Friday, July 26, 2013

Our Way To The Final Logo Design

A while ago I wrote about how to design a successful app (to the post) whereby I referred to my own app project. I'm currently developing a recipe app for Android with my project partner Marlene Knoche (her blog). The basic concept for this app is about collecting personal recipes. Personal means that you got these recipes from other friends or your family (maybe your grandma). I personally wrote those recipes in a notebook (out of paper). typical problems with such paper books are:
  • When you use them, the paper gets dirty or even wet (from cooking), letters get blurred.
  • When the book is full you have to chose a new book or put in single sheets of paper.
  • You cant reorganize your recipes.
  • You typically document the instructions of a recipe only with words. There is no multimedia content
Maybe you know more problems, to me they are enough to build an app :-) So why build an own app, as there are a lot of apps for recipes out there? Most existing recipe apps don't meet my needs. Most apps let you capture your recipes, but you can't export or reuse them with other apps or tools. Other apps (like Evernote Food) give me that ability, but they are not providing me or any other user a fixed  data structure supporting at which contents to create for a recipe. Evernote Food especially is mixing up my recipe notes with traditional notes in the regular Evernote app, which I do not like. There are still more features that I want to realize in my own recipe app. But the most important is the export functionality. This export should be a high quality print layout. So that when you do a print export, you get a pdf file that contains a set of recipes arranged by yourself to be given to a print shop, that prints your own recipe book. This is a really great idea for a personal gift, too. So this is what I want to have.

 I already reached the end point of the logo design phase and currently I create the basic views and their design. The process of the logo design is what I want to reflect in this post.

Actually, the time to design the logo that finally is used in the recipe app was quite long and we've took a lot iterations to get clear of the base idea behind the logo design. To name it immediately at the beginning, it actually took that much time as the app name wasn't determined at all, too. This, as you will see, reflects in the variety of different design approaches.

Everything began with a spontaneous mind mapping session with my project partner. First we inspected names and design ideas of other recipe apps. The result of this overview was:
  • Most logo designs contained typical cooking symbols like cutlery, chef's hat, dishes, etc.
  • Often the logos are of a illustrative and iconic type.
  • All kinds of cooking metaphors are used to much.
Then we started brain storming and mind mapping.
This mind map indeed captures quite good the essential idea of the app. For defining a name and the logo it is necessary to have this idea in mind.
Then we noted all name ideas for the app. There came lots of good and bad ideas: Cook Stories, Food Stories, Cook Time, Media Meal, Food Print / Printfood, Augenschmauß ... these names are just some of the many ideas we had. But there was not really a great idea.
Some time later we had a nice idea:

GREATFOOD - sounds like Grapefruit, so a logo idea was born, too
I really liked the idea of the logo. But unfortunately there is a quite subtle connection to the NBC logo and there are already quite similar apps in the Google Play store. So we dropped that thought of the name and went on.
Next we just tried to create a logo and maybe we would derive of this the name. Here are only some results of all iterations we took:

The top right logo draft should correspond to the German word play "Mahlzeit", which actually means meal, but in German consists of the two parts meal ("Mahl") and time ("zeit"). As you may see we came to this idea with the kettle, the magic stick and the recipe note. To me and my project partner the graphic design of the logo looked beautiful. The colors we have chosen are fresh which correlates with the whole cooking and grocery topic. And by chance green is my favourite color.

Then we had an idea of the name for the app: "RezepTour". The problem with the logo was, when I showed it to other people (with the size of a real app logo on a device) they could not figure out clear enough what this app should be for. They said something like: "Is this a magic topper?" - the magic stick matches to that interpretation, additionally. To me it was a bit surprising that only few of them interpreted this app logo as it was intended, first.

So, next iteration!

Actually the next idea was quite spontaneous and is about the export and print feature of the app. Falling late into sleep the night before and thinking about the app - there it was: Printzept! The name sounds unique, the idea behind the name corresponds with the most important feature of the app. Like the previous name this one also is mixed out of two words: Print + Rezept (German: recipe). The logo design was done immediately next morning. I drew the name and some styled letters of it to paper.

My project partner opened the vector graphic program, looked at some free fonts and just created the logo that until now is our very final version ;-)

Some days ago I read a really informative and great article:

According to this article I would classify this logo as a typographic logo. This actually distinguishes very much from existing recipe app logos. As mentioned above, most logo designs are of an illustrative or iconic type. The simplicity comes from the flat design and the reduced color selection. Knowing the name "Printzept" it is still readable or recognizable when the logo is shown in app icon size.

Unique & simple - I love it!


  1. Before presenting the final design you should be prepared to face criticism and should have preplanned the answers to his obvious question.

    Logo Design

  2. Now and then, you'll see a plan that works for you directly off the bat. Or on the other hand possibly you like the symbolism, yet you can't peruse the wording (text style type). Perhaps you like the general structure and the wording, yet not the shading. Hues and text style styles are very simple to change except if you need a costly textual style that hasn't been planned for in the task. A ton of times, logos are planned with free text styles. Once in a while this makes the logo less interesting. Now and again, there is nothing amiss with free textual style and it fits in pleasantly with the remainder of the structure. logo design service