s for the differences between these two logos, they can all be
ascribed to the general desire to simplify the original design.
After the presence of an engaging "visual concept" mentioned above,
simplicity is definitely the second most important prerequisite for a
successful logo. Auguste Rodin once said that he created his sculptures
by taking a lump of material and removing everything which was not
essential; here, the old design was that lump of material, and it was
not all that easy to figure out what was essential in it and what was
- While the old design had three squares at different angles, the new
one has only two. This is not merely a simplification; this change
implies a different visual concept. As I mentioned, the old logo
presents the idea of a "transition" between the two objects with one
intermediate step, while in the new one we only have a static square and
its drop shadow on the floor.
Although the new concept is admittedly less complicated, perhaps even to
the point of being commonplace, from the visual viewpoint the simpler
design has some advantages precisely because it's simpler. For a
transition theme to really work, the transition stages must be more
equal in prominence, and for the meaning of transition to be immediately
obvious, the shapes should ideally be positioned symmetrically (in other
words, the logo's asymmetry may clash with its core meaning of
Also, in the old design the topmost shape is hardly a square as
it's stretched too much vertically. In the new logo, I changed the
shape to an exact square not only to meet the "squareware" implication
of the company name, but most importantly, because the old distorted
shape was a serious design mistake. If some of your elements
resemble a square or a circle, they must be a mathematically
precise square or circle, or they'll become a major annoyance.
When distorting something in a logo, you must go up to the point when it
becomes evident for everyone that the thing is distorted, not that the
monitor is slightly maladjusted.
- The most drastic change, however, is that of the textual part of
the logo and its connection to the graphic. It was to be expected from
the beginner designer that I was two years ago that some artificial,
far-fetched means would be used to make an integral whole out of the
graphic and the text. Quite naturally, these unnatural means
could not produce a satisfactory result.
The small sphere with a highlight that ties together the dot in "i"
and the common corner of the three squares in the old logo was
motivated by the feeling that this important point in the graphic, if
left alone without proper emphasizing, will "hang in the air."
This apprehension was plain wrong; on the contrary, the bottom corner of
the squares feels much better when it's absolutely free, not only
without any sphere, but also without the text pushing it too closely
So, paradoxically, a much better coordination of the text and graphic is
achieved by moving the company name further off the graphic, almost to
the point of the composition falling apart. Of course, this sparse
placement should be supported by the corresponding sparsity in the close
neighborhood of the logo on a page: if you place something closer to the
logo than the logo's text is to the graphic, you won't have an integral
logo any more.
I also had to make the size of the text much smaller in the new logo
than it was in the old one (in some sense, reducing the text size is
equivalent to moving it further apart of the graphic). My goal was to
make the text not a counterbalance for the graphic (which is pretty much
balanced in itself), but rather a complementary element, a visual
extension of the bottom black "shadow." Hence the small size, bold
(i.e. "black") face, and a sans serif font (Franklin Gothic) legible in
small sizes. This element's spaced-out lettering, besides further
de-emphasizing the text, helps it to remain a part of the logo despite
being almost torn off the graphic.
- The color scheme, as always, deserves a separate
discussion. The old logo's "transition" theme dictated using three
shades of the same hue. This is perfectly logical, but the
problem is that four colors (counting the text's black) is definitely
too much for any logo, even if there is only one common hue to them (as
the black has no hue of its own, it can be always considered the hue of
its closest neighbor color). The resulting color scheme cannot be
accused of motleyness, but it is nevertheless too complex and subtle for
The first obvious step was to make the bottom square the same color
as the text, i.e. black. Along with abandoning the idea of a
transition and eliminating the middle square, this made it possible to
limit the saturated color to the top square only, and gave me much more
freedom in choosing that color without regard to whether it can form a
good "transition" sequence of shades or not. The bright green I
selected was approved by the customer as fresh, energizing, and not too
conventional (the majority of logos today use blue tones).