Photocritic Logo: The Making Of


I’ve had a lot of great, very nice comments about my new logo, and a few questions – Oliver, who made the logo, kindly agreed to talk about it a little bit.

If you don’t care much about design or logos, feel free to skip this post :)  


Oliver, do your thing:

It starts off pretty simple. I lean back in my rocking chair and wait until things come to mind which are related to “photography”.

A lens, eyes, a finger pushing the shutter release button, aperture, light, photos, my DSLR, photographic history, the photo development process and other things. Then i pick up my pen and throw all this on

While doing this I might start with quite complex shapes, but I keep simplifying over and over again if I like an idea and follow it.

For the Photocritic logo I first thought of the people that make photos. I used simplified shapes of a finger pushing a button, a person holding a camera, a human head which contained a camera… but
this was a dead end.

Then i focused on the photos. I drew a piece of paper with a stylized glow, a polaroid and some more paper-like items that didn’t work as well. Here you get a bit of frustration. On the 2nd idea already!

But the ideas will not stop flowing through my mind. Some results looked rather weird and totally out of context: Film rolls, crippled fingers, human heads with lenses as eyes, some alien hand holding a
head… that’s enough!

Then I drew a stylized eye just for fun and started modifying it… suddenly it clicked!


CLICK! I remembered my focusing screen I bought a few weeks ago. I wanted it because of the grid lines which makes composition a lot easier. Bam! I thought of my first camera and the focusing screen that
was inside. Those were the times… looking into the viewfinder and then match the two half circles to get a sharp image. High Tech!

I sticked to that idea pretty quickly and liked it from the start. I was sure that the “distortion” inside the focusing screen could add a nice element, but won’t be very easy on the eye on first glance. At this point I turned to Photoshop and started the design in there. The design was already done in my head (after looking up what those focusing screens actually looked like haha).

And then there was the word “Photocritic”. Hmm. What should I do with it? I just used “PC” and put it inside my design. It didnt work. Changing fonts. Hmm. Another font. This one is good! The font was the hardest part. But luckily I had hundreds to choose from. I was still a bit sceptic if people would misunderstand the letters as “PC = Personal Computer”. But hey, people are not stupid – they are one a photo blog and will make the connection quickly.

Then I was satisfied and started on the colour palette. I picked the colours from the photocritic site and made variations of the surrounding circle, the PC letters and the other elements. Its just a matter of finding a good contrast, I have no specific rule when I like a certain colour combination. Haje liked one combination in particular and me too. So I sticked to it and submitted the final design.

Haje then spent quite a bit of time fiddling with the logo, but ultimately decided that it worked very well as it originally was: After a few emails it was agreed that the logo worked fine. Nothing was really changed afterwards. I hope you like it too ;-)

Thank you!

Check out Oliver’s work on Flickr, stalk him on Twitter, and check out his website while you’re at it!

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