Logo specification, the “modern” process

A while ago, I made a comment on this thread in Reddit

In the comment I said: “Actually…. this is really not a good design process…” and was down voted to hell.

I can understand the sentiment and I don’t generally disagree with the process of sketching, digitizing and refinement, but I do have an issue with the way such logos are defined in specifications. Here I want to introduce a concept of geometric shape construction that can be utilized to make your logo design better and specifications more clear.

I believe logos should be reproducible via Compass and straightedge construction.

Now, you might ask, what the heck is CSC? I don’t want to read the Wikipedia article, it’s too damn long. Well, CSC is an ancient technique utilized by mathematicians to define geometric shapes. Basically you can reproduce a geometric shape just by using a straightedge (without measurement marks) and a compass.

For example, you can draw a hexagon like the animation from the left. There are many benefits of this technique, but here are a few things that’s related to logo/icon designs.

Reproducibility

In traditional world, having a vector file is probably more than enough for most purposes. But in today’s world, a logo might need to be regenerated for multiple types of media, devices etc. And sometimes a vector file is insufficient (e.g. I can’t easily integrate an .ai file into my iOS app’s build process) Let’s take a look at the logo below, using this technique, I can reliably reproduce the icon on any media, regardless of the process I’m using.

Here are a few more examples:

Note how there are lack of precise measurements of length, only ratio and angles.

CSC is not a new concept

Even in the 60s, Allan Fleming used CSC for the design of logo for Canadian National railway. As you can see, there is no numerical measurements in the logo spec, you can reproduce this regardless of the medium.

CSC is the generalized grid system

In graphic design, grid is a common construct used to organize information. CSC is just a generalized version of the grid. You can have diagonal lines, curves and other features more essential for logo designs.

One of the best example I’ve seen is the design of Radon identity by Sebastian Gram.

See more here: https://www.behance.net/gallery/553179/Radon-Corporate-Brand-Identity

In this design, the designer used a series of circled derived from a grid system and extended into typography and logo design.

CSC is today’s tech industries

Here are another example from Twitter.

CSC is especially good for geometric shaped designs, which is common place for logo designs less so in graphical designs.

Conclusion

In conclusion, integrating CSC into your design process is a great way to better your logo’s specification.

Last bit

Many of you might already seen this, claiming to be “golden ratio”, it’s fake.

See more here: http://www.quora.com/Does-the-Apple-logo-really-adhere-to-the-golden-ratio