Logos should have logic

People and companies are often very protective, precious even, when it comes to their logo. The more affiliation you have with your logo, the more personal it feels. And that’s no bad thing.

So any criticism or comment about your logo can be a bit like someone saying something adverse or challenging about someone in your family.

Yet creatives are regularly producing updated or fresh new versions of logos, sometimes for a complete rebranding – with a new name, a new slogan, a new image.

Presenting a seminar to the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, I showed how big commercial enterprises have continued to prosper with the same or much the same logo for decades.

Think of any of the car manufacturers, the food suppliers, the leading consumer brands, the high street shops. Memorability can only help bankability.

At questions afterwards, up spoke a management consultant, firmly but respectfully saying that he saw rebranding as a constant option as a means of helping a client’s business.

I said and would generally say that if you do change any aspect of your ID, it needs to a logical development. Design is always open to modernisation and revisualisation, but don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater…

Evolution builds on an existing platform, revolution is only for when you want a new launch or major rebrand. But sometimes even major names need just that.

We all know that UK political parties are ever more desperate to engage with and appeal to the great British public. And it’s worth watching how their logos change between elections to try and appeal to voters as moods and priorities change.

Just look at the difference in Conservative logos between the days of Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron – same party, but a whole mood and tone to set, leading to a completely different brief to the design team.

Depending on how much out of the wood we are, socially and economically, it will be well worth watching what logo we get for the next election!

Here are 7 things to consider before designing a logo:

1) Situation and background

What’s the big picture? Is the logo for a new company, or a new service, a new product? What’s going on in the market – any opportunities or problems?

2) Objectives

What role will the logo play, particularly if it’s changing? To break into a certain market? To increase or support sales? Change perceptions? Cement relationships?

3) Target audience

Who is the prime target? What do we know about their needs, problems, habits and preferences?

4) Content – key messages

What features, benefits, services or values need to be conveyed or implied?

5) Tone and style

What is right for the audience? Professional and business-like? Funky? Aspirational? Empathetic?

6) Creative development

What else needs considering? What about brand or company personality, consumer feedback, client comments, creative ideas?

7) Impact

Make sure it’s easy to read and individual – make it your brand, not just a me-too.


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