How To Approach Your New Logo

Monday, 30 March 2009 at 2:00 am Pacific USA Time.

One thing that every seller needs is a good logo. I've always said there are two main approaches to logos: the symbol and the text treatment.

The symbol is something that can stand for the company, product, or service even when no words are there. I hope the As Was logo is that for you! You see our design and colours, and you know it's us even if "As Was" aren't there. Or think of the Nike swoosh. It doesn't have to say "Nike" for you to know. That's a symbol, to me anyway.

The text treatment is when you are really just writing the name out. Maybe you write it plainly like Coach or Prada, or maybe you write it with more pizazz like Yahoo or eBay. But ultimately, this is mostly about font and colour, and not about symbols.

This article in the Positive Space Blog goes further than my breakdown, and identifies 5 types of logos. As this may help you think about what kind of logo you want, I'll quickly run through them here.

What I call the text treatment, Positive Space calls the "wordmark." You're using text and font and colour for your logo.

Their 2nd type is "letterform marks." This is where the logo revolves around the use of individual letters that are designed or styled. I guess I'd think of Qwest or ADP as letterform logos.

Their 3rd type is "marks," which are like what I call symbols. Though in this case, they seem to categorise "marks" more as characters. Think the Trix Rabbit or Linux Penguin. Positive Space says these types of logos relate to the company or a brand attribute. I guess I'd put the Apple "apple" here, though I'd say the "iPhone" and "iPod" logos are really just text treatments.

Their 4th type is "abstract marks and symbols." These look at symbols that aren't any particular character. I think I'd put the Windows logo (the 4 coloured blocks that seem to be flying) here. Positive Space says these logos are about the brand message.

Their 5th type is the "emblem," which Positive Space describes as a combination of words and pictures that relate to the company, product, or service, and how they're positioning it. As an emblem, the slogan might even be part of the logo. I couldn't think of any off-hand. UPS maybe?

Remember that logo design is a really important aspect of your branding and identity. This may not be an area to cheap out. When we've seen cheapy logos, they look like someone stuck together one or two clip art images, and then threw in the name. Well, that's worth what you paid for it, especially since the same company might put together something quite similar for someone else. 

The logo should be memorable, which is why symbols often have more impact than just a text treatment. Think about what will be best for your business!

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Categories: That's Good Marketing

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One Response to “How To Approach Your New Logo”

  1. logo design says:

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