Thursday, January 27, 2011

Google Buzz Logo Design Review

A 1-color buzz-kill. The problem is, when you rely so heavily on color to express a concept, and you lay those colors together with nothing to separate them (creating contrast), then when it is translated to 1-color it all runs together (note: outlining the elements of this mark could have been applied for separation, but in this case I am trying to make a point). If the designer had used white strokes to cut through the color sections, more contrast would be there, creating a more recognizable mark (maybe they do have a version like this; I couldn't find one). Now, all you're left with is a run-of-the-mill speech bubble; no distinction. Google is known for their colorful images, but sometimes they ride the color train a little too hard.

R A T I N G S  (1-color version)
Scale: Bad, Fair, Good This is all in the context of the 1-color version, not rating the full color version.
Recognizable: Bad
Scalable: Good
Use of Pos/Neg: Bad
Craftsmanship: Bad
Functional: Fair


  1. The missing link here is creating the logo with gray values.

  2. Jerry, thanks for your comment (I very much appreciate your work and rich experience in this field). May I ask: are you suggesting showing an example of all logos not only 1-color (black and white---no gray tones), but in addition, including a simply converted 1-color grayscale version of each logo as well? Thanks.

  3. jerrykuyper@mac.comFebruary 19, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    Yes, that is my suggestion. I support your premise that designers need to be aware of reproduction challenges. As a design director I often suggested that designers apply the simple photocopier test to their designs. It was eye opening to see which colors tended to disappear and observe how other very different colors mushed together into similar gray values.

  4. That's a good suggestion, but wouldn't it be even more valuable to make sure the logo looks good in solid black or white first? If it's strong as a pure solid color, there's not as much room for error in the grayscale stage.

    Just my opinion.

  5. Jacob, yes, having a good solid form in the beginning is ideal so that there aren't as many "unexpected" appearances when presented in different color versions. thanks.