LogoMotives Design Tracks: Black & White - Part 1

A variety of themes may be found in the identity work of Jeff Fisher LogoMotives. One is black and white imagery.

In my earliest design courses, over 30 years ago, instructors always stressed that a logo must work in black and white, or one color. (That "rule" may have been a close second to "The K.I.S.S. Principle" of "Keep It Simple, Stupid.") With the limited technology of three decades ago it was incredibly important that a logo successfully communicate its message in a single color for photocopying, printing in newspapers, possible screen-printing needs, and new-fangled fax communication requirements. Multi-colored printing was a luxury for many small businesses - so one-color, possibly multiple spot color, was all many design budgets allowed.

While black and white may not be the identity design must it once was, I will not proceed with adding color to a logo design until a client has approved the one-color final concept. For me, it defines the design in its simplest form - and the client who is convinced they will never need their logo in black and white will most certainly have that requirement in the future.

From my archive of past logo designs there are many creations that were created in only black and white. The following identities continued to be used in only black and white after their client approval.

Peggy Sundays
Client: Peggy Sundays
Location: Portland, OR USA

The identity for this high-end gift and home furnishings store is featured in the books The Big Book of Logos 3, New Logo & Trademark Design 2 (Japan), Letterhead and Logo Design 7 and The Big Book of Design for Letterheads and Websites. The one-color application was used on signage, hangtags, metallic stickers, and as a rubber-stamped image on shopping bags.

Client: DataDork
Location: Fontana, CA USA

A stylized computer geek is the centerpiece of this design. DataDork was honored with a Gold in the Summit Creative Awards. It has also been featured in The Big Book of Logos 3, Letterhead and Logo Design 7, Graphically Speaking, Global Corporate Identity, LogoLounge, Volume 1 (icon), Logo Design for Small Business 2, and New Logo: One (Singapore).

Client: Crossings at the Riverhouse
Location: Bend, OR USA

The resort hotel restaurant Crossings is located on the Deschutes River at the site of a historical cattle drive crossing. Lettering in the name is "off" a bit on purpose - to give the word Crossings the look of a hand set 1800's western poster. The logo won a Drake Award from the Central Oregon Ad Club. It also appears in the books Restaurant Graphics 2, New Logo & Trademark Design (Japan), LogoLounge, Volume 1 and Logo Design for Small Business 2.

Main Street Playhouse
Client: triangle productions!
Location: Portland, OR USA

The primary element in the design of the Main Street Playhouse identity is one of the historic street lights outside of the theatre space - with the masks of comedy and tragedy reflected in the globes of the light fixture. The design was recognized with an American Graphic Design Award and publication in the PRINT Regional Design Annual.

What's For Dinner?
Client: What's For Dinner?
Location: Portland, OR USA

What's For Dinner? is the business of a personal chef and caterer. The logo is featured in the books Logo Design for Small Business 2, New Logo and Trademark Design (Japan), and Logo and Trademark Collection (Japan).

Black Dog Furniture Design
Client: Black Dog Furniture Design
Location: Portland, OR USA

Brett Bigham, the designer of new furniture from recycled parts, had his own drawing of his dog incorporated into the logo for the business. The logo was honored with a 2002 American Graphic Design Award. It also is represented in the The New Big Book of Logos, Letterhead and Logo Design 7, Graphically Speaking, American Corporate Identity 18, Global Corporate Identity, the 2002 PRINT Regional Design Annual, Logo Design for Small Business 2, 100's Visual Logos and Letterheads and Graphis Logo 6

(CreativePro.com recently mentioned this bLog-oMotives entry with their post "A Study in Black and White Logos.")

"Critters" is another LogoMotives Design Track for your review.

Note: Many of the books mentioned in this post may be found at the LogoMotives Design Depot Bookstore.

© 2009 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

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