Eightyone Design Logo

Gender in Logo Design

There are two of us here at Eightyone Design Steve (male) and Me (Lucinda – female). We can never stay out of each others projects (even when told to!) and often collaborate on work, particularly logo design as this is something that we are both equally passionate about. 

My interest in gender and logo design started about a year ago when we designed a logo for a economic consultant. She held a brain storming session with some friends and colleagues to get some feedback on the designs we submitted. This was a very helpful session and there was a general consensus between the group on a particular logo, type face and colours. As a simple exercise the group went through the logo’s and gave them a gender, (which is something I had never given much consideration to when creating a logo to appeal to both sexes). It turned out that all the logo’s that I had created they had marked as female and all the logo’s that Steve had created they marked as male. Which lead me to wonder if subconsciously we do design logo’s that appeal to our own gender? 

Mewstones logo designs

We recently created a logo for Wakeham (an asbestos consultant) and once again we both worked on logo  concepts for the client, but this time the logo had to appeal to a male market. As a quick exercise I showed the logo’s to a friend and asked them to rank them with manly ones at the top and less manly logos at the bottom. Surprise surprise my logo’s were at the bottom (and the chosen logo in the middle). So does that mean that I can only design female orientated logo’s?

Wakeham logo designs

One thought is our logo design process, we generally go away and sketch our ideas and then meet back up and discuss what we are going to develop and submit to the client. We are aware that we don’t want to submit designs that are similar (as often we come back with extremely similar sketches – its quite scary!) so it’s a possibility that my male oriented designs get sidelined and the more female ones get developed and submitted. 

Obviously I’m not saying that men create male looking designs and women create female ones, it can’t be as black and white as that. I have since created an event logo for a rugby event in Newquay which was intended for a male market and Steve didn’t have a great deal of input on this one as he was working on other projects (not due to me giving him the boot!), however the client was thrilled with the design so I know that I can create logo designs for a male market.  

World beach rugby logo

I’m not too sure if I have a conclusion for this post really, it’s just that I find this subject particularly interesting and wondered if anyone has had any experiences of gender specific design or can recommend any further reading on the subject?

Posted by Lu

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Posted on Monday, July 28th, 2008 at 12:21 pm
Posted In Branding, Graphic Design, Logo Design | Tags: , ,

5 Responses to “Gender in Logo Design”

  • Wes Wilson says:

    Interesting read! While I agree that it is not as clear cut as male vs female, it shows the subconscious tendencies of designers. This would be a great experiment if you could create a topic, have several designers create concepts and compare by gender, nationality, etc.

  • lu says:

    Hi Wes,

    Nice to hear I’m not the only one who finds this interesting! I think you are right and subconscious tendencies are affecting how we design. As you mention the only way to prove this though may be to set up some kind of experiment, leave it with me I’ll have to see what I can set up….

    Thanks for the comment.


  • yooun says:

    this is exactly the kind of discussion I was seeking for. I am doing my thesis project based on gender and design. It’s so hard to come up with a critical concept for this specific issue because gender is such a subjective term. does anyone know if there are another blog site or information based on this idea?

  • lu says:

    Hi Yooun,

    I too am interested in gender and design and would love to know more about it. One of the reasons I published this post was to let everyone know my thoughts and find out more about other people’s experiences. If I discover any other posts on the subject I’ll let you know.

    Good luck with your thesis project!



  • Karine says:

    Hi Lu,

    On this moment I’m working on a paper about genderdifferance in Graphic Design, for book covers . I’m very interested in this subject. Have you more information about this theme?

    I also want to talk about the use of the non-printed section…

    Nice project, by the way…


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