I sketched everything out before I even made these designs. I didn't click and drag everything.
I'm using Photoshop and actually everything from the smokestacks to the filmstrip was made from scratch by me. The filmstrip took forever to make.
It doesn't look like much thought went into these designs.
Also, DO NOT DESIGN IN PHOTOSHOP.
You really need to go back to the drawing board on this. Nothing about it is working. And while you're at it, use the correct program. Do it the correct way - sketch, sketch, sketch. Sketch some more. Then pick a handful of concepts and develop them in black and white only. Only when you are close to being done should you even think about color.
If you are really interested in learning to design logos, take some classes. At least go pick up this book and this book.
Listen, I'm sorry I don't know a lot about design. I will take a pencil and paper and sketch it out. I won't keep bothering you all.
Doesn't anyone read? Youngstown used to be one of the top steel factory cities in the world besides Pittsburgh.
Nothing about that says "steel" to me. It says "pollution". There are many ways to show steel without showing a smoke stack.
As far as sketching it out, there is a reason we tell you to do that. It's not just some inside joke that we all have where we say "hey, let's get all the new people to do all this extra work".
It's how the creative process works. You have to honor the process. If you take shortcuts your final work will show that you took shortcuts. In reality, the research that goes into a logo (sketching, finding out about your subject, etc.) is probably 70-80% of the total work. Once you get your sketches and comps done, turning those into a digital file is the easy part.
Judging from these designs, I don't think you understand what a logo is, or how they're supposed to function. I strongly suggest you read the sticky thread in the crit pit on logo design.
There's way too much for me to go into, so I'll just give you three big rules of logo design:
1.) Work in vector. (Illustrator, Corel Draw)
2.) Work in black and white (NOT greyscale). Only AFTER you know it works in b&w, THEN add one or two colors.
3.) Make sure it works in ALL sizes, everything from the size of a nickel to the size of a billboard.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
To the OP. You seem to be taking quite a hammering here, partially because you come across like a client (no offence intended!) Now one thing about designers is that during the work day they have to agree and smile with their clients, whilst inwardly crying at the lack of understanding around their chosen profession. Despite a little helpful advice for improving your logo, you have taken the brunt of these frustrations on an anonymous forum and unfairly so in my opinion as you have at least tried to take on board any improvements suggested.
Now onto the logo. The smokestack/film icon is a great idea and whilst others have pointed out it could be associated with pollution, they have missed the fact that, in all probability, the target audience is going to make that connection instantly. This is a local film festival, not a global brand.
I love the fact you've had a go and I can imagine it was really tricky to get the film strip swirling with only a rudimentary understanding of the software available. If I were to give you one word of advice. SIMPLIFY.
Remove the idea of having a box. The white canvas you are working in doesn't have to be filled. The space around your logo is equally important as the logo itself.
This is where the sketching comes in as others have pointed out. Hand draw lots of variations on layout, tweaking and improving as you go before committing to the computer.
Personally, I would isolate one or two of the columns with the smoke/film strip as an icon. Something bold, it looks quite delicate or flimsy at the minute. Shorter fatter columns for a start and redraw the film strip to carry more weight (thicken the black lines slightly) Finally if you must use Photoshop - use the pen tool to draw everything as you'll get a sharper line (only do this if you can't use Illustrator - that should be first preference every time).
Finally typeface, this is the worst part of your logo at the minute. Selecting type is a vital process and one that you will struggle to get your head around in a short time. I would say Georgia for a serif, Helvetica for a sans serif and Trade Gothic bold Condensed if you need something with impact. Don't mess about with the scales, they are well designed typefaces that don't need to be mucked about with. Only advice would be to use -25 tracking for Helvetica at larger sizes if you can adjust it.
Good luck fella, we'll make a logo designer out of ye in no time!
I agree that your first crack at this looks like a poster rather than a logo. The revise is starting on the right path.
Remember that a logo has to be able to work well under many different sizes and printing methods. For that reason start the design of a logo using only one color, black. Begin by sketching out your design ideas as roughs on paper with a pencil. Try to make a strong, simple design statement.
I'm going to make some suggestions on your revised version. You do not have to follow these points. However you may benefit from this rather than random suggestions:
On your revise, drop the background color. Put "Film Festival" on one line and shorten the stacks, use a solid bar at the bottom (as a base and suggestion of a factory). Keep the details of the film so that they can reduce well. Keep an invisible horizontal in mind for the maximum extension of the film strips, so they are not flying all over the place. Allow a slight break between the top of the stacks and the film. Lower the two lines of type and consider a different font. After you have a complete black version, figure out a version in color.— Good Luck