Anatomy of a Logo
We recently designed a corporate logo for Compel Visuals, a medical-legal illustration company that provides custom illustrations of surgical procedures, disease and injuries to medical malpractice attorneys. These drawings are are fully researched and highly detailed; they’re usually presented in the courtroom to a jury.
The client asked that, ideally, the logo convey the three concepts of medical, legal and art – quite a challenge. A good logo is simple, graphic and eye-catching, but it can’t do everything and it shouldn’t try. Combine too many elements and it becomes cluttered and hard to read.
Fortunately, Compel Visuals’ tagline, “Make your case before saying a word”, is descriptive of the legal process, and would help convey that part of their business. Some of our concepts included a briefcase which might suggest “legal”, but in the end the client decided it was unnecessary.
Traditional – But Not Stuffy
We chose contemporary fonts and the corporate color of blue. The blue needed a pop of a contrasting color to make it sing, so we paired it with a tangerine orange. The orange is fresher than, say, red. And we didn’t want a “blood” color in the logo, no matter what the subject matter of Compel Visuals’ drawings!
As the logo evolved, it became apparent that the logo would indeed have to include a true medical illustration. So CV provided us with a simple anatomical drawing of the brain, lending a more academic and medical feel. Adding one of the tools of their trade, a pen, brings in the drawing aspect of their business. The pen itself looks like a casual drawing, adding another layer of meaning.
A good logo has an invisible field around it, defining its shape. This one is a rectangle, with the pen and the ink stroke breaking out of the box slightly, underscoring the world “Compel” and leading the eye to the illustration of the brain.
The end result is simple, but compelling. We often say that creating a logo is like solving a puzzle. The multiple components work together gracefully to convey the full meaning of Compel Visuals’ business. Case closed.