Hello all.

After working a bit (then editing and reworking) on a particular logo character for the past week or so, I've begun to develop somewhat of an icon which I've found myself growing attached to. The problem lies in the versatility of the image. Once I invert the colors, it loses its ability to be recognized almost completely. A successful branding image must be versatile, but I found myself asking how much color variation (or lack of) can really make or break a logo.

The question I'd like to pose to the community is, would you consider a logo workable with set color parameters (i.e. only dark colors) simply unsuccessful?

Below is the image I've been considering. I tried to come up with a work-around for the inverted-color problem. Rather than invert it, I've tried applying a white border around the character to separate it from the black background in the second picture. While this solution works to me as far as retaining its ability to be recognized, I've been looking at it so much that fresh eyes and another opinion could help me quite a bit.

  • heat.

    I like it like that, both versions.
  • Serji Gold

    In my opinion that's the only successful way of inverting anything that has highlights and shadows involved. Looks fine to me.
  • DrowningDesign

    Yea totally acceptable way of working the logo on darks and lights.
  • cityhall

    I think you have way too much detail in the face and hair for it to work as a logo. On the screen it looks okay at this size but it cant be that big on everything
  • Javaboi

    I have to say it is hot but I would agree with cityhall with regards to using it as a logo.. My Javaboi logo is almost too simple, but I sometimes want to add more detail. The only reason I don't is to prevent diluting my brand.

    Much Love

    Eric.
  • Justin Ungar

    Thank you very much for all of your responses. I've been looking at so much that I'm worried I'll end up overthinking it. Very glad the border idea works though, that's a life-saver.

    cityhall said:I think you have way too much detail in the face and hair for it to work as a logo. On the screen it looks okay at this size but it cant be that big on everything

    Very good point. I've looked at it at various sizes, and while the details don't shine through when drastically minimized, the general shape of it is still reasonably visible. I also have several type concepts to be used either accompanying this icon or interchangeably. Do you think if I simplified the details (combining smaller strokes into one larger stroke, like the smaller lines under the eyes for example) that it would be more solid?

    A difficult aspect of editing this little guy is that I don't want to lose that facial expression.
  • deekin

    cityhall said:I think you have way too much detail in the face and hair for it to work as a logo. On the screen it looks okay at this size but it cant be that big on everything

    Simplify!
  • Craig Robson

    its all about readability with logo's, its about communicating as much as possible as quickly as possible, think about embroidered hem tags, avatars, letterheads, business cards and even favicons.

    chop out anything thats just filler stuff. i hate the hair but i would probably go this direction if i was in charge.



  • gaunty

    Craig Robson said:its all about readability with logo's, its about communicating as much as possible as quickly as possible, think about embroidered hem tags, avatars, letterheads, business cards and even favicons.

    chop out anything thats just filler stuff. i hate the hair but i would probably go this direction if i was in charge.




    Spot on Craig
  • Justin Ungar

    Craig Robson said:its all about readability with logo's, its about communicating as much as possible as quickly as possible, think about embroidered hem tags, avatars, letterheads, business cards and even favicons.

    chop out anything thats just filler stuff. i hate the hair but i would probably go this direction if i was in charge.




    Well damn. It seems as though I was overdoing it by quite a bit, aha. If I remove much of the more recent layers, the initial concept looks very similar to that adjustment, minus the hair and the crossbones. Scrap the hair altogether?
  • miles to go

    you could go really simple too
    Photobucket
  • Craig Robson

    keep the hair if it means something for the logo and if you like it, i think it looks like mr whippys shits but its late over here and i need my nap.

    i know what its like to want to add detail to something, ive tried to strip back my own work recently to get a bolder, less fussy body of work, its difficult to know when to stop, sometimes its actually beneficial to add more then you can work out what to take away.
  • TXTSWORD

    Craig terrifies me.
  • Craig Robson

    TXTSWORD said:Craig terrifies me.

    aww why? :(

    im a supr nice person in reality i promise! i have a way with writing that makes me seem like im really formal all the time, or really pissed off. im usually not though :)
  • TXTSWORD

    Craig Robson said:
    TXTSWORD said:Craig terrifies me.

    aww why? :(

    im a supr nice person in reality i promise! i have a way with writing that makes me seem like im really formal all the time, or really pissed off. im usually not though :)

    Mostly because you seem to be extremely professional and quite good at design and I find that intimidating - being someone who basically has always faked my way through design. Why I'm going to an interview for a creative director position I Do Not Know. You seem like a good dude though no worries :)

    Oh - and your entire critique of my work/store was "tumblr" hahaha (though it's completely fair and probably all that needed to be said)
  • Justin Ungar

    miles to go said:you could go really simple too
    Photobucket

    True, I hadn't considered that for this logo. My last branding was circular, so I was kind of trying to stay away from it those go around.

    Craig Robson said:keep the hair if it means something for the logo and if you like it, i think it looks like mr whippys shits but its late over here and i need my nap.

    i know what its like to want to add detail to something, ive tried to strip back my own work recently to get a bolder, less fussy body of work, its difficult to know when to stop, sometimes its actually beneficial to add more then you can work out what to take away.

    The hair was something I experimented with to add a little more character to it. I'll try it with and without and see which I prefer. It's definitely aggravating to overwork a drawing, part of the reason I've grown comfortable with the digital medium is simply due to the ease of correcting my fuck-ups. I really appreciate the visual corrections though, you've given me a totally new perspective of the logo that I really want to try working with.
  • Craig Robson

    TXTSWORD said:
    Craig Robson said:
    TXTSWORD said:Craig terrifies me.

    aww why? :(

    im a supr nice person in reality i promise! i have a way with writing that makes me seem like im really formal all the time, or really pissed off. im usually not though :)

    Mostly because you seem to be extremely professional and quite good at design and I find that intimidating - being someone who basically has always faked my way through design. Why I'm going to an interview for a creative director position I Do Not Know. You seem like a good dude though no worries :)

    Oh - and your entire critique of my work/store was "tumblr" hahaha (though it's completely fair and probably all that needed to be said)

    hahah aww sorry man! and thank you, its past my bedtime but you put a smile on my face to take to bed with me.
  • miles to go

    Justin Ungar said:
    miles to go said:you could go really simple too
    Photobucket

    True, I hadn't considered that for this logo. My last branding was circular, so I was kind of trying to stay away from it those go around.

    Craig Robson said:keep the hair if it means something for the logo and if you like it, i think it looks like mr whippys shits but its late over here and i need my nap.

    i know what its like to want to add detail to something, ive tried to strip back my own work recently to get a bolder, less fussy body of work, its difficult to know when to stop, sometimes its actually beneficial to add more then you can work out what to take away.

    The hair was something I experimented with to add a little more character to it. I'll try it with and without and see which I prefer. It's definitely aggravating to overwork a drawing, part of the reason I've grown comfortable with the digital medium is simply due to the ease of correcting my fuck-ups. I really appreciate the visual corrections though, you've given me a totally new perspective of the logo that I really want to try working with.

    it obviously doesnt have to be in one and isn't designed to conform to a circle. just showing how it would look in that sort of space. something along those lines could translate a bit better at small sizes.
  • chad manzo

    Craig nailed it, Greg sealed it shut.;) Both speak very valid points. I have nothing to add more. lol.
  • evolve or die

    Justin Ungar said:
    Craig Robson said:its all about readability with logo's, its about communicating as much as possible as quickly as possible, think about embroidered hem tags, avatars, letterheads, business cards and even favicons.

    chop out anything thats just filler stuff. i hate the hair but i would probably go this direction if i was in charge.




    Well damn. It seems as though I was overdoing it by quite a bit, aha. If I remove much of the more recent layers, the initial concept looks very similar to that adjustment, minus the hair and the crossbones. Scrap the hair altogether?

    Almost. Make the crossbones bigger but try to add the perspective so that it looks somewhat centered on the face. They hold up fairly well at the small size but just need to be a tad bigger.

    Keep the hair like Craigs (the main thing with the details is that, for example, white between the edge of the hair and the 'highlight' will fill in quickly on small sizes). But in saying that you can get away with stuff that encroaches into the white - like the cheekbones.

    Though I would just thicken your mouth rather than go overboard like Craig did.

    And play with the eyes so it mimics craig's revision but keeps that expression you love.

    I'm indecisive about the ear/hair though. Yours is almost working.

    And I don't think it's cheating to have SLIGHTLY different logos for small sizes/tags/favicons. Traditional designers would frown upon it. But screw them - evolve or die!

    The rule of thumb for logos is that it should work in mono and at small size (at exactly the small size Craig posted).

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