Our objective is to deliver a series of posts on the purpose of logos and why they are an important part of your business’ brand. The goal is to really dig into the topic and examine different aspects of why they matter.

Part 1: What Logos Do: Logos Deliver The Basics

Logos are the essence of your brand identity with the unique psychology of font, colour and shape. Moreover, they communicate your message about your company, efficiently and effectively, to your potential customers.

shopacholic woman

For most people logos are a type of instant recognition of a company or service. In a previous post I have written about Critical Aspects of Creating a Logo and What Logos Do. This present series complements some topics on why it is so important for your business to have this symbol of text and images that we call a logo and the direct and indirect consequences to your company and to your customer.

Let’s suppose that your CEO asks you to create a little symbol that depicts what the company is about, the company’s authority and credibility before the customers, the ethical future of the company and the emotional response to the customer. For this symbol, you have to use words and images your customers can understand to be able to connect with them and, besides that, the little symbol will be spread to hundreds of places in different locations and different media. And, finally, these symbols have to last forever.

creating a logo
light as an idea

WELL, WHY NOT?

 Don’t get cranky! After all, this CEO just wants to stand out from the crowd with a professional and consistent branding style. And he/she wants the creation of a memorable symbol to identify the company to the customers and, subsequently, persuade them with their credibility.

This is what a logo does. Actually, the word logo comes from Greek and it means ‘reason’ or ‘plan’ – “the divine reason implicit in the cosmos, ordering and giving it form and meaning” (Britannica).

logos in Greek
Logos in Greek

The Greek philosophers, especially, offer us a wealth of reading on the metaphysical and theological systems to describe and define this principle, but what is mainly important for us as marketers now is the inseparable identification of the logos with the company it represents and, also, the reason to convince or persuade the target audience by engaging that reason.  

 Analysing this context of aspirations, virtues and reminders, we can understand the power that logos have nowadays.

THE MEDIEVAL TIME

wrought-iron guild sign of a glazier in Germany
Wrought-iron guild sign of a glazier in Germany

By the 1400s, the logos were part of the trademark of companies used to distinguish them from the others in the same business trade. The signs carried by the numerous craft guilds established their well-trained skills to potential clients assuring them of the socioeconomic and political powers to protect both companies and consumers.

THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

During this time the perception of trademark started to evolve more intensely with the visual aspect having a bigger impact. By 1890s corporate consciousness was everywhere with products being manufactured in mass scale. As a result, this scale gave birth to the beginnings of corporate image and brand identity starting to come to the market to find ways to make products different and unique.   

Prudencialk logos
Prudential has been using the Rock of Gibraltar as their logo since the 1870s. The ornate frame was replaced to an easily recognised icon as we can see through the years.

WHAT IS TRENDING NOW

Nowadays logos don’t follow the same guidelines used in the past. Most of its revolution started in the 1940s. The legend graphic designer Paul Rand, the creator of the logos for IBM, UPS, Enron, Westinghouse, ABC, and Steve Jobs’s NeXT among many others, started designing logos that would appeal on a personal level to the consumer audiences accommodating a big variety of the latest technologies graphics and designs reaching new heights and new power within the business world.

Now, logos continue on the same trend with a tendency to be simpler and more effective using various styles, fonts, visual effects and delivering a clear, well-defined message of uniqueness and individuality.

MAIN ASSESSMENT OF A LOGO DESIGNING

 The foundational criteria of a logo assessment include:

  1. Is the logo distinctive among the crowd to identify the company?
  2. Is the logo visible and interpreted at a glance even in black and white?
  3. Is the logo adaptable to different reproduction in tangible and/or virtual media?
  4. Is the logo memorable, unforgettable to a broad audience of viewers identifying it to a product?
  5. Is the logo universal to appeal consistently to a diverse range of people?
  6. Is the logo timeless? Is it a logo that will never go out of style?
  7. Is the logo simple and effective to unveil a pure view of the product? Could you draw it with a pencil in a few seconds?

“A logo cannot survive unless it is designed with the utmost simplicity and restraint”

Paul Rand

So, now that we have examined the assessment of a logo, even though it was a very brief one, we could start analysing the way they work to your company. This first article in the series will see what logos do in the interaction of your company with your audience.

What Logos do: LOGOS DELIVER THE BASICS

Appealing to your audience involves more than research into their gender and income. It is tough to understand your client. You have to develop a mark to withstand among the millions of other marks around. You need to project an image of comfort, security, familiarity and emotional connection with your potential customer. Your logo and your trademark need to influence the consumer decisions to purchase your product or use your service to reach the solution they are looking for.

The design by Bill Kennard is based on the waveform of an oscilloscope (laboratory instrument used to display and analyse the waveform of electronic signals). Simplicity of design balanced with the suggestion of movement.

So, when your logo delivers the basic needs of that solution, among the many other thousands of solutions being offered in the market, your specific solution should be taste-tempting to the consumer, just like when you feel hungry for a product being advertised. And it must guarantee that subsequent experiences will be equally pleasurable.

ADDING VALUE TO YOUR BRAND

It is even more effective when the brand can offer other value-added incentives to what the logo identifies. Think for example of the toys and games McDonald offers or the toy collectables in Happy Meals, besides a comfortable place to relax in a good coffeehouse atmosphere. Branding deals with this combination to provide a visual-look and a visual message that communicates the quality of your product.

We always must remember that consumers do not live on bread alone. When people buy a specific product brand they actually are reacting to the product’s complete identity. They are many times looking for the pleasure your product will give them. The logo designer will use typographic image and style to produce a combination that clearly conveys your brand’s core idea – the theme that drives the entire visual message and communicates the happiness and satisfaction that purchasing your product will bring.  

Qantas logos
Qantas’ flying kangaroo is a true Australian icon. This logo remains unforgettable with the native kangaroo and the bold red colour as a symbol of   of the Australian business.
A logo is only effective when it embodies that which it’s meant to signify”

Next post: LOGOS CREATE MEMORABLE SUBSTANTIAL FIRST IMPRESSION

Sources:
http://www.britannica.com/topic/logos
http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/logos/
entrepreneurshandbook.co/the-7-step-paul-rand-logo-test-5c7b546af17b
http://www.templatemonster.com/blog/logo-design-history/
http://www.kwikkopy.com.au/blog/10-of-the-best-australian-logos

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Cidinha Moss