Over the next two weeks we will look at many examples of logo design and an analysis of what makes them successful or not. We will also discuss a brief history of logo design and take a look at the work of some of the masters. Thomas Puckett, Global Creative Director of Grey Advertising will give us a presentation on the history of branding and advertising.
A logo is the mark that represents a company. 33 logos in 33 minutes is a good reminder of how bombarded we are by logos. A quick look at the controversy surrounding the London 2012 Olympics as a good demonstration of how difficult logo design can be and how controversial a bad logo can be. Jon Stewart articulated the failure well.
The logo is an expression of the brand and can be represented in just type. Logo designer Joe Finocchiaro does beautiful typography logo work.:
A logo can also be represented by type and a mark:
Or just as a mark, which generally means a company has very strong consumer awareness as is the case with the logos below:
A logo is one element of branding. Branding refers to the personality of the company and the visual and written elements that support that personality. Jet Blue is a brand about making flying fun, Target’s brand is good design and affordable prices.
Successful logos are:
- Practical, scalable and adapatable (as with the google logo)
- Successful logos are usually clever
Logo design generally starts with an idea and with sketches to explore the idea. We find logo design is best done initially in gray scale so the concept can be developed before color can distract from its articulation. Working in gray scale forces you to focus on the idea. Here is a sample of a logo design process we just went through with a client.
A few favorite and classic, iconic logos:
Considered one of the iconic logos of the twentieth century.
Original logo was a mussel shell introduced in 1900 and replaced in 1904 by the first version of the scallop shell motif.
Classic version was designed by Raymond Lowey in 1971.
The original Federal Express corporate logo was designed by Richard Runyan in 1973. The new FedEx logo is one of the most recognizable logos in the world. The logo was created in 1994 by Lindon Leader at Landor Associates, San Francisco. Along with Apple, Coca-Cola, Nike, IBM, Starbucks, McDonald’s and Playboy the FedEx logo considered one of the best modern logos. Note the right-pointing arrow located in the negative space between the E and x. Which is very obvious when pointed out but most people do not see it at first.
Here is an interesting Interview with the designer, Ruth Kedar The typeface is based on Catull, an old style serif typeface. Catull has a historic, chiseled feel but is treated here is a modern way. Google logo variations are indicative of the strength of the google brand.
Apple logo history
Started with Newton and evolved to the iconic apple
A surprising number of missteps in the evolution of the amazon logo
Generally logos do evolve over time. Here is an interesting look at the evolution of 50 well known logos.
Blogs and Websites
Assignment: Assignment Week 5 Choose an iconic logo designer whose work you think is excellent and come to class prepared to give a 4 minutes presentation on the designer and their work. A few good resources for research are Logo Design History and Iconic Logo Designers, but don't feel you need to limit yourself to individuals identified on those two sites. Assignment Week 6 Design a logo for the ITP program. Assume that the acronym I-T-P is sufficient. A good blog post to read before you start is Ten Logo Design Tips From the Field Post your sketches and the evolution of your thinking as well as the final logo to your blog.