Contextual Logo Design Contest

Contextual has selected their winning logo design.

For $300 they received 271 designs from 45 different designers from around the world.
Contest
Logo Design Brief
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ctxlken
United States

What We Do

Contextual provides open source Content Management Systems solutions to help its clients non-technical business partners add, edit, and manage their web site content without programming expertise.

Industry

Consulting

Top Three Things to Communicate

#1 - We provide smart, unique solutions that are well thought-out
#2 - We are a prefessional open source software company
#3 - We work with clients large and small, in various industries

Our Target Audience:

Managers of companies in various industries - typically either managers of IT, Marketing, or the presidents of smaller organizations - who are evaluating different vendors to assist with the implementation of Content Management Systems.

Color Preferences

The bright/hot purplish-red that you see on: www.marklogic.com and www.litle.com, probably along with white and black and/or charcoal or silver. It'll be used on web/print pages with either a charcoal or tan accent colors.

Our Ideas and Additional Information:

I don't like extremely thin, wispy fonts seen in some web 2.0 logos. I'd rather have something more on the chunky side. I might want 'CONTEXTUAL' in all caps, such as done for these logos: www.oracle.com and www.organic.com.

Themes

Refined

Style

Wordmark

Stylized type that may include small abstract or pictorial elements.
Abstract Mark

Abstract shapes and symbols convey an idea or feeling.
Famous Logos displayed under fair use to enrich the general publics' knowledge of graphic design.

Applications

Web
Print

Entries
Order by Ranking Entry Number

Contest Entries

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Discussion

Discussion

ctxlken
United States
#8: I like the idea of the logo being more of a badge like this. I'm not sure about having the letters completely run together, though. Might want to try a variation that provides a little separation between them. Also, I like this color, but I'm probably leaning more toward the color used in #4 or #3.
13 years ago
ctxlken
United States
#4: I've also thought about what to do with the ending of the word contextual. I don't think this is quite it - the 'T' in particular is pretty hard to see, so on a white background would be tough to read. Might want to try the reddish color used for the first few letters as a border for the last few letters. Also, might wan to try some type of gradient blending during the 'XTU' letters, as the word transitions from 'Context' to 'ual', rather than as much of an abrupt change as this.
13 years ago
ctxlken
United States
#6 and #7 - The treatment of the letter 'X' was just a little much for me. Also, I'd like the font set to be a little more serious and less playful.
13 years ago
ctxlken
United States
#2 - For the black background version, I'd recommend some white or light charcoal border of some kind, since the darker letters tend to run into the background a bit too much. Now that I'm looking at it more, it seems that you *have* already attempted a gradient type of transition in the middle letters, as I was recommending in my comments about #4.
13 years ago
ctxlken
United States
#5 - I'd like to see another variation, where the word 'TEXT' in the middle, isn't larger than the rest of the word. Perhaps go a little thicker on the font weight if possible too.
13 years ago
ctxlken
United States
#3 - I'd probably want the 'X' reduced in size a little bit - but not much. Maybe also try a variation that surrounds the logo in a badge as #8 has done (but it'd be a larger badge.)
13 years ago
ctxlken
United States
#3, #18, and #24 - I've ranked these higher toward the top, because they are 'different'. The initial designs seemed to just be the letters 'CONTEXTUAL' without any type of graphical treatment at all and this was too plain. I do still possibly like the idea of a 'badge' type logo, such as #12, but it may just need some type of interesting aspects so that it isn't so plain.

I was also thinking that I might like to see someone submit a design that 'frames' the word contextual within braces, such as [ CONTEXTUAL ]. The reason for this is that the idea behind our company is that we believe content is much more effective when it is given context (thus our name), and framing the name of our company by putting it in some type of context could be a good idea.
13 years ago
ctxlken
United States
#18 and #24 - I'm not crazy about the particular abstract graphics being used in these, but at least it's something of a differentiator. I wouldn't settle on either of these, but I do like the idea of some kind of instantly recognizable logo - not just the company name/letters.
13 years ago
Tapelogo414
United States
#25 and # 26 and # 39 I believe I've covered this idea. Maybe come up with something original? :-)
13 years ago
ctxlken
United States
#35 - mostly borrowed a concept from #3, but it's more polished and I like this.

13 years ago
ctxlken
United States
#52 and #53 - please try another version of #52 that has the same text and reflection seen in #53 (under Contextual).

Also, I much prefer the 'X' circle image in #52 over the circle with arrow seen in #53. Please try a version that uses the circle-with-X image from #52, but a little smaller, and to the left of the Contextual text - similar to the layout of #18.

Also, could you do a version where the circle-with-X replaces the normal letter 'X' in the word Contextual? So, the letter X in Contextual has a circle background image, sort of like #31 does with the letter C.
13 years ago
ctxlken
United States
#35 - I like this, but could you do a version that pops a lot more - that is a lot brighter? This one is nice, but I'd like to see where the 'X' is more of a bright reddish-purple like that seen in #12, and where the font/letters are bolder. The current effect within the font kind of makes it less vivid / washes it out a little.
13 years ago
ctxlken
United States
SLOGAN: We will want the slogan 'Empower Your Content'

I wasn't able to edit that after creating the contest.
13 years ago
ctxlken
United States
#69 - I really like this for a few reasons: The background is exactly what I envisioned using on business cards and for the logo in the banner area of the next design of our website. I also really like the thickness of the font and the special, but yet not wild treatment of some of the letters (such as the A) in the word Contextual.

I like that you tried a twist on the letter E, rather than emphasizing the X, as most others are doing - some of those designs are working pretty well too, but the E was a unique twist.

I like the thickness of the font too. I like variations #68 and #70 quite a bit too.

Weakness: I'm wondering if there is a way to incorporate some (perhaps subtle) graphical effect (shadow?, reflection?, icon object, such as in #52), so that it's not too busy and overkill, but yet isn't as simple as letters and two bars (above/below the E.)

It's possible that just the addition of the tagline/slogan of "Empowering Content" below the logo will be enough to add a little more personality. Please try that.
13 years ago
ctxlken
United States
SLOGAN UPDATE: We're going with "Empowering Content" rather than "Empowering Your Content". If you've already submitted a design with the previous slogan, that's fine. We get the idea, but if your design is selected, we'll ask for that last small change. You don't need to resubmit a design just for that change at this point, thanks.
13 years ago
ctxlken
United States
#69 and #70 - I might want a thin border for each letter (either black or a very dark plum, so that it still is darker than the currently used background color and provides some more definition.)

Might also want to see the bars above/below the E in #69 use a color other than white - one that's in the same palette as the plub background you're using (this is similar to your strategy in #68 of having a different color for those bars than what's used by the letters in CONTEXTUAL.) You might want to try: #DED6D5 for those bars.
13 years ago
ctxlken
United States
#92 and #89 - Please try making the slogan just a little smaller and also try wrapping it with brackets, such as:

[ Empowering Content ]

And please apply the color used on the letter E to the brackets. Thanks!

One other thought: I'm wondering how it'd look if the letters were segmented. Currently, only the E and the A have very different from normal treatment (and that might be okay), but I'm wondering how it'd look if the vertical bar and the horizontal bar of the L and the Ts were segmented/separated just a tiny bit.
13 years ago
ctxlken
United States
#88 - Would it be possible to incorporate a graphic, such at that in #52? Also, for this design as well as your others (maxsense), I'd like to see a couple variations that use a little thinner bar above/below the E. Thanks.
13 years ago
ctxlken
United States
#52 - Can you provide a variation on this design that has a thicker and less plain font? And, perhaps a variation that applies a reflection under the word CONTEXTUAL, as you did in #53? Thanks.
13 years ago
ctxlken
United States
#88 and #92 - If we keep the design of the word CONTEXTUAL fairly simple like this, then I'd like to see something like your (maxsense) other designs, where you have an abstract icon, then a vertical pipe/divider bar, and then the 'CONTEXTUAL' name. Such as your ICON and Centrifuge designs.
13 years ago
ctxlken
United States
I'd still love to see more unique designs. If you're a designer who has yet to join the content (or you already have), feel free to ignore all of my suggestions and just submit what you think would be the best design. I feel like most designs have been variations on a theme or just not that unique, with a few exceptions, and I'm thinking that perhaps my providing too much input could actually be problematic. Feel free to do what you want!

One new idea, though: I'd like to see some designs that give special enough treatment to the 'C' in Contextual that it could be used on its own as a short-hand logo. For instance, Facebook just has the letter 'f' as its iPhone app icon. LinkedIn just uses 'in' for its app icon. Pandora uses its 'P' and has tiny text 'Pandora' below it. It'd be nice to have a font and/or graphical treatment to the letter 'C' that's special enough to make it identifiable as an app icon and (more immediately for this use) as a tiny bullet point icon for bullet point lists on web pages (or even more handy in links within portlet boxes in right/left columns, or as an icon for the header/title bar of such portlets.)

13 years ago
ctxlken
United States
One other idea for new designs - provide more spacing between letters in order to provide a more modern feel without being overly modern. Here's an example of a CMS vendor in our industry (they are a software vendor, while we do services, though.) - www.interwoven.com

Notice in the upper-right corner, where you still see the 'INTERWOVEN' logo, just under their new parent company's logo. The exaggerated padding between letters gives a little personality and modern feel to an otherwise very traditional and boring logo.
13 years ago
ctxlken
United States
When I made one suggestion for a design idea earlier of using brackets ( '[ ]') to surround the word Contextual, is was with the idea of providing 'context' to our company name.

I had an idea recently to use the idea of a movie photographer's fingers to surround the word contextual. Not actual graphics of fingers, but something graphical that provides the same effect (not just the letter 'L' on the left and a reverse letter 'L' on the right side.) Maybe this will still be a decent idea for someone doing a new design, but it might be tough to come up with something sensible that still works. Not sure.

I really do like these recent entries:
#95 - new, unique font design along with corners that provide CONTEXT! :) These probably will end up looking better than the L and reverse L idea I mentioned above, to be honest. Would like to see some more padding on this design between letters and near the corners.

#94 - adding a page layer with turned up corner representing the 'text' or content, while having the dark background provding 'context' was pretty brilliant. My main issues with this design are the font and the right corners are very traditional looking, but this was a first take and Michele asked for feedback, so I'm anxious to see what comes next.

Thanks for your new, inventive designs.
13 years ago
ctxlken
United States
#95 - is a good example of how ignoring some of my earlier comments and going with your designer instincts is probably a good idea. I had asked for all-caps on the company name early on, but this design has convinced me to be more open than that. Please just provide designs that you think are good and would be proud to display. Thanks. I've just been trying to provide lots of input to give you all something to go on, since I know it must be hard to do this work otherwise.
13 years ago
ctxlken
United States
#96-99, #78-79, #60 - I've gotten some feedback from people I have reviewing the designs that the rounded 'A' at the end of Contextual can sometimes look like a 'R', so it seems like the company name ends in URL. While I don't have that problem myself, it's probably because I know that I'm looking at logos for Contextual.

In any event, I really don't like the computer screen type font that has square letters, but I understand that since my company is in the technical field, you might have been trying that design out for size.

As you'll notice that 3 of the top 4 ranked designs in this contest are using rounded fonts, so I/we seem to lean toward that type of font. One that's at least somewhat rounded, and with a medium thickness. Some extra padding between letters is also desirable - not letter the letters bunch together so much. Thanks everyone!
13 years ago
ctxlken
United States
Thanks to all for your designs! We've got a few real good ones to ponder over at the end here. Thanks!
13 years ago