Business owners, as most business owners are wont to do, hope to minimise cost while maximising returns. That’s good, and applaudable. However, what usually happens is that they relegate their budget for branding to the bottom of the priority list, when it’d be much more beneficial near the top.
In 2010, NortonLifeLock Inc. (formerly known as Symantec Corporation), paid as much as US$1,280,000,000 for the merger and acquisition of VeriSign. That’s an eye-watering number of zeroes, but with good reason.
But what was the reason?
We usually speak of branding as having intangible value to the brand. Sometimes, however, this intangible value translates into the tangible, particularly during times of mergers and acquisitions.
See, over the course of a business’s growth, their branding efforts equate to the attachment that they have to a brand. If branding is successful – the entire brand, consisting of strategy, visual identity, consumer loyalty, will translate into real, credible, tangible value.
That’s why NortonLifeLock Inc. was willing to pay that amount for VeriSign. With the brand came their ideas, resources, and in particular, a famous check mark. Many consumers would’ve recognised this check mark, and trusted it.
Then-Symantec incorporated this check mark into their logo, thus making it the world’s most expensive logo to have ever existed. Alongside other brand assets, of course.
Speaking of expensive logos – did you know that Paula Scher, designer of Citibank’s US$1,500,000 logo, doodled it on a napkin within 5 minutes of their first meeting? She managed to encapsulate the core of Citibank into their most recognisable asset, within that short period of time after hearing their story. We’re in awe.
Our point is – there’s much value to be found in branding, and particularly, in logos. In today’s article, we’ll be introducing seven different types of logos, and the thought process behind them.
A wordmark is the most obvious of all logos. It’s usually the brand’s name in specially-curated typography (in case you missed out on our articles on typography, they are here and here). The wordmark is the most straightforward of all logos, and works well for brands with simple and catchy names. When paired tastefully with great typography, is capable of standing out and helping your consumers recognise your brand better.
Since 1998, Google has used a wordmark, first with a serif font, and then with a sans-serif font. The shift from serif to sans-serif is a move we’ve been seeing many brands – both B2B and B2C – do.
The lettermark is an abbreviated version of a brand’s name. Usually for businesses with longer names, the lettermark uses the brand’s initials, or several letters chosen from the brand’s name, as a logo. A good example of a lettermark is H&M, whose brand’s full name is Hennes & Mauritz AB. Don’t you think that H&M has a nicer ring to it, though?
Plenty of brands with longer names use lettermarks. Think of National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Some might not even recognise it – only the acronym NASA.
A pictorial mark is an icon-based logo that uses graphic design to instantly draw a connection between brand and an image in the minds of consumers. Think of Twitter, for example. The first image that comes to mind would probably be the bird.
An iconic pictorial mark that most would know would probably be Apple’s logo. It’s come from the original logo, pictured on the left. Their current logo was created in 1977, and has come to be one of the world’s most recognisable logos.
An abstract mark uses a geometric form to represent the brand. Instead of being instantly recognisable and linkable to the brand, a brand that uses abstract marks are able to have something wholly unique of their own.
Over the years, Pepsi’s logo has evolved through different logo types, before the current abstract one appeared. Still, it’s easily recognisable for consumers.
Mascots are self-explanatory, in the sense that they use mascots as part of their logo, and as a part of their marketing material. Colonel Sanders, the founder and face of KFC, has been around since its inception.
Even though the founder passed in 1980, his name and legacy still live on through the brand.
It’s rare for brands to have emblem logos these days. However, when they are done well, they are a visual feast for the eyes. One of the most iconic emblem logos to ever exist – in our humble opinion – belongs to Starbucks.
Did you know that the shadow on her right eye is slightly larger than the left? Designers left the “imperfection” in, because it would make her seem more approachable and human.
The final of the seven types of logos is a combination mark, which combines two of the above elements – usually a wordmark, and a pictorial mark.
An example of this would be Burger King’s logo, which ingeniously incorporates the icon of a burger while its wordmark serves as fat patty for the buns. It’s a friendly and bubbly logo – perfect for the fast-food chain.
You’ve probably seen thousands of logos – if not millions, throughout your entire life. Logos are on packages, on products, and on most of our everyday items. However, how many of us have taken the time to sit back and consider the logos that we’ve seen?
It’s honestly difficult to come up with a logo, as it’s meant to be a symbol that distils the best of your brand into a recognisable icon for your consumers. That’s why coming up with a logo for your brand is difficult – there are so many different aspects to consider.
Are you looking at refurbishing your logo for a change in visual identity? Come talk to us! We’d love to hear about your brand, her story, and how we can build a consistent visual and verbal identity that is perfect for her.