Cropped logo design inspiration

The following logos are included in Michael Evamy’s Logo, a lovely book that shows plenty of great designs.

ARC Representation

Arc logo design

Business: Photographers’ representative, USA
Graphic designer: Marc English Design, 2004


SHN logo design

Business: Theatrical entertainment company, USA
Graphic designer: Addis Creson, 2005


Vision logo design

Business: Journal of morals and ethics, USA
Graphic designer: CDT, 2005


Blink logo design

Business: Tile design studio, UK
Graphic designer: Kino Design, 2005


Crop logo design

Business: Image catalogues from Corbis, USA
Graphic designer: Segura Inc., 2004

Science et Cité

Science et Cite logo design

Business: Foundation to encourage debate between society and the world of science, Switzerland
Graphic designer: Atelier Bundi, 2004

Urban Strategies Inc.

Urban Strategies logo design

Business: Planning and urban design firm, Canada
Graphic designer: Hambley & Woolley, 2005

Denk Art

Denk Art logo design

Business: Personal development and counselling agency, Switzerland
Graphic designer: Atelier Bundi, 1998

Cutcost logo design

Business: Business procurement website, UK
Graphic designer: Thomas Manss & Company, 2001

When I became self-employed my personal logo used a bit of cropping to signify a (cheesy) “new dawn.” You can see it on my archived New Dawn Graphics site, and I’ve also documented my portfolio evolution here.

38 responses

  1. Thanks for sharing these David. It’s an interesting technique and these are quite striking examples. I like it in the context of the “cutcost” logo – a clever idea.

  2. Hmm, can’t say I’ve seen alot of cropped logo designs in day to day life (at least not any memorable enough for me to recall), I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the use of cropping in most of the examples you have referenced, especially not the blink, Vision or SHN logos, they just make me feel that the printer was running out of ink, LOL.

    I do find the CutCost and “crop” logos to be quite inspired, however.

    Thanks for sharing

  3. With some of the examples I feel it adds to the design (even though you’re taking something away!)

    However I can’t see the relation between some of the logos and the objectives of their corresponding company. Ark is cool, obviously Crop and make sense.. maybe I’m just not looking in to them enough.

    Regardless, I need to get that book!

  4. No worries at all, Aaron.

    George, SHN is one of the more effective designs for me, referencing the drawing of curtains on the theatre stage.

    Pete, nice addition.

    Chris, I liked that more than most too.

    Jacob, Chaitanya, there’s a macro setting on my camera, yep. I love photography, but I’m definitely no professional.

    Rachel, Toby, you’re both very welcome.

    David, it’s been a while. I hope you’ve been well. The Logo book is one of my favourites for thumbing through.

    Antonio, I purchased it not long after release, though I’ve heard from some people that it contains obvious errors, and an updated copy was published. There are a few mismatched references in mine, nothing major. Hope you got a decent version too.

  5. I really like the appearance of the science cite artwork. Nice mention Pete on the Surface magazine logo that looks great. I agree with Chris the way Shn was cropped to resemble curtains on a stage is ingenious. Thanks for sharing the excellent logos.

  6. Less is definitely more! Did these cropped typographic identities inspire the recent ‘Berthier Associates’ design work David? Great examples from a great book, thanks for sharing.

  7. This is my first exposure to cropped logos and I’m definitely impressed! I too was drawn to the Denk Art logo.

    I find it fascinating how all of these “cropped” logos somehow each convey a personality all it’s own.

  8. Gareth, it actually wasn’t until after I completed the Berthier project when I took another look through Logo. They are similar in their simplicity. I agree.

    Aaron, ah yes, thanks for reminding me of FIVE.

    Have a great weekend!

  9. @David: Ahaha, now that you explain it I can see the curtains closing in the SHN logo, but I still have a slight problem with it: I took literally 5 minutes staring at the three logos I mentioned and stage curtains did NOT come to mind in the SHN one, and although it is admittedly very cool when you understand it I wonder how many casual viewers see the logo and don’t get it at all, and just think something is “off” with it ( the cropped sections aren’t symmetrical and it just doesn’t look balanced at all if you don’t “get” it).

    At the same time when originally viewing it I somehow missed that it was a logo for a theatre company, maybe seeing it in context helps people understand it.

  10. Often times as designers we sometimes forget about the most basic and simplest solutions to solve our problems. A little cropping, rotating, reversing, etc. may just be enough to produce some worthwhile results.

  11. George, a logo in context will often be much stronger than out, so I agree that having that theatre relation will strengthen the idea.

    Peter, looking forward to your update. When can we expect it?

    Bob, thanks for the link — another good example.

    Mat, you’re more than welcome.

  12. I think this technique has been over used a lot recently… well not recently like a couple years ago. I like the ‘Arc’. It has a purpose. But there are too many that just use the technique and don’t include the idea.

  13. I did a project in college where you had to take the names of countries and then use the word itself to illustrate a well-known concept or event related to it. I used this “cropped logo” effect for Zimbabwe, taking away parts of each letter of the word, playing on the state of the political climate in the country of that time when the farms were simply taken away from the farmers and given to disadvantaged parties. Point being that this effect can be used very successfully to illustrate numerous concepts… Great article, thanks.

  14. I’m not sure about many of them as it seems to be a case of being arty for arty’s sake.

    I prefer those where the cut has a clear meaning/purpose and I would deem those as including; Arc, Cutcost, Crop and Surface.

    Good find …. as I don’t think I’ve actually seen a cropped logo before that I recall.

  15. it sort of seems to me that “mis-cropping” as it could be called harkens back to when more things were cut with scissors and glued together. rather than being perfectly assembled on computers. i find that almost half of the text and graphic ideas that i “come up with” are due to mistakes like cropping wrong, etc.
    what is it about incorrectness and inexactitude that is so pleasing to the eye?

  16. Ernie,

    “What is it about incorrectness and inexactitude that is so pleasing to the eye?”

    Good question. Grids can be important, but when you know the rules and how to break them you can really create something interesting.

    Amanda, I agree. My likes include Arc, Crop, SHN, and

  17. another “cropped” logo i really came to like, is the one from hamburg-based design-agency ubilabs. their special field of business is location based media, so the round cropping at the bottom of the logo symbolizes the curvature of earth’s horizon, as seen from afar. a simple, yet powerful idea. see for yourself:

  18. guess i’m behind the curve in googling myself, as this post is a year old. have yet to see the book. is it worth getting? for the ARC logo, it was self-evident that simple would work. had not really thought of it as “cropped” but in this context, it’s quite clear it is.

    being from boston originally, i’ve seen the new Institute of Contemporary Art logo. i’m of mixed opinion, as pretty much anything “arty” does not need to be justified and one can get away with a lot. that said, as the seed that drives their overall identity, i think it works.

    but like the SHN, it takes an understanding of what it is to appreciate it. i’m a firm believer in “let it be what it wants to be” and in the case of SHN, had you not captioned it, i’d have never figured it out in a million years.

  19. For the most part, cropping logos is just a gimmick…
    probably if thought out further the designer could come up with something more applicable, that better communicates the companies business.

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