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Brand Identity

The Logo Remains Supreme

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The Logo Remains Supreme

Contrary to what many believe, the logo is still the main event in communicating the essence of what a brand represents. Within our obsessively condensed attention spans, the logo is more important than ever.

Make no mistake, logos are ubiquitous and so are their creators. In an era of $100 logo design and crowd sourcing, one might conclude the discipline of logo creation has been reduced to automated assemblies of database centered type fonts, symbols, icons and pictograms. Seemingly, anyone with a flair for color and arrangement ought to be able to cobble together a decent logo.

Many big name brands have recently tweaked their logos in a crowd-sourced craze to connect with their customers (think Gap and JC Penney). Seemingly brand owners have devalued the importance of their logos through their adoption of these online easy-do-it yourself-generic-creativity-generating portals.  As a result, web sites like HP’s Logoworks have become thriving businesses.

On the other hand…

Creating a logo that brings enduring value and differentiation to the business enterprise it represents requires deep insight and highly specialized talent and skill.

As our world gets smaller through the technology advances in how humans interact and communicate, logos that are instantly recognized and clearly understood are more important and more valuable than ever.

The logo must work so much harder today–especially when compressed down to sixteen pixels favicons, used as buttons, links, or embedded in content on a mobile screen. The space is getting smaller and the white noise in the slush pile of the marketplace is getting louder. Truly effective logo design is being pushed to new limits delivering instant recognition in ever-smaller digital footprints.  Beyond the communication idea, these are important design considerations many brand owners are just beginning to realize and evolve their identities with the times.

And more importantly, when a logo can transcend any language, linguistic or cultural barrier, and still represent a compelling brand story, its value to brand owners increases exponentially.

What Paul Rand said about the importance of the logo three decades ago still holds true today: “If, in the business of communication, image is king, the essence of this image, the logo, is the jewel in its crown”.

Logos have always been an abbreviation for our preferences, and symbolic of the value that defines who we are and what we promise. For centuries, logo forms have been stitched into the visual fabric that surrounds and connects us. The logo and the ideals it represents are more important than ever–and so is the discipline and process of creating them.

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1 Comment

Dean on July 22nd, 2011 said

Excellent, well argued. Creative people too often overlook the value of the logo. When my art director and I are working on brand advertising and are stuck for an idea, we usually discover one hiding away in the logo.

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