In a brief discussion today at the studio, we talked about logos that both encapsulate what the brand is about and are aesthetically pleasing. Here’s some interesting choices…
It may be a little cliche, but the logo is their overall brand. It is what it is.
I loved it as a kid and I always remember it. And that’s what a logo is supposed to be — memorable.
Regardless of if we drink it or not (I normally do not drink soft drinks) it is recognizable not only by the script font, but by the red and white colors, even in other countries.
Despite being rivals to my beloved Chelsea FC, I have always admired the Arsenal FC logo above all others in soccer for its toughness and throwback to classic British knight culture with the Union Jack color scheme, shield shape, and cannon logo.
I even proposed this question to our Twitter followers and had a quick response…
And dustinschmidt, also of Old Hat, said: “Apple. Works on so many levels.”
While browsing blogs yesterday, I was slapped in the face (not literally) by the latest entry from Graham Smith’s imjustcreative — a simple, yet overlooked, fact of logos is that they have to translate to other countries, languages, and cultures while still making their appearance recognizable. This can be very difficult. How do you make a logo, especially one that is only type, and turn it into something that someone from the U.S. will recall? Take for example, the Arabization of the Diesel logo:
This may seem a little out there to us, but notice the logo keeps the overall feel of the original typographic style. The question is, can every logo be converted this way? Reason would say no, but sometimes reason gets defied. Let’s look at this example of translating Starbucks Coffee:
The type seems a little off to me, but the distinctive green of Starbucks alone can trigger your memory. Logos that are images are usually much, much, much easier to translate. However, some logos have to be altered due to cultural sensitivities. Again, let’s look at Saudi Arabia and Starbucks:
This is the logo that you will see in that part of the world. The common siren logo was deemed “morally-inappropriate” for the country’s predominantly Muslim clientele. The official Starbucks logo was changed on signage throughout Saudi Arabia to feature the siren’s crown floating on a sea.
So as you see, it’s not always that logos can transition easily 100% of the time, but the designer in charge of converting these logos have to maintain enough traits that will trigger brand recognition all across the world, whether it be through typography, colors, or consistent imagery. I give credit to these brave souls who have to think outside the box and change something that can be so regionally/culturally specific and make it adequate for another part of the world.
We recently put the finishing touches on a logo for Prime, a physical therapy location in Ruston. Our goal with the new logo was to tie it in with the original logo for LOTS, the parent company of Prime.
Prime has combined the professional services of a gym with the expertise of a therapy clinic in a safe environment supervised by medical professionals. To represent this, the character in the Prime logo is meant to reflect the original character in the LOTS logo.
The new Prime logo is basically an extension of that logo, representing an evolving stage such as graduating from therapy but going forward and staying active.
We’ve used the word “brand” on here a lot. Mainly, it’s because branding is what we do as a marketing and graphic design firm. We use our talents to help companies/foundations/organizations project themselves everywhere. I’ve discussed rebranding and logos several times, but this time I’m going to hopefully explain why those things are important in the overall scheme of your business.
A brand isn’t a tangible thing. It’s the overall appearance and image the public has of your company, meaning people define it, not the company itself (although if managed correctly, the public’s perception will match yours). Where Donnie Bell Design comes in is that the foundation of a brand is the graphic design — logo, packaging, colors, fonts, promotional materials, and (more recently) social media.
We do a lot of branding for personal companies. For those, the founder usually decides how the brand wants to be perceived. We help them decide what attributes of themselves as well as their business they want to attribute to their brand.
Just like when starting a band, the hardest part is picking a name. It has to be original, likable, memorable, appropriate and easy to say/spell. Make sure it matches your core message — the driving force behind your brand — or is malleable enough that it doesn’t exclude or harm your message. Picking your core message is as simple as finding out who your target audience is, what you’re trying to do, and whether your message will fulfill what you’re trying to do for your audience. Once you have your core message, be consistent with it. People don’t like to be confused and if you change your message mid-stream, people will be confused. Your graphic design elements must be uniform on all your promotional materials — website, print promotions, blog, social media, etc. Again, that’s where we come in to help you decide on something that you and your audience will like and make it consistent.
Even though high school may have tried to tell us otherwise, you want to be different. Being different gets you noticed. Find out how you’re different and run with it.
Colors and fonts are important. Colors have meanings and if you pick the wrong one, you will handicap your brand from the start. Think about your favorite brands, what their core message is and what color schemes they use. Fonts have meanings that convey more of an appearance than feeling. The right font can make your product look fun, modern, or stylish. Again, with your core message in mind, find a font that suits you. And relating back to being different, custom fonts are definitely the way to go (another one of our abilities).
This is a brief rundown of the concept of a brand, and it gets much more in depth. Hopefully I’ve shed some light on what a brand is, what we do, and how important it is to not take good graphic design for granted.