Hundreds of companies showed up at Y Combinator’s Winter 2022 Demo Day event, and I looked at just about all of their logos. There are a lot of solid ones, a few clunkers, and a handful of really nice ones. Here is a list of these for your enjoyment and edification.
I didn’t put them in any order – in fact the order in which they appeared when I put the images in the post came as a complete surprise. Let’s go!
Circular: With a shape specified right there in the company name, you’d think they’d go full circle, so to speak, but this looped spiral is a much better choice in my opinion. The company does recycling, if I remember correctly, so the idea of a more complex loop, and connecting one end to the other, is apropos. Not only that, but by doing it this way, you’re also hiding a C in there. The cranberry (blackberry?) color is also a solid choice. Wait…I just realized that’s the Life360 logo that’s rotated about 40 degrees. Well, there’s nothing new under the sun it seems, and honestly this one is better. Admittedly, it’s not the best start of the list, but I didn’t choose the command.
Itchy: I like this particular configuration of the letters in a kind of sticker format, but elsewhere they do the type differently. But the idea everywhere is one of slight disorder and unease, which of course is also suggested by the name. Since they make a cream for irritated skin, it’s a frank acknowledgment of the problem, refusing to dance around it with a medical or ambitious name. Unusual, but potentially smart branding choice for a skincare company.
defender of reality: There were a few fingerprint or biometric type logos in this batch, but this one is the best. It shows both identity, impersonation and protection, leaving the specific interpretation to the viewer. I have to hand it to the artist to pick the right “quadrant” of a fingerprint so he can suggest facial features without looking too weird. In addition, it “goes” from left to right, which helps it to follow.
Stable earnings: It’s a great logotype. Aligning the letter cuts to the same degree gives a cohesive look, but they haven’t gone overboard, leaving the G’s descender and various other tails to remain natural. It’s also a good typeface for a logo of this size, where you can see the unusual style of the curves on the letters. From a distance it looks bouncy but a bit sharp, and after just a few seconds you have something really recognizable.
Plover parametric: Putting an animal in the logo is always a risk, as it can easily be too cute or too detailed, drawing too much attention. Plover does just that with a little bird that is not only well drawn and, with its small legs, recognizable as a shorebird, but simultaneously forms the stem of the P and defines its negative space without interfering. I doubt this is the first P logo based on a bird, but this one is cool. I wonder if they should have aligned the horizontal tail with the horizontal from the bottom of the P curve… no. It would make the bird too flat.
BBy: This soft and cute droplet suggests both motherhood, infancy, attention and liquid; quite an achievement. The color I’m imagining is meant to suggest skin, and it does to some degree, but you still have to be careful with that, because using one skin tone excludes others.
Vance: Simple, but a V is best for directional logos – in this case up and to the right, suggesting profit, while green suggests go, money and all that positive stuff. The ribbon-like thick V slash is also different enough from the thin V in type that it doesn’t seem redundant. I would go with a more geometric font though. (And once you see the logo as a licorice mint candy, you can’t see it anymore. Sorry!)
Nimbus: Stacking and gradients were common in this batch, and Nimbus was my favorite. The cloud icon is incredibly common these days and has its own connotations, but the proportions of this particular stack and gradient, along with the thick linework, make it more substantial and cohesive. The type is good too, mirroring the lines of the logo and making the whole thing soft and fluffy. You know… like a cloud. But you already have it because it’s a good logo!
Cable: First of all, love the type. And it was the right decision (if it was one) to join the K and the A (and what an A!) and control the white space. Bouncy or curved ribbons/chevrons are interesting and form a nice K-shape, even if a little busy. I wonder if it could be simplified or condensed a bit to make it less tangled.
Enlightra: Small form meets function here. I’m not in love with the type, but I think the logo does a lot once you know the company does laser data transfer. The spike is straight out of a spectrogram and the waves coming out of it are like Wi-Fi, so it’s a frequency that sends data… all wrapped up in a nice little circle. It’s smart, although it helps to figure out what they’re doing first.
Salary crisis: I’m not completely sold on this one, but it’s a logo that, if the app takes off, will be immediately recognizable from a distance. In a way, it’s just a weird F…but the tilt helps your mind see it differently. Sometimes when you have that two-letter summary option, you just have to commit and hope the simplicity pays off.
Forest: I just like the proportions on this one. I’m not sure it suggests a forest at all, but it does make houses and clouds, which is more relevant anyway. The position of the house and the door are very slightly off-center, which combined with the smaller circle emphasizes the perspective while remaining completely flat. Details matter!
Spinach: The color choices here are great, and these shapes all stand out despite each being a close muted hue to its sibling. The S is elegantly and creatively suggested, and along with the name the viewer is also reminded of the leaves and fruits, servings and portions of food (a halved head of lettuce and two tangerines… see?). I don’t remember what this company does, but it’s probably intentional. (Actually, it’s about doing remote meetings, so…not sure.)
Here is! Very good logos, right? You can check out our more substantial coverage of the companies in this batch here.