Recently Paul Harper suggested that for someone traveling overseas, there should be an information point where they can find out whether one of their business associates [ or direct contacts on LinkedIn ] resides in the city/country that they are visiting.

Out of that thought, LinkedIn Socially was born! They also thought of using a virtual map to “see” where LinkedIn Socially members are and also invited us to list on Frappr.com

And now they need a logo – it looks like I’m the LinkedIn Logo Queen! Nice, I like it!

So this blog post is going to cover the development of the LinkedIn Socially Logo and I will be updating with some initial drafts and will ask Paul and other members of the group to post feedback in the comments section.

UPDATE I: 9 November 2005

Tor-Bjorn Fjellner [ who is one of the members on LinkedIn Socially ] was nice enough to write me an e-mail. Suggestion given was to include some kind of symbolism – like including a globe [ like an icon maybe ]- and moving away from the “typical” LinkedIn Groups logo designs [ that also gives me a hint that I’ve following similar design guidelines for the previous LinkedIn Groups’ logos that I’ve designed ] Great feedback!

So I’m going to post some sketches/rough drafts first.

Concept: the logo is for the LinkedIn Socially Group – LinkedIn needs to be represented in this logo [ the LinkedIn logo can either be simply copy pasted and integrated into the design or it could probably be played around with ]. Apart from that the basic idea that needs to be conveyed is the same as the purpose of the group itself – the groups is a “business travel” group where members list their contact details and offer to be CityHosts for particular locations around the world. For example, if you are traveling to Mumbai, the Mumbai CityHost [ can be more than one ] will give you pointers regarding lodging and any other directions you might need. In my case, anyone on the group is welcome to stay at my home when in Mumbai.

The logo needs to be recognized instantly by someone from LinkedIn who sees it for the first time – they should be able to recognize that the group represented by the logo is related to business travel around the globe.

Keywords: business, travel, LinkedIn, globe, social

Please take your pointer over each image to view more details about the idea behind each drawing

I have been doing quite a few non-paid design assignments – and decided to treat this one with a little more seriousness – create a proper workflow, start with line drawings, take feedback and then develop the final design and colored logo from there.

UPDATE II: after Tor-Bjorn’s great idea! [ check the comments ]

Tor-Bjorn suggested that we use the suitcase or briefcase as a frame for the whole logo and put the globe and some people inside the frame. I think it would be a wonderful metaphor for depicting the idea of carrying the world around with you as well as carrying the people around with you too – being a member of the LinkedIn Socially group would do just that!

This particular drawing shows movement [ with the waves following the suitcase ] and the wheels at the bottom of the suitcase also represent someone on the move. Apart from that there is one person inside the suitcase next to the globe, symbolizing each one of us and there is a globe symbolizing all members from all parts of the world. So you’re carrying the world around with you.

UPDATE III: after Mike Rogero’s feedback [ check the comments ]

Mike suggested that the essence of the group was “meeting people in different place” so the first visual that came ot my head was people all over the globe – shown as connected, which would also represent travel. Here’s the preliminary sketch:

I’ll be doing some final images too so that we get a feel of what the final logo might look like [ since I’m tied up with my website re-design, I haven’t had time over the weekend to think about the LinkedIn Socially Logo – so I have to play catch-up ]

UPDATE IV: Colored and finished-logo

Ok then, here is something I thought might fit the bill. Another reason I am putting up a ‘finalized’ logo without consensus on the sketches is that it will hasten the process – because the client does not necessarily know what I have in mind. So this will help them see what I too am seeing. [ Keep your mouse pointer over the image to read the concept behind the image. ]

So what do you think? What further tweaks? What don’t you like?
And don’t say that “It’s still not there yet…” – give me specifics to work on!

UPDATE V: People with different color heads

Also the smaller versions have been rendered below at 25% the originals above – to check the varying colors:

  

UPDATE VI: Getting rid of the Microsoft torsos!

Just to try a couple of shapes that depict the human-symbol – other than the MSN-Messenger like symbols – I thought I’d do a couple of shapes before the logo is actually finalized. One thing to consider is that not all viewers seem to be getting to the point of analyzing the concept/idea behind the logo. The immediate visual impact is so strong that the only elements picked up are the so-called “Microsoft torsos”! Visuals have a stronger impact than text/words.

Frankly, the only reason I am giving weightage to “everyone’s” opinions on the design is because this is exactly how it happens on a live projects where the decision-makers are two or more. So instead of griping on a live and paid project, I might as well learn on one with a large and wonderfully friendly community of people!

Ok, here is number one that should not look like the MSN Messenger thingy [ followed with a smaller version – same as above at 25% of the original ]:

UPDATE VII: Alternate lettering for SOCIALLY vs. Socially, as suggested by Daryl [ check the comments ]


UPDATE VIII: Flipped the connecting black lines to make them look like smiles instead pf frowns and droopy eyes. This change could also reflect intersecting paths of the group members, which could bring in the element of commong interests – even though they are from different places on the globe. [ idea from someone posting a comment ]


So basically, Paul, you have to make a choice now – and we will soon see the logo on the LinkedIn Socially Group front page!

CLOSING

The logo has been finalized and is on display at the LinkedIn Socially Group front page!

55 comments

  1. Great stuff Naina, sounds like a fun project for you. So far I like the airplane with globe concept best … keep it up and I look forward to seeing the final design! Cheers, Alex

  2. Hi Naina,

    Appreciate the speed with which you have responded & also the thought that has gone behind this first step.

    My personal favourite if the Suitcase & the Globe … nice.

    Regards

    Paul

  3. Hey Alex! Thanks a ton for stopping by and giving feedback – much appreciated. I too like the airplane and the globe best – but since I’ll try to do some more sketches, I thought it would be better if I didn’t pick any favorites just yet!

    And it is fun!

  4. Hi Paul, Thank you so much for posting your feedback in the comments – I appreciate it – it creates a more interactive environment on the blog and helps me find out within one post itself “…what really happened…”

    Once I know what the general feel is in terms of which drawings are being “liked”, I can then create more polished versions of the same with some more variations so that we’ll have more finished versions to choose from.

  5. Hi Naina, I like your ideas, most the first one. But what if we replace the briefcase with a suitcase (which could create the frame of the picture, with a handle on top…)?
    Is the space enough for some stilized people/friends on or around the globe?

    Best regards
    Tobi

  6. Ahh! Tor, what a wonderful idea! Absolutely – I will post a sketch with your idea immediately. When we use the suitcase/briefcase as the outline /frame for the logo, then we will have space within the frame to include some stylized people too!

    Thank you for stopping by and giving such wonderful feedback Tor! Much appreciated.

  7. I think all of these attempts are missing some critical points here:
    A. Being LINKED
    B. Willing to be a Host or Guide
    C. Various types of assistance being offered (as discussed and indicated in the keywords AFTER the CityHost keyword, such as dinner, business, events, etc.

    Rather than concentrating on the global aspect, and the icon of travelling, in my humble opinion, you should concentrate on the above concepts so that you can arrive at a more appropriate metaphor.

    Cheers!

  8. Hello Raza,

    So nice of you to give such wonderful feedback!

    A. Since these are line drawings, I did not include the LinkedIn logo [ which will be included in the final logo ] – so the mention of the LinkedIn platform itself will be the common thread that links all the members of LinkedIn Socially.

    B. Willingness to be a host or a guide is implicit for the members of LinkedIn Socially. Everyone who is a member of LinkedIn Socially, is automatically a CityHost or CityGuide so it does not need seperate representation.

    C. Various types of assistance being offered: I believe that when someone signs up for being a LinkedIn Socially member and mentions that she/he is the CityHost for a particular city, offerings would include general hospitality. While the logo does not cater to the offerings of each CityHost [ that would be like creating a logo for each CityHost 😉 ], the purpose of the logo is to capture the spirit of the LinkedIn Socially Group as a whole.

    The logo is definitely a “holistic” and “global” aspect. One of the characteristiscs of an excellent logo is that with just one or two simple signs or symbols, it captures a wide range of ideas, emotions and feelings.

    Raza, I truly appreciate your feedback – it helps me think better [ as a logo designer ] and helps me understand why I do what I do! I love it!

    Thank you for dropping by!

  9. Naina,

    Great of you to pick up the project!

    I had a couple of thoughts – I would phrase the key idea in the LinkedIn Socially is

    “meeting people in different places”

    The idea of “meeting people” I don’t really see visually represented, and the second idea is in “places” which does come across in the suitcase….

    however, I would interpret a suitcase as “a place to stay”, “a hotel”, or something like that, which is a bit too strong a message for this group I would think – that may happen, but for the most part this is a “drinks and dinner” sort of meeting, not “Let me crash at your house for a week when I come to town.”

    Thus, I don’t think the essence is quite there yet. That’s my 2-cents worth…

    Mike Rogero

  10. Hi Mike,

    Thank you for dropping by!
    I appreciate your feedback regarding the essence of the logo and I agree with you when you say that it doesn’t quite capture the key phrase of LinkedIn Socially. Thing is that I was not aware that LinkedIn Socially had a key phrase in the first place.

    A logo usually follows the essence of the group or company that it represents and in this case, I had mentioned in the post that the keywords I could think of [ after reading the homepage of LinkedIn Socially ] were business, travel, LinkedIn, globe, social. So I naturally worked on that premise and followed it up with an e-mail to the group to look for feedback about whether I was on the right track or not.

    That is why feedback is such an important component in the logo design process and I appreciate all the people who’ve taken time out to read through the above post and leave comment – it helps the process immensely.

    After your feedback, I will work on some more sketches and when they are posted here, I will ask for further feedback from the group!

    Thanks Mike!

  11. Hi Naina, How about changing the colours of the key icons there? Not the ones as in Microsoft :).Though we are all a part of the same forum, we are different and that is what we are trying to achieve – meeting of different people, from different parts of the world, effortlessly and for a common cause!

    Another suggestion could be adding a smile on the world logo!

    We have to suggest and you need to spend time on it. So do as you are comfortable.

    Cheers
    amit

  12. Thank you Paul!
    I should have the final images ready maximum by the end of this week – that is if we get better ideas from other member’s feeback. Otherwise we will go with this and you are welcome to download the image straight from the above post!

  13. Hmmm…. nice thought Amit. By “keys” do you mean the “people figures”? If so, how about I change the color of the heads but keep the body and arms blue?

    Once I have more feedback, I think I will implement your idea – the thing is that having too many colors in a logo tends to make it look scattered, hence I avoided using anything except green and blue.

    As for the smile on the globe – I am not so sure – maybe it will give the logo a very casual look… I could try it and post some samples though.

    Thank you for stopping by!

  14. Hello again Naina,

    After your post, I came back here to see your “Update IV”. This is great. I really like it.

    If that would work, it could be interesting to check what heads of different colours would be like, but I’m afraid that different heads and smiles etc might get lost when the logo is downsized to be used in different places.

    A bold idea could be to have people represented by smileys, rather than “Microsoft torsos”…

    Best regards
    Tobi (Tor-Bjorn)

  15. Hi Tor!

    Yeah, very small versions will not show the smilies!
    I have also posted the logo version with different color heads [ rather different color shades ] and also smaller versions of both logos.

    Thanks for stopping by again and for being such a wonderful “feedback-giver” – uh… maybe there’s a better word for it?!

  16. Yes, Annedien, I agree with you.
    Now I’m wondering how that might be an advantage!
    MSN Messenger is a conversation enabler and allows people from all over the world to connect.

    The symbol of the human being [ from MSN Messenger ] is also one of the most well-recognized symbols on the internet today.

    I guess it has its pros and cons. Maybe I’ll try a different figure or symbol for the human being.

    Thank you for stopping by Annedien!

  17. Wow, this is turning out to be the best looking LinkedIn group logo! I like both the colored and not colored head versions, and the MSN torso doesn’t bother me in the least. Great job!

  18. Hey Alex!

    I’m glad – thank you for the appreciation!
    For self-education reasons, I’m treating this project like a true-blue logo design assignment. How better to learn than by doing!

    Thank you for stopping by!

  19. Excellent work Naina, amazing creativity with all your work indeed!
    I like all of the new drawings/logos, especially the “chrome” version.
    How would it look with Socially vs. SOCIALLY?
    Lettering matching the mixed case of LinkedIn, vs. uppercase?
    Great results/concepts regardless of case!
    Best regards,
    Daryl

  20. Thank you Daryl!
    I’ll do the Socially vs. SOCIALLY version too – it’s good to have options. Thank you for the tip and the feedback.
    I appreciate that you dropped by!

  21. Wow Vincent! That’s the first “FEEL” feedback that the logos have received – I appreciate that you put words to those feelings and wrote how the logo made you feel. It’s not an easy thing to translate!

    It will be absolutely wonderful to collaborate with you on a project! I look forward to it.

  22. Naina,
    Great work. I really like the image a lot. The globe and the little people images just stand out beautifully.

    I like the lower case ‘Socially’ as opposed to all caps. I’m not sure I like the font though and the size seems just a hair too large / tall relative to the image and the word, LinkedIn. Maybe something closer to Comic Sans without the extra little loops on the lower case letters.

    Thanks for your time on our behalf.

    Violet

  23. Violet,

    Thank you so much for dropping by!
    I appreciate your feedback about the lettering on the logo and intend to do something about it. [ I think Comic Sans will be a tad too casual – maybe I can find a go-between… ] Do you have a particular font in mind? If so, please let me know – I’ll appreciate the tip!

    I’m having fun doing this and am glad that I got the opportunity to contribute!

  24. Hi Naina,

    My you have been busy.

    The “finished” article is absolutely fantastic, I really appreciate the time & thought you have put into this.

    For my tastes, the bold uppercase font hits the mark. Probably due to my presbiterian upbringing. ;o)

    Look forward to seeing the final piece up on the site.

    Once again many thanks

    Paul

  25. Hi Paul!

    You’ve been busy too – how many visits to this blog today!?
    I too prefer the bold uppercase font – it never hurt to experiment with the other squiggly font 😉

    Thank you for entrusting me with the creative process of coming up with a logo for the group!

  26. Wow, Naina!
    You’ve really been productive the last few hours.
    I have an idea, where you’ve seen those armless figures. Go fetch your nearest game of chess and have a look at the pawns!
    I like the capital semibold sans-serif best. It comes through better in smaller dimensions (even though we usually learn that lowercase is easier to read…)
    {stubborn}Now we just need to frame it with that suitcase{/stubborn} 😉

    I like the bright logos you create, really!

    Best regards
    Tobi

  27. Yeah Tobi!
    I’m bushed now! Need to get some sleep – but this design process has been very satisfying and fun. I’ve learnt quite a bit from everyone’s feedback and I thoroughly appreciate that everyone has spent time reading/looking and commenting.

    The reason I did not create a logo that would render in small sizes is because I’m not sure LinkedIn Socially will need a small logo. But yes, you are right, in most cases, lowercase is easier to read in small type.

    And the suitcase… maybe I’ll do a suitcase version just as an experiment 😉 Should be fun!

  28. Hey Naina,

    Nice work. I actually like the first “messenger” people though my first thought would be to have three different faces/heads to suggest diversity. I agree with Paul about the original uppercase bold font for Socially.

    I want to say that scrolling down the page when I went from the line drawings to the first rendered version I gasped, “Wow!” outloud. Great work from conceptualization to presentation.

    I’m with Vincent. Looking forward to working with you “professionally.”

    Greg

  29. Hi Naina,

    The logo is wow…green & blue..the 2 main colors on our planet.

    Both represent nature …looking at the logo you kind of feel calm & peaceful…while the translucent effect creates a sense of excitement ..unknown…yet to discover kind of feeling

    Msn represents easy connectivity…helped change our entire thought process…we had to think as fast as we type or vice -versa…For Me Msn is great….as it had broken down social barriers,time differences,age /gender issues,besides making communicating simple….now there are many more..but MSN will always hold lot of sentimantal & emotional value for most.

    Your work is excellent & spiirit is endearing 🙂
    The Best to you

    Regards
    Mamta M

  30. hi Naina,

    I saw your thread today only on graphic design group about the LinkedIn logo. I found the whole process very interesting, so here I am to give my opinion. First thing first the work is beautiful and quality of work is fabulous.

    the logo graphic and text together are making sense. But if you see only the graphic part of the logo. the three human figures connected with a think line does convey the meaning ‘linked in’ but it doesn’t reflect the social part. My interpretation of the logo would be ‘linked in globally’ the social element is missing from the logo. or is it not required !

    did i made any sense don’t know, but that’s my opinion about the logo.

    sisir

  31. In the ebb and flow of life we are often too busy; too engaged; too much of everything.
    There is a simplicity here in this design that brings a palour to the cheek; one cannot, having seen the latest design, walk away without feeling as though they have received something.
    I believe in Picasso’s off the cuff remark about creativity when he said, “I hope I’m working when imagination finds me.”
    You my dear friend are truly a passionate and provacative artist, philosopher, and poet; through visuals that need no explanation one can only say, “I have felt the warm wind on my face and knew it carried a message just for me.”
    Humbly Your Friend,
    Michael Pokocky

  32. Sisir,

    Thank you for dropping by and for the feedback. I understand what you mean when you say that the ‘social’ element is not visually represented. If we get down to semantics, the name of the Group – LinkedIn Socially itself would not represent the true purpose of the group – which is to enable existing members of LinkedIn to find eachother anywhere on the globe when they need assistance – when in a new country or new city.

    Like Mike Rogero state above in the comments – “meeting people in different places” – the LinkedIn logo itself is a testament of the keywords “social”, “networking”, “professional”, “meeting” etc. The LinkedIn Socially group on the other hand is specifically to allow LinkedIn members to list themselves as CityHosts. While the ‘social’ aspect might not be explicity visible in the logo, however, it is implied.

    Thank you for stopping by!

  33. Michael,

    You are too kind!
    I so appreciate that you spent time on the blog and gave such wonderful and beautiful feedback – it is an inspiration to read your comment – beautiful writing!

    Thank you so much!

  34. Naina,

    One sense that I wanted to explore is the feeling of being invited to stay and enjoy “my” company – being a “host”. We are all in a professional network and this is a “warm” extension to that network. It’d need to feel inviting without being a friendster or immature attempt at being “best buds”.

    What if, instead of a globe, it were a table – kidney or wavy shaped? And that table top was reflecting or had an imbedded image of the LinkedIn logo … sorta under the surface. The table and LinkedIn is the professional side of this whole coming together.

    And, to impart the “sharing” or “inviting” to stay with the host, some sort of festive invitiation? Maybe an open letter passing through the space between the “people”, with an accompanying form of motion that provides the feeling – the invitation to be hosted in “my” city or town?

    I LOVE all the colors and especially the people/images in the last logo example, set VI. Maybe you could tie the word SOCIALLY onto the invitiation … eh, who am I – my group logo is hard and imparts a … plane feeling? (pun intended)

    Take Care! I do LOVE these … !!!

    Steve

  35. Hey Steve!

    Thank you so much for stopping by!
    And I loved your feedback! Great points.

    I would love to incorporate the suggestions into the logo – only hitch is that if I did – it would be one cluttered illustration instead of a logo. In my opinion, a logo should be as simple and with as few separate elements as possible – one of the best examples is Nike’s Swoosh logo – actually it’s nothing more than a check mark – but it’s a powerful logo full of meaning.

    While this logo is nowhere close to the Swoosh, I tried to whittle down the elements and to derive more meaning from fewer elements.

    For example, the globe – the earth – can give the feeling of security and friendliness – we call it mother earth. It is also round – this logo has all rounded shapes – which is again a welcoming and thus friendly sign. Green and blue are welcoming colors and the black lines give it the tinge of professionalism – the lines are also narrow when they start and expand in the middle – which is to show that the offer is open to everyone but the actual exchange will be between two people.

    Similarly, all the elements in the logo can mean something – and thankfully, these elements will mean different things to different people when they see it. I say thankfully because otherwise the development process of this particular logo wouldn’t have been even half as exciting and fulfilling as it currently is!

    Great to see your feedback! Thank you for stopping by!

  36. Hi Naina,

    First of all… I really like your work, this is FAB’. I like the wordlogo and the texography is cool. Just when I thought i’d give feedback about the people looking like the msn, u changed it !! But it is cool anyways. I am not sure to critiqe anyones work, being a logo designer myself it just doesn’t seem nice :). But I guess you have tried a black-n-white printout of the logo, ’cause if it doesn’t fit well this won’t be used on letterheads or something with low cost printing.

    But this is serious Grrrrr8 work you have done !!!!!

    🙂 Girish
    http://girish8181.tripod.com

  37. Hi Girish,

    Thanks a bunch for your nice feedback! And it’s nice hearing from a fellow logo-designer! It isn’t about critiquing – it’s about learning and the more critiques/feedback/comments I have, the better I become as a designer!

    Much appreciated that you dropped by!

  38. Hi Naina,

    What you designed is great! And how you work from an idea, to a drawing into the final design. Thank you an big hug out of the Netherlands.

  39. Really great to see you post the entire process here in your blog. I do think you’ve shown a very natural progression in the process of creating the image.

    I do think the uppercase use of the word “SOCIALLY” works best and the font seems to tie in better to the rest of the text. My only concern would be in usage of the design in applications other than the Web. Will there be a need for the logo to be used in print applications where the number of colors might impact costs? Might it at some point need to be used in vinyl signage or embroidery? These are considerations I always use in my own logo designs throughout the design process. In addition, I always have my design approved in black and white before ever even considering the addition of color.

    Great work!

  40. Naina,

    your achievement is spectacular! It adds so much to my interest in and understanding of the various logos, that you show them in stages of development with your thoughts attached.

    My favorite is UPDATE IV: same color people, block letters for Socially. I wouln’t mind if the shape of the persons changes,
    but I like the same color scheme.

    Thanks for another logo we will all feel proud to use.

    Regards,
    Molly

  41. Hi Jeff!

    Nice to read feedback from a fellow logo designer [ and an accomplished one at that! ] I agree that this particular logo design might not be usable in smaller versions on print – I don’t believe it will be an issue when used on signage as it will be a large version [ but I could be wrong because I have yet to design a logo keeping it’s use on signage in mind – I am learning! ]

    This particular logo is probably only going to be used on the Web, hence I was able to be a bit more risque!

    Thank you for dropping by!

  42. Morning Naina,

    It has been very interesting to see the way you work & the feedback on the feedback is fantastic .. so fantastic that I showed this to our Marcomms Manager yesterday … expect a call.

    I don’t think we should be chewing up any more time on this (free) project, so feel we should shut the gates on any more re-working. I am very keen to get this logo onto the Group.

    Having seen all the comments & your replies, I think the consensus is to go for version VII with the bold uppercase.

    Many thanks & will be posting a few “I love Nainas” across the web.

    Best regards as ever

    Paul

  43. Hey Paul!

    Cool then, take your pick – I’m done with the re-works – tell me which one’s your favorite and I’ll send you the image file at whatever size you want it [ depending on what the YahooGroup size allows – I don’t believe there’s a restriction, but let me know ].

    Great collaborating with you Paul!

  44. Morning Naina,

    OK, nice rework … always the perfectionist !!!!

    Can you fire the GIF’s over to me at my gmail address : linkedinsocially@gmail.com ? I think the two sizes that you have posted here will be fine, I will get this up on the Yahoo Group later today.

    Once again many thanks for your support & hard work.

    Regards

    Paul

  45. Hi Naina, great stuff. I like the logo with the globe and the three people connected together. I think it would be fine if the three people has a different face color – let’s say, like they were a caucasian, an asiatic and afro-black guys, to underline the “overall-world” concept.

    Cheers

  46. Hi Marco!
    Great to see you here! Thank you so much for your wonderful comments. The LinkedIn Socially logo was finalized sometime back and I’m glad you like it!

  47. I just want to express my feelings about the logo. I like it a lot and the way it was created.

Comments are closed.