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Design Cafe logo project continued from previous page. It might be helpful for you to open the sixteen logo finalists file in another window and follow along...

Logo Critique & Helpful Design Tips

Leslie Cabarga comments on Design Cafe Logo...

I've looked over the designs and have come up with my three faves. But it wouldn't be me if I didn't have some crits to offer with my comments. See, I'm the kind of guy who thinks about redesigning dentist drills as they excavate my mouth.

Letters form a coffee cup

Of all the submitted designs, I most like Number 2, the coffee cup, because it is simple and bold and especially because the letter "C" so effortlessly forms the cup handle. But here's how I'd bring this design to completion:

Slap-dash Design needs refinement

My 2nd runner up is Number 7. I like the cohesive "color" of this piece: All the lettering and the illustration relate well and are further pulled together by the oval-shaped device in the background. But here are my problems:

Finally, the coffee cup is a little crude. Even when we intend a slap-dash casual effect to the strokes, they should still have a nice rhythm. In fact, one coud argue that there should be a similar style used in the script word "cafe" and the cup. Make both more slap-dash, or both tighter.

Letter "i" plays tricks

My 3rd runner up is number 12. I like the weights and color of the elements, and I like the concept of the pencil becoming the "i" in design. Now here are my suggestions:

Although I like the oval background, I might change it to a skewed, rounded corner rectangle to sort of evoke the idea of a computer screen, because when we talk of design nowadays, we have to bring in the computer.

Relating to purpose

As for the rest, I was glad to see that virtually all of them attempted to include a concept relating to the logo's purpose, playing on the words "cafe" and/or "design" and this is just as it should be. As is the case in so many logo competitions like this one, I feel that almost any one of these designs would serve the purpose brilliantly -- with just some careful tweaking!

: )

Leslie Cabarga

[Editor's Note: We certainly appreciate Leslie taking his time to share his comments! Actually he and I agreed on most of the points, and he even picked one of my choices as well! If you enjoyed this piece, you should also pick up on our interview with Leslie, Of Type & Lettering from September's Fall Fonts Festival. You can show your appreciation by clicking on any of the links below and pick up one of Leslie's books. Of course I highly recommend the "Logo, Font & Lettering Bible, but there are some other blockbusters in his list as well! Enjoy. Fred]

Leslie Cabarga has been a working illustrator and designer since 1970. He has authored over two dozen books on design, and as an illustrator he has drawn covers for Time Magazine, Newsweek, Fortune, and National Lampoon. He's designed several dozen fonts (www.flashfonts.com) and his latest books are the Logo, Font & Lettering Bible, Learn FontLab Fast, and The Designer's Guide to Color Combinations....

Others include:

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