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How well would this logo work in small sizes, flattened, or in monochrome?
Not very well in some cases, I'm sure. (I'm the author btw) - But, neither does their new logo. It looks like an "N" with a choppy gradient when presented in favicon size.
As I tried to get across in the article, this was definitely an imperfect, but, sincere exploration in finding a deeper meaning within the logo concept & starting some dialogue. I will say, some people have questioned the use of the apostrophe in being able to scale (& they may be right). That said, it seems to work swimmingly for a number of logos, such as the "Oakland A's" & "Lay's" potato chips, just to name a couple.
Medium having not put much attention to making their new logo flexible shouldn't really be an excuse for a concept logo to also not be so.
I understand your proposition into wanting a higher quality made logo which communicates better than their new logo--I think we all do--but I don't think one can start by quickly whipping up a Medium article and putting some quick concepts up. That's quite a reactionary action in the tricky field of design requiring research and design thinking by a factor of ten compared to UI design.
Writing an article which encourages logo creation and sharing while at a mere concept stage reminds me of those designers which share their unsolicited redesigns of whatever on Dribbble thinking that they somehow are better at understanding the product than the designers whom actually worked on it.
If you wish the Medium, the company, to be more thoughtful on their logo (and their logotype), I think it to be better to encourage better design thinking.
I totally & completely respect where you're coming from. Quality feedback.
My personal feeling on the matter (& something I tried to reiterate both in the article & multiple responses) is that I wanted to make clear that my concept was a staging point for exploration. I don't necessarily see anything wrong with showing a user's suggestion for how they'd interpret meaning into the logo, irregardless of the research stages.
You see, as a user, my perspective is valid in my own user case scenarios & my voice should be heard, if I so choose to share it. Just as all other user's voices should be heard & then weighed against the objective. I wasn't designing from the frame point of a hired professional, nor an integrated team member whom should follow the steps you describe & distance their personal preferences from their decision making process. Nor was I speaking solely to the design community. I was designing from the opinionated perspective of the user that I am & applying the feedback that would have been gained by interviewing me during that said research stage.
I view Medium as a platform for the individual to be heard & have a voice. That is why, when I thought over the meaning of the logo, to me as the user, I concluded that it should represent a symbiosis of the original "M" logo mark (which had contextual meaning in itself), with the word "I'm" for "I am Medium...You are Medium...We are Medium". It represents my voice in combination with the platform. It's imperfect, but, from my perspective it had deeper meaning & I wanted to share that opinion as a user. I believe I'm entitled to that, just as you are entitled to that. What I'm not entitled to is to expect to be right, expect anyone to agree/like it, or, to expect it to be changed.
While I'm all for process & design thinking & quality research (believe me, I am), just as many bold, iconic & meaningful designs & logos have come from less than perfect design thinking processes. I've also borne witness to very in-depth research & design thinking that gave birth to dull, lackluster, less than user friendly designs. Design thinking & process is not a magic bullet.
That said, I am a designer & I consider myself to be a decent one whom utilizes solid processes in work for clients. But, seriously, we as a community need to lighten up & stop being so fragile regarding criticism & even unsolicited (or for that matter) uninformed redesigns. It's a sign that we're more personally attached to our work & defensive than we need to be.
Personal attachment, excuses about outsiders not having the understanding of the inside designer & overall defensiveness within designers simply reinforces that invisible, subconscious wall that makes listening to fresh perspectives & truly being open to user feedback that much harder.
Thanks again for sharing your well thought out perspective!
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