A brand identity designer with clients around the world.
Published on April 16th, 2010 Read the 47 comments »
Ganze is a surf clothing label based in Ireland. I was hired to create a logotype that would appeal to the target market of 18-25 year-old women.
View the portfolio entry here: Ganze.
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Archived under Identity, Portfolio.
Being an 18-to-25 year-old woman centered in the surfing capital of California (Orange County), I’ve gotten a lot of exposure to the surfing culture… scratch that… Surfing Religion.
I was a little unsure of the logo when it was presented just as the logo. As soon as I saw it in context, I saw how beautiful and relevant it is to surfing. I especially love it in the third picture on the shortboard.
Yikes, I love the concept of this and the uniform circles idea is great, but the text is REALLY hard to read. I understand it’s supposed to be abstract for the most part, but my brain knows enough that it’s supposed to be text and so tries really hard to read it, but it can’t do it easily. It doesn’t help that Ganze isn’t a common word/phrase/name, so my comprehension gets thrown out even more (my brain kept insisting that it said Gazee or Genze).
And finally I’m not sure how appealing this is to women, specifically. It’s a little too techy and hard edged… they look like screws or something. Might’ve worked better for a different brand.
Anyway, I hope I don’t come off too harsh, I have nothing but the utmost respect for the work you do!
I love this one – it’s inspired! I specially like the ‘n’. It makes the logo feel balanced.
I adore the logo mark and your work in general, and think it touches on young, funky and cool, certainly… but it feels incredibly masculine. Nonetheless, I don’t think that prohibits its success.
Why did you decide not to go with a slanted bar on the e, or mimic the slanted end ala the g?
The circular shapes do a stellar job at giving this logo energy and makes it look fun. A good match for the demographic in my opinion. There are going to be a few who say it’s hard to read but I feel like it’s one of those logos that’s so recognizable because it’s different. After one look, you don’t read it anymore. You recognize it as the brand you’ve tagged it with.
To me, this doesn’t feel too masculine. The curved shapes and the sense of swirling motion seem more feminine to me. I’m sure they force us into shapes like that in my yoga class!
This is completely wrong, its hard too read, has no personality, the design is meaningless and could be put on anything oh and its certainly not balanced.
I’m a RSS-listener and – well, I had to say something after reading those negative comments.
This project is great when focused on the design itself. It’s presentation, it’s look.
It is classy in any case. Just compare this to the “Gucci” logo and you know what I mean. Both of those names do not have any real meaning, nor does the logo itself have any message in general. At least not on first sight.
So I think most of those comments are negative without any reason.
A logo in some cases does not have to have any reflection or iconic meaning by itself, rather than by the way it is used and how the company reflects itself with it.
If the company becomes famous through the logo, the whole sign is getting trendified. So again, if this gets chosen it is up to the company how they market it.
Second, the whole “hard to read” argument is totally misplaced, because if once made public, this logo is recognizable – and that is what a logo has to be – it is fashionable too, so, I think it works! And well, if somebody wants to read it, it is not that hard. There are more logos out there somebody can’t even try to read.
If you ask me if I like it, yes – I do!
David like you said this project was done a few years ago, therefore it could have been better because it does not match your five critical elements of a great logo (your article some fews years ago) .I think the brand owners should contract the logo redesign to you again.
I love your work, David but I honestly couldn’t read this one. It would be really interesting to know the design process behind this.
Hi David, I usually love your work, because the elegance, simplicity and detail they portray, however I have the feeling that you were rushed in this one because although it looks good it´s a bit hard to read, I think it´s the Z that I keep reading like an E.
Still I agree with Grace I would like to know the process…
Looks like you have the audience divided.
I personally like this identity. While its different from your normal work, it still brings to mind your style. To me, the treatment gives Ganze a lot of movement. I see that you mentioned rolling surf as the inspiration and the entire look seems like it’s spinning or could roll away at any point.
I think it works.
I think the more masculine feel is right but, I have only one question, why did you choose pink, it’s such a gender stereotype, especially for a tomboy target audience?
Thanks for the feedback, folks.
Shawna, that’s precisely what my client and I were talking about — how the shape of the logotype (with the five circles) is what gives the distinction and memorability. Like Joe touched upon, it was also thought how the individual characters lend themselves to a spinning animation, emphasizing the movement of the surf.
Kate, your logo classes must be paying off!
Rachel, although stereotypical, the colour pink was a client choice. I tend to favour the green you can see on the third board.
Ahh that explains it. Shame they didn’t go with the green it does fit much better with the rest of it. At least you didn’t go for the bright pink which has been all the rage for the last few years or the really girly pink which all gadgets seem to be produced in these days.
Yeah, this is very much a comprehensional nightmare. Some more ideas:
1) the A and E and G have their crossbars off center, which throws the balance of the circles off, and doesn’t help my comprehension.
2) The Z definitely looks like an ‘e’. I think it’s too strong of a horizontal angle and the tops and bottoms of the Z extend too far around the circle, so it feels like it’s connected as a circle, which looks like an ‘e’
Opposing view points are sometimes tough, but lend to an interesting discussion.
I like the ‘G’ in the abbreviated logo, in the 2nd pic. The entire logo for me did not have the flowy feel of surf, more like gear head teeth. But from a branding point of view, its gonna work because of the standing out.
I agree with you, pink=woman is very cliched. The green was lovely but also tends to an irish cliche..
The Q that no one is thinking about is: Looks like your client had a lot to say, as this work does not reek of creative freedom. I may be wrong, but that’s my impression. :)
Most of these comments read more like personal interpretations and not technical critiques. Which are great, but should be noted that they are still only opinions.
When I read the opening description, I could see the design’s meaning. It is aimed at a younger demographic and was supposed to suggest movement. In my opinion, both are accomplished with the original font that is sleek and modern, and also weighted so that it will look like will move. To me, the balance seems to work because the negative space of the G carries across the A and E.
Just my thoughts though…
Everything I know about logos I learned from you, David! ;)
Did I say “logo classes,” Kate? I meant “yoga classes!” Too much logo chat floating around my head.
Rachel, we’ve been seeing a lot of fluorescent pink lately. For sure.
Arvin, Lak, Joe, thanks for sharing your thoughts on my work. It’s always interesting reading different interpretations.
I really like the uniqueness of this logo…yes it is hard to read but those that know the brand will immediately identify with it and that’s the niche you’re aiming at. inspired stuff on here. Thanks for your candid thoughts, I don’t miss a post.
I like it. I see how it somewhat “rolls” like surf hitting the shore. At a quick glance, however, my brain reads it as “canoe.”
Good job, though.
Wonderful, I think the masculine edginess also ads some glamour to the roundness, though the logo remains fresh and modern. I think this is one reason it works well (in my opinion). I guess pink IS stereotypical, and on second thought I don’t like this particular shade of pink as much, but it does complement the masculine edginess, yet again, everything contributing to making this a feminine brand, with a dash of tomboy-ness which is, as stated by Rachel, the main target.
All in all, the best part is that I kept looking at it inadvertently trying to rotate each so it would match the next, as they are all so similar. So while a tad hard to read, they made me focus on it and now the 5 circles and styling of the typography have made this brand quite memorable to me.
Great work as always David. At first glance, I thought the word was slightly illegible, but then saw the word Ganze a few seconds later. However, that said, it isn’t a bad thing in this case. The logo suits its medium really well…
Nice logo. But Im still wrapping my brain around Ireland and surfing. Might be a US thing, but I always think of California and Hawaii having the monopoly on that. I would never think of surfwear from Ireland. :)
Your comment made me chuckle. I live in California and is true, the first thing that popped in my head was: surfing in Ireland?
I would really like to see the design process… other than that, I like it.
Jon, surfing in Ireland isn’t for me, that’s for sure, but there’s a fairly dedicated scene. I think Cornwall, England is the place to surf around the isles.
Yaco, interesting to note how you tried to visually rotate the characters due to their similarity. The Z is the N rotated clockwise by 90 degrees.
Thanks again, everyone.
Victor and Jon, I’ll have you know that they have in the past held the World Surfing Championships in Ireland. Its Western side does face the Atlantic you know.
Like others, I like the branding but did initially find it hard to read. But as someone else mentioned, once you know the brand and name it doesn’t matter any more.
Like I said, it’s probably a US thing that we’re like “Surfing? Ireland?!?” because here all the surfing imagery we have seen is always warm beaches and palm trees of the Pacific (Frankie Avalon/Annette Funicello stuff)
I like what you did here. The repeated circle is almost like the repeated barrel of the wave… but I have to laugh.. That is not Ireland and they are not Irish girls.
Good stuff David. When is part 2 of yellow Pages coming?
I have read the post and controversial comments above, and although logo’s can be a personal choice, i think the logo fits the brief you were given its young & edgy. Also i think some people have confused a strong logo design with being too masculine. The readability issue is irrelevant as its a recognisable and individual brand which you have created, great job!
You missed it, Youssef: Yellow Pages logo refinement part II. And we do have some beautiful beaches in Ireland.
Victoria, thanks very much.
I see this logo somehow related more to masculinity than to both genders. However, it is really funky and cool, great work. I really like it.
I have to say, seeing a lot of logos in the action sports industry, it definitely fits right in with the overall look. Reminds me a tad of Jee Vice, a women’s optics line.
But I wanted to know if you intentionally created the classic wave-like outline that runs along the bottom negative space of the characters? If you were to extend the baseline and add infinite circles to the left and right of your logo, you might see it more clearly. They remind me of the crests and swells of waves if you were to look at them two-dimensionally. That might be a cool avenue to pursue within their collateral.
Very cool – thanks for sharing!
Kudos to pointing out the negative-space waves :) I love finding logos with those little morsels of ‘eureka!’.
While I usually love the logos you create (I swear, you’re a genius with kerning. Can never get the darn thing to turn out right myself), I have to say this one missed the mark. While logos are inherently a visual element, a typography logo must play a dual role as both an image and a word. While it visually conveys the attitude and charm of the brand as an image, as a word it stumbles slightly in the legibility department. The position of the crossbars are what seems to throw the eyes, I think.
The legibility issue is best exampled in the first context photo. When the logo is placed vertically as it is on the board, it’s anyone’s guess exactly what letter we’re looking at.
The shot of the sleeve and the ‘G’ is fabulous, though. Powerful, without sacrificing any bit of its femininity. When the brand builds up its new recognition, the G trademark is going to be an icon of female surf attitude :)
I’m only catching up with all your latest articles now, David (been flat out redesigning my site lately)! I have been keeping an eye on your articles via my RSS reader but only getting a proper read at this stuff now.
This new identity is stunning – has a really cool vibe to it! As always – flawless work, good sir! :-)
Hello David, the negative space wave-like pattern wasn’t initially intentional, but it was a little something extra that helped with the decision-making. You’re spot on about experimenting with it throughout different collateral. Thanks for the suggestion.
Ash, Mark, good of you to have a look and share your opinions. Cheers, guys.
Hi David! Just read this post, and i think it’s a wonderful mark. I really love the “g”. I think it all fits very well with the company. Plus it looks great with different colors. You have been an inspiration to me for a long time. Cheers! :)
Overall I really like this logo and am myself very partial to repeated shapes in design, really seems to help with the flow of the mark. Somehow though the ‘E’ looks a little awkward (I can see you are trying to line it up with the ‘A’ and ‘G’ but just does not sit right with me.) To be honest I really like the ‘G’ just sitting on its own it has a strong visual appeal to me. Contextual shots are great by the way.
WOW! Interesting, the amount of negativity. Sure you can pin everything down to rules this and that, you followed, you didn’t… however, thank God every one just doesn’t stick to a bunch of rules when they go to design stuff! Let’s allow the abstract and creativity some license.
Client was happy, looked good in context on the merchandise — beyond that — we’ll all have likes and dislikes.
Awesome post, this logo really does the brand justice and definitely appeals to the target market!!
Eh.. definitely my least favorite of your designs. The font is really hard to read, I had to think about it and match the letters together with the default font here, and then I see pink targeting 18-25 women. Ugh. Pink..
I hate seeing pink at all, but the only things I think it should be used for is cotton candy, breast cancer awareness and baby girls. Anything else is just gross.
David this design really speaks to me. In Australia we have a strong surfing culture that carries over even to people who don’t surf. This logo is very well suited, I don’t think it matters that it may be a little difficult to read because even though it is a typographic logo it also is image and shape in its own right.
The girl holding the shortboard in the third picture is me…. im a competitive surfer and thebrand looks ok… could use a little work but i like where your goin
Thanks, Matthew. Ashley, I hope the surfing’s going great. Cheers.
Superb logotype for the brand… really like your work!
There is no better feeling than to see the brand you created on a product, is there? Love this logo, David!
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