There are so many incredible examples of creative brand identity and logo designs, but why is it more important than ever in 2018?
Brand Identity and Logo Design
Branding is a comprehensive subject that should not be considered lightly. Branding helps create a perceived emotional image, shaping your audience’s perceptions and feelings towards the company.
Brand identity should sit at the heart of every business, it’s part of their DNA. A successful brand identity should reflect everything about the company; encompassing brand values, products or services, personality, tone of voice and so much more. Creating a brand identity, is the process of giving your business human-attributes that your audience can relate to. For example, Nike is perceived as athletic excellence, proactive and exciting. Offering a consistent and cohesive brand identity demonstrates a brands professionalism, making assets recognisable and memorable.
A logo is a symbol, icon or text that uniquely represents your business. Your logo design is an element of your overall brand identity, allowing your audience to connect with the brand visually and emotionally. It is only after the logo becomes well known, that it reaches its full potential and becomes easily identifiable.
Trademarking began in the early 1900’s, this is when corporate identities began to emerge, and graphic design allowed the profit-making giants to stand out even more. In the past, logo design was merely a distinct mark of the product, service or maker. Some would argue that is still true. But in 2018, logo design demands much more. With a growing digital market of smartphones and devices, your logo is being consumed across more platforms than ever before. That’s why it is more important than ever to keep your logo design flexible, responsive and fluid.
Barnsley Football Club Marketer Gives Insight Into Logo Design
“Transferrable: In the digital age we are in now, versatility in a logo is more important than ever. Print, digital, product based, to ensure maximum exposure it’s pivotal that a logo can easily be replicated in numerous sizes and scenarios.
However, one could argue that an identifiable symbol (apposed to a logo) has taken a more significant role in recent years. The space a brand now has to ‘sell itself’ has become crowded, with the size of users screens (mobile) small, a generic logo would not be suited to such settings.
Brings Ownership & Expresses Values: In most cases, aside from the product/service on offer, a functional logo is a company’s identity. Certain logos, colour schemes and fonts are how consumers recognise a brand from competitors.
A logo is one of the first thing customers notice about a brand, setting initial impressions and personality. Yet, subliminally, if a doesn’t meet the demands of a certain market or represent said brand in a positive light, it’s an instant consumer turn off.
Loyalty: Studies show time and time again that words have much less impact than that of an image. A powerful logo has always been used as a useful marketing tool, as within the psychology of brand loyalty, a logo can act as a ‘memory spark’.
Maturity: Successful brands develop over time. As a brand grows and develops a reputation, the service/product doesn’t necessarily need ‘glamming up’, it’s reputation and quality sells itself. Whereas in a younger, perhaps less known brand may need to attach personality to all visual assets.
Yet, somewhat contradicting the previous statement, brands will change/alter their assets to fit with a particular trend or typeface. It would seem that in 2018, simple, clean and easily transferable icons are in vogue.”
Barnsley Marketer’s Top #5 Logo Designs
“Working in sport, I’ll keep all five examples related.”
Throughout the Clubs history, Ajax adopted a figure of the God and incorporated him into their crest via abstract art, as its most recent adaptation brought the Club into the modern age, whilst expressing Club values.
The delicate representation is made up of 11 lines, to signify the unity and strength said 11 players require to play for that club.
4. Manchester City FC
Fan engagement is a buzz term in the sports marketing industry and is interpreted differently in numerous departments, yet in Layman’s terms – Everything a club does to attract, retain and include fans in a non-transactional exchange.
Members of Manchester City were consulted on a new crest, to carry their club forward into a self-proclaimed ‘new global era’.
Customarily, a local club, based on traditional values, MCFC have done well to incorporate significant features, that nod to their history.
Whilst adding historical icons, City have created a logo/crest that is easily transferable across numerous settings, from replica items, to digital media.
Despite the changes, the unique colour scheme and font remains.
Said patterns and colour scheme has also shaped the City Group ‘international image’
3. New York Yankees Insignia
Classic. Brand setting. Instantly recognisable. The interlocking NY fitting perfectly with the world renowned ‘club kit’ pinstripes and is popular it now symbolises everything NYC!
Whilst initially created by Tiffany & Co as a ‘medal of honour’, the Yankees have remained loyal to their adopted insignia.
The new logo, launched in 2017 was an unprecedented move to become recognised for their off-field ambitions and has been credited in numerous quarters as an incredibly important visual re-brand. The traditional crest has been replaced with a stylised J symbol, in a designed typeface, which has 5 unique styles.
The logo spearheaded the new Juve brand, emphasising the black and white colour scheme and desire to be ‘fearless’.
Fans and purists will always bemoan the change, however a lot is to be said about using a single letter (see McDonalds).
One would imagine a significant reason for the change was to enhance commercial merchandising, as a Club the size of Juventus will be wanting to create new partnerships with global brands in ‘untapped markets’.
One of the most recognisable brand logos in the world. It’s stood the test of time.
The swoosh embodies what the brand stands for, speed, motion and style.
Whilst it has been adapted over its 40/50 year history, the swoosh is undoubtable a representation of Nike’s product quality.”
What Makes Your Logo Stand Out?
Logo design and brand identity is often the first thing your audience see and will trigger their memory. Your logo can be splattered across every business asset, but what makes it stand out from your competitors?
Simplicity: Less is often more when it comes to successful logo design. Strip it back to its original concept, don’t be afraid to remove unnecessary elements. You need to keep in mind how functional and versatile your logo is, considering where it will be applied; from billboards to letterheads.
Consistency: The diversity of medias and multi-channel communication means that you don’t know where your logo will first be seen, shared or publicised. Every element of your brand and logo design needs to be integrated consistently.
Work and re-work: You need to remember that trends change and develop over time. Allow your logo to evolve with you company, keeping up to date with the latest consumer tastes. If this means rebranding and taking the logo back to the drawing board, do it. Try to think of rebranding your logo as a snake shedding its skin, its merely an upgrade, you don’t want your audience to forget what the original brand identity meant.
Creative excellence: This is a fundamental part of logo design and includes elements such as colour scheme, fonts, shapes, structure. This is where your creative reigns are released and its about making your unique stamp.
Differentiate: It’s obvious that your logo needs to stand out, but it still needs to remain relevant to your overall brand identity. It is important to do your research, understand how your audience process different personalities and what associations are made. Be brave and target an upcoming trend to show off your creativity.
Emotional appeal: Your logo along with your entire brand identity should tell a story, demonstrating your brand’s personality and its mission. Consider what words are used, what they mean and their associations. Consider the wider picture, focusing at the bottom of the pyramid and work up to the top, being the logo.
The Psychology Behind Logo Shapes
The human subconscious mind reacts to different shapes in different ways, meaning your logo can deduce different feelings and qualities about your brand.
Curves, circles and ovals: This type of feminine smooth shape often denotes positive emotions. For example, circles can suggest community and sense of belonging; curves can mean love, friendship and stability.
Straight edged, squares and triangles: From a literal point of view, these shapes can suggest balance. Straight lines can be used to represent strength and power; straight edged logos can be bold and professional. Triangles are often used in association with law, religion and science.
2018 Logo Design Trends
Although it is best practice to keep up with the latest trends and shifts in taste, it is equally important to remember that fashions put a ‘time’ stamp on your logo. Your logo should be ‘timeless’, whilst still appealing to your audience’s tastes. Trends like glows, bevels and bubble letters are now dated and can have a negative effect on your brand identity.
A few graphic design trends that are proving successful include;
Layers: Stacking letters and words above one another and using contrasting colours to define them.
Sliced: This is making the most of ‘negative space’ within logo design. By cutting or slicing sections out of the logo, giving a great visual effect.
Font stylisation: This is by no means a new trend, but it is a never-ending evolution. The number of fonts available at our graphic design fingertips are endless and will continue to be explored.
– Remember there is a fine line between keeping up to date with professional graphic design trends, and getting sucked into industry crazes and fads.