I Hate This Logo

While redesigning my website, I got the chance to go through my archives to decide what to share. I came across a lot of old work from my first few years as a designer. Most of that stuff is not fit to be shown off. I thought it'd be fun to revisit some of them with new eyes and see where I went wrong.

The first logo I ever designed professionally. I think I charged the client $50.

Before I begin tearing this logo apart, a little backstory. The year was 2005, I was working nights as a custodian at an elementary school in Brooklyn, New York. I was venturing out into the world of freelance graphic design and I was lost.

Back then, we didn’t have a plethora of resources the way we do today. The Internet wasn’t bursting at the seams with information, references, tutorials, etc. I can't remember how I got the word out that I was a graphic designer and ready for work. Nonetheless, this was the first logo that I have ever designed “professionally.”

As a new kid on the block, I was desperate to work and eager to please. I did everything the client asked for, and it's evident in the finished product. Yes, you want to give the client exactly what they want, but as the designer, you're also there to guide them with your expertise. I had none.

Single-color logos

Single-color logos

The first thing offending my sensibilities: too many colors. A logo, to be a great logo, should work in a single color, no matter how intricate, detailed or complex. If it doesn't look good in a one-color palette, that means the composition is weak. Fix it. Once you check off that criteria, adding colors should be no problem, but should still be kept to a minimum. I like to work with a max of 3. This one has 8 different colors.

Another thing I dislike about this logo is the inconsistency in the thickness of the lines. The line around the bowtie is different from the line around the hands, which is different from the line on the soles of the sneakers, and the white lines in the hat.

The text doesn't need the blue outline, and neither does the microphone. The image is too close to the name. There are entirely too many elements in this logo that will get lost or will be hard to read when scaled down.

The client was thrilled with the logo. We'd show it off proudly on his flyers I designed.

Obviously, when I first created this logo, I loved it, and so did the client. But I was young and inexperienced. I was in need of work, and in need of adding pieces to my portfolio. I didn't have the know-how to create industry-standard designs. They say hindsight is 20/20, and I'm seeing my mistakes with LASIK clarity.