Fun Fad or Design Abomination?

By Mash Bonigala

Web 2.0 logo style brought in the fashion of creating logos that have 3-d elements, such as shadowing and reflections. However, these logos are not usually truly three dimensional. True 3d logo designs are not generally a good idea, and here are a few reasons why:

They focus on three dimensional elements to the exclusion of all else. Consider the Medad logo design. This design follows very few of the logo design ‘rules’. It’s attractive—in its own way—but not any masterpiece. It has an interesting color palette that is somewhat overwhelmed by all its bling. While we can see the shape, we have no idea what it is supposed to represent. This is an interesting and attractive image, but it lacks the meaningfulness that is the hallmark of professional logo design.

They don’t translate well in other media. It might be fun to have an existing logo design turned into 3-d for your website, and most logo designers have the skills and inclination to fit this bill. But having an exclusively 3-d logo is a really bad idea. Imagine how it will look on a t-shirt without its shininess and details. Imagine the printing bills to have it rendered correctly on paper. These are not the only media that will present problems; almost all of them will. There’s a reason Youtube doesn’t use this logo.

They detract from the design. Let’s say you have an attractive 3-d design, one that follows the rules of graphic design but just happens to be three dimensional, like this one. This logo is actually less attractive than it would be in two dimensions. You can barely notice the intelligent way the initials fit together. The clear blue is overwhelmed by excessive shine and shadowing. While the writing in the logo should be placed directly below the image, it instead must be spaced quite some distance away to allow for the shadowing, etc. This logo might be on one of our top ten lists in a two dimensional form, but in 3-d it is barely acceptable.

They can inadvertently look like something else. What is this thing?

We might guess a smoke detector or one of those tiny vacuums that automatically cleans your carpet while you are at work. Instead, it is a three dimensional logo.

A logo should look like one, otherwise there can be significant confusion.

They can be confusing. Like this one. What is that, anyway? Three dimensional logo design is one of those modern media that many people use simply because they can. While this can certainly produce a certain amount of wow factor—all of the examples we have seen definitely are impressive—it does nothing to promote your brand. And, after all, isn’t the point of a logo design to promote your brand?

If you think that this type of logo design (or any other) might be right for your business, talk to a logo designer today. A professional can tell you how and when different devices work and, more important, whether they will work for you.