Refreshing the Logo, Part 2

Oct 30, 2008

Part 2: Getting it right

This is the second part look at logo design. Before I proceed, I want to summarise in a few key words the concepts of logo design: Unique, Clear, Eye-Catching, Simple and Bold.

Reflecting upon part 1, Apple started with a logo that was a great idea, but it was not clear and eye-catching. This is an easy mistake to make when starting out, because of the necessity to rush to get to market quickly. Furthermore, a design can become dated over the life of the company and at other times the company may need to refresh their image to improve their marketing position, as demonstrated by Apple in the late 1990’s. These times of logo redesign are an essential part of the re-dressing of the overall company image.

You may be wondering about the band of images to the right. This is an attempt to demonstrate to how an evolution of design occurs within the “dark art” of graphic design. As you can determine from the strip the process is not about abandoning the old design, but building upon the original strengths of good concepts and ideas. The ultimate goal of the refresh, was not to throw out the strong image, but make it more suitable as a logo.

The brief involved a requirement to update the logo to better reflect the background and culture of eight square studio. While also taking into consideration the advancement of technology, skills, current media culture and focus market. This marketing information and background is vital to ensure that the design is appropriate to the direction and desired market of the company.

The design process requires a stripping away of the complexity back to the bare essentials, as shown in the second frame. Leaving with a coloured rectangle containing the eight. Then comes the process of experimentation, sketching, considering the nature of the company, the brief, current trends and fashions. I have left out experiments that did not directly result in the refreshed logo, to show the process of stripping back and redefining is clear.

Key considerations for refreshing your logo:

  1. A refreshed logo should continue to reflect the current and future objectives of a business.
  2. Never loose sight of the fact that the previous logo helped build your brand and the new logo should pay homage or create a continuity with the old logo.
  3. The purpose of a refresh is to help solidify, advance and as necessary re-contextualize the brand. The logo redesign should be a small part of the website, the stationary, any marketing or sales material, etc. design to ensure brand continuity.
  4. Brand is a holistic thing, its not just about a single small logo, although this helps underpin marketing. It should also be reflected in your company’s sales and marketing materials, how it deals with customers, how you make sales, how you provide after sales support, etc.
  5. Simplicity and a striking design are more important than the logo describing what the company is or does.

For further reading I would recommend reviewing:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logo
http://creativebits.org/what_is_a_logo

Posted by Thomas Cowell

Tags: branding, design, logo