David Airey is an independent brand identity designer working with companies of all sizes since 2005.
Published on July 19th, 2008 Read the 68 comments »
Hilcon is a Norwegian construction firm, and it was my role to create the company’s identity package, including a wordmark, symbol, and corporate stationery.
View the portfolio entry here: Hilcon.
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Archived under Identity, Portfolio.
I wasn’t sure about the actual logo at first but I think the letterheads and cards especially look fantastic! I absolutely love the gradient on the front of the card, i’m going to do the same with my own when I ever get them reprinted.
The whole article, particularly the details of the process is as interesting to read as ever, thanks!
I think the 2/ H logo on top is good but it’s just my taste. The brick pattern look just ok for me. But anyway, great work buddy!
Enjoyable post David. I agree with the comment above…the chosen logo is just ok in my opinion….it’s just too plain and simple…a little bland….
The design that really caught my eye and interest was Number 2. I really like that layout and it shows a nice bit of creativity. It also has that solid feel to it that they were looking for.
I think the chosen design gives a bit of a “wobbly” and “unstable” feeling….
I’d be interested to know which was your personal favorite.
Brian, we have same taste ^^
The logo looks rock solid and that must be essential for at construction firm like Hilcon. I like the idea of turning the “H” into building blocks.
And like “Shaun” says “the letterheads and cards especially look fantastic”.
The logo may not be the sexiest thing you’ve designed, but I think it’s a decent logo that certainly embodies the company based on the design brief. As designers we tend to have an aesthetic that pushes the envelope or is incredibly visual, but as a logo designer you have to distill the essence of the brand and the image that the client wishes to represent.
I think the logo looks strongest in a one-color (black) application, or against the black background. I get that the brown color is supposed to represent wood, but that almost bronze shade evokes more warmth and gentleness than strength, at least for me. I do like the dark brown color choice, though.
Thanks for sharing your process, it’s a great way to show the thought you put into each design.
Number 2 is also good but if compared to 3(chosen one), 3 is more simpler than 2 as what the client requirement was… a simple one . Its a nice logo.
I think the chosen logo in both application and design looks great although I do prefer option 2. I feel this is stonger on alot of levels. It looks more attractive and more creative for me. You could also have alot of fun in applying this logo due to it’s form.
Thanks for the post. As interesting as always!
Jeriel, Brian, I saw #2 translate effectively to the stationery design, and I had a few good ideas, but what’s most important is how the client sees it. What I like about the final design is how adaptable it is, using the mark with or without the text, and at any size (from favicon upwards). It’s clean, simple and easy to remember.
Gio, you’re absolutely right. There’s a balance between creative freedom and interpreting the brief that we all must strike. You’re welcome for me sharing. I enjoy learning what others think, and constructive criticism is important.
I like the logo design they decided to use.
Even though I am not a designer I do like this kind of posts, describing your creative work, and find them really interesting.
As always, I love reading through your design process from early stages to completion.
Excellent work and I always pick up a few great tips. Love the logo…
Hi, I’ve been lurking around your site for a while and admiring your work.
Just wondering: how long did it take you to design this logo for Hilcon? You make it look easy and fast, but I imagine that from the time you started to come up with ideas to the final physical product, it took a while. Just curious. cheers, m
I think the design chosen by the client is by far the best of the three options. The other two look rather generic in comparison, they both don’t tell you what the company does and could work for almost any company named Hilcon, whereas the bricks offer a unique and unambiguous link to the business they are in.
I also think that the cange from the circular dot on the letter “i” as seen in the van design to the square colored dot in the final design was a great choice that adds a lot of elegance.
Unlike some of the other commenters I’m not quite sure about the gradient on the business card since it inevitably “drags” my eye to the bottom right corner and away from the logo. But I love how sort of balances the design. My other concern is that the brick construction from the logo does not necessarily look 1000% stable — which might not be a good thing for a construction company. But maybe that’s just interpreting a bit too much.
Overall, I love the logo, and I think you did a fantastic job. Best construction company logo I have seen so far. Please keep up those great posts, it’s great to get such an insight in your design process.
I like your logo very much. I think #2 might be effective if you were building skyscrapers but it is still quite generic looking. The logo you chose in my estimation creates a strong visual identity which clients and prospects will come to asscoiate with your client. That is the essence of a good logo. It is the unique graphic signature of your business. Enjoy your good choice.
Have been an avid reader of your site but this is the first time I’m leaving a comment. I think the logo makes a lot of sense since the company is after all dealing with bricks and wood so kudos to you there! I think it looks really good on the letterhead and business card as well.. Simplicity is the way to go.. Being a student, it really helps a lot to be able to see designers like you, showing your process work (makes me try to sketch more too), so thank you very much for sharing ‘em =)
I really like your solution David, congratulations on another happy client :^)
I like that it shows the process you go through to do something inventive in a world of copycats and phoney designers…that rip off right down to a color detail someone else’s logo…
But I shouldn’t be too critical. ;)
Anywho, it had been a while since I had responded to your posts.
I get flaky about responses.
Have a great weekend!
Mari, I received Hilcon’s downpayment mid-April, and all completed artwork was supplied by the end of June. Total project length was approximately 10 weeks.
Peter, you have a keen eye, spotting how the dot above the ‘i’ was changed. I also changed the height of the ‘l’ so it matched the ‘H’. Your thoughts are very much appreciated. Cheers.
David, it’s great when clients don’t mind me publishing the process, as a few prefer I don’t.
I was surprised you didn’t build a roof on the “H”. The bricks in the shape of the H is a nice touch, and the end result looks very corporate. I like reading about the process other designers go through. Thanks for sharing.
I love to see you work through ideas. Very inspiring. Great work as usual. :)
I love it. I’m glad you didn’t build a roof on the H. I think it would have looked cliched. On one of the business cards, the gradient almost looks like you photoshop’ed it in…strange..but anyways, it’s probably just my lack of sleep kicking in or the angle of my monitor. Great work David!
You know what ? It’s amazing !! Looks very nice, simple and solid. Good work, David !
Great logo David.
I am amazed by the variety of designs you considered during the brain storming session.
The logo looks superb in the business cards too.
I think the client definitely chose the right concept, the other two looked a bit generic (and for some reason reminded me of the Helly Hansen logo??).
The business cards look great and after going through a phase of hating gradients, they are growing on me at the moment.
It rocks man, I like all your work!
I think the logo really delivers on ‘solid’. At first I was a little cold to the design, but seeing it on the letterhead and card (especially the card) brings it to the fore. To me it seems a design that does well in context.
tif, my Photoshop skills aren’t 100% and you’re another with a keen eye. I sent the completed business card artwork a few weeks back, and don’t think they’ve been printed as yet.
Steve, I think any logo that focuses on an uppercase H is going to have a resemblance to the Helly Hansen logo. Thanks a lot for the props.
Karl, I agree. It always helps to see context, especially when it comes to judging effectiveness.
I have to say that design looks pretty damn neat. I’d have liked to have seen it in the green, see what colour you would have used with that. Though the grey, black and whatever colour you’d call that does go together very very well.
Another great logo! I don’t think it’s a boring one at all. If anything you’ve managed to strike a nice balance between making the logo look modern but still keeping it very simple. I’ve never designed any logos with brown before but you’ve made it pretty fresh, all the same!
Thanks for being such a great resource for new designers like me!
For me no-colour versions of that logo looks pretty good and professional. And I think I like italic font more. Overall, maybe it’s not ‘catchy’ but it doesn’t need to be. But isn’t colour version to dappled? Why not just 2 colours? and that ‘i’ coloured dot…. Regards.
Hey like the logo. Had a quick question figured either you or someone that visits this site would know. Some designers use various fonts on webpages (fonts such as trashed, bleeding cowboy, etc.). What I don’t get is how does that font get rendered on a persons computer who doesn’t have that font on their computer. I’m pretty sure it still looks normal, but how is that possible. I know its random but interesting. Just as there is safe web color pallets, are there also safe general font pallates?
How much of an influence do cultural matters have with regard to design? I understand that different designs/ideas would appeal to different nationalities, so how do you research and reconcile this when approaching a design task?
I agree with Gio (above). It’s not the sexiest design I saw from you (I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time). But I think it’s a very good logo for the company. I also like the colored dot above the ‘i’. Great job.
The gradient on the black side of the business card is superb.
Thanks for sharing the whole process to the world!
Question: what type of paper did you use for the business cards?
The colour choice was from Hilcon. They had a good deal of input into the design process, which helps lead to another satisfied customer.
Karl, good of you to answer Joe’s question. Culture differences can play a part, although not so much with this project. I’m currently working with a client in Japan, which is a more suitable case study, but it also comes down to the target audience, and what business the client wants to attract. How do I research? Google, mainly.
Eds, I love your logo for AnchorMen. As for the card stock, I’m not sure what Hilcon will opt for, as I provided the artwork and they will deal with print companies in their locale.
Simplicity is the best !
great job david !
I think the colours are my favourite aspect. Agree with Peter about the fact they could look ‘unstable’, but I think their chunkiness prevents that from becoming too obvious.
Looking forward to your Japanese work being showcased here!
I like your use of mindmaps for your design ideas, this is cool. Some people dont realise the amount of drafts that go into a design and then the hard process of eliminating or chossing from the final 3, dont you sometimes wonder, what if i had used the other design how would that campaign have gone?
Another winner with this design, David. Keep up the good work.
hate say this ,David ,but I figured you probably don’t want to only read positive comments,I d like to put something not very positive information.this project has to be the poorest design made by you. using the first letter to design is absolutely the lamest way ,1a/ and 1b/ are noncreativity and horrible( sorry ),thank god you have 2 and 3,or i ll never come back this site again even i have been reading it for almost a year and being a big fan :-) (overstated :-)),anyhood,you definitely can do much much much better than this. the business card is worse,especially the white side,most information like squeezed in the middle,layout is plain,have no should i say resolution,looks simply cheap if you know what i mean.and stationery,too bland.well let’s say they simply didn’t pay you enough .
don’ t hate me David, i am still welcomed right :-)
Nice solution. I especially liked seeing your sketches. It is interesting seeing the thought process.
David, your job is great! The tipography was amazing!
I inspire myself in you and in your job!
Absolutely love the logo, it looks very smart and corporate.
I’m all for simplicity but the stantionery is too simple for my taste. But hey what the customer wants the customer gets. =)
You’ve created a strong, distinctive, functional logo, with renewable interest and creativity. Perfect for a construction company. I like it a lot. Thanks for sharing!
I really enjoy seeing your logo design process. I think I’m going to do a similar post on my blog about how I branded a new site I’m launching… obviously, after it launches!
I have never seen a designing process clearly explained like this. Specially the sketches. Very professional work. If I can afford you, I am more than happy to hire you for my off line company design work. But looking at your work, I don’t think i l be able to do that as yet :-) The business cards looks really great. Keep up the good work,
Thank you for the reply. We deal with overseas clients quite a bit, and I was curious to know how others approach this. Generally we’re introduced by an intermediary, and these people are a great source of information and tips.
I love the logo that you designed, it’s simple but it still catches the eye! I think you did a great job:)
Really great work on that logo! I love watching your logo evolution process!
Sorry, totally off-topic, but I saw this and thought of you: http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1823766
Hi David ( Im wondering where’s your Goliath now ? )^.^ just kidding!
Well, I love the logo ( 2 ) much cause of its style and your ideas on designing this logo ( creatively combining the biggest H and the rest characters, the logo’s balance and modern shape ).
However, I don’t think it’s more useful in marketing than the one that your clients chose. Because it’s the best one to impress their customers by its easy-remembering shape.
I have to confess that I’m just in the business for over 1 year and i’ve learned so much from your helpful site. I wanna say thank you in my language : cam on rat nhieu!
Hello La Thang, Vietnam’s such a beautiful country, and it’s nice to know I have a reader there. I’d love to return someday. Thanks also for the link on your website. That’s kind of you.
I see some IBM and some Enron in those logos. I like the final design. I guessed what it would be for and looking at it long enough gives me the impression of an aerial view of four tall buildings. A bit 3D almost.
great work the whole work looks so silk and professional. Im doing a packaging design at the moment, how is possible to post the logo and the whole packaging so i can get some feedback from the readers of your blog, aswell do you know any tips how can i present my work in a live surface,i think this is how they call them a 3D presentation of the actually product. Any help will be so appreciated!
Valentino, I was seeing some Enron too, which is why I favoured the chosen option.
Yannis, feel free to email me a JPG or similar for your logo, though I can’t promise it’ll be featured here. I’m not quite sure what you mean about presenting in a live surface. Do you mean a mock-up of the package design?
A fantastic example of a clear brief which leads to an effective and beautiful logo. Your care for details in showing customers the logo in differing contexts is both challenging and inspiring. I recently spent a long time with a client who wanted too much detail in a single logo – he was after an illustration rather than a logo, and this is a brilliant model for a simple design which conveys a great deal of information and emotional response. Thank you for your continuing posts.
I also wasn’t overly loving the design initially, but have to admit it looks gorgeous on the business cards etc.
I find that though with logo design – one can’t really appreciate how good a design is until it’s actually being ‘used’.
A company logo design is rarely ‘alone’, so I think you can only really see how effective a design is when it’s in various settings such as stationery, brochures, posters and so on.
That’s why when I design logos for clients I often do a pretend/mock up business card design sitting next to the concept so they can get a ‘feel’ for how it will look when being actually used. I find this aids the decision process.
Amanda, you’re spot on. It needs context before the effectiveness can be seen. I’m making a point to show new portfolio entries in at least one application.
I fell in love with your website. All your work are outstanding and the posts that describe the whole process is really useful. You are doing a great great job!
I have a question with this logo: why upper case for H only? Does the small case for the other alphabets convey something? Just curious. I see that you have all caps for the word Hilcon as one of the options in 3 though. Wouldnt all caps indicate more ‘solid’ characteristic?
J, I didn’t like the spacing on the upper case example, and found the title case approach to be much tighter / more professional. The weight of each character, regardless of case, can portray solidity.
(Apologies to all those comments before me, I don’t have time to read 60 comments right now.)
Just wanted to say I like how you showed your mind map, haven’t seen that in your process before. Nice work on the negative space in 1a, b. I like the idea in #2, but it reminds me more of Hilton and hotels than building companies. I like the final product, I think it will work well on stationery and cars… good work with the mock-ups too (as always!).
At first glance, it reminded me of stacked Jenga blocks, so, I guess that’s a good thing :D
I don’t particulary love the logo, but it is clearly an excellent work.
Love your blog. I have learned a lot of things that can’t be learned on a classroom. Thanks!
Hi Kristarella, the mind-mapping is something I make a point of doing, so I’m not sure why I didn’t show a sample sooner.
I really appreciate your unique mentality and your massive ability to extract the the best of everything in the design criteria, and apply it in your work.
I really LOVE your outstanding work, and wish you could give us some hints on how to achieve the best results in the shortest possible time?!
cause I’m going through hard times that I think will take lots of time to be healed!, which leads to me losing concentration and I’m afraid my work is being affected by my inner feelings …
you know, design is all about creativity, and creativity need FRESH MINDS, which’s the thing that I need for the current time! …
how am I supposed to seperate how I feel from my work?
have you gone through such times in which you thought you’re no more able to give the best you have?
do you have any advises for me ?
Thank you very much for the inspiration you offer through your work …
and sorry for my bad english ;-)
Rana, separating how I feel from my work is near impossible. If I’m in a poor frame of mind, I won’t give my best. All work and no play makes David a dull boy. Thanks very much for the words.
I’m working on a design brief and I ran into your blog. Its really great to see the start of your work to your finish. Where do you currently stay? Im in the states. I would love to get more info about you and your work.
Hi Sarom, I received your questionnaire, thanks very much. I’m currently in Northern Ireland, and you can read a short bio at the foot of my about page.
I am student of graphic design and painting. I really like logo design and creating stationery. All your works look very useful and professional. I’m so confused that I am in the class for making new logos. I’ve learned a lot from other graphic design sites but yours is best of all. I want to say thank you.
God bless you.
I really love the fact that you’ve put the design process for all of these logos onto your site, excellent idea!
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Copyright 2005 - 2013 David Airey, unless otherwise noted // Thanks very much for reading