Before I venture into this week’s discussion, I promised to reveal the logo of a well known national organization. Seen here (3rd from the left) is Big Brothers Big Sisters…I’ve included the names of the others as well.
Still, the logo’s identity would tend to elude you without the support of the name. By itself, given the number of logos with similar characteristics, the logo doesn’t carry enough variation to separate itself from the others. A logo should be distinctive enough to stand on its own—an original design. That said, let’s move ahead and take a look at the creative process of logo design.
The Evolution of a Logo
Displayed before you is a logo I designed for a surgeon who specializes in thoracic and vascular surgery.
The focus of the design is of an aorta and two sets of lungs. The three elements as a whole, have been incorporated as such in order to give them “equal billing.” The set of lungs suggests the dynamic effect of a breathing lung. Visual hierarchy and emphasis is created through the various percentages of a spot color and line weight. From an audience’s perspective, all that is seen is the end product…what appears on the surface. It seems simple enough. How hard can it be to draw those lines? From a designer’s perspective, it is far from simple. It is hours of ideation…exploring the regions of creativity that captivate our attention in our efforts to “give birth to new form.” Let’s go “behind the scenes” and take a look at some of the concepts and thinking that went into the final logo.
The images above are self-explanatory. Several other concepts were sketched out. But for the sake of simplicity, I’ve narrowed the numbers down. It was the last concept here that generated some excitement and interest. Based on this, further concepts were explored and implemented as follows:
Four more versions were drawn…and I emphasize drawn. As you can see below, the first two were out. The last two were up for revisions. The last one (his 1st choice) I suggested we go with and begin to refine, as the integration of all three elements (lungs and aorta) are clearly beginning to show individuality and strength.
This was the final drawing (left) used for computer rendering. Note the small changes made to the aorta
and the positioning of it within the lung outlines.
Computer renderings. The logos to the left were created to test out the color and line weight in order to achieve emphasis. Notice the subtle changes between each logo. The smaller logos were tested to see how well it reproduced on a business card. Any adjustments necessary at this stage were made. The one logo that is checked is the one that was selected for the final. This worked well in black & white too.
Even the small amount of information written here is enough to understand, or at least to begin to understand the amount of thought and work that go into the development of a logo. The decision to show emphasis and visual hierarchy was a conscious one; working out spacial relationships and proportion, striving to achieve balance are integral. These principles and more are so much a part of the creative process that they beg us to be challenged. Isn’t this one of the reasons why we chose to be in this profession? Yes…and without refute.
So I have to ask…how challenging was it to produce those homogenous logos for the greater healthcare industry?