Logo Design Services Hockessin DE
Kennett Square, PA
Brand Logo Basics
It is at least as important for a logo to be recognizable as it is for it to be readable. Often, people are only able to get a quick glance at the logo, and then only at a distance. In those instances, recognition, not readability, is all that counts. That is why it is so important to integrate recognizable icons, shapes, type fonts and colors into a logo’s design.
Some logos were created during the era of big department stores and were designed as signatures to fit on the side of buildings. So, these logos are more square in orientation than they are horizontal. Many of these now seem outdated (if they haven’t been updated). Hallmark’s logo belongs to this class. Others were designed as corporate logos to reinforce leadership and stability (AT&T, IBM). Many of these now seem cold and sterile. Some logos are more fun – communicating more of a personality (Apple, MTV, Ebay).
Today, logos must be designed with the foresight that they will be used in multi-media environments (from TV to the Internet). That means colors, animation and sound sequences (like NBC, Intel, AOL, Harley-Davidson [engine sound], and Maxwell House) should be considered.
Customization: Building A Brand Advantage
First came Nike iD, a customization concept that enabled consumers to design their own pair of Nike shoes. Then Jones Soda offered a customization platform: bottles became vehicles for consumers’ customized labels, Jones Soda even guaranteeing brand fans that their bottles would be distributed in stores. Shortly thereafter, Build-A-Bear broke new ground in the teddy bear game inviting kids to use their imaginations and construct their own bears. Imagine the LEGO factory enabling kids to design their own LEGO sets. Consider Mercedes-Benz’s design-your-own-car option and, of course, the hundreds of clothing web sites that offer consumers the chance to design their ideal streetwear. These consumer lures have all been exercised in parallel with the online world to which the very concept of customization is fundamental and in which the potential for customization has yet to be fully exploited.
Once we’ve had the chance to pick and choose, to become kings and queens of our own brand universes, product functions and designs, there’s no turning back. In the future we will be able to customize every consumer item we use. The days of Henry Ford’s manufacturing mantra — “You can have it in any color you want as long as it's black” — are, even now, long gone. The question thus arises, what’s the role of the brand? Is it at all possible to build a brand if its products can be customized by its consumers?
The answer is simple: the role of the brand is to remain instantly recognizable, even without its logo.
Take the your iPod as an example. Where’s the logo on it? You may not have consciously examined an iPod to discover this but you may be surprised to learn that the logo is hidden on the back, not displayed prominently on the front as any marketer would have insisted on. Yet I’m sure no-one in the world would confuse, say, a SONY Walkman with an iPod. The comparison demonstrates a crucial feature of good branding. Were the SONY Walkman to remove its logo, the device could be identified as being the product of any other number of competitor companies, from Panasonic to Samsung. But no-one would mistake the iPod for one of its competitors.
And here’s more cleverness. You may immediately claim that the distinctive white of the iPods components sets it apart. But an iPod in yellow, blue or red would be equally recognizable. The fact is that the brand has been so embedded into the product that every square inch of it is the brand. The logo is just the final dot on the “i”.
If you break down the Apple brand and examine each of its components, you’ll realize that the logo is a very small part in the whole equation. Today Apple owns the navigation wheel, the materials (combining steel and plastic), the rounded shape, the simplicity of design, the weight, the navigation, the navigation sound, the slow yet balanced movements (when navigating) and, of course, the distinctive white earphones which signal that an iPod is hidden in the wearer’s po...