Great logo designs look incredibly simple. It’s easy to understand why one could think they are just as easy to create. Understanding how logos are designed is one way we can learn to appreciate logo design.
A logo is a conceptual visual representation of your company’s brand. Abstract icons that are simple work best. Detailed pictures or illustrations typically won’t do the job your logo needs to do to empower your brand.
This is the Google visual brand / brand. It is simple, childlike and friendly as they want their brand to be perceived. Is this a good perception? They think so and they have given us detailed info on their reasoning!
New logos usually mark a change of direction for a brand. K-Swiss and its newly launched brand identity and logo showcases a new “slant”. The company says it is in a period of resurgence and needed a refresh to reflect that. And that change of direction is literal.
The new logo was created by Yahoo’s in-house brand design group and product designers. It was not part of the “30 Days of Change” campaign, according to Ad Age.
So, the “30 Days of Change” was really just an exercise with no intention of using one of the 30 featured choices. They had already decided on the chosen logo.
CEO Marissa Mayer’s blog post reveals, “Over the subsequent weeks, we’ve worked on various applications and treatments of the logo.” Huh? She goes on to mention, “We knew we wanted a logo that reflected Yahoo — whimsical, yet sophisticated. Modern and fresh, with a nod to our history. Having a human touch, personal. Proud.”
A bit too involved for a CEO, but again, read more…
Results are a CEO-centric logo.
Yahoo is running a “30 Days of Change” new logo campaign. Each day in August they showcased a new design on their website, leading up to the unveiling of a new logo on September 5th. At first I thought this was meant to garner positive attention, hype and to just get people excited. Why not engage Yahoo users and ask for their votes? Sounds like a novel idea. Or why not allow other designers the opportunity of submitting their version? Yahoo has online polling asking visitors to rate each of the new Yahoo logos vs. the old one but, interestingly enough, most versions are not as well liked as the original logo.
“Our new logo reflects a rebuilt and forward looking AIG – contemporary, dynamic, transparent, and revitalized,” said CEO Robert H. Benmosche, in a press release.
All that in this new visual icon?
Yes. The new design uses a brighter color and a sans serif font lending a trendy, friendly look. I am surprised they didnt use all lower case letters which is also one of the most popular current trends.
Simple, yes. Effective, no. This minimal change will hardly differentiate AIG in a sea of brands.
Which poses the question: are they trying to create buzz around something without really making a change?
Microsoft’s new logo is its first major change in 25 years. This is their fifth logo since the company was founded 37 years ago.
At first I thought this was a joke but no folks, this IS real.
To kick off their new look and benefits of Total Rewards, Caesars Entertainment launched a promotional giveaway called “Escape to Total Rewards” with, they say, upwards of 90,000 in prizes including two-night trips to Las Vegas.
Total Rewards, the country’s leading entertainment loyalty program, is the incentive program for players at casinos owned by the 52 worldwide Caesars Entertainments. The more you play, the more complimentary rooms, meals, etc. you receive. Caesars Entertainment says they are “focused on building loyalty and value with their guests through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership”.
To play, you enter a code online and “spin.” An array of images passes before your eyes and where it stops determines what you win. When it stops on the new logo, all you get is an entry into the sweepstakes drawing at the end of the contest. So essentially … you lose.
You get up to 11 spins a day. This was actually brought to my attention by a friend who uses it. She tells me that she and her friends who have been playing to win since its inception (March 1), all have several dozen entries into the sweepstakes.
So now, when they see the “coveted logo” (that’s how it’s described when it comes up!), they feel a terrible letdown. Who needs another sweepstakes entry?
Is this very good brand building to have players associate the new logo with losing? For those who recognize the Total Rewards logo and are forming impressions of what it stands for . . . this is, indeed, a misstep!
As far as the logo visual, their statement is as follows: It is intended to “capture the energy and excitement of the Total Rewards program, and to illustrate the global network of experiences to which guests have access just by virtue of being a Total Rewards member”.
My thought is … this logo is analogous to someone who got out of bed and forgot to comb their hair before they went out. A tangled web, which is meant to represent their “global network of experiences”, with an angry “TR” inside it. Not much positive going on with this branding.
Is Longwood Gardens just plants, flowers and gardens? Is that their brand? This is one my favorite places to visit anytime of year and I see so much more each time I go. Who they are, is definately much more than that.
The new logo, a series of interlocking script letter “L”s is very pretty with its floral and trellis influences. It is an excellent literal translation and clearly says “flower”. But … is this logo a good representation of their brand? Does it begin to tell what Longwood Gardens is really all about and who they are?
What is a logo? Let’s get back to basics and review a list of what a logo should be.
Is the logo…
Simple shapes are easily identified.
Simplicity builds recognition.
When a visual is too detailed it becomes less recognizable.
The more easily identified, the more memorable.
The vision behind the logo speaks volumes about the company.
The visual should be easily recognizable at all sizes – small and large.
A visual representation of a concept?
Does your logo’s visual representation have meaning and significance to your company?
Does it use the positive and negative space effectively and meaningfully?
This logo can easily be helped by these visual brand rules.
It can be simpler. It could make better use of the positive-negative space. It could display a more contemporary and friendlier look and feel with the use of a sans serif font and upper and lower-case or just lower-case letters.
Here’s some basics to keep in mind….
In developing a visual brand we are creating a visual concept of your company. Behind your company there is a concept of who you are and what your objectives and goals are. Convey that clarity and the better your visual translation can be.
Put yourselves in your customers shoes for a good perspective. If you know your customer, then you know that they are visually and culturally evolving. Their visual sensibilities have been elevated by vastly improved visual effects in all media. So, help your brand evolve. Stay current and relevant to your customers visual world.
Speak to the Brand.
At face value Longwood Gardens is flowers but the brand is more than what you see when you go to Longwood Gardens. It’s what you don’t see that is equally as important.
See the new Longwood Gardens logo video here. It is terrific!