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Behold Our New No Film School Logo! Plus We're Partnering with FreshDV to Best Cover NAB

04.3.13 @ 4:34AM Tags : , , , , , ,


Behold our new logo! While our complete site redesign is still a ways off, we’re premiering this new logo, very cleanly designed by David Ceraso, right away on our present site. We are also no longer “NoFilmSchool” or “No Film School” — henceforth we are simply “nofilmschool,” which is how I wrote it when I originally launched the site anyway. We will thus save ourselves (and you) the trouble of hitting the space or shift keys. We hope you like the new logo (and if you’re lazy how could you not like the new capitalization, or lack thereof?). Read on for some further pontification, as well as some news on our coverage of this year’s installment of the world’s largest film/video tradeshow, NAB.

This may go without explaining, but the new logo picks up on this:

And this:

While also being recognizable and distinctive in its own right.

For posterity’s sake, here’s what the old “logo” looked like — when I was designing the site, I never got around to creating a proper logo and so we’ve been stuck without a real logo for years:

Good riddance!

FreshDV Partnership

Next week is the year’s biggest film/video tradeshow, NAB, and NFS editor Joe Marine and I will be there in person. Stop by and say “hi!” if you spot us. We’ll be partnering with our friends at FreshDV for video coverage of the show this year, as they have been doing a great job for many a NAB. Our latest coverage of this year’s show will always be available with this tag, which we’ll publicize more during the show (April 7-11). We’re excited to be bringing you this year’s coverage from the show floor — I think there will be some pretty significant stuff showing up for filmmakers this year.

Like our new logo? Hate the all-lowercase spelling? Let us know…

Oh, and now that we have an actual logo, you know what we have to figure out next… business cards!


We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

Description image 98 COMMENTS

  • logic combination, maybe to many colors

  • Looks good! I’m gonna miss that nice Jane Austen font, though. ;)

  • I do like the all-lowercase spelling, for I am lazy.

    I assume you’ll be changing the masthead too? It’s always looked great but it doesn’t match the new logo.

  • nice logo. i like clean, crisp logos. and pastels. and not having to use capitals. lookin forward to seeing the new site layout!

  • As a designer who has done a few identities, here’s a bit of constructive feedback:

    I liked the old “logo” with the yellow no and script font, just because it differentiates from the majority of logos as well as feels more DIY. It’s rounded friendly form fit well together with the “we’re all here for the same reason…”-attitude about learning.

    The choice of font on the new one is dull, mainstream, standard, corporate. Highlighting “film” instead of “no” however, is a brilliant improvement, since that’s what this site is all about (highlighting “no” makes no sense).

    I’m split on the symbol. It’s an advantage that it can be used as a tiny 16x16px tab/bookmark icon. The idea of combining the countdown and color bar is a good idea. Yet it feels like a sketch/idea, not a final design: the strong contrast between colors and the arrow shape (human eyes & brains tend to follow lines that converge into a point, even more with stronger contrast) obtained by 90 degree circle cuts makes your eyes go straight onto the symbol – and forget all about the text part of the logotype. In composition for art & design, triangular shapes / converging lines are usually used by purpose to steer where the observer should watch.

    A logo on a website is usually not where you want to steer the user too much, you want the user to go to the content. And as I said earlier – the idea of the symbol is not a bad one. It is more about how to rework it (scale, shapes, contrast, color) so it doesn’t take *all* the attention.

    • Lance Bachelder on 04.3.13 @ 11:50AM

      Concur… I do a ton of design work too and this looks more like a work-in-progress that still needs a few more passes to finalize.

      I think a better idea would have been to present 3 concepts and have all your readers vote – cheesy I know but I doubt you would have ended up with this “new” logo which frankly, kinda sucks.

    • When I first looked at the logo, it hadn’t been updated in the header of the site yet.

      At the current size and with the generous amount of spacing that it has in the header right now – the logotype symbol works better, as in it doesn’t steal all attention. At larger sizes the symbol screams for attention, but as implemented now it’s more of a focal point for the eyes to rest at, communicating “site, header & navigation starts here” while identifying what site you’re on. Beware of the attention screaming symbol if your new site has the new kind of designs with *large* logos – like this it works just fine :)

      Also, I’m surprised that there’s so many that can’t give constructive critique/feedback, but just complain.

  • Also, I’ve liked the old header background, just because it communicates: “keep it clean? simple? rules? – fuck you, I’ll do it my way” with the overload of shapes & styles :)

  • In Nigeria, when you really someone you call him “My Guy”. so my guy, i liked the old logo better.

  • …when you really LIKE…

  • Film genius on 04.3.13 @ 5:45AM

    The new logo is pretty ugly it looks like a botched copy of the Google Crome logo. Should of stuck with the old logo. Good to hear about the fresh DV partnership.

  • I think the new logo has too many colors and i couldn’t figure out what it tries to represent or how it relates to film without the videos below… I simply felt lost when i looked at it, it felt so misplaced. It also feels imbalanced with the text part. I have no objection to lower case. If the logo is to be something round, there’s lot room for simplification with perhaps more similarity to the countdown clock and it could be even made to be in the place of the letter O in the “no” instead of just putting it alone in front of the text. Simpler things usually tend to feel more elegant to me. This logo has very non-art like mathematical engineering feel.

  • I like it! Simple, yet fairly unique.

  • zohair salama on 04.3.13 @ 6:59AM

    the circle of colors is very distracting!!!

  • I mean no disrespect, but it looks terrible. The colours, the symbol, the whole thing is a mess. I’m all for clean and simple, but as someone who is traditionally a designer, this just screams generic font, clashing colours

    • I agree 100% with Mick. Generic font and the colors don’t work together at all. On a logo I think the theory behind it is not really important. What matters is what people see in it and feel when they see it.

  • The idea behind new logo probably work better in theory than in reality. I’d call it bland at best.

  • All the people who don’t like the new logo:

    Something wrong? You’re sweating…

  • Can’t go wrong with Bateman

  • Reminds me of BMW logo…

  • Looks great, just don’t forget to change the favicon :)

  • It’s a better rebrand than GAP attempted :-)

    I like it – playful. Looking forward to the site redesign!

  • Looks nice! I would just suggests alighting the round shape and “nofilmschool”. It’s a little off symmetrically, otherwise, looks great!

  • Reminds me of the Chrome logo when I look at it (obviously it’s different, but they are similar).

  • Love the nofilmschool font. Not really feeling the circle, but it may grow on me.

  • If you figure out a way for facebook to let you use all lowercase, you let me know :\

    The ridiculous part is their own brand is all lowercase, so why the hell can’t I create my business page with a brand that’s all lowercase?

  • I don’t hate it. I don’t love it. I like it better than the old one. I want to like it more but it feels off. As others have suggested, the alignment of the text with the circular graphic doesn’t quite work in this case. It’s not so much a symmetry thing as it is a balance thing.

    I recently worked at a business that had a logo with a graphic that also sat in front of and hung well below the text. It may seem like a good idea at the time to “break the norms” but, as time goes on, I think you’ll find the logo increasingly difficult to work with, especially once you start trying to animate it or play off the general shape to make it represent different objects. It also doesn’t help that the text has no descenders, making the blank space even more pronounced.

    Perhaps you’d consider either moving the text down so that the horizontal line of the circle cuts the letter “o” in the text in half, giving you a more balanced logo without it being symmetrical. OR…

    Moving the text down so the horizontal line of the circle aligns with the top of the “n” in “no”. Because there are ascenders, it helps balance the text with the graphic without making it symmetrical. OR…

    Just do a straight center alignment. It’s pedestrian and safe but it also looks better than what you have now, in my opinion.

    As for the graphic, I probably would’ve kept going until I got something a little bit more engaging to look at, for lack of a better term. However, if you kept it as is and moved the text, it wouldn’t really bother me.

    For the record, I work as a still and motion graphics designer, in case anyone wonders where I get the nerve to offer suggestions.

    • for the record, I have a diploma in graphics design and think the alignment is fine.

      • Perhaps the person who designed the logo has one, too. I only mentioned it so as not to seem like so many internet posters who armchair criticize and speak with an air of authority with no actual experience in the matter. People can take both of our opinions for what they’re worth.

        I feel like there’s a disconnect between the text and the graphic, especially on the smaller version in the masthead. From a practical, non-aesthetic perspective, off-balance logos tend to get unwieldy when used in circumstances that differ from their initial intent or placement. It limits their use in many ways. I spent 4.5 years dealing with one and 6 years before that dealing with another. It can be done, it’s just more work.

        As for the colors, one challenge that instantly comes to mind is SMPTE color bars are just not that attractive a color combination. I’d guess that’s one of the reasons they decided to go pastel and leave some colors out.

        Here’s a link to something I worked up that’s more forgiving design-wise. Yes, it’s basically lifted straight from the YouTube thumbnail, which makes it less stylized and pretty literal. It’s only a “for instance”. It’s not as colorful, although more color could easily be added. I think it’s more recognizable as the countdown leader and eliminates the balance issue (for those of us who are bothered by it). It’s a “safer” logo but I think it’s stronger graphically. My point is I think there was room for further exploration that may have all but eliminated the need for two videos to demonstrate what it represents. Feel free to rip it to shreds. It may serve to spark other ideas. Or not.

        • Wow! This looks awesome! I like it more than he circle. Very nice.

        • As I go through the comments I’m surprised no one has said it looks like the new Microsoft logo, which I only thought of now:

          Our colors are actually pretty similar, if you mirror it in both horizontal and vertical directions.

          The fact that the font has no descenders is absolutely intentional and that’s what allows it to “sit” on the center. We’re up for the challenge of applying it to different use cases, and we also have alternates that center justify it, add a “.com” to the end, go grayscale for print, etc.

  • I think I don’t like it because of the placement of the blue and the green. They are right next to each other on the color wheel, so it looks weird when you have them across from each other in a logo like that. Red and yellow work because they’re separated by orange. I don’t know, color theory isn’t my strong suit, but that’s all I can come up with right now as to why I don’t like it.

  • nice~ i have been on this site for years and its good to see a refresh. Though i will definitely miss the old one.
    And that is my FAVORITE scene in American Pshyco!!

  • Since we’re talking about logos, take a look at FreshDV. Now that’s a great logo. The two hues of green to represent freshness and provide a bit of contrast, the leaves being represented by film while simultaneously providing a break in the lettering. It’s a damn fine logo design.

    I feel like the problem with the new nofilmschool logo is that you had to explain what the design elements were representing. If you hadn’t have written this post, I would have had no idea that colorbars or a film leader had anything to do with the design. And if I were a non-english speaker, I would be completely lost as to the meaning of the logo. Is this a cookware manufacturer? A cellular service provider? What does this organization do?

    Take it for what it’s worth though. I’m just some guy on the internet. Regardless of logos, fonts, or design elements, I still visit this site every day and consider it an invaluable resource for learning what’s going on in the world of filmmaking.

  • Will you have a central “base of operations”, or a set schedule for NAB? Would definitely like to say hey or chat while there.

  • Hate to say it, but your new logo is awful. Yes It’s all subjective, but aesthetically it doesn’t come across as a “No film school, film or video type logo. I see what you were going for with the SMPTE which is a fine, but it dosen’t come across that way. At a glance it looks like Google chromes logo, or an app for Simon (yes the game) Also if you were going for the SMPTE color combination why pastel color tone? I’m assuming to match the color of the current site? Which you mentioned you’re going to change in the future anyway, so it doesn’t make any sense. Just my two cents, good luck.

    • Agreed, I didn’t get the color bars reference at all because the colors that can be seen in the logo don’t look anything like those that we are familiar with from the good old color bars. Red and dark blue are missing and the other tones are off. Considering you like it simple, I’d rather prefer a less colorful approach. Maybe just grey/cyan, plain and simple.

  • Anything’s better that the old logo.

  • Colors feel drab.

  • My first impression was that it’s a bit off but, I like ‘off’. I’m sure Mr. Ceraso experimented with countless colors before finalizing the color wheel but, I would have liked to see the northwest gray quadrant in a color other than gray. Maybe a purplish lavender hue. I don’t mind the placement of nofilmschool but, I feel the font size is too large. Reducing it by, maybe, 30% might make for better balance. Easy to make armchair criticisms, isn’t it?

  • Now just get rid of that nasty banner-picture at the top of the page and align links color with cyan from the logo ;-)

    • Hah yeah I’ll tweak the CSS when I get a chance, but remember…. the entire site design is being replaced. So I’m not going to overhaul ALL the colors, just a few accents and the link color.

  • john jeffreys on 04.3.13 @ 2:12PM

    that logo is so 2011

    • Hah, we were actually going for more of a “late 2010″ retro feel.

      I appreciate the responses, everyone, and I hear what you’re saying. You’re also looking at it in the context of our old site design which doesn’t help — the site will be changing as well and then the new identity will feel more at home.

      More generally, in all of my time running a website and in all of my time as a Senior Designer at MTV, I have never seen a brand refresh that didn’t receive a lot of initial criticism. Many of the most distinctive logos out there were initially bashed or misunderstood. We are very intentionally playing off of — but not using exactly — the SMPTE color bars, and the fact that the logo “sits” on the upper half of the logo is also a distinctive differentiator. Most people do not consciously “get” the arrow in the FedEx logo or the fact that’s “smile” graphic points from A to Z, so if you didn’t get the color bars or counting leader reference initially, that’s fine. And there are other reasons the logo is what it is which will become apparent over time… one that I’ll mention now is that the logo is a very strong “0,” which is synonymous with zero, a lack, nothing… “no.”

      Give it some time, once we have the new site up, it’ll grow on you. :)

  • Better then the old one for sure. The only critique I have as a wannabe amateur designer is that it doesn’t work without color: see the following:

    One solution might of been to add some negative space to the circle to keep it distinct looking.

  • Caroline Carrigan on 04.3.13 @ 3:16PM

    Hey, stop by the ARRI booth and say hi! Long-time follower…

  • As a fellow graphic designer, I feel ashamed that such “things” are considered to be usable. It looks like something that a businessman with no marketing sense would create, and think that it would work. Sorry to say this, but this wouldn’t even qualify as a concept. It’s horrible, boring, colors are bland, the font is not clean, suffers from bad text placement and the emblem doesn’t make any sense, even with the explanation. Not to mention logos shouldn’t even need an explanation, as they ARE the explanation and representation for themselves, that should work even as a stand alone graphic. This is just bad work, sorry.

    • Well that doesn’t leave much room for me to respond, so I will just apologize for the offense you feel every time you visit our site in the future.

      • hahaha you have passionate readers Ryan. I like the new feel, its welcoming and it says you guys don’t take yourselfs too seriously, pretty accurate representation if you ask me.

    • And as a graphic designer *I* will say – I fucking love it. Real nice Ryan! Clean, simple, unique and reads well. And Julian was just rude man. There was no need for that whether he likes it or not. Even Milton Glaser doesn’t have the right to speak to people like that about their work (and almost definitely wouldn’t) – especially if it’s regarding something as personal as a brand or logo.

    • Every dork who has played around for 2 hours in photoshop calls himself ‘graphic designer’ and the way you argument tells me you’re just another one of these guys.

      • Really? Name calling? I suppose professionalism was not a part of your degree program. That said, dork is probably more accurate than not. 2 hours? More like 40 minutes for the both of them. Of course they’re not spectacular. I wasn’t commissioned to do them, I just had the time to putz around to help make my point. They were for illustrative purposes only. However, I do take a minor exception to your characterizations of my arguments (assuming you were including me in your comment). I’d be surprised if anything I said didn’t come up during the design process, even if in passing.

        Don’t forget, Ryan ASKED for feedback. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have said anything. You don’t know the first thing about me or what I’m capable of. I stand by the logos I’ve designed that I’m most fond of and I think they’ve held up extremely well. I’ve also made my share of crap. That’s the nature of the beast. Maybe I’m wrong but something tells me the nofilmschool gang will want the logo to change in 3-5 years. You don’t need to be a chef to know when something could use a little salt. I think the logo needs a little salt. And that’s not just the “designer” in me talking. It’s also the fan and admirer of great logos talking.

        • Joe Marine on 04.3.13 @ 8:00PM

          All right, let’s settle down everyone.

          • I’m good. I even tried to throw in a little self deprecation to help soften my response. At any rate, I’ll give it a rest.

        • Brian, why you think I meant you, I didn’t ?!?

          • My apologies. Since I was one of the few to give examples, I assumed I was included. We’re good either way. I wasn’t as perturbed as my response may have led some to believe.

          • I just re-read your post. I TOTALLY misunderstood your meaning. You meant the guy who made the comment has only spent 2 hours in Photoshop and thinks he’s a designer. I thought you meant the people who submitted examples but maybe only spent two hours doing so were the so-called designers. Damn, I FEEL STUPID NOW., mainly because my reading comprehension skills took a major dive. I don’t know how I messed that up.

    • as a fellow.. yea, graphic designer… might we take a moment to remember that any form of art or design is entirely preferential and subjective. There is absolutely no right or wrong way to do something in art. There are “preferred” methods and expectations, but it’s entirely in the eye of the beholder. Any self-inflated ego to be associated with “design” or “art” is as irrational as the presumption that your career is more valuable to society over that of a construction worker – regardless of how much attention or credibility to you have attained. If you’re going to offer criticism, do so effectively, and back your reasons by either offering solutions that you feel would be personally more adaptable, or by defining explanations for why you feel the way you do.

      I find it to be very fitting and tasteful, personally.

      • I have to disagree on the part that ‘any form of art or design is entirely preferential and subjective.’
        It may be true for art, but usually design has to fulfil a task and communicate certain content.
        In art you can say ‘I chose red because I like it’, in design you cannot.

  • Raoni Franco on 04.3.13 @ 4:39PM

    Wow here they come with a bag full of stones in their hands! But I have to say I didn’t like it too. I’m not a designer but what bugs me the most is the spherical thingy. For me it seems kinda useless. Just get rid of it and keep it simple, just the text.

  • Ben Prater on 04.3.13 @ 6:12PM

    Ryan, grats on starting a site redesign. (My big suggestion: make the homepage load fast, I love this site and it always feel like a slug to use especially on my tablet or phone.)

    Logo: I have to say — there is something “abrasive” about the gray color in the image part of the logo. It feels dark and dreary — and this site is anything but! Here’s a variation I threw together that feels more light and upbeat:

  • This is a great logo, it’s superb branding. I sincerely hope that most of the people here don’t do their own graphics after reading a lot of the reasoning for the dislike of the new logo.

    There are plenty of good things about this logo. The color scheme is great, it could use some tweaking, but essentially you’ve already created a great color scheme that I’ll assume will also correlate to sections or articles in the site. There’s at least 4 major sections that could be made from the color scheme. Secondly, it’s simple. Easier to print, to identify, more universal, more easily recognizable. I don’t know what it looks like BOW or WOB, but still, from a distance or in passing I’d get it. Third, it’s relevant. That’s great. It pays homage to film and it’s mantra without being cheesy or over the top, or blatantly obvious. And before people go “oh, it has nothing to do with film”, Apple’s logo doesn’t harken a computer and BMW doesn’t exactly explain itself as propellers.

    But hey, what do I care. I just don’t think it’s deserves the vitriol it’s getting. It’s a great brand in the design schema, colors and overall feel. And in today’s world branding > logo.

  • Right, Love you site. Love it! The overall design is good. Works on the web and mobile device. Good:) Your banner: never liked it, but this new logo, sorry Ryan, but i don’t like it. Not sure of the concept. I love discovering the detail about the amazon logo, thank you. For me a concept is good, but you gotta have that.. as we say in french «coup de coeur».. hard to translate, but « love at first site». its got to fit when we first see it and your new logo just doesn’t do it for me.. it will grow one me, but its not a branding that attracts me.. its.. awkward. But awkward is cool these days, so i dunno.. but thought i would share my opinion as i love your site and negative feedback is often more important then positive feedback in the world. Thank you for your site, my favorite, check it everyday, no matter what the design.

  • Sorry, but it doesn’t cut it for me. Specially that font. But doesn’t mean I wont be coming here anymore! Hope the content stays good and the focus of this. After a few years, NoFilmSchool is one of the only blogs I’ve actually stick with!

  • Looks boring. Too google/windows/every other logo with red green blue yellow in a circle.

  • I will be vote #14 for logo = lame.

    Love the site, but keep working on the logo.

    Why didn’t you “crowd source” the logo design here? You post and post and post about crowd sourcing and then this is the best logo you can make?

    • WOW never mind. There are 2 pages of people that don’t like the logo. Didn’t know it was disliked so much. Sorry to add to the mess. All that being said you should have ran a contest for fun. Bummer!

  • I’m getting childhood nostalgia with the new logo.
    Trivial Pursuit, Uno, Simon…. Look them up on google images.

  • Looking fresh. Out with the old, in with the new! Stoked about the new website. Keep up the good work.

  • Fresno Bob on 04.4.13 @ 7:45AM

    To preface: I actually am a graphic designer by trade working for a very big international company in a branding-heavy role. Have been in the business for 10 years now.

    My response? No, it doesn’t work. Why have you highlighted ‘film’? Surely ‘no’ is the key part here.
    You’ve done it so you can separate the words without using space – that’s a mistake.

    Too many colours also. Logos should only be 2 colour – a pantone and black.
    Yes I know this is the web age, but a logo should be timeless.

    The alignment is off also.
    Grey and blue work well together, so I’d remove all other colours.

  • Some of these comments are way out of line here and just plain rude. You should consider a “real name” policy.

  • I like the muted colors, folks are saying pastel, I wouldn’t call them pastel. Looks more like aged film, retro, maybe even like a “cinestyle” flat look before grading, nice!
    Also, I like the fact that “no” and “School” standout. That’s how it reads to me.

  • I like the fact that you guys got a new logo, but I think it could be better. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like it’s going to prevent me from visiting your site, but I feel like you guys deserve a better logo.

  • no offense to the designer, but no me gusta el logo.

  • Fredrick Dent on 04.6.13 @ 11:30AM

    Nice logo. Clean. Says what it means.

  • somehow too much ‘google chrome’ for me.