The work in question was done at the tail-end of my time as a design student, so it’s the least offensive of the bunch. Looking back at it, and having had a decade to think about it, it’s not particularly great. (Who knew!)
Additionally I have lost the original source files, so this should be fun.
Everyone has to start somewhere and the brief we received for this logo was, well, brief.
The task was to design a logo for a premium security agency (Agencja Ochrony) with the name Magnus, that would take over security for high-class events.
Truth be told, as someone in my mid 20s at the time, I had no idea how “high-class” events look, what people attend these and how security might look like. All I had to draw on was pop-culture really.
Not that I am much wiser at this point, but with a little bit more experience under my belt I can largely extrapolate.
Looking at the logo, I believe it’s functional but uses too many “tricks”.
My past self detailed the dragon symbol too much and tried to be “clever” by connecting the wing with the serif of the “M”. Even though in the mock-up I seem to have forfeited that idea, creating some questions as to my past process and approach to design. Consistency apparently didn’t feature high on my list of priorities.
Additionally I had not yet discovered the principle of contrasting type and information hierarchy. Both MAGNUS and AGENCJA OCHRONY have the same value.
Well, at least I had the common decency to kern the type and use a relatively ok typeface, even though the pairing is sub-optimal. If I’m identifying it correctly it should be Old Style and probably Helvetica Neue (because as a student you get told that Helvetica is the pinnacle of type).
The logo in general also isn’t particularly flexible, the horizontal lockup restricts its usage quite a bit. Being unable to separate the elements out and reconfigure them in new ways also leaves something to be desired.
The problem is the dragon mark, it’s too detailed and its lower part is hardly readable. I could use a clearer silhouette and a flourish to make it stand apart from the typeface.
With the revamp I decided to stay with the general idea of the dragon mark. After all this isn’t supposed to be a revolution, just an exercise to improve on the existing design.
The mark is now lighter and stands apart from the typeface. The general silhouette is clearer to read as a dragon in flight. I decided to go for a polygonal aesthetic which uses hard aggressive edges to get closer to the security part of the ask, while staying largely light and premium.
The wordmark and icon can also now be used independently from each other, which adds ease of use in different environments and layouts. Additionally the aesthetics of the polygonal lines could even be applied across all communication for a consistent look and feel of the brand.
For the type I decided not to mix serif with sans-serif and instead go for a tried pairing: DIN and Acumin. The contrast between the name and descriptor is now much higher as the descriptor is far less important than the name.
Past me had the general idea to create a mock-up of the usage, but it’s only one application, and a rather plain one. I think we can improve on this quite a bit.
Lets keep the vest, but with the new versatile mark we can turn it into a pattern that lets the hypothetical employees blend in with the high-society they are supposed to protect.
Hell why not brand an entire building with it as pompously as possible.
We could also use some standard collateral.
Well, this is it.
We could obviously take this quite a bit further if this was a branding project, but it’s just a fun exercise.
I wonder what I will think of this design in another decade and how I will be able to improve on it as my experience grows.
If you found this interesting, check out our case studies.
Also published on Medium.