Logo Design Love Awards judges’ verdict

Logo Design Love Awards

For the past 10 weeks, I’ve been running the Logo Design Love Awards. The aim was to uncover the most effective blog logos, and to raise awareness of lesser-known logo designers. A distinguished panel of judges were brought on board, with more than a century of collective design experience. They were asked to choose their top three logos from all 10 blog categories (listed at the foot of this article). If a judge named a logo as their 1st favourite, the design was awarded three points. 2nd favourite received two points, and 3rd favourite, one point.

The votes have been counted, and I’m proud to feature the logos chosen as the very best of the Logo Design Love Awards.

Below each design is a quote from the judges who voted on it, along with the number of points they awarded.

1st place

Joe Urban (12 points)

Joe Urban logo design

Logo designer: Darrel Austin

“Of all the logos in here, this is the only one that made me grin. The drawings are endearing and very representative of a personal blog. Right away, I can get a sense of what Sam Newberg stands for or what kind of things he is interested in: accessibility, openness, and organization. The play of scale works well and gives the logo dynamism. The typography is nice and simple. The logo looks much better smaller than it does in the blog, though, and I would lose the rounded corners at the end of the line, but overall, this is a nice logo that deserves some recognition.” Armin Vit (3 points awarded)

“As I looked through the list of blogs the most memorable logo was Joe Urban’s. It is a pretty complicated idea boiled down to a simple mark. A train peaking over the horizon, nature in the midst of a city, architcture, and the Urban lanscape. The logo looks at all these things from a distance and asks you to find a connection between all these things. That is exactly what the site is about and the logo captures it. There were some good looking logos in this competition, but I don’t think there was another logo that captured the message as succinctly as this one. Beautiful.” Adrian Hanft (3 points awarded)

“The deceptive simplicity of the geometric iconography, colour choices, line weights, and perfectly matched typography make for a clean, clever, and extremely well-executed branding solution. This one was my favourite by a mile.” John Martz (3 points awarded)

“This logo was probably my favorite overall. It has a particularly simple yet memorable aesthetic that I found most appealing. And definitely stands out as a diamond in the rough amongst it’s competition.” Jeff Andrews (3 points awarded)

2nd place

Vulture (6 points)

Vulture logo design

Logo designer: Ian Adelman, while Design Director of nymag.com

“It’s no surprise that the design team at New York Magazine has created a striking identity for their addictive culture blog. But what is surprising is how much is communicated in this simple, one-color logo. I see imperious skyscrapers, vintage Gotham signage, and lurking gossipmongers ready to publicly eviscerate your soul. It actually scares me a little.” Alissa Walker (3 points awarded)

“This is actually the best logo of all the included, technically and aesthetically speaking. It’s way better than Joe Urban that I selected as my 1st place. But Vulture is part of a bigger design identity by New York magazine, and I think it represents a different attitude than the rest of the blogs submitted. Somehow, in this specific contest, I give more credit to the homegrown logo than one for a design-centric magazine.” Armin Vit (2 points awarded)

“The name is clever and their designers have taken it to a good place, with that leering, menacing curve and shadow. It’s fun seeing it next to the Vanity Fair logo, as it seems similar, but sort of in answer to the polite ethics of more mainstream organizations. “Some places might dish the celebrity dirty,” it seems to say, “but we’ll dig through their garbage and get to the really juicy stuff.” Steve Delahoyde (1 point awarded)

3rd place

Undies Drawer (5 points)

Undies Drawer logo design

Logo designer: Darrel Austin

“A blog about men’s underwear could go in several different directions. This logo tells me that while the blog writer has a sense of humor he takes his undies seriously. The colors communicate the idea that this is a blog for men, as do the simple underwear shapes along the bottom (ha, ha).” Megan Patrick (3 points awarded)

“This logo’s illustrative treatment treats its subject with style and humour. It could have been all too easy to go trashy with this, but the logo is surprisingly elegant, and still a little, um… cheeky.” John Martz (1 point awarded)

“I can’t look at this without it teasing a smile from my face. From the stitching across the top and bottom, to the perfect faux-undergarment typeface to the carefully-rendered buttocks, Undies Drawer is a very appropriate logo for a very fun blog. Of course once I started reading blog’s content I loved it even more. Hello, Cocksox!” Alissa Walker (1 point awarded)

4th place

Simply Recipes (4 points)

Simply Recipes logo design

Logo designer: Elise Bauer, with help from Jesse Gardner

“This logo has a very classic, Martha Stewart feel and tells me that I should expect a well-curated selection of traditional recipes with a modern twist. The contemporary asterisk also suggests the form of measuring spoons, which creates a pleasant visual pun.” Megan Patrick (2 points awarded)

“The sheer simplicity of this concept is what makes it stand out. Using the spoons to create a symbol really works. As a fan of serif style typefaces, I find the typography legible and well suited to the overall concept. The colour palette uses earthy spice tones, which is homely and representative of food…mouthwatering!” David Pache (1 point awarded)

“This logo wins in my opinion because it’s warm color palette and clean yet evocative style made me hungry! Though the icon doesn’t denote “food” or “recipes”, I still find the mark a success overall.” Jeff Andrews (1 point awarded)

Joint 5th place

Found Gallery Blog (3 points)

Found Gallery Blog logo design

Logo designer: Brady Brim-DeForest

“Beyond just being pleasant to look at during a quick glance, a good logo should impress on a couple of fronts, should you decide to spend some time thinking it over. I think Found has done that really well. I loved that you can build your own interpretation of the filled-in circles; either representing the big finding the little, or the part to the whole, or the “O” rolling away and becoming something new and ready to be plucked up by a passerby. Plus, of course, the obvious dot as in “dot com.” It’s not perfect, as I’m not 100% sold on using the two different fonts, but it’s a really fun logo to spend some time with and enjoy, and that’s a mark of success in my book.” Steve Delahoyde (3 points awarded)

Diseñorama (3 points)

Diseñorama logo design

“This is the absolute and clear winner for me. The precision and attention to detail is lovely, as is the choice of colour palette. The typeface is bespoke and technically excellent. To sum up, this logo is simple, but VERY effective and complements the designer’s brand…inspiring!” David Pache (3 points awarded)

Dooce (3 points)

Dooce logo design

“I’m always drawn to typography based logos or wordmarks. This logo stands out for me because of it’s elegant simplicity. It’s not easy to pull off a compelling wordmark, but the designer of this logo has succeeded impressively.” Jeff Andrews (2 points awarded)

“This logo communicates without relying on weird fonts or bright colors. It still has a fun personality and nice movement.” Megan Patrick (1 point awarded)

Dumb Little Man (3 points)

Dumb Little Man logo design

Logo designer: SpellBrand

“Eye-catching graphic. Says what it is.
Practical (with adjustments, yes), graphic (yes), simple in form (yes), one message (yes), appropriate (yes), memorable (yes).” Catherine Wentworth, grading the logo according to 6 universal attributes (3 points awarded)

Joint 9th place

BrandBerry (2 points)

BrandBerry logo design

Logo designer: BrandBerry

“It’s really subtle and I like that a lot. It doesn’t scream at you about how cute it is and how clever they’re being, which is great. So many logos try to overextend themselves and yell at you to pay attention, but this one is more than happy to fade into the background and serve as ornamentation, yet always there when you need it.” Steve Delahoyde (2 points awarded)

POPSUGAR (2 points)

POPSUGAR logo design

“I was actually just at a PopSugar party last night but I swear the free vodka has nothing to do with this decision. What struck me was seeing their logo versus the zillions of other logos plastered on the sponsor wall. PopSugar’s logo looks better than all the logos of celebrity blogs, websites and magazines put together. In fact, it looks more like the logo for a really good celebrity gossip TV show. Which I’m sure it will be, someday.” Alissa Walker (2 points awarded)

EcoGeek (2 points)

Eco Geek logo design

“This was a very witty metaphor. The power button is sprouting life. The connection between energy consumption and environmental awareness. It even gives a nod to the audience since you have to be somewhat of a geek to know that this is the symbol for the power button. I was ready to give this one my best of show stamp until I visited the website. This logo needs white space to shine and on the site it is boxed in and competes with the other elements on the site. It’s a shame because I really like the mark.” Adrian Hanft (2 points awarded)

De Ouro (2 points)

De Ouro

Logo designer: Lucas de Ouro

“Playful typography, when done well, will always win me over more than a logo that’s just a cool font with a swoosh or a gradient slapped on to it. And more than just playful, this is a logo that instantly evokes true excitement and energy.” John Martz (2 points awarded)

TreeHugger (2 points)

TreeHugger logo design

“This environmental logo stood out as unique among it’s peers as, although it is using a simple symbol representation, the high level of technical execution has made it a very powerful branding tool. It shows precision and simplicity in a snapshot, which is very refreshing…brilliant!” David Pache (2 points awarded)

Uncrate (2 points)


“Although I had to look at the website to get it (I was jetlagged at the time), it’s very strong, clean, and works well.
Extra: Perfectly incorporated into the blog design – one of the best overall.
Practical (yes), graphic (needed a second take before the ‘ah ha’ hit), simple in form (yes), one message (yes), appropriate (yes), memorable (yes).” Catherine Wentworth, grading the logo according to 6 universal attributes (2 points awarded)

Joint 15th place

FontStruct (1 point)

FontStruct logo design

“I’m a sucker for grid-based logos, and this one pulls it off nicely. The characters work great in this style.” Armin Vit (1 point awarded)

Just Creative Design (1 point)

Just Creative Design logo design

Logo designer: Jacob Cass

So often logos fall into cliche. This is usually a danger to avoid, but if you can put a new spin on an overused idea then you actually benefit from people’s awareness of the idea. You can turn a negative reaction into a positive one, and that has impact. The idea of using a pencil and sketching to represent creativity could be cliche, but this logo overcomes it. The JCD are just imperceptible enough to let the viewer feel rewarded for finding them. Same with the pencil. The typography is understated and it matches the humble positioning of “just creative.” They aren’t trying to be too clever, too flashy, or too self-important. They’re just creative. Adrian Hanft (1 point awarded)

sk*rt (1 point)

sk*rt logo design

“One of the top truly designed logos here. Creates an atmosphere of its own. Practical (with adjustments, yes), graphic (yes – 85/15), simple in form (yes), one message (yes), appropriate (yes), memorable (yes).” Catherine Wentworth, grading the logo according to 6 universal attributes (1 point awarded)

Category winners

The judges were also asked to vote on their favourites from each individual blog category. The category winners are listed below:

Thank you!

A big thanks to all of the judges, who kindly donated their time in the search of the best blog logo design. I very much enjoyed reading their thoughts, and I hope you have too.

Have your say

Which is your favourite from the finalists? How do you think the judges’ selection compares to the readers chosen logo favourites?

30 responses

  1. It’s great to hear the reasons for why the judges chose the ones they did. However, I wonder if the logo designer themselves thought as much into the logo as did the judges. For instance, the Disenorama logo …was the designer trying to be precise while also being attentive to detail or did he throw a cool font into a pink box and say, “that’ll work”?

    Great post, David. Thank you!


  2. I was happy to see that my favorite logos won! I loved Joe Urban — it absolutely deserved first place. Congrats to everyone!

    The judges’ critiques were fun to read, by the way. I think I’ve learned a lot just by following this competition, trying to pinpoint what makes a logo stand out. Thanks again for putting this together, David!

    LearningNerd’s last blog post..Weekly Word: Ductile

  3. David,

    Excellent awards series. It was extremely interesting to read what the judges felt about each logo.

    Except for on forums or when designers come out to criticise an updated logo, seems it’s pretty rare to read what a group of designers think about certain logos. And as the judges put a lot of thought into what they wrote, it was doubly interesting.

    “How do you think the judges’ selection compares to the readers chosen logo favourites?”

    Well, for the readers I wasn’t sure if the tally stood true. Friends could have been roped in to vote, so that would definitely skew the final tally.

    But all in all, an excellent read for sure!

    cat’s last blog post..Logo Design Love Awards: verdict

  4. I don’t know why, but I immediately thought of “Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth” (graphic novel by Chris Ware) when I saw the Joe Urban logo. Is it just me?

  5. What a great project, this is awesome.

    Thanks for selecting Idea Sandbox… It is an honor to be nominated and a thrill to be selected… Especially since there were so many great entries.

    I’ve got a great partnership with the team from Principle (designbyprinciple.com).

    Thank you, David.

  6. Greg,

    You make a good point, about the amount of thought put into each logo by the designer. For instance, in this comment, Elise talks about her Simply Recipes design, and mentions how the icon has nothing to do with spoons (like some people suggested).


    You’re very welcome, and it’s great to read you’ve learnt a little by following the awards.

    Slawomir, Lindsey,

    Thanks for leaving your thoughts, and glad you enjoyed the post.


    Congratulations! I had a look at the website you linked to, but couldn’t find a portfolio. Do you have one?


    I guess you’re not a fan of the Vulture logo?


    It’s been a pleasure to collect all your thoughts and publish them here. You’re right about the reader appreciation award. All too often it turned into a popularity contest. I wonder how I could’ve worked around that.


    I’m not as familiar as you with the Jimmy Corrigan illustrations, but thanks for leaving the suggestion.


    Congrats on scooping the category winner award. Off to look at the ‘designbyprinciple’ site now.

  7. David,

    This has been a really cool ten weeks and the most fascinating process to watch. I’m so pleased to see that Idea Sandbox and Just Creative Design got mentions, because I’m a huge fan of each. :)

    Hearing the judges thoughts on the logos is great. I’ve visited a lot of new places since you started this contest, and today you’ve inspired me to go take a look at a few more.

    Thanks for the herculean efforts!



  8. The more I look at Simply Recipes, the more I fall in love with it. I think this design should have won 1st place… or at least further up on the list than 4th place.

  9. “Congratulations! I had a look at the website you linked to, but couldn’t find a portfolio. Do you have one?”

    Uh…er…well…uh…cobblers shoes and all that? ;o)

    The best I have at the moment are a handful of logos up at logopond:


    I mainly do web design/dev these days but relish the occasional logo gig that comes through via freelance. I haven’t entered a design annual contest since college and had just happened to stumble upon your blog the day you were calling for entires. I’m surprised and flattered!

    Darrel’s last blog post..Another Font Company Killing Typography

  10. Kelly,

    It’s been a pleasure, and I’m glad you’ve learnt of some new blogs / websites through your visits. Thanks for the kind words.


    Your votes have been very much appreciated, so thanks again.


    Good of you to link to your LogoPond showcase. I just commented on your DA Design logo. Quite a coincidence. ;)

  11. Good to see the thoughts behind the judges picks and links to who they were. Great to see how they think. Well done to all the winners and glad to see JCD got a mention even if it was 15th place but I suppose not to bad out of 100+ logos. Well done and great managing of the project.

  12. Vulture’s logo was created by Ian Adelman, nymag.com’s Design Director who is, alas, leaving us for Tina Brown. Her gain is our loss.

  13. Kois,

    Thanks a lot for the Vulture info. I’ve updated the post to include the designer’s name.


    Not bad at all! I think there were around 140 logos in total. Thanks for dropping by.


    Darrel is very worthy of the congratulations. No doubt.


    You’re welcome, and great job on your joint 5th placing.

  14. I have to disagree with some of the choices. VULTURE seems like just a font with a simple effect. As far as FOUND, DISEÑARAMA and UNCRATE, they’re just simply fonts. While ECO GEEK and

    I don’t mean to be harsh, but there is a difference between simplicity and simply not trying.

  15. Hello Jay,

    We’re all entitled to our own opinions. One thing that’s important to remember is how the winning designs could only ever be as strong as the logos submitted, and the niches were pretty tight from the outset.

  16. Hi David,
    I don’t know what limitations were put on this group of logos, but I still stand with my initial observations. I don’t see how VULTURE could qualify as a logo, let alone make second place. Maybe I’m missing something here, like conceptual thinking beyond just a font choice. Given that I have some 15+ years design experience, I think my opinion has some degree of validity.

    Again, I don’t want to come off as arrogant in any way, but it’s just my honest professional opinion without any fluff.

  17. Everyone’s opinion has some degree of validity, Jay, regardless of their design background. Personally, I find the Vulture logo to be striking, projecting a sense of dominance and darkness, almost like a vulture waiting to devour its prey.

    The logotype captures the name brilliantly.

  18. ecogeek gets my vote. Thanks for the displays, very interesting logos in this one!

    Gave me some great ideas!

  19. Thank you for this posting. I loved that i could read the why’s for judging a logo. It’s always great to get some-one in the field educated opinion. The plus here is also to see a collection of great logos all in a row, no close-ones just spot on. Makes things look so easy! Very inspiring! :}

  20. I’m sorry but Jacob Cass’s Just Creative Design logo is absolute crap. Awful, awful logo. breaks so many rules it disgusts me…Why people love it so much I’ll never figure out. He’s a great designer, so how he settled for that I won’t know. Come on people, don’t fool yourselves…Google and Jacob Cass’s logos are TERRIBLE, no matter how much traffic they get!

  21. My favorite one would have to be ecogeek. I simply like ecogeek because they were talking about being eco friendly and they used a metaphor in the power button. If you noticed the power button you can see that its like a little plant growing and that attracted me to it because i thought it was a very smart and playful.

  22. i really liked the eco geek, de ouro, and the just creative design logos. The reason i liked these is mainly because they were plain and clam but also had some flavor mixed into each of them; and they werent crazy with to much going on.

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