Rochelle Weiner Carr - 07/19/2011 - Branding & Design / Creative Process

Windy_City_Ribfest1Our new and fabulous guest blogger, Nicholas Dale Taylor, focused this week on the Windy City Ribfest logo. He polled 100 people in person the day of the fest and continues the poll online. I am super impressed by Nicholas’ enthusiasm and figured as the resident creative director at Andiamo Creative, maybe it was time I chimed in with my opinion of the logo.

According to my own advice, a successful logo should be: focused, simple, memorable, functional, relevant, unique. The question is, does the Windy City Ribfest logo hit on any of these points? Let’s see:

1. Focused

To start with, this is an event logo as opposed to a corporate logo, so the rules are slightly looser. And let’s picture this logo separate from it’s checkerboard background since I believe that’s a part of the flyer design, not the logo. Even still, this logo does does suffer a bit for lack of focus – or to be more specific, there’s an awful lot going on. Pig in chef’s hat and sunglasses holding a platter of ribs, AND an electric guitar – and this is before we even start to discuss the words of the logo. It’s an awful lot to fit into one logo design and none of it seems to work with each other. It’s basically an illustration with a box plopped on top which contains the logo type. A busy logo can be made to work but only if the designer finds a clever way for all the items to interact in harmony.

2. Simple

That would be a no – refer to item 1 above.

3. Memorable

Well – it would be a bit hard to have a clear memory of all the details of it but I would venture to guess most people would probably remember the pig in sunglasses and chef’s hat. Would they remember the name of the festival? Maybe not.

4. Functional

Part of the problem of having a complicated logo is it’s hard to make it work well across the board. This would be one option where it’s not working well. The choice of the checkerboard pattern in the background of the pictured flyer is a great choice for this kind of event – however, placing the busy logo on top of a busy background is a risky option. In this case I don’t think the risk paid off since the two tend to fight for attention, with no clear winner.

5. Relevant

High marks here – what could be more relevant (and cute) for a Ribfest than an illustration of a rocker pig chef carrying a platter of ribs? And the font choice actually makes sense too (even though I personally am not fond of the font).

6. Unique

Hard to say since I’ve not seen any other Ribfest logos. However I daresay other ribfests across America could possibly have a similar theme – but maybe done in a different way. Jury’s out barring some research, which won’t be happening unless I win the Ribfest account for 2012.

All in all, I personally rated this logo a 5 out of 10. The main problem is that it’s busy which makes it hard to work with. Plus to my aesthetic I’d rather have seen a funkier more “rocker” style of illustration instead of the cartoony appearance of the current logo. And I’d have probably chosen a different font too. So – not horrible, but far from great.

That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.

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Logo Poll 2011 – Windy City Ribfest

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