A funny thing happened on the way to work the other day –I saw two men arguing about which brand of fizzy drink they preferred, all because of the drink’s image.
Branding – Is it all about the logo?
Being a graphic designer, I hear about image and branding all the time – generally from marketing experts who will no doubt charge their clients a lot of money for their expertise.
Now, don’t get me wrong, you CAN get what you pay for, and if you are a large company there are many things to consider, right down to what your employees say and where you advertise.
But, for the majority of businesses out there, branding starts with one thing – your logo.
Here’s a couple of great logos I like:
The Chupa Chups logo was designed in the late 60s by the wonderful surrealist painter Salvador Dali. For that fact alone it should be awarded an Olympic gold medal for logos, but the very longevity of it, as with all the best logo designs, puts it on the highest podium. It is simple, classic, fits the product perfectly, and is instantly recognisable. As is my next choice.
Ahh, the ‘Golden Arches’! The saviour of many a weary traveller. The very fact that it can be ‘described’ and recognised without the need for the logo puts it in the gold category too. Add to that the beautiful curves of a creative typeface – and who says ‘yellow’ doesn’t work in a logo!
So, finally, to a villain that didn’t even get on the podium (in fact, was disqualified before the race):
‘Why?’ you say. ‘Why is this logo, seen all across the world, relegated to the dustbin of logos, in your eyes?’. I’ll tell you why (some of you may know this). The point of this logo is to show ‘direction’, Fed Ex going from A to B. It does that in the form of an arrow, which can be seen between the capital ‘E’ and the ‘x’. Clever eh? Well, no, because here is my problem: If you have to explain a logo, then it hasn’t served its purpose. If I had worked for ‘Sketchy, Sketchy, and Sketchy’ (or whoever FedEx paid lots of money to design this logo) I would have simply added another colour, an outline, or a slight shadow, to emphasise the point that is clearly being missed.
It’s a great place to start
So, once you’ve got your logo right, other elements start to fall into place: the primary colours of your brand, translated onto literature, livery, clothing, interior office design; the typefaces you use and how you use them. Don’t over complicate ‘Your Brand’ if you don’t have to, but be consistent with your message and look.