Saturday, July 06, 2013

Insert Logo Here

One of the most important things on the Internet (for both hosts and visitors) is the use of thumbnails to attract attention. Think of what you decide to click on through the day, and most likely links with thumbnails are near the top. This applies to articles on a website generally, but also to architects and how they present themselves on sites like Architizer and Archinect, where firm logos are prominent. (A few years ago I looked at how some firms used these thumbnails to show their own faces, but for the most part logos prevail.)

So what are some of the trends in how architects brand themselves through logos? Browsing through Archinect and Architizer I found some consistencies that are presented below, though this is hardly an exhaustive list. Logos often work in concert with firm names (What acronym is formed by the name? How does the logo express what the architects and firm are about?), but the below groupings focus solely on their appearance. Given that many people will decide within one second if they'll click forward (a guess, but probably a good one), it certainly makes sense to consider a logo as a thumbnail on a website, not just as something on the office's front door.

BIG Letters (Mainly Acronyms):

Acronyms that haven't caught on yet*:

*L-R: Cannon Design, Coop Himmelb(l)au, Wiel Arets Architects

Skinny Letters:

Mix of Skinny and BIG Letters:

One Letter (or Number):


Plus Signs:

Vertical Bar:

Forward Slash:


Squared (or Cubed, or More):

Circles (aka the Architect Stamp):

External References:

What the Heck?:

And last but not least, Homer Simpson's Hair: