We all notice different forms of logos across many platforms, from social media, brand placement on shopping bags, to a little crisp packet.
However, I wonder why we see some but not all? You may have noticed the KFC logo walking down the street on a discarded paper bag, then later find you desire some crispy chicken.
What is it that makes this urge come to the forefront of our minds?
Effective branding, done in the proper and professional manner, is of vast importance to businesses development and the way they are viewed — whether it is the car manufacturer Ford or sports giant NIKE.
Both use very different design strategies to portray the business. However, one thing I find is there is absolute simplicity in their design.
The Ford brand did not have that beginning; their first logo in 1903 was very busy and expressed a different styling altogether. Originally the logo design had the name across “Ford Motor Co.” with the addition of where they originated. Surrounded by a very busy border, displaying how they have changed and then simply tweaked the very easily recognised design.
The logo in 1909 adopted a much cleaner finish to the design, rather than the bordered previous iteration. The plan did not last very long as in 1912 the image changed twice.
Thus, good results as the latter of the two designs have stood the test of time with very simple colour changes and slight adjustments over the years.
This final result shows the new modern era of design and the higher quality look, required for maintaining a good brand image that is still working today. This highlights how companies should be open to changing their image to reap the rewards.
As the older logos would not showcase the development of the company throughout the years, this rebranding strategy has been replicated by companies all over the world. The process of recreating your logo is what makes the decision harder.
To design the right way is to ask yourself: who is your target audience?
If it is an audience such as young children, you will go to Toys “R” Us as an example. Simple elements of how their lettering is not bold or solid.
However, it brings a manner as though it has been written by a child, portraying playfulness. This helps associate the brand with whom they are targeting — while allowing the logo to become more relevant to their target audience.
This adds the benefit of association.
It leads the older audience demographic to understand that if they require an item for a younger family member, they know that Toys “R” Us is the correct place to go to receive the right service.
The use of colour is very different to that of Ford, where Ford as expressing a reliable, professionally made motorcar, rather than the retail company of Toys “R” Us.
Having these colours attracts the eye in a different manner, especially the younger generation which excites them into wanting to purchase products from an entirely different age group.
The use of the backwards “R” creates a playfulness, rather than spelling it correctly or placing it the correct way round. Good usage of the text colours and techniques make your logo relevant.
We all want an iconic logo for greater results. However, when you think of an iconic logo, many think of Apple, Starbucks and EBay to name a few.
They were not always considered iconic, as they have all had to begin somewhere, develop them and adapt to what we recognise now.
The simplicity of each is where I feel the key to good design lies. They do not have any gimmick or over complicated design. Instead, all boast a core relevance to where they begin as a logo design.
• Apple’s original logo (with Sir Isaac Newton sitting under a tree as a highlighted apple is ready to fall) is still referenced with the apple having a bite taken from it. However, as successfully as they have risen in the past two decades to become a global superpower, they must have products due to the association.
• Starbucks “Twin Tailed Siren” is now the main imagery related to the Starbucks brand. The original had the company name, along with “Fresh Roasted Coffee” in a border around the “Siren” to state what was their business. Then again in 2011, the border saying “Starbucks Coffee” was removed to leave quite a simple close up of the “twin-tailed siren”. The image is very easily recognisable through association of their humble beginning and only slightly adapting the design rather than starting a new.
- EBay showed another change of strategy, which may not seem drastic, but has changed its perception and created a more approachable brand. The previously viewed ‘crazy lettering’, with irregular letter placement and sizes, moved to a simpler text format and all the lettering on one line, giving and appearance of almost being three dimensional.
The examples above show ways that a logo design work for businesses of all sizes and history to then provide a professional service — along with an understanding of how this affects public perception and relevance.
Professional logo designs are becoming more common, making the stock, cheap logo design templates stand out as being very poorly created and overused.
This may work to an extent, however, trying to replicate another’s model or design process I feel only detracts from the journey your company’s logo design and branding can take.
A favourite of mine is the story behind the Lacoste logo design. Rene Lacoste, the owner and tennis player, made a bet on a match in which, if he had won he would receive a crocodile skin suitcase.
Unfortunately, he lost the match and the bet, inheriting the nickname of the “crocodile”, leading him having a crocodile embroidered onto his blazer.
This, in turn, created a brand and led to how the Lacoste logo design is still very recognisable.
All very different designs, stories and inspirations are included in the direction logo design is moving nowadays.
I feel logo design systems are becoming more popular after the famous “Google doodles”. Simple use of the framework and introducing world or historical events has made it synonymous with Google’s appeal.
The “doodles” change throughout the world for location, national importance and any updates in world news. Ensures all doodles to be accurate and add a sense of value to the user of Google.
Another great use of the logo design system is the MTV branding. Changing the colours and usage of more dynamic shapes and designs creates a more appealing logo.
In doing so, this feels ever changing, as though they are not just resting on their previous, instead pushing forward to remain unique and up to date.
MTV have been adapting their design in this way for years and have continued the trend. This tactic has allowed them to remain relevant and ahead of their competitors.
Most design systems are implemented by larger organisations as their budgets enable them to do so. They can delegate these tasks to other companies to remain ahead of design trends.
This means smaller businesses with lesser budgets to spend on their logos, are better off developing a professional logo design, so as to have their brand image implemented from the beginning.
When the time comes and the growth of your business requires a unique approach to your marketing strategy, your business will be better suited in the transition of either adapting your design and brand image, or moving into the logo systems approach.
At times, getting a professional logo design may mean higher costs initially. This could be viewed as a negative, but I feel it means the design you have obtained professionally is more current than a quick fix logo design option.
The design will not need to be changed, instead adapted with the growth of your business and what new direction you plan to move forward on.
Whether that is a simple tweaking of your brand design, or introducing a logo design system, there are many ways to proceed. With the way design is going, it does pay to produce a higher quality logo from the offset rather trying to catch up with the trends of tomorrow.
So how valuable is a professional logo design?
It can create a link between the consumer and business; make your brand sit at the forefront of your customers’ needs automatically through positive association.
Having the right logo design from the beginning is critical. To remain with it throughout the years, but being open to change, also creates a feeling of pushing for more. Ultimately it renews interest, keeping you ahead of your competitors in the long run.
Learn More about Professional Logo Design
Originally published at inkbotdesign.com on May 12, 2016.