Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Wacom Logo

Though I couldn't find an official 1-color version of this logo (note: for questions on how and why I translate marks the way I do when I cannot locate an official 1-color version, please visit the "FAQs" page in the navigation bar), it could easily go the way of Google Buzz: the whole thing becomes just one big black shape; no contrast. Now, I like Wolff Olins (they are a progressive design firm), but this is one of my least favorite marks they have done. There are no elements (aside from color usage) to create separation between the bursting silver cones and their multi-colored end caps when simplified. The choice to use so much color and effects leads to the assumption that they were trying to make a colorful visual statement and leverage their graphic savvy (Wacom are makers of pen tablets for digital design and creativity). But when taken to 1-color, it actually looks a little creepy because the form is not so much of a celebratory "burst" as it is an awkward extension of some sort of abstract creatures extremities (warped octopus suction cups?). Because they rely so heavily on these colors and effects to create the more positive appeal, it becomes very poor in maintaining recognition and familiarity when seen in 1-color. Really, it's all a little awkward. That said, the crafting of this is clean and has good separation between each bursting cone making for a relatively distinct form (though it is awkward), and it does scale down well. 

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: Fair
Form: Good
Craftsmanship: Fair
Functional: Fair


  1. This has the same problem as modern weather icons on weather reports on TV. Too much 3-D-ey, coloury stuff going on without enough attention to form. If you make it small and stand back (or have a tiny TV like me) it almost becomes unrecognisable. The form is too weak. Cool site btw!

  2. @gec... I agree with you on the whole barrage of "flashy" weather iconography we see daily. The inherent problem is that people now think because their graphics will mostly be seen on a screen (where colors are basically unlimited...and don't cost any extra), they don't need to consider how it functions and appears in a low quality output or print setting. Which is a shame, because it gets away from pure graphic craftsmanship and turns more into how well can you "dress-up" an icon. Thanks for the props on the site, too!