Iconography in a Fast-Paced World

I’ve noticed lately that clients have abandoded photos and clip art to depict certain subjects.
It seems that icons are heavily favored to convey various services and subjects.

A client of mine relies on such icons for their trucks, shirts, and business cards, so we created custom icons for each service:

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These icons translate easier on mobile devices, as favicons, as bullets for copy, easily read on vehicles traveling at 45 mph, etc.

Barely Legal: The Logo Edition

Every designer is constantly trying to integrate the latest design trends these days. Our inboxes are inundated with subject lines featuring the newest technique or design approach.

Yet, I haven’t seen any articles about how design trends are evolving for specific fields, specifically law firms. How may stale law firm logos have we seen with the scale of justice, Lady Justice, a gavel? Ick. The same regurgitated imagery, with a new law firm name inserted (that is always 8 last names too long)…

However, recently I’ve been fortunate enough to do several logo designs for various law firms and the latest trend appears to be a more fresh, modern and contemporary approach to law firm logo design. Firms are coming to me – not wanting hunter greens, woodsy browns and burgandy – but purple, or orange. The elements or icons used are hardly legal in concept, but more iconic or typography based…barely legal at all.

It’s a new, refreshing take on the stale and conservative approach. The new vibe is bolder with colors that pop; A new design challenge I think logo designers should embrace and enjoy.

BELOW: A FEW LOGO COMPS AND APPROVED DESIGNS FOR VARIOUS LAW FIRM CLIENTS.

Law-logos

Finding Retro & Vintage Logo Inspiration in Austin, TX

I consider myself extremely lucky to live in such a vivacious, edgy city as Austin, Tx. – A city where its normal to be riding a unicycle while flaunting a hundred tattoos and piercings; normal to jog the greenbelt with blue hair pushing a stroller with a chihuahua nestled inside; and normal to have a minimum of 50 different beers on tap at any number of local eateries.

But one of the most fascinating and stimulating visuals this city has to offer myself, is it’s consistent ability to stay on the latest branding trends with its wide array of typography displays.

Vintage and retro logos are, have been and may well always be on trend. They offer versatile elements you can split up to design various promotional materials (growlers, t-shirts, stickers, menu design and more).

I’ve attached a few samples of snapshots I’ve taken around my time in Austin, that I keep in my “logo inspiration bank”:

Vintage-Logos

The formula is quite simple:
1.) FONT: Find and tweak or tailor a unique vintage, hand-written font.
2.) ELEMENTS: Any small graphics to center the name are vital. Stars, scrolls, ribbons, swirls, shapes of Texas/states, etc are crucial.
3.) COLOR: I find a black color, coupled with a rusted gold or white color – scream vintage.
4.) SHAPE: Adding a logo version that can be housed in a nice circle offers a nice label affect.

Here are a few vintage/retro logo designs we have completed and/or proposed for our beloved clients.

retro logo
vintage logo

retro logo 2
square peg logo
vintage logo
blue chip motors logo

old looking logo
white label logo

Beer logo
vintage beer logo

retro logo 9
vintage logo 9

vintage logo 10
retro logo 10

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Keep your eyes open around your city. Vintage typographic inspiration comes in all forms. All cities have old rusted, metal signs that utilized unique font treatments. What treatment can you apply to your next design?

Lessons Learned File No. 1: Ensure Your Logo Design Does Not Translate Into Something Naughty

DKC Construction Group in Austin, TX is a reputable company that is currently contracted to redo the historic Katz Deli on 6th St., as well as other impressive projects.

They wanted a modern logo design that utilized the DKC initials. We relied heavily on color to show the transition between letters in the design; in hindsite, too heavily. As a result, several parties had informed the Group, that the DKC blended to tightly together, slightly registered as “D*CK” – not the message we were trying to convey:

DKC-Final-Logo-w-white

We tweaked the logo, this time relying on white space to separate the letter and allowing for a better differentiation between letters:
DKC-w-space-LOGO

Good Designs Comes First, then the Chile…

What comes first? Good design.

Chance’s Hatch Green Chile in San Antonio needed branding elements that would spread across multiple platforms. They needed a simple logo design that would look clear on labels, t-shirt, banners and more. We did a simple circular logo for the “Chance’s” portion and another for the product name itself. We went through several iterations:
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The client selected the following, simpler, stripped version:

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Strivin’ for Greatness with New Strive Logistics Logo Design

Strive Logistics was founded in 1995 as a local cartage and warehousing company, Strive Logistics has evolved into a premier multimodal transportation provider servicing companies from the Fortune 500 as well as smaller emerging businesses throughout the world. Their old logo needed a makeover. They wanted something more streamlined, something that would lend itself well to an app, with a clean font treatment. I’ve been working on an “s” icon that incorporates a road stripe, to convey transportation.

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Their old logo (featured here) did not accurately encompass their capabilities:
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We are currently in round 9 of logo options. Stay tuned to find the winner!

Small Business Headquarters for Local Logo Design: Austin, TX

We were recently approached by a bright, young client who was starting a small business here in Austin. He needed a clever logo design that could hold it’s own when compared to a major, national competitor. The company name was “Green Leaf Auto Glass”. They are a more green company because they specialize in repairing windshield dings, and not replacing the entire windshield, thus keeping more glass out of landfills. He came to us with several logo sketches for possible concepts.

See below:

After about 5 various concepts, Austin Logo Design ended up developing a unique concept that merged both the idea of the road and also the green leaf company name. See below:

National Protectors and Recycling Logo Design: Logo Design in Corpus Christi

National Protectors and Recycling, a firm based out of the Robstown and Corpus Christi area, needed a vibrant and simple logo design that helped promote their greener, renewable company. They specialize in energy production and management including fuel extraction, manufacturing, refining, and distribution of petroleum, natural gas, coal, and nuclear power.

Austin Logo Designs provided them with the logo design below: