Our website uses cookies so that we can provide a better service. Continue to use the site as normal if you're happy with this, or find out how to manage cookies.
News, Views, and valuable marketing insights. It's all here.
News Image
  • 10 November 2015

    “Can I interest you in a new logo, sir?”

    Some companies have them, some don’t. Some companies know why, some don’t. Essentially, the reason for having a “logo” – aka trademark, symbol, imprint, emblem – is to have a device that becomes, over time, recognizable as being synonymous with the company whose name is on the communication. In another article in this newsletter, you will recognize one of the most famous logos in the world that has been taking a beating recently: VW, where, in spite of its current situation, the full name of the company has benefited greatly over the years from its stylized monogram.

    In the beginning…

    Although identification marks have probably existed for as long as there have been traders or merchants, it is perhaps only in the last 50 or 60 years that they have taken a position of importance in establishing an instantly recognizable symbol for a company.

    While the decision to develop a logo is a simple one, the creation of a memorable and valid logo can be far from simple, involving many factors.

    Ideally, the design of a logo should be to stand the test of time and be inseparably linked to the idea behind it. The Lufthansa logo below (based on the silhouette of a bird – a crane – taking flight) was designed in 1919 and remains unaltered to this day.

    But it’s not always this way…

    We all know that fashions in design change and it’s somewhat inevitable that a company logo sometimes needs to be refreshed to reflect a shift in current design thinking, or to signify a change in the company’s philosophy.

    A classic case in point is that of the ubiquitous “shell” logo of the Anglo-Dutch Oil Company, which had its origins in importing seashells from the far east. Here’s how it started in 1900:

    30 years later it was deemed in need of a facelift to this:

    Today, a hundred years on and having passed through phases of including the name, the brand is still as recognizable as ever, the essence of the original design being retained in the current iteration, created in 1971:

    By continually updating their logo, Shell the company also stays looking modern and fresh. Although Lufthansa, you could say, got it right first time!

    Where should you start?

    Most of our clients have logos – some are monograms, some are devices, some are simply typographical. Some we have inherited and some we have produced. But if you are to embark on creation of a new logo, ensure it is for the right reasons and make sure it suggests the character of your organization, rather than show its products but above all, keep it simple, keep it clean.

    Logo footnote: the Mercedes-Benz logo at the top of this article is interesting. Most petrolheads know that Mercedes is so named after the daughter of an early car franchise entrepreneur but did you know that Gottlieb Daimler originally drew the 3 pointed star, symbolizing that his engines could be found operating on land, sea and air.