What Your Logo Doesn't Say About Your Business!
Logos are everywhere. The marks that define a business or company. The general idea is that they are recognizable and portray a feeling for what the company behind them is all about. Nearly all designers hold to the idea that "keeping things simple" is the best way forward. Clutter is a thing of the past and clean design is the thing to aspire to. The question for the modern designer is, "In a world so full of logo designs what is it that we should put into a logo design and what should we leave out? Here are a few of our ideas on logo design for the modern business...
Consider some of the worlds most famous brands. Do they depict what the company literally does. Does "Nike" have an emblem of a trainer for it's mark? Does "Coca-Cola" have a picture of a glass of liquid for it's logo? Does "Vodafone" have a mark depicting a mobile phone, "Apple" or "IBM" a computer? No. Why is this you may ask? Well for a start the products and services of a company change over time which may mean that a literal logo would need to change on a regular basis. Why not an abstract representation then, you may ask. Well, the truth of it all is that the modern logo is not something that depicts EVERYTHING that a company does. The modern logo is more about how the company does it.
A logo needs to embody the culture of the company and most of the time the culture of a company has little to do with the products it sells. For example apple are a computer company but their name and emblem has nothing to do with computers. Their mark is an apple with a chunk taken out of it. This maybe suggests having a 'bite of the apple', getting 'your teeth into something special'. Normally the brand is very clean and non obtrusive. This again gives the feeling that this company creates products which integrate seamlessly into their customers lives and that they offer a slick and professional service. All of these things are portrayed in the simplicity of their logo.Coca Cola on the other hand have a brilliantly swirly typographic logo. This gives the feeling of history, movement and fun. Again these are all attributes of the culture of their business but does not depict the literal products which they produce.
So when considering a new logo, or even an update from an old logo, why not try to think about the culture and qualities of your company rather than what you literally sell. What your logo doesn't say can be more important than what it does say! Your logo will become cleaner, more attractive and will have longevity. It will also have a quality about it, a self assurance which breaths professionalism.
“Hang on a moment”, we hear you say, “but if my logo doesn’t say exactly what I do then how will people know exactly what I do”? Well, this all comes down to placement.
How many times do you see a logo all alone? Not many at all. Logos are often placed alongside an image and a marketing message which normally display, more literally what your company delivers. On a website for example, your logo will appear but will be accompanied alongside information which tells people what you literally do. On an advert your logo may appear next to an image of a product you are promoting. Again the literal is seen in the image and message but not in the logo.
This way of communicating is far more effective than trying to communicate everything literally in a logo. For a start you can keep your message very simple and direct it to a key audience. For example you may deal differently with a blue chip client than you would with a small or medium sized business. If you can target who is looking at your messages you can make sure you are appealing in the right way to the right people. A simple logo will be able to appeal to all audiences even though it may be placed on advertising directed to different classes of consumers.
It’s also a good idea to remember that what you literally do or sell can be adapted an built into your over-all branding style. For example you could develop a series of icons which depict different product areas. You could also have a slogan or catch phrase which you can sit next to your logo. These things can be updated or changed at little or no cost.
So we have shown that what you include in the design of a logo can be just as important as what you leave out. We have seen that in a modern logo, aspirational ideas, rather than literal ideas, are portrayed and that this has many benefits.
Do you agree? Or maybe dis-agree? If you have any comments or suggestions please feel free to leave a comment below...
DISCLIAMER: The images used in this post have not been created by Attitude Design and are simply used for reference and examples.