cars.net Logo

Here’s a logo I worked up for cars.net who recently ran a design competition for their new site branding. The brief was to provide a friendly and approachable image, suited to family purchasers. They wanted to use a custom font in black, and the logo was to incorporate an image of a car using a combination of blue and green to provide impact. Unfortunately my design was not chosen (you can see the winning design here) but I wanted to showcase it here for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, my personal view is that I produced a superior logo to the winner. However, that counts for nothing, and quite rightly so. Ultimately, the client makes the choices they want to make. They know their requirements better than their content producers. That’s not to say some clients’ design sensitivities aren’t in need of a little gentle calibration at times, but more often than not disagreements over the ‘correct’ choice are a matter of subjective, personal choice and in this case it’s the role of a designer to defer to the wishes of his client.

Secondly, although I still like the logo I designed, there are a couple of things I’d do to improve it. I’m happy with the cars themselves, but the font would benefit from being a heavier weight but a smaller size, to tie in more with the form of the cars’ tyres. I tried this at the time but didn’t like it then. I also tried to preserve the purity of shape for the letter forms. They’re very strictly cast on a circular geometry and while that works really well for the ‘cars’ part of the text, the ‘net’ section feels unbalanced and the letter ‘t’ appears leaning and crushed. With hindsight, I think I’d sacrifice some of the circularity for a better feel. The point here is that nothing we produce is ever perfect. Both the designer and the client should be prepared to revisit work at a later date as often it’s possible to spot potential improvements only after a period of time has elapsed. But having said that, it’s also important to strike a balance and to recognise when effort, and indeed money, can be best spent elsewhere.

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