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Hello everyone! First post, first critique!

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  • Hello everyone! First post, first critique!

    I found this forum through and it was listed as THE top graphic design forum. I saw the crit section and asked myself, "Why not?"

    Here's an identity program case study I did during my spring quarter at the University of Washington as a junior in the Visual Communication Design program. It was a case study for the Port of Seattle (won't be used at all, heh). The instructor was a practiced design for 30 years and although he liked the work, I thought it'd be interesting to get some opinions on the work outside of the faculty and fellow colleagues. Any critique is welcome!

    Also something that was interesting was that just a few months before the class, the Port of Seattle identity was redone by Ardent Sage and was a feature on

    So here was my take on it. I was trying to emphasize the company's overall need to move in a new direction (sustainability, improved management), but still reference the original values and brand pillars upon which it was founded (economic prosperity, community–based outreach + orientation). The circle used as the foundation of the mark is supposed to communicate "coming around full circle." All of the curves of the terminals of the mark and crossbars/ligatures of the type are based off of the same circular curves used to build the mark, hinting towards a systematic and logical approach, where everything is connected, yet unique.

  • #2
    The finished mark is quite nice, looks great on some of the stationary and the trophy thing at the bottom look awesome.

    Thing is... I don't get the concept, why use a circle for a port? You use the term 'full circle' in explaining it, but it is a broken circle!


    • #3
      Welcome to the forum! I don't get the concept either, I thought it was supposed to be connected but it's broken?
      Wants to go back to civilization..


      • #4
        yeah the whole idea for a circle (and not a full one that that) for the port was to step away from representing the port literally. instead of having those elements in the past where it looks like little docks a ship could dock at or with what the recent redesign has showing land, air, and water, its more an implication of the circle as an idea, rather than the port physically to show that there's a shift in focus and overall direction for the company's future. at first, there was a full circle/ring to it, but it was fundamentally a two–color logo and it had to work on one color since a lot of the applications were to be on things like those huge cranes you see along the waterfront.

        by breaking the circle, I wanted to try and emphasize more the shift and movement out of convention or what is expected for the port. maybe im trying to explain my way out of this, haha. although this is great insight into the whole thing


        • #5
          Hey there,

          I think it all looks very nice and well done. That award is cool - what is it made of?

          Even though the circle is broken, I feel it still implies that circular motion.

          I like the type treatment and the website has a really cool feel to it.

          (even the detail of the seams on the is obvious you put a lot of thought and time into this project and didn't slap it together)



          • #6
            I like the logo design, even though the idea of a full circle and the way that you have presented it does not really make sense to me. You could have used this logo for other companies as well and think of something why it would fit their know what I mean? But, again, I like the logo an sich very much (including the color use and such)!


            • #7
              Originally posted by Turtuga Blanku View Post
              You could have used this logo for other companies
              I agree! I love it! It's a great design, but I feel it might have had more value in a different industry. Still, nice work!


              • #8
                To look at the design is very nice work but the concept behind it is too abscure and complex. Try simplifying the concept and im sure the end result will have more impact. The design ability is there but you need to think like the every man and create something easier to interpret. But just another opinion. Hope this helps.




                • #9
                  I like the typeface, the colors, the designs are really nice, I like the truck & the website a lot... I can see the "coming around full circle" in the mark, but like the others said don't really see the connection to the port, I think it could be used for other kinds of companies easily.. for some reason it kind of reminded me of a cable or telephone company(?)... but it does look good


                  • #10
                    yeah, i agree.. i think you did basically 'the sleekest, best designed corporate package anyone could do' - you have clear view of the current benchmark of quality, and can execute it quite well. (you are extremely talented and capable)

                    but i agree that the mark itself is a.) abstract to the point that it HIGHLY resembles several other current corporate marks,

                    b.) lacks tangible connection to the product (i'm usually on the fence with whether or not this matters.. and if I were you, i would probably be quite content with the design, but none the less - from an outsider's perspective, it is unavoidable to question the meaning of the mark)

                    great portfolio piece though, and you seriously rock at this.



                    • #11
                      Agree that as a presentation package it's pretty impressive. The logo itself and the circle rationale? Why not. It's not gonna rock any boats (badum) but I'm guessing that wouldn't stop a lot of clients from accepting this as 'perfect'. Two swishies for the price of one!

                      Stuff like this, the political scope is so broad to begin with you might well accept that there's no way you can make everyone happy. And circles/swishes are still one of the most popular basic safe shapes out there.

                      As far as it's capacity to inspire future growth and change etc. --- yeah, yeah. I mean, let's face it--we see and hear that kind of 'inspiring' language in creative briefs (and final logo choices) every friggin' day.

                      Is that what makes or breaks good design? Only if the cheque doesn't bounce, I guess.

                      Now, that one you posted of the actual winning design. I DO see the concept there. Land, sea, air-- united by shape, separated by colour. In that respect, it's more fitting and descriptive a concept but as a design on its own merit? Again, it's okay-- but not exactly inspiring. Still, very typical for a large corporate, committee steered effort.

                      You got anything else you can show us maybe? Like a logo for, I dunno... a kitchen plumbing accessories company? Or anything more... definitive? Realistic to our scale of real work assignments?


                      • #12
                        The don't think the mark it self is spectacular, but I think the consistency and branding throughout all the related collateral is. You sell it well though

                        I can see you spent quit some time researching and exploring and for that I can appreciate the outcome regardless of its individual aesthetic success.

                        good job
                        Last edited by tZ; 10-08-2008, 08:45 PM.






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