What is a logo?
A logo is an image used to identify and distinguish a company and promote instant recognition without the use of language. It is the picture that embodies an organisation. A swoosh, a ribbon, a castle, shell or an apple, all of these logos are familiar to us because of the exposure we get to them and the quality of the products we associate with them.
The apple logo for Apple Inc. is one of the most recognized logos in the world today, and the shape is what identifies the company more than the color. The apple is said to have been taken from the bible story of Adam and Eve and is said to represent the apple on the tree of knowledge. There is also a pun on the word “byte/bite”. The name Macintosh, commonly referred to as “the Apple Mac” was coined by an Apple employee who named it after his favourite variety of apple, which tied in nicely with the fruit theme.
International Business Machines might not be a familiar company name but IBM, also known as “big blue” simplified their name and logo to become one of the biggest, and most well-known, IT services company in the world with the colour blue being the signature in their unifying campaign.
Mc Donalds doesn’t need to put their name in a neon sign above their restaurants, simply placing the golden arches of the “m” in the air alerts everyone as to where they are in the near vicinity and it can be seen from miles around. It was found in the USA that the golden arches were more recognisable to children of that country than a picture of Santa Claus.
Brand consultants managed to convince the Federal Express to change their logo to the popular abbreviation, “Fed Ex”, making the name easy to remember and saving the company thousands of dollars in paint costs because of the reduced amount of colours used on their vehicle branding (planes and trucks) and the arrow was introduced in the negative space between the “Fed” and “Ex” to emphasize speed and precision.
The Mercedes Benz ‘three star logo’ represents their dominance on land, sea and air. Each and every automotive manufacturer uses a symbol or logo to distinguish their car from all the rest.
The countless logo quiz games on the internet and even apps for logo guessing games on smartphones should alert us as to the effectiveness of utilising a logo to represent your company. One search on logo quizzes turns up as many as 276,000,000 results. Amazingly, some of the branding games don’t even include the entire logo, just a small corner or a typeface and people correctly guess the logos because they are familiar to us, being fed through television commercials, signboards, in the magazines and newspapers, in new media and on every single product we purchase. We are taught to recognise products by their logos and put value to the product depending on the brand.
What is the use of a logo?
The logo or brand mark is a design element such as a symbol that provides visual or auditory recognition for your product. The point of a logo is to give your organisation an identity, to differentiate your company from every other company in your field and, in fact, every other company worldwide. It is an essential part of branding your company and your website and marketing it offline and online. One study showed that we are exposed to about 200 logos or brand marks per hour. It is estimated that the market size for logo design in the United States is at 3 billion US dollars and more than 10 billion dollars spent globally by English speaking countries on logo design services that are found in on-line search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing.
Marketing is a psychological effort to get a logo out and get the target market to associate a sign or logo with a name and brand. An astute example is Coca-cola which is easily identifiable in every country in the world because of their colour, ribbon, font and the shape of their bottles, which is also trademarked. Their jingle is easily recognisable in any of their adverts, as well as songs that they have commissioned. We are barraged with logos daily; from a white bird representing Twitter which is present on almost every website visited as well as a white letter “f” with a blue background representing Facebook.
Apple Inc. morphed into more than just a company or corporation, it has become a representation of a lifestyle or culture and a status symbol complete with a larger fan base than most pop stars.When we look at the largest companies it becomes clear that marketing using logos is one hundred percent effective.
Designing a logo is not merely picking a picture which would appease you. The logo has to have a uniqueness, and give the consumers a certain feeling toward your brand-trust, warmth, loyalty, admiration- and should imply a superiority. Your logo should derive meaning from the quality of your product. Designing a logo encompassing all of these traits is not an easily achieved feat, which is why designers play such an important role.
Why to keep it simple and easy to remember?
Your logo needs to convey its message in a single instant and build a brand communication with your consumers. The one thing all recognizable logos have in common is simplicity and distinctiveness. Your brand communication is not an occasional activity, it is a permanent and ongoing effort to build and prove your organizations viability.
Having a logo that is too complicated, with too many visual elements and information will not allow viewers to assimilate or absorb the picture. Having a logo too similar to a competitors will cause your company to lose all the money they have pitched into marketing. If a business has not put a strong enough link between themselves and their logo or brand then the logo is lost among all the brands we are exposed to. The benefit of logos is that they assist the consumer in linking a product and a brand. The logo should be immediately recognisable and familiar. The point of a logo is not to confuse but to communicate with your consumers.
Your company could very easily use their name to distinguish themselves from others but symbols or logos will be more effective than written names as they don’t have the need to be translated, pictographs are recognisable in any language. There are five main types of logos, namely wordmark, lettermark, pictorial, abstract and emblem. The most commonly used logos are wordmark and lettermark but see which option will add value to your company and give it an organizational identity along with a strong connection to your company.
Logos work, make them work for your company.