Last week we came across this announcement for a new logo for Birds of New England.com.
What a great opportunity to create something iconic.
Unfortunately, that is not what happened.
This logo stinks.
Before we tell you why, here’s the new logo:
Lets begin by saying that Chris Bosak had the right idea. Include the name of your organization and a really cool graphic that gives some indication of what you’ll see or experience when you interact with them. (The website and photos there are pretty cool.) And, he only used one font, which is almost always a good idea.
Having said that, we hate this font. It screams “designed in Word”. But that’s not why this logo stinks.
Here’s where things start to come apart.
That image is a photograph.
And, no matter how good your photo is, it’s always a bad idea to use a photograph in a logo.
Photos are made up of pixels or tiny little dots of color that when seen from a distance, make up the picture.
When converted to an electronic format, it’s called a Raster file.
And the problem with Raster files is that they don’t scale. If you shrink them down to fit a smaller space, you lose definition and it blurs. If you try to enlarge it for use on a t-shirt or billboard, the image will pixelate and look terrible.
Here’s an example of how this works from Vector-Conversions.com. The logo version on the left is Raster, the logo on the right is the same image, but converted to a Vector file (and is not a photo):
See the difference?
The photo/logo is fuzzy and won’t scale. The vector image has sharp lines and great contrast that will scale to any size, large or small and still look good.
You might argue that vector files aren’t as good a conveying the depth of color and texture that a photo can display. True. But the job of your logo design isn’t to show each individual feather on a bird, or the remarkable color contrast of those feathers.
The job of a logo is to grab your attention and hint at what you will discover when you visit the site.
The real tragedy here is that birds are such unique animals—and because of their diversity—they make good subjects for a logo icon. Some of them are really good (check these out for instance).
So we are left wondering, what could have been? Or, if the site has a change of mind, what might be?
This stinky logo is quite literally, for the birds.
Sorry, Chris. We love your site, but not your logo.