Logo Theory

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Overlapping causes conflicts between visual components and text or makes the text too small. For instance, in the Conte's identity (9), can you see the words "MARKET & GRILL" in the upper fin and "WESTPORT" in the lower fin? Didn't think so. Sometimes overlapping with lighter elements can be survived (2) but the text is not made easier to read by doing so. Drop shadows usually cut down on legibility. Overlapping often involves placing text on top of a busy background (5, 6, 7, 11, 13), which makes the text difficult or nearly impossible to read (see Busy Backgrounds in Section 7). Placing the logo in the middle of a two-word signature (14) disrupts the reading of the signature. Separating it from the signature becomes a breach of design continuity. Best to not do it at all. Even in a relatively clear logo like Best Buy, the words were always subordinate to the label shape. In its improved new design, the Best Buy logo is separate and the whole identity is cleaner. Capital One, on the other hand, has fixed the word "One" that was in a poorly contrasting gray, but improved nothing by adding a hackneyed swoosh shape that intersects the signature, making it harder to read. Often the motivation to overlap identity elements is little more than an attempt to camouflage uninspired, lackluster or mismatched elements (8). As with any other action that lessens clarity, overlapping elements should be avoided. It may not be a total disaster, but it never improves legibility. Instant clarity and readability are indispensable qualities of successful corporate identity.
(Excerpt from Logo Theory: How Branding Design Really Works,
Section 24: Deadly Sin of Logo Design: Overlapping Elements)

 
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