Random Photography Logo Design Critique 31

May 26, 2009 / Erik Peterson

Categories: CritiquesOther

Random Photography Logo Design Critique Logo

Random Photography Logo Design Critique

Denny at Random Photography sent in this logo for his photography business. He included the following information about his company and logo,

“In my photography business, I photograph nearly all kinds of assignments, from aerial, corporate, commercial, advertising...etc. So I wanted my logo to say “Random” when you look at it. It’s very simple, but I think says that. Yes, it does use a camera in it but hopefully that’s small enough so as to not overpower, but just give the suggestion. I don’t always use the logo with the url and line below it, usually just the logo and tag phrase.”

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

Unfortunately, the random letters and fonts that make up the word ‘random’ remind me more of ransom note than something random. I mean I get the ‘randomness’ but upon first view my mind goes to ransom note instead. To avoid that visual confusion maybe there’s another way to show the concept of ‘random’. One idea to explore might be something as simple as using the same typeface for all of the letters in the word ‘random’ but alter the size and placement to create a random feel.

Question for the readers

please respond in the comments below

How would you show the concept of the word ‘random’ visually?

Functionality / Versatility

The logo is two color and will reproduce fairly well. However, the use of the purple in the actual logo is so small I would consider removing it all together or incorporating more. The smallness of the tagline “capture your world”, which by the way doesn’t need to be in quotes, could become problematic at smaller sizes.

Does the Logo Work for the Audience?

Without knowing anything about your company I would tend to think that you were more of a photographer that walks around and takes random photos as opposed to someone who takes all sorts of assignments. But, that’s more about your messaging than your logo. I think the logo immediately communicates the idea of photography to the viewer. It just doesn’t do so in the most refined, unique or professional looking manner.


Being that your company name is “Random Photography” I would do away with the camera icon in the logo. First, the icon looks like low-grade clip art and doesn’t lend any bit of professionalism to the logo. Second, you have the word ‘photography’ in your logo already so the icon is unnecessary. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it doesn’t fit the name of your company. After all, what is ‘random’ or unique about clip-art camera icon in a photographers logo?

Question for the readers

please respond in the comments below

Do you think the camera icon works in the design? Does it work for a company named ‘Random Photography’?


There’s a lot happening with the typography here, at least four different typefaces and styles. First, I’d like to suggest eliminating the shadows and the type beveling. Your type is too complex and small for these effects and it’s really not adding anything to the mark. The typeface selection for the tagline is too delicate and complex especially when you consider that it will get pretty small when reduced for business cards. Try choosing a simpler typeface for the tagline, possibly a san-serif font that compliments the rest of the logo and typography. Centering the tagline to the overall width of the logo feels awkward. Try aligning it underneath and to the right or left edge of the word photography.

The typeface choice for ‘Photography’ feels bold, strong and industrial which may not be the best fit for the work you do. The font appears to be ‘Impact’ (my best guess anyway). It seems as though it has been disproportionately scaled which makes the x-height even more extreme than the original. This leaves the type feeling extremely tall and condensed which makes ascenders and descenders awkwardly short.

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. Experiment with some other means to display the word ‘random’ in a visual context. Preferably something doesn’t also communicate the feeling of a ransom note.
  2. Consider removing the type effects as they aren’t really doing much, if anything, for the design. Explore alternate alignment for the tagline.
  3. Remove the camera clip art. It looks unprofessional at best.
  4. Refine the typography. Pick a typeface that represents the character of your company.
  5. If you’re going to use color, do so with balance. The tiny bit of purple in the design currently isn’t worth it and actually looks more like a mistake than something intentional.

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.


By Randy

05.26.2009 at 08:21 PM

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Question for reader: The camera icon certainly should be taken out.

Typography: I try to use one typeface in a logo. Many many typefaces offer enough differences within the family. The use of Impact might be the wrong choice, since it offers only one weight. Try to stay away from bevels or any kind of 3-d effects (not saying you HAVE to say away) on text.

Like Erik noted, is a sans-serif really fitting for what seems like a more personal photography business rather than a big corporate company? I’m a huge fan of serifs in small business/personal logos, they can offer more personality.

Final thought: I think if you stay with one typeface family you’ll have a much more refined logo. Let us know when you come up with a revision.


By Blair

05.27.2009 at 01:22 AM

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I agree with the critique.

There is way to much going on in this logo and I feel that the designer has fallen in to too many Photoshop traps (i.e. the shadow and beveling).

Lose the camera icon. Explore 1 or 2 fonts at the max.


By Julie Cajigas

05.27.2009 at 02:16 PM

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Interestingly, in the designer’s (business owner’s) description, he calls the logo “simple.” I think what the logo suffers from the most is not being simple enough.

I agree wholeheartedly with the critique. I almost shy away from the name “Random” to describe photography in general. While I understand that the business owner intends to convey that he has expertise in a multitude of photography applications, the image that comes to mind is someone “randomly” shooting photos on the street.

Still, the logo could help the name work better. Why not use some color to define random. Instead of having a variety of fonts, why not use color, size and angle variation to achieve “random.” Another way to achieve “random” might be through the use of interesting and somewhat extreme spacing.

If the designer still wants to use the font combinations in the word Random, perhaps making “photography” and “capture your world” a simple sans serif would help to give the logo a cleaner look.

I have to agree about the camera. Maybe a way to take this concept further would be to use an isolated photo of the lens, something very sharp and beautiful. I would rather see the designer use a plainer “photography” and concentrate more on creating a beautiful mark and impact with the word random.

My design professor says - only use one special technique, font or idea per logo. If you are going to create the impact with color, don’t use busy fonts. If you are going to create the impact with an image, don’t go crazy with colors, italics, shadows etc.

All in all the person who designed this clearly has some creativity and interesting ideas going for them. Now it’s just about editing. I can’t wait to see the final product smile


By Donald G Wooten II

05.27.2009 at 02:52 PM

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I’ve given people this same advice (without the typography jargon)and received blank stares in return. I always figured it to be visual logic to not confuse the eye. I concur with the author and all comments above.

Focus on “Random” and feelings of randomness in the letterforms. Have fun!


By Patrick

05.27.2009 at 07:37 PM

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The camera in it’s present state is not adding to the lockup. In fact, it’s separating the elements (letters) more than the Photoshoped “bells and whistles.”

In this case, the lens should be the same size and shape as the other o’s to pull off the effect. Try to find a font that matches the feel or style of the camera or vice versa and at the same time convey the sophistication of your work. The body of the camera could encompass the entire word or be just hinted at.

Maybe the Random letters help to make the shape of a camera.


By Mario De Kauwe

05.29.2009 at 12:49 PM

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Agree with Erik’s critique. Just a few principals that i kind of stick to when logo designing. which can be applied to redesign this logo.

Use maximum of only two font types. If you are using two font better use two contrasting fonts without using similar looking fonts. for example if you are using helvetica as one font dont use Myriad as the 2nd font. I suggest using a more flowy font which complements. but in this instant one font would do. probably a nice rounded font.

Try to stay away from using boring clip art. The camera image you have is so common or similar to other camera clip art images that it wont help you in any way to build your own brand. You need to have an icon which will eventually be recognized anyone wherever they see it, even when its used without your company name. So if you do want to use a camera, try stylizing your camera icon so that it will be your unique thumb-print.

Dont use photoshop effects on logo. Bevel/embedd/drop shadows really look sucky on logos. And it makes the logo less versatile specially when you need to produce it in different sizes and print methods. Use Illustrator or any other vector based software to create your logo so that you can later do whatever you want with it.

You don’t have to have the tag line with your logo. Plus ti think the tag line “capture your world” is too corny. While there are designers who can be good at copywriting or coining up creative phrases, a lot of designer (like myself) are not good at this. so i suggest consult with a good creative writer to coin up a good tag line and a good logo name so that it will be memorable and unique. After all this is your brand, and its better to have a good brand that will go miles rather than one which will not work just because you created it. It needs to stand the test of time.

i hope this will help you in your logo. smile


By Jonny

06.05.2009 at 07:21 PM

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I understand the desire to represent the breadth of the photographers work, but it currently says ransom note unmistakably. I would suggest creatively finding subject/objects to mimic each letter: i.e., a car wheel for the “O” or mountain for the “M”, etc. Something to show that the photographer “captures your world” no matter what it is and to convey that through the logo even without the tagline.

Also, I think the camera is kinda cliche:P using the lens for the “O”, but we all want to do it don’t we? haha Take some time and feel free to stretch that idea, explore your camera to incorporate other identifiable traits of it that can be used in the logo. But for now, it doesn’t work at all and is truly cliche/unprofessional.

Didn’t even notice the purple at first… go bold with the color if you want it in there.


By Denny Medley

06.11.2009 at 12:30 PM

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Wow!  My logo has really created a ton of comments and critiques, and I thank you all for your opinions.
Most are things that I didn’t think about when designing it (yes, I did it myself about six years ago. And obviously, I’m a photographer, not a designer!). I’ve already taken a couple of the suggestions and incorporated them, regarding my Capture Your World tagline and the font and placement of it. When it’s your ‘baby’, it’s sometimes difficult to let go and perhaps get a fresh take on something like a logo and mark, but I truly appreciate the ideas and critiques.  I’m going to consider making some of the changes that have been suggested here to my logo and perhaps doing some ‘rebranding’.
Thanks again, everyone - I really do appreciate it!


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07.09.2009 at 08:02 AM

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I have to say, the idea is very clever. However, I agree with your designer’s perspective for the most part. To answer the questions:

1) I think random simply should be depicted as something randomly placed in the picture, not something that looks random and like a ransom note.

2) I don’t believe I’m qualified to answer this question.


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