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Phil

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Some of you may remember the floor hockey league for which I designed a number of logos. Well, recently I was approached by the organization that runs the league, requesting a redesign of their brand.

The name of the organization is Samson's Minsitries, and while you can check out their website (samsons.org), there's not a lot to it (at least that's up to date). Essentially it's a nonprofit Christian organization seeking to help mentor youth primarily in at-risk neighbourhoods through fitness (they run a gym/training facility), sports (floor hockey, volleyball, and soccer leagues), and leisure activities (like drop-in centres).

Until now they've used a logo that's a bit of a play on the Superman logo. You can see a small version below:

hdr01_r1_c1.jpg

What I've come up with is the following:

Samsons%20Logo.gif

The thing is, after designing it, I realized it looks similar to the Gatorade logo, just in blues and grays instead of reds and oranges. Since the organization is probably more of the opinion that they'll take what they can get (at least, that's been my feeling up 'til now), I don't want to give them something hasty or subpar out of fear they'll end up using it for the next few years.

I kind of like this look... I like the way it portrays an S, there's a bit of a hidden "M" in there (the two outer sections along with the bolt form the M), and the feeling of energy and excitement, but I'd like to hear your thoughts. Is it too much like the Gatorade logo? If not, is it worth submitting? If so, is there a way to rework it to make it worthwhile submitting?

I've been staring at this too closely for too long to have the right perspective, and I trust (and would very much appreciate hearing) a lot of your opinions.

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Phil, I would tweak the lightning bolt a bit - to lessen the gatorade feel, I'd curve the top of it a bit more, to give it more of a sense of a letter S - that way you play up to a greater degree the SM initials in the design. Apart from that, I think this is nice. Good work.

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I honestly didn't think of gatorade until you made the connection. It's a great logo with flawless execution but I don't quite get the lightning bolt theme. If I saw that logo on a shirt or sign, I would kind of be unsure of what Samson's Ministries actually was (not that their current logo is any better at this). While I somewhat get the energetic theme and the S and M, I think if you could change it to more of an athletic theme it would be better fitting.

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I honestly didn't think of gatorade until you made the connection. It's a great logo with flawless execution but I don't quite get the lightning bolt theme. If I saw that logo on a shirt or sign, I would kind of be unsure of what Samson's Ministries actually was (not that their current logo is any better at this). While I somewhat get the energetic theme and the S and M, I think if you could change it to more of an athletic theme it would be better fitting.

The original logo kind of set the bar here. It doesn't have any "athletic" elements in it, and I don't feel this rendition needs it either.

Besides, given the fact that no single sport or athletic event dominates the slate of offerings Samson's provides, I didn't think any single depiction of athletics or even competition would appropriately capture the feeling I'm trying to evoke. (You couldn't even go with a "competition" feeling, because the drop-in centre's not exactly predicated on ceomptition). I figured 'energy,' 'action,' and 'fun' were quite apt descriptions of what kids are looking for and what Samson's seems to focus on, so I chose imagery based on that.

Gordie, I've been sketching that idea out a bit today (shouldn't be, have a lot of schoolwork due), and I'll look into implementing it. I like the 'directness' of the lightning bolt - it looks strong and fast, and I don't want to lose too much of that (which tends to happen with a gracefully curving bolt). I'll continue to look into it though.

Thanks for the C&C you three (yes, even you OMMF)... anybody else got thoughts?

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I looked at this not long after you first posted it, Phil, and at the time I didn't exactly know how I felt about it. I said to myself, "I'll sleep on it," thinking I would be better able to put down what I thought in words after thinking about it. Several days later, I have come to the realization that that's not the case. So here goes nothing ...

I'll admit that the first thing to pop into my head when looking at it was Gatorade. The connection is so sotrong between the two with the lightning bolt and the bevel effect. As Brian said, I would work on the bolt to kind of get away from that.

The M is kind of there, but it's a fairly big stretch. Focus more on getting the S out there, and if the M still happens to be there at the end, then it's a nice bonus.

I'm not crazy about all the white space that's created either. It seems like there's just so little of the canvas actually being taken up by design elements. In some cases, white space can work, but I don't think this is one of those. Maybe centre the logo, and put "Samson's" and "Ministries" on separate lines?

The bevel effect is pulled off very well in the shield. This is definitely an upgrade (says Capt. Obvious). But it could use a few more tweaks.

I think that's everything. :D

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the Gatorade thing didn't appear to me at first, but if others are seeing it, you have to address it. as an art professor told me one time, you have to be able to address/explain/account for what people see in your work, whether they saw exactly what you wanted or not. if they didn't see exactly what you wanted, fix it to make the message clearer...

don't know if that came out right... but it makes sense in my head. :)

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I absolutely LOVE IT!!!

I applaud hte fact that there are no sports element in it, you stayed away from the obvious.

Yet, the whole logo has a human shape, it shows movement.

When I look at it, I see a leaping athlete. (similar to the Washington Wizards)

I would probably like to see a bit of a Chrsitian element in it.

To me the lightning has more of a Wrath of the Lord feel, than an inclusive sharing organization.

Overall colours appear a little agreesive, I would consider bringing the blue a shade or two down (bright, or light blue) or adding a yellow element (post-it yellow? yes my desk is littered with them) which to me is synoym of the "light of salvation".

One may say the overall shape with the grey is kind of like a Bullet,

Gatorade factor??? Sure, but maybe they could hit them ofr sponsorship, and get them to actually pay for some of the facilities...

That being said, I love the relative simplicaity of this logo!!!

*note: I only dissect and critique to the "n'th degree" high-quality work of designers I respect to inspire/generate reflection, I do not intend to denigrate it in any way.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks to everyone who put their two cents in. Frenchie, never feel like critiquing to the "n'th degree" is a bad thing... any designer with half a brain should recognize that your comments are worth their weight in gold.

Based on what you guys said, I put together this followup and sent it off to the organization for their thoughts.

Samsons%20Logo%20V2.gif

Since then, they've come back and said that they liked the lightning bolt, but then (in a separate conversation) indicated it was too much of a deviation from their current logo, and that they like having the word "Samson's" incorporated.

On a related note, they also 'hired' me to do a logo for the soccer league they run, so I put this together first. They had an ultra-ghetto Paint logo of a photo of an Adidas soccer ball, backed by a triangle, with a blue and silver motion trail, with the letters SSL arched over the ball, the name "Samson's Soccer League" worked into the motion trail, and a cross in the point of the motion trail. (Confused? So was I, and I'm looking at it right now!)

Anyway, so I thought "hey, kids like it when they look like the pros," so I took a very NBA or MLB-style approach to the first version.

Samsons%20Soccer%20League.gif

They came back and said, and I more or less quote here, that "it's too bad I came up with something first..." (yes, they trailed off at that point). Essentially, they were kind of enamored with their idea, but since they agreed that simplicity was superior to complexity, I tried to get to the heart of what they wanted. A soccer ball? Yes. The name spelled out? Yes. Okay, so the next version, which has yet to be commented on, looks like this...

Samsons%20Soccer%20League%20V2.gif

I'd highly value any of your comments, criticisms, suggestions, or questions on any of the above works. And I should add that if I sounded a little frustrated, well, I admit I am a bit, but it's more the normal client/designer frustration than anyone being a jerk. They've been really appreciative throughout the process, and they don't have much experience being clients, and have (as would be expected) difficulty articulating what they want out of their designs.

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Thanks to everyone who put their two cents in. Frenchie, never feel like critiquing to the "n'th degree" is a bad thing... any designer with half a brain should recognize that your comments are worth their weight in gold.

Based on what you guys said, I put together this followup and sent it off to the organization for their thoughts.

Samsons%20Logo%20V2.gif

Since then, they've come back and said that they liked the lightning bolt, but then (in a separate conversation) indicated it was too much of a deviation from their current logo, and that they like having the word "Samson's" incorporated.

On a related note, they also 'hired' me to do a logo for the soccer league they run, so I put this together first. They had an ultra-ghetto Paint logo of a photo of an Adidas soccer ball, backed by a triangle, with a blue and silver motion trail, with the letters SSL arched over the ball, the name "Samson's Soccer League" worked into the motion trail, and a cross in the point of the motion trail. (Confused? So was I, and I'm looking at it right now!)

Anyway, so I thought "hey, kids like it when they look like the pros," so I took a very NBA or MLB-style approach to the first version.

Samsons%20Soccer%20League.gif

They came back and said, and I more or less quote here, that "it's too bad I came up with something first..." (yes, they trailed off at that point). Essentially, they were kind of enamored with their idea, but since they agreed that simplicity was superior to complexity, I tried to get to the heart of what they wanted. A soccer ball? Yes. The name spelled out? Yes. Okay, so the next version, which has yet to be commented on, looks like this...

Samsons%20Soccer%20League%20V2.gif

I'd highly value any of your comments, criticisms, suggestions, or questions on any of the above works. And I should add that if I sounded a little frustrated, well, I admit I am a bit, but it's more the normal client/designer frustration than anyone being a jerk. They've been really appreciative throughout the process, and they don't have much experience being clients, and have (as would be expected) difficulty articulating what they want out of their designs.

I'm really not one to comment on anyone's design as I am no artist myself. Having said that, the one thing that sticks out to me about that last logo is that the gap between the ends of the "C" are transparent, meaning you can see the field behind them, but this isn't applied to any of the other letters that it could be. Given the thick black outline around all the letters, perhaps it doesn't present itself with any of the other letters, but it just seems odd to me. I feel like I should be able to "see through" the "E."

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