Doug Hucker: Great Logo Design

Back in 2012, Baltimore-based graphic designer and illustrator Doug Hucker was recognized in the HOW Logo Design Competition & Awards for helping to set the bar when it comes to cool logo designs, despite his thinking that he didn’t have a chance at winning. Judge Sunny Bonnell, co-founder and creative director at Motto, had this to say about Hucker’s design:

I thought this was an excellent, unified mark. It’s compact, the type is incorporated nicely, and it scales well. It is youthful, fresh, and energetic—perfect for the bike cafe it represents.

Designer Doug Hucker: Cool Logo Designs

Doug Hucker’s 2012 HOW Logo Design Awards winning logo design for The Handlebar Cafe, a new bike cafe in downtown Baltimore that served coffee, beer and snacks. The goal was to make a fun, energetic mark with loads of personality.

Hucker says on his website, “My goal for every project is to do thoughtful, quality work, simultaneously providing a great experience for everyone involved.”

A focus on thoughtful, quality work is exactly why Hucker’s work caught the judge’s eye in 2012. But what’s he up to now? I talked with Hucker to find out.

Designer Doug Hucker: Cool Logo Designs

How has your perspective on logo design changed since you began your  

I’ve been working professionally now for about six years now, and when I started my career I used to think good design could work miracles. Bad logo? Bad website? Ugly business card? No problem, slap some nice design on it and you’ll be fine.

Unfortunately this isn’t the reality. Good design can certainly help to reposition or refresh a business, but everything comes down to the brand itself. It’s like putting the body of a corvette on a crummy car: It may look great, but the experience of driving it is terrible.

Good design and good business work in tandem with one another. Like we say in the South: You can’t put lipstick on a pig.

Designer Doug Hucker: Cool Logo Designs

What your favorite logo you’ve designed to date?
Most successful logos are the result of dozens or even hundreds of sketches, iterations, and ideas. That being said, most designers have a couple of gems that never get to see the light of day, and I’m no different.

Some of my favorite logos are ones that died mid-process. Occasionally clients get past the second or even third round of ideas before they realize they aren’t ready to pull the trigger, don’t have the courage to make a comittment, or in some cases, don’t see anything they feel is appropriate, though probably this isn’t the case.

Anyway, people say change is good, but no one ever said it was easy, and what’s even harder is watching beautiful work get dumped in the trash.

Designer Doug Hucker: Cool Logo Designs

Who are some of your favorite designers these days?
Resources like Dribbble make it easier than ever to find great examples of design—too easy in fact. I think I may have an addiction. But I do have a few favorites.

These guys do consistently great work and are an inspiration to many professionals and students alike: Matt Stevens, Michael Spitz, Fraser Davidson, Eight Hour Day, Scott Hill and Dustin Wallace.

Do you have any words of wisdom for designers?
Don’t be afraid to put your work out there where people can see it. Get a website up, join Dribbble or Behance, and flood the internet with your work. Doors will open for you that you didn’t even know were there. Be bold!

I think it’s a great idea to enter design contests. Why wouldn’t you take a stab at an opportunity to win some recognition? Competitions like the ones put on by HOW are a great way to win visibility and credibility in our industry (you’re reading this blog post aren’t you?) Don’t think you have what it takes? Well, have you ever tried?

I entered HOW’s Logo Design Competition & Awards for the first time in 2012 (I didn’t think I had a chance in hell, by the way). And what do you know—I won. My advice: Give it a shot. You can’t win a fight if you don’t step in the ring.

Designer Doug Hucker: Cool Logo Designs

Designer Doug Hucker: Cool Logo Designs

Think you’ve got something as effective as Doug Hucker’s work? We’d love to see it in the Logo Design Competition & Awards.