What's in a Logo?

What's in a Logo?
One of the finishing touches to put on the timer is the logo. Logos on products are interesting things- they don’t help them function, so why are they there at all?

As you may know, I’m a minimalist and in terms of design, so I’m pretty averse to decoration. Yet I do see a role for logos in certain cases. When I make prototypes of wallets, they tend to look pretty generic, but adding a subtle logo somehow makes it feel more finished- like a real product. It also serves as a bit of a visual indicator to tell you when it’s upside down.

I think logos can also go too far though, especially when they become outward-facing symbols... of wealth, status, power, etc.

The approach I take is one of a maker's mark. Turn over any ceramic object, especially one made by an artist, and you'll find some identifying information. It could be a signature, stamp, or logo. Their purpose is more to connect an object with its origin, representing authenticity, pride, and authorship.

Similarly, the logo on the Focus Timer is on the bottom. And it also serves a subtle purpose. Since the button is completely integrated, the top and bottom of the device look identical. Therefore, the side with the logo serves as a subtle cue to remind you that it's a touch point on the product.

In terms of particulars, I probably made things a bit difficult on myself by making it a logotype on a small surface. Letters are notoriously challenging. Ordinarily that alone wouldn't present too much of an issue since silkscreening is very accurate. the only problem? That particular surface is also concaved.

We explored laser etching, which worked pretty well, but it doesn't offer quite the level of control of things like color. It's more like burning toast to different degrees and you kind of just get different levels of darkness.

Instead, we turned to pad printing. Since it's ink, it allows us to choose a specific Pantone color, but it can be applied with precision onto a curved surface. I'm really happy with how they turned out and think it'll serve as a stamp of approval as the final stages of assembly come together.

1 comment

Nov 01, 2023 • Posted by David

Pad printing definitely the way to go for this application (no pun intended). Having been involved in countless print projects for many years utilizing a multitude of print modalities, I thought pad printing would be the method of choice long before I reached the end of this post.
“Good on-ya mate!”

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