the letter O is a great place to have the egg graphic, I concur), or maybe on one of the letters in inubox. Or, maybe it’s hopping away from incubox. The idea being that your company incubates and develops their great idea, and what you give back to them is the cute little chick of a well-formed, articulated idea.

2. Could the B in Box be capitalized and morphed into a graphic element. I’m thinking that the beam of the B is a box with two eggs in it (it would be turned on its side), maybe one is cracked open and the egg top is laying in front of the typeset word. The chick that has emerged can still be perched on the O or the X. In that case I would use one font for Incu ox, create the graphic on the B and use a separate font for creative in a different color. Because there is so much going on with incubox, creative could get lost otherwise.

3. Could all of the letters be sitting inside a box which is a different color than Incubox, and creative could be written on top of the box in white knockout? Then, the O could become a cracked egg. Maybe in this treatment, the chick is standing right on the edge of the box, about to head off into the big wide world?

Ok - just some ideas. Enjoy!

#5

By Julie Cajigas

08.05.2009 at 04:12 PM

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P.S. I think I like the use of a chick because it has so many very positive associations like new birth, spring, freshness, cuteness…. etc. I know I would be drawn to a company that had something cute in their logo - and the cutest part of eggs incubating is the result smile.

#6

By Erik Peterson

08.05.2009 at 05:20 PM

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@Geoff & @Randy,

Agreed. I’ve wanted to show updated versions of logos for sometime now, but haven’t been successful in obtaining them from the individuals. On 1 or 2 of the early critiques the designer/owner has posted an updated version in the comments (see Michael Austin Designs). I would prefer to get the new version and do a short write up about it. Hopefully we’ll make it happen in the near future.

Thanks for the comments all.

#7

By Julio Verani

08.06.2009 at 12:18 AM

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Hi Geoff and lads!

Well, my first impression of your logo was a bit negative, as i saw the broken egg, just as Marc said. Here follow some of my ideas to help you:

1.Maybe you should try something funny, and by that, i mean something slightly funny, without losing the direction and becoming a comic brand. Maybe the type itself should be a bit more soft.
2.INCUBOX, maybe you should search for a related word for incubation, that delivers a more creative touch, since you’re selling creative work. (Just a thought!)
3.I understand that you work with creativity, but directed to what? I mean, maybe it’s important to tell your client what kind of professional you are: graphic, product, package, etc. Maybe this misterious touch can bring clients, but i guess that a more direct approach would show more results. Remember, design, creative and concept are the fashionest words of today’s world, and so, there are tons of creative, concept and design studios around. Find your own personality, translate it into adectives and explore the relations between them and the world in mind maps, then you can find the most creative representations of your personality to tell your clients that you are really unique, and not another “concept-creative-designer” in the market.
4.Just as marc said, leave the script or the sans, the two of them together rarely do a nice combination.
5.I know, i’m boring, but i think that if i give you ideas to use on the logo, in the end i´d be stitching around your work. I believe that telling you all this will help you not only to build a more unique brand, but to become a better professional by using some interesting creative techniques.
Best luck to you, and remember, design is 99% about transpiration and 1% inspiration.

#8

By Julio Verani

08.06.2009 at 12:24 AM

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Just an append:

Forget your computer while in the creative process, it just block your speed and capacity. Get the good old pencil+paper set, sit on a table/desk and start drawing, don´t mind about lousy sketches, that’s what they´re for, to generate quantity. Go to the PC only to finish the quality alternatives you generated.

#9

By ewadowsky

08.07.2009 at 10:56 PM

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I agree with Julio about the pencil and paper.  Anytime I’m beginning to work on a logo, I’ll draw 5-10 concepts before I touch my computer..but once I find one I really like I’ll go to the computer (but never be afraid to go back to pencil and paper even after you started).

I love the idea of using the egg as the ‘O’ in box.  At first I honestly didn’t understand why the egg was involved until I realized ‘incubation’.  VERY clever.  I agree with Erik in that you shouldn’t leave the egg cracked open and empty, it comes off as though what has been ‘born’ (your ideas), is already gone.  Maybe have a beak breaking open the egg, somewhat like someone else had suggested.

I would make creative the same font as ‘incubox’, incorporate some of the blue that you have used on your Website.

Finally, think outside the box.  Good luck.

#10

By anon

08.18.2009 at 11:59 AM

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broken egg looks like boobs.. or a bra… just saying.

#11

By Geoff

08.18.2009 at 01:16 PM

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Ha!  That’s funny. Never occured to me. I always saw a rack of moose antlers, especially when downsized.

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to provide constructive criticism. Once I do get an updated version designed I’ll submit it.

#12

By Constantin

09.02.2009 at 09:37 PM

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So this may be too late but I’ll post anyway - hoping someone is still reading this.

I don’t know how readable it would be - maybe too abstract but what if box is as box and thats it? that would bring everything a little closer together so it appears as one item rather than three.

incu[]

and drop the creative

#13

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The egg concept is not very creative smile

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