2D. Logo/Brand Design. New ITP logo design + A successful logo.

We were asked to design a new, improved ITP logo. I made some sketches and here are the results. I came up with two designs. One simply uses the square brackets around “itp” to evoke the use of the [] brackets in computer programming languages, as well as how they are used in the numerous email subject headings on the ITP student list. The second logo idea I had was to incorporate a lightbulb into the design to indicate how ITP is a place where new ideas are put into practice. I tried drawing a simple lightbulb with ITP text inside, but it looked silly. I then thought about animating the “i” to look like a person, but also maybe like a light by placing rays around the dot on the “i”. I was also thinking a lot about the rays that are found on the keyboard of a laptop/computer’s brightness button. It could evoke the “bright idea” sentiment.

These logos I created are text-based. I like their simplicity and impact. I really don’t care for the currently used ITP logo, so I hope some people will think that what I came up with is an improvement. ITP logo sketches and designs.

The other part of the assignment was to choose a logo that I think is successful and to prepare a 3 minute presentation on it. I have always been drawn to the very simple, smart, iconic National Geographic logo.

The logo as discussed in the agency's book

The logo as discussed in the agency's book, courtesy David Airey's site.

It simply consists of a yellow/gold vertical rectangle with the words NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC to the right of the box. The logo instantly harkens the viewer back to the iconic National Geographic magazine cover border, which is that same yellow/gold. The concept is so simple, but so effective. This logo was designed by Chermayeff/Geismar. On their site portfolio, they discuss how they created web guidelines on the proper use of the logo identity. I could only find, from an interview of Tom Geismar on LogoDesignLove that the current logo was done in 2002. In their book, Identify, discussed on David Airey’s site, they discuss the NatGeo logo:

“Beyond the basic signature and guidelines for usage, recommendations were made for the extensive use of the color yellow, especially for product packaging; the use wherever possible of appropriate and striking photography; a standard way to incorporate a message about the society and its purpose; and how, without restrictions on layout and design, the use of strong, clean contemporary design can help update perceptions of National Geographic.”

National Geographic Logo Current

Current National Geographic Logo

I think this logo really succeeds in updating perceptions of National Geographic, as they hoped. It works. Prior to this logo, the National Geographic Society had some very different logos. I found this seal-type logo that seems like it must have been pretty old.

National Geographic Society seal

National Geographic Society seal

Anyway, I was aware of Chermayeff & Geismar because it happened that a girl that was interning at my previous place of work several years ago had the last name Chermayeff and one of the photographers there noted upon meeting her that she had the same last name as the famous graphic designer and his wife, who is also a prominent figure in photography — the intern happened to be their daughter (or granddaughter, I am not sure). I looked into some of the work from Chermayeff & Geismar and was pretty awed by it all — I felt really out of my element as a photography person. But it opened my eyes to the impact a good logo can have and how good design in general can really enhance numerous aspects of every day life.

This film from their agency really showcases their work.

Their site’s About Us links to this.

Their astonishing timeline.

I think their work speaks for itself!


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