I took a course at WPI called Visual Rhetoric (WR2310). One of the assignments was to analyze a logo; I've included it above. The specific assignment asked us to analyze a logo and explain how it did or did not communicate the "the organization’s identity, image, positions, intention, and philosophy."
The logo for CarGurus, Inc. (http://www.cargurus.com) is shown in Figure 1. CarGurus is a car shopping web site where consumers can see both dealer-provided and private car listings and compare various specifications on listed cars. They can use the site to contact the dealer or private lister and then negotiate for test drives or purchase outside of the site.
The logo conveys a human aspect by turning the first letters of the two words into faces; this also reassures the site visitor that there are humans behind the site both providing information and assisting them through a prominent link. The site has a Questions section where users can both ask and answer questions, so there are many people available to help.
The font used is a san serif font with large open characters; this results in a rather informal feel. This isn’t a stuffy site that will talk down to someone trying to find a cheaper car. Nor is it only for so-called “gear heads”; normal people can find what they are looking for.
The colours are bold and contrast very well, effectively breaking up the logo into two words. While the company name is perhaps difficult to say, the logo makes it very clear this is a car-related site and tries to convey some expertise by the informal use of Gurus.
There are aspects of the company’s philosophy and intentions that are not well communicated by the logo. For example, the company values “price transparency” in that they show the price history of a listing and give it a rating based on similar listings, but nothing about the logo shows this. In addition, the company wants to provide a comprehensive set of car data but that also isn’t shown by the logo (or the name).
However, the logo does a reasonable job of communicating the company’s identity, image and philosophy of being a human-centered, friendly, helpful and easy to use car site.