By on January 16, 2009

TTAC’s Best and Brightest have taken-up the challenge to design a logo for the site. I’m not going to tell you which one or ones have caught my eye, but I will say this: Car Tatts has agreed to pay us a percentage of the $9.99 price for each TTAC tatt they sell. Which isn’t bad considering all we have to do is update the website 24/7 with rants, news and reviews. But the actual amount means that we’re reducing the previous, buck-a-pop offer to the winning artist (deadline next Tuesday) to fiddy cents. Again, none of these artists have agreed to anything by submitting their design, save the chance to let the B&B have a look see. Send you submissions to And please, NO FLAMING. If you don’t like a particular design, hate the sin, not the sinner. And help us identify the winner. [NB: some of the designs get squeeshed in the gallery. Please click on them twice to see the art in its proper aspect ratio. Or something like that.]

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53 Comments on “TTAC Logo Submissions...”

  • avatar

    A couple of these are coming along nicely, most notably numbers 6 and 7. Number 1 is an interesting idea I’d like to see the artist refine a little more. Its a serious contender with a little more polish. I’m still fiddling with my ideas, I’ll get something emailed over lunch today.

  • avatar

    I like the License plate from Magic Tiki and the and the first Angel & Devil logo from Tyler Bland.

  • avatar

    They’re all pretty good. I particularly like 7,6, and 11.

  • avatar

    Are we allowed to vote for “no logo”? I think it keeps the feel on-mission with the plain, simple truth (if such a thing exists).

  • avatar

    All of these are unnescessary.

    Simply make a sticker that looks exactly like the square logo icon on the webrowser and put: on the bottom.

  • avatar

    @ Flashpoint:

    What I’m working on incorporates a rendition of the URL icon, set to the left of TTAC in caps using the typeface seen in the current header. Great minds think alike..?

  • avatar

    All very good. The license plate is my favourite by far.

  • avatar

    I like 1 and 8…I think 8 would be even better in red, or green like most highway signs.

  • avatar
    Stephan Wilkinson

    Major highway signs in Europe are blue, which is the point of that one with the limited-access-highway symbol.

  • avatar

    I’m not a huge fan of the graphics (just my taste), but Ronnie Schreiber’s and Tyler Bland’s entries are clever.

    I too like the license plate for it’s simplicity and bluntness.

  • avatar

    Either the plate (1), the T (7), or the little Inspector Clouseau one (15). I’d say the Clouseau one for sure, but I don’t like the “TTAC” typeface.

    I’m surprised no one tried to work in the B9 Tribeca’s grille. I got home too late to enter, but that was where I was aiming.

  • avatar

    Fair enough Stephan… been a while since I was there. Make it green, add a few bullet holes and you’re in rural Idaho or Wyoming.

  • avatar

    I work for an ad agency, and I’ve been showing these around the shop. License plate is the winner. Easily.

  • avatar

    I guess I’m the only one who really like number 16, with its Steadman flourish of spattered paint. I like the severity and contrast combined with an abstracted logo. As an artist and art historian, it gets my vote.

  • avatar

    I like the clean, simple approach (and font) in #6, but think it should be merged with the license plate idea (which I consider to be a little rough in presentation at this point.)

  • avatar
    Steve Green

    The first one, the license plate, absolutely and by far.

  • avatar

    My vote – not that anyone is asking, is for the license plate. Refreshingly retro, simple and to the point.

  • avatar
    new caledonia

    All of them are good efforts, some of them have real merit, but the license plate logo is the only one that says car.

    Go with it.

  • avatar

    I have to give my nod to the license plate. It might also be nice to have a second version that looks more like a German-style plate for merchandise, etc.

    That being said, there are a lot of good efforts here. There’s a lot of talent in the TTAC audience.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Number 1 gets my vote of this set.

  • avatar

    #7 is my first choice, #1 is my next choice, #4 is my third choice.

    Top 3.

  • avatar

    the Thomas Mizenmay nr.3 design is by far the best.
    the licence plate would have been ok if it hadnt been for the gradient.

  • avatar

    The gradient does detract from that one, but it should be removable by the original artist. Keep in mind most of what you see submitted will it no way be *exactly* what TTAC ends up using. Some refinement will be necessary.

  • avatar

    I like the first one because it matches the Michigan 1969 colors – some say the last good year.

    Thomas Mizenmay 1 is great too, it demonstrates how the paragon of modern industry got messed up, and that you can’t hide the blemish.

  • avatar

    I vote for the license plate.

  • avatar

    A logo should be a crystallized representation of a brand. A logo should be simple, memorable, and stand up to application in numerous circumstances. Think of how the Nike swoosh conveys motion and grace and can be elegantly applied to any surface in almost any color and be recognizable. Think of the Target bullseye and how it implies that this is where you’re going to find what you want (while also complimenting the name brand). The Yankees intertwined N and Y in a scripty font conveys the history of the brand and a strong sense of connection to the city.

    When I look at these logos, the first license plate logo is probably the strongest of the bunch. That is, of course, assuming you’re principally interested in web use. This strong logo might need to be doctored up a bit, have some of the details touched up, but shows the car connection, the strength of the content with a strong font and works well in a Web 2.0 environment. However, it wouldn’t work as well as, say, an ink stamp, due to the text at the top of the logo and gradient and shadow details, but you could develop a simplified version for black and white or lower-detail use. Ideally, however, a logo could be arrived at that uses the strong points of the license plate logo that can be used in any application so you wouldn’t be working with 2 logos.

    A good multi-use logo is easily replicable and stands up to monochrome treatment well, and the license plate logo is a bit color and display dependent. The last set of 4 are clearly the strongest pure design, but I don’t know that they successfully communicate the mission of TTAC. I really think they’re dandy, but I don’t know that they hold any broadly intuitive meaning beyond cool shapes. The letters are arranged in a cool-looking manner, but that’s only half the job of a logo. 6 and 7 are also pretty strong and stand up to different color treatments, but the use of soft angled, thin sans-serif font in the 6th design (which is strong in many ways) also does not convey the proper fortitude and brashness of this strong website.

    I also think #8 is solid, solid design work, hits many of the same strong points as #1, but the shortcoming there is relevance. Too many of your users are US-based to properly understand the logo as has already been shown here. Also, we need to stick with the long-established red and gray color scheme, which is lost in the blue Euro road sign. Besides that, I think that might actually be the second strongest logo simply because of the automotive resonance and clean, replicable design.

    Some of these designs are really getting close to the mark, nice submissions all around. That’s my 2 cents so far.

  • avatar

    Sorry, but most of these are not very good. #6 is simple, elegant. It gets my vote in a sea of blah.

  • avatar

    I guess I’m the only one who really like number 16, with its Steadman flourish of spattered paint. I like the severity and contrast combined with an abstracted logo. As an artist and art historian, it gets my vote.

    I like it for the same reason, but but it’s lacks clarity. It reminds me of a lot of graffiti I’ve seen: artistically brilliant, but so introverted in meaning that you’re left wondering who did it, what it’s supposed to say and what you’re supposed to get from it.

    It makes good art, but a not-so-great logo.

  • avatar

    None are great, but I’d have to pick the one with the “justice” scale…with some revisions which I will refrain from saying, so I don’t get booted off the site!! A close second would be the Interstate shield. Some of the others are just a little too amateur-ish for my liking. Are there going to be more submissions to choose from?

  • avatar

    #1 license plate is by far the best! It gets my vote!

  • avatar

    No one’s really leveraging the “flying vagina” potential…

  • avatar

    A logo should be easy to recognize, simple, to the point, and there should be the visual equivalent of onamonapiae (could someone please provide the correct spelling for that?). With that…

    I love #4, but it’s too fuzzy. Sharpen the edges and it’s a winner.

    #s 9 and 10 do a nice job of conveying the spirit of TTAC, but I’m not sure i like the aesthetics.

    #s 1, 8, and 20 have that wonderful simplicity, and I’m inclined to prefer 8 and 20 aesthetically although a different background might improve the license plate design.

  • avatar

    After seconding Jason’s vote for there not really being a need…

    #1 is my clear favorite

    The Thomas Mizenmay series shows some real retro style potential

  • avatar

    When I think of motoring, I think of limitless potential – an interstate has often led me to some of America’s dearest roads (and greatest drives). So although I like 8 for the concept, it doesn’t get me to the roads. Number 20 gets me there – in more ways than one.

  • avatar

    The euro road sign #8 is by far the winner for me, if he picks a slightly more interesting font. Not too crazy though. Similarly, maybe the US Interstate logo could work if it could be changed into a better facsimile of a real sign.

  • avatar

    #1, 8, and 20 are my favorites so far. #4 has potential, but I think it needs to be executed differently. How about the front of a car with TTAC in big letters across the grill and then the full URL written across the front bumper.

    I’m also surprised that no one has done up a logo in the theme of a white oval Euro country sticker.

  • avatar

    kazoomaloo hit the nail on the head. Logos should be simple and work in variety of sizes/colors. I’ve submitted my design, time will tell if its “worthy” or not.

  • avatar

    #1 and #6 are the only ones that are really good. #19 could be done but would require the name of the site underneath; it’s too stylized to be legible. Between 1 and 6, I’d say 6 would be best if you just chose one of the boxes, the four box thing is… meh, in my humble opinion.

  • avatar

    Is there a “none of the above” option? Can we start over?

    None of these really fit the image I have of TTAC. Even trying to imaging them polished up, they are too blagh or too old-fashioned or too amateurish.

    If we are stuck with only these options then the first one is the only one that strikes me at all as having some potential.

    It’d be great if you could register it as a personalized license plate in some state to get a REAL one you could put on test cars and take pictures.

    And when we get bored we can put all kinds of license plate frames around it. Chains maybe, or “I’d Rather Be Blogging”.

  • avatar

    #20 looks like a winner to me, although I think the font could be tweaked on the main “TTAC”. Doesn’t seem bold enough.

  • avatar

    I have to agree with a couple of the recent commenters when I say that I don’t think anybody’s got a look that can be instantly identified with TTAC’s site theme and overall feel. Some of them *are* good ideas, though. I refrain from plugging my own work shamelessly and let viewers comment on it as they will, once its added to the gallery.

  • avatar

    Gotta say, I’m digging either the license plate or the little inspector dude but I’d change a few things first.

    License plate: The font is a bit soft – should fill the plate more and instead of “car reviews, podcasts…” up top you really need a kick-ass blurb like “Home of the T.W.A.T.’s” or something maybe not as offensive.

    Inspector Dude: I’m with ‘psarhjinian’ on the font – needs to be changed and perhaps not as cartoon-y a guy.

    Some advice from the peanut gallery. Great work though!

  • avatar

    I will put something together this weekend. It will be better than any one of those.

    I am a professional.

  • avatar

    I don’t know if we’re supposed to pitch our ideas here…anyway, since I’m open to criticism and suggestions, I’d like to know how you (the best and brightest) would improve my designs.

    I’m the creator of #16-19. First, let me tell you why I chose to do them that way before you can tell me what to do better. First of all, I just like abstract shapes, I didn’t want to base it off some existing design. Especially since a logo (in my opinion) should be unique in the way it looks. Also, I think this fits best with TTAC’s minimalistic approach. I realize that this is a matter of taste, some people just don’t like that, and that’s fine.

    I also wanted to have some car-reference, but it shouldn’t hit you in the face, so again I chose the abstract route and went with a stylized wheel in which I put the TTAC letters.

    With the first one, I played around a little and added the spattered paint. But obviously for some uses, this might be a little too busy, so I cleaned it up for the second one. This is the closest to a “wheel” out of my logos, but at the same time, this makes it hard to make out the letters so I simplified it further and ended up with the third one, which I guess I like best. And in order to show what’s possible, I added a little color for the fourth one (also, it makes recognizing the letters even easier).

    What the series is meant to show is that the same logo can be implemented in various ways (although the logos here are obviously not all the same).

    I guess the final result might still be somewhat busy, but that was the price I had to pay for using the letters TTAC. Do you guys think a completely abstract logo (like the Nike swoosh or the Mercedes star) would be better?

    I also thought about interweaving the letters. I didn’t do it because I wanted to show the correct order of letters from front to back. But I guess it might look better the other way.

    So these are my thoughts. Now, provided you can appreciate my more simplistic approach, are there any suggestions as to how it could be improved?

    PS: One additional thought. Some posters said that none of these suggestions fit what TTAC stands for. But doesn’t that usually have to grow? I mean the Nike swoosh also only has its meaning because you grow up with it. Would it be introduced right now, I could see many people saying that it doesn’t capture what Nike stands for, don’t you think?

  • avatar

    @ tom:

    The site already stands for something, the meaning and spirit (and as a function of time, the overall physical look) is already present. While I REALLY like the designs you’ve done for their geometric symmetry alone, I don’t feel they fit TTAC’s mission or target audience.

    Ok, so first:
    The logo designs (as a whole) are recognizable, should they be used and widespread. You couldn’t easily mistake it for something else. However, if necessity required printing Very Small, or viewing very small on-screen, the fine spaces between your letters would tend to bleed together, depending on substrates, inks, etc. So, suggestion #1: Space things out a bit. Retain the geometry, but give us more white space between the letters (particularly on the arcs). This shouldn’t be too hard to accomplish if you worked them up as vector art, as it appears.

    The target audience of TTAC likes to think. We’re a critical bunch, we all love to analyze. However, something a logo should NEVER do, is make the viewer confused as to what they are seeing. I feel that your logos, while attractive from a purely aesthetic standpoint, don’t stand up to the KIS test. Simplicity (and by extension, legibility) are KEY.

    You make mention of the circle representing a wheel. I honestly didn’t see that at all. What I saw, particularly in the 4th logo (color) was what could pass for an automaker badge emblem on the grill or trunk lid of a car. Its just abstract enough, with just enough meaning if you contemplate it, that it would work in that sort of a situation. I don’t know if anybody else saw that aspect, but it jumped out at me right away.

    My second (and for now) final suggestion on this series of logos: Try to include the name of the site, not just the acronym we know it by. The 2nd or 3rd logo might work well for this. Mock up another couple versions with “The Truth About Cars” in an arc under your logo, or maybe put the logo(s) as they stand in a box, with a light-ish border, placing “The Truth About Cars” reversed out in a black box directly below and attached to the logo box. Embellishment is fine, but don’t over work things.

    The Best logos are always the simplest logos. They’re the ones that you’ll remember, even years later.

  • avatar

    Submitted something basic using Google Sketchup and Adobe Acrobat…
    READ: I’m not a professional, but I am a civil engineer and land planner.

    And only because it’s snowing and I’m inside sick. I guess I could watch Planet Earth on Blu-Ray finally.

    Still like #8.

  • avatar

    The car badge ones are my favorite, even the GTR styled TTAC!

  • avatar

    The “scales of justice” logo was just a quick and dirty expression of a concept. A better artist than myself could come up with a better version I’m sure. Of these, I like the license plate the best.

    The problem in coming up with a TTAC logo is that the brand is made up of two concepts, truth and cars, that are hard to unify in a single graphic.

  • avatar

    The first design (license plate) is simply miles ahead of any of the others. It would make a super logo for the site.

  • avatar

    I would choose either number 13 or 15.

  • avatar

    I agree, that the license plate logo seems to be pretty good. I also like, Tyler Bland’s first halo/devil logo, and Mizenmay’s first logo.

  • avatar

    i like the license plate one and the interstate one.

  • avatar

    I like the license plate.

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