Stanmore Implants logo

New from Pentagram’s Domenic Lippa, assisted by Jeremy Kunze, is this brand identity design for Stanmore Implants — a company specialising in skeletal repair systems and implants.

Stanmore Implants logo

“At the centre of Pentagram’s solution is a typographic symbol: a solid letter ‘s’ with a single curved white line down its length. This ‘implant’ is simple and unadorned, clinical and flexible. The mark has the substance to be scaled, etched small onto actual implants or applied large at conferences. It can also be used alongside a sans serif logotype, with clean lines that suggest function and reliability.”

Stanmore Implants stationery design

Stanmore Implants website design

See the identity in context on the Stanmore Implants website, or read a little more about it on the Pentagram blog.

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March 25, 2010


Classic ‘mistake’ is the way they Ss are joined, both exterior and interior.

An amateur would take two circles and join them like this.

The hitch that comes when you join circles needs to be manually repaired.

the spine of the S should not have this hitch or hiccup. It should be smooth. This is especially troubling considering the company involved. Thumbs down.

this is deviant art fontbuilding 101, sadly.

“The mark has the substance to be scaled, etched small… or applied large at conferences. It can also be used alongside a sans serif logotype, with clean lines that suggest function and reliability.”

Pentagram must be, going by their recent slide in their previously world-beating standards, the kings of selling their own product to the clients. This however, describes what every logo ever created should be.

A poor logo and a half-hearted attempt at convincing people that it’s not.

I’d have to agree with Anthony too. What a shocking build of the symbol. The letter spacing is as tight as a duck a*se too. Let it breath, even if its just a few points…

Being a absolute Pentagram nut, and generally love everything they do, Im wondering whether this is a another case of their name preceding them. “We’re Pentagram… So this is good design…”

Banged out indeed.

Have you not thought that the white shapes (including hump) created by the 2 circles perfectly mimic the shape of an orthopedic joint?

That horizontal join was the first thing that caught my eye as well, but I’d have to be pretty arrogant to believe that I spotted a mistake that nobody in the entire Pentagram agency noticed. I’m willing to assume that it’s the result of a conscious decision, and not an amateurish mistake. That said, it is very visually disturbing.

I can’t say that I’m that overly offended by it. It’s simple, and it communicates what they do clearly enough. The dodgy looking ‘s’ could possibly represent the uniting of two broken bones. I’m sure the designer was fully aware of what they were doing when designing it.

The hump problem is artificial. Some things are better when they are worse. I`ll like the problem with the logo. To hell with easy marks.

I thought the same thing as Anthony and others. Fairly immediately. Didn’t consider Simon’s explanation – is that a known fact in the medical arena or are you just throwing that defense out there, Simon?

Either case… whether it’s intentionally designed that way or not, it’s just plain distracting. I guess I wouldn’t have mirrored it so perfectly. Bones aren’t perfect. I’m sure Stanmore knows that well. Then again, maybe that’s why it is that way!

Nitpicking aside, it’s a strong and simple concept and it conveys the business well. I like it.

Yeah, it really does look ‘broken’. Not sure if that is a good thing for potential customers who are searching for ‘renewing’ their parts. Or are they selling second-hand !?

Fellow designers… I cant believe some of the comments… Its clearly a an uncomfortable area for the form, we can all see that. If its actually intentional, its a bad call… the link to the shapes of bones and what not above, its not enough, come on, its clearly ment to be an ‘S’… with no other link to the clients product, other than the white form running through it. If any links to ‘shapes of bones’ should be added in, then they should be more ‘mistake like’ in appearance, make more of it, otherwise, you get people questioning whether it is a mistake or some intentional, like here. What a symbol it would of been if it had been constructed like a letterform… along with such a nice application too.

As one of you mentioned, its hard to believe this got through the entire agency without someone saying… “Erm… Domenic… thats a bit uncomfortable there mate…”

Well, I like the simplicity of it. and the concept of implanting something within something else.

Not sure it makes me think of implants. I keep seeing the word “stamps” when I look at the name quickly. Then I think letterpress.

Also the entire look feels a bit 80’s. Then again is it supposed to be retro 80’s? This is one of those logos where I’m not convinced the design team went far enough.

Not in love with the font or letter-spacing. all lower case might “feel” better.

Thx! G.

Conceptually, it’s a great mark and works even better when embossed, but gotta agree with the majority. I’d never expect such a dirty curve from Pentagram. Conscious decision or not, it’s too distracting and to the majority will come across as a mistake. Not a pleasant thought to have when dealing with a company specializing in skeletal repair systems and implants.

I agree with James that it should have been constructed like a letterform, but not just the white S. I am also bothered by the balance of the black S. The right spine of the S is tangent with the top right terminal and as a result feels top heavy. The spine could have been pulled out a little to optically correct the weight. Less noticeable is the same problem on the opposite side.

Yeah, intentional or not, this mark looks like a do-it-yourself attempt by a well-meaning fan of MS Publisher. There’s elegance in simplicity, but this comes across as amateurish. That’s my four ha’ pennies on the topic. :)

Unfortunately, I am more than disappointed with execution of this logo.. Idea is somewhere in designer’s head. But big minus for such a trivial mistake… Even junior designers wouldn’t make such work. For a simplicity a small plus…

After reading the comments above, I am reminded of an earlier post “What they don’t teach you about identity design in design schools”, which began, “One of the most often repeated refrains on design blogs, in the critique of a new logo, is ‘Any design student could do a better job’.” and went on to say, “Identity design, for any organization containing more than three people, is the act of diplomatically negotiating personal egos, tastes, and aspirations of various invested individuals against their business needs, their pre-formed expectations, and the constraints of the market place.”

In the case of the Stanmore logo, I imagine the designers were more intent on satisfying their client than on satisfying other designers.

I don’t think you could call this logo boring considering the nature of the business and what they do. Thumbs up for me.


Maybe I’m wrong. I hope so. But your comment seems to imply that people here aren’t considering the client or the audience before making their points. That seems like an unfair assumption. Besides, you could say all of that any time a designer says something you don’t like about a logo, couldn’t you?

While I agree that the overall mark has some craftsmanship issues, conventional wisdom would confer that it is in fact a calculated shape and defiintion. My main issue is with the font usage and kerning. Overall the way the “S” and the ” I” align feels awkward and unpolished.

To be fair, I am not aware of this industry or audience and therefore I am not educated as to if this mark has more education than it shows.

Overall, I think it could be much stronger, but it still works a professional and clean mark.


>>Maybe I’m wrong. I hope so. But your comment seems to imply that people here aren’t considering the client or the audience before making their points. That seems like an unfair assumption.

I don’t know if people here have considered the client or the audience before making their points or not, but do you, Chris, mean to imply that any of us has given them as much consideration as Pentagram has? I’d be willing to bet that Pentragram spent a bit more time thinking about this design than your or I, and in that time they probably found a legitimate reason to make the design look the way it does. I believe the ‘S’ was made to resemble some specific object, as a few other commentors have suggested. And notice how the horizontal join is parallel to the terminals: I don’t think that’s coincidental. Is it a beautiful logo? Not particularly. Could it be improved? Probably. But I think anyone who gave it more than twenty seconds of consideration would hesitate to suggest that it’s amateurish or mistaken.

>>Besides, you could say all of that any time a designer says something you don’t like about a logo, couldn’t you?

Yes, “all of that” can always be said, but were the designer’s initial criticisms any less facile? Post any logo–whether designed by an amateur or Paul Rand–and sooner or later someone will point out something that he would have done better. I admit that I enjoy criticizing as much as anyone else: it’s easy, quick, and makes me feel better about myself. This is the first time I’ve felt compelled to come to someone’s defense, not because I’m one of those people who says, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”, but because I think some of the criticism has been too facile.

I have to say that the logo seems to be very bold, and successful when placed on its product as it is shown in the second photo. The logo by itself is a bit awkward because of the “s” is so dominant over the secondary type. Was this intentional? maybe for branding/marketing purposes of pushing the “s”? Its very obvious that balance was not practice here.

my first critique post as a new college grad :)

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