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Posted by on Jul 16, 2008 in Current Events | 4 comments

This is why design work should be left to professionals

This is what I get for twittering snarky things about the new Birmingham logo. A friend at challenged me to critique the new design. First, let me say for the record I have no opinion about the name change, the wisdom of changing the name, etc. In my business, of course, change is good. 🙂

Here is a link to the graphic in question. The caption mentions that the Mayor of Birmingham, Larry Langford, designed it.

And here’s my opinion(s) about why he should have paid someone, I don’t know, $45 an hour? – to design it instead. I’m trying to keep it to objective reasons, not subjective ones. IOW, type styles, colors, and a lot of things about logo design are a matter of taste. I’m talking about reasons the logo fails that are practical.

  • First, the mayor presumably is worth more to the city than $45 an hour (let’s get that out of the way first).
  • contains a literal-looking outline of an aircraft and the city skyline. What happens when the city skyline changes?
  • logo is impossible to embroider.
  • logo is impossible to print on promotional goods such as mugs, letter openers, kazoos, etc. because of fine lines, excessive detail, etc. Any of my vendors would hand it back to me and require that I simplify it into oblivion. You wouldn’t recognize it after we got through with it (i.e. we’d have to wash it through a professional designer). To be fair, I have a few products I could put it on, but the range is severely limited.
  • logo would require some reworking even to look nice in a one-color (black on white only) version.
  • logo is impossible to print (even commercial printing on paper) smaller than the size of a half-dollar and have the type be legible, without reproportioning the type.

That’s just a few. I said I’d do this post in five minutes and I’m already missing my deadline.