September 3, 2011

Love Thy Logo

36,000 Decisions Later

Author: Bill Gardner

Topic: Branding Identity

Coming Up for Air

Being immersed for several weeks in 36,000 logos submitted to LogoLounge, can be both suffocating and exhilarating at the same time. That's the number of logos uploaded by thousands of members in over 100 countries around the world in the last 18 months. Fortunately, we decided early on to work with an exceptional panel of eight judges on each volume, and let them blow out their own brains sorting and passing judgement on this immense field.

TOP (left to right): Louise Fili, Louise Fili Ltd.New York, USA; Ken Carbone, Carbone Smolan AgencyNew York, USA; Paul Howalt, Tactix Creative – Arizona, USA; Gyula Nemeth, Gyula NemethBudapest, Hungary / BOTTOM (left to right): Cesar Hirata, FutureBrand BC&HSao Paulo, Brazil; James Strange, Bailey LauermanNebraska, USA; Tom Andries, TodayLeuven, Belgium; Regine Stefan, VenturethreeLondon, England

Our judges for this process are always amazing. This isn't because they are name brand designers, but because they are so willing to swim a marathon in this pool and still come out gracious and grateful. Because of the enormous size of the field, every logo is randomly scored by exactly three of the eight judges. Scored via computer from the comfort of the judges home over a two week period, we do lack the ability to assure sobriety. On the other hand that might make for some pretty liberal scoring.

Screens of 20 logos are presented to the judges, displaying the name of the entity and industry information for each. Every logo is given a ranking of 0, 1, 2, or 3 by the judge and once all logos have been scored, a cumulative is tabulated. If you're still with me, that means the highest score a mark could garner is a nine and the lowest a zero.

(Left to right): kaimere, Cutting Here; Richards Brock Miller Mitchell & Associates, Michelle Martinez; Alexander Wende, Leafy Sparrow; Stanislav Topolsky, Musical duet Le Le

Building a Book

Since every LogoLounge Book contains 2,000 logos, the highest scoring logos have a guaranteed spot in the book. As a rule of thumb, that translates to about 1,700 logos that ranked with a score of 9-4. Then I go into the logos that scored a three and select the balance of the material to fill out the book. Since a 4 is the threshold, it means no one judge can assure a mark will make the book by their vote alone.

If you've perused a LogoLounge book, you will know that I get really anal, and context is everything. We divide the logos into 21 categories and then faithfully organize the selected logos in each category like I was stocking the shelves in a really well organized grocery store. There is a flow so you know even when you have 5 initial "S" logos, which one comes first in the sequence and what order they flow in.

TOP (left to right):, St-Julian's-Rowing-Club; Visual Lure, LLC, King Chemical; Double A Creative, NONSTOP; Logorado, paperrocket / BOTTOM (left to right): Visua, Australian Paper; 01d, Rukodelnitsa; The Infantree, Mayor's Office of Special Events; Somerset, Providence Cafe

For anyone who's ever emailed me wondering why we release the results a month after judging is conclude, it's because we are organizing the results into a really, really concise product. I spent too many years digging through David Carter logo books that looked like they had all the context of a strewn field following a tornado. Let's take a stab in the dark, and suppose the quality and order of content of LogoLounge books is what has turned them into the largest most far reaching design series ever published.

The Best of the Best

During the following week we will be notifying the submitters of the 2,000 logos selected for inclusion in LogoLounge 7. Here, for the first time ever, we are revealing the highest ranked identities from the 36,000 submissions. The following twenty logos received either a perfect score of nine, or a near perfect score of eight. That means these marks had to really stand above the crowd to illicit the high praise and attention of all three judges that scored it amongst thousands. My most sincere congratulations to the creators of each of these marks and to all of those selected for inclusion.

TOP (left to right): Yury Akulin | Logodiver, FishMarket; Firestarter, Printman; Florin Negrut, Parvu; Range, Oregon Surf / BOTTOM (left to right): Oscar Morris, The Be Hive; milou, Museum of Japanese Balance; Acuta Cluster Ltd., Flip;, Coastal vision