Sunday, February 20, 2011

Litro Logo Design Review

Simple, yet evocative. This logo design for Litro is so expressive with such basic elements. It is heavily driven by form to suggest such an attractive appearance in black and white. Litro is a fuel service station in the European market; the logo was designed by Saffron (chaired by Wally Olins…just Google him). On Saffron's site they clearly address how this mark actually relies a lot on the use of color gradients for it's attractiveness (and yes, they are aware that it resembles a hot air balloon: they didn't ignore it, but actually created some renderings that leverage this angle in a clever way). The gradients in this case are attractive, though, the mark seems to be slightly dependent on them...leaving a little gap in recognition between black and white and full color. You can see that when scaled down in color, the thin spot at the top of the droplet starts to disappear, but when the gradients are removed it holds strong in solid black and white. It's again the simplicity and emotion that comes from the design based on circles that makes for such appealing form. Such care went into making the elements flow from the larger "pool" of fuel to the droplet. (The little touches of a designer who is a great craftsman makes a big difference in how refined or unrefined a mark can appear.) The top circle is actually slightly raised at the base providing for a smooth transition to the droplet. The center of the droplet is structurally sized and placed in the center of what would be the same size primary circle repeated, and then sectioned into thirds (kind of hard to explain, but check out this great link for the underlying grids This mark is a very nice example of beautifully reduced form that functions very well.

R A T I N G S  (black and white version)
Scale: Bad, Fair, Good Rating black and white version, not rating the full color or grayscale versions.
- Recognizable: Fair
- Scalable: Good
- Use of Pos/Neg: N/A
- Form: Good
- Craftsmanship: Good
- Functional: Good


  1. Why are you showing the logo in grayscale (other than that Saffron says it relies on it)? I'm not trying to be antagonistic, I really want to know, since it runs against my (possibly false) understanding of what this blog is about.

    BUT, this does lead me to another direction: would it be useful to grade how well a logo works when reversed? I get a feeling it's a little more involved than simply flipping the black and white areas.

  2. Thanks for the feedback. After considering other's feedback as well, I feel it does no harm to show the process of translating a color logo to grayscale (with no color...only gray tones) to ultimately black and white...which is what I still base my ratings and thoughts on. The inclusion of grayscale just suggests a kind of "mid-point" in the process of stripping off color, then effects (gradients and such) which results in flat black and white. The primary comparison is still between the full color logo (including any effects) to it's basic translation in black and white. I hope this helps. Let me know.

    I've considered showing the logo in reverse, but don't know if I'm going to include that or not right now. Thanks.