LOGOS and emblems have a long history of group and ideology representation. Logos SYMBOLIZE the organizations and brands they represent, and act as an identifying trademark for entities. How did they come to make their mark on the world?
Look around a bit and you may notice they are on everything and embedded everywhere. If your shirt doesn’t have a logo on the outside, there is surely one on the tag inside. Your car badge tells all about your lifestyle.
Wandering eyes scan hundreds of logos a day; their prevalence suggests they must be important to the folks that own them. Those same folks want their logo to associate with and be important to you. The view? A logo needs to stand out just to be noticed.
Coca Cola’s cursive text line is one of the longest standing images in advertising, bucking the modernization trend. Though the company and its product has gone through substantial change over a century, the logo persists as an anomaly. They would not change the formula or the script due to public outcry.
Since the turn of this century, both Technicolor and Deluxe have made numerous logo changes after 90 years of consistency. In the last decade it seemed every time a new owner or marketing person came in, they had to make their own mark – however small to the typeface, color or object.
CHANGE MY HIND
A rebrand and logo change at a big company can cost a lot of cash and take a lot of non-earning hours to fritter through to all the corporate and market veins. It also costs resources to haul all the old logo stuff to the dump – thousands of little ID’d things that don’t fit the identity program any longer.
I remember working the company booth at NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) one year with 40+ other sales and technical staff. I brought 1000 newly printed business cards; everyone had their own box to make contact. Before the show finished, the team had been delivered not one but two new and logo/style revised sets of cards. 40,000 perfectly good business cards went to their Las Vegas dump death because someone in marketing farted and didn’t like the smell.
LEGGO MY LOGO
Logo development used to be a specialty craft, and crafts used to cost real money. All design was done by proven and talented; the stuff of professionals and advertising agencies. Artists, sign painters, calligraphers and typesetters and print shops all used to proliferate along business corridors.
In pre-startup budget days, I printed my first company logo bitmap on a dot-matrix printer. It looked terrible, but it was mine and cheap. “Desktop Publishing” software and laser printers came along soon after and killed off a lot of artistic technical skills and hand-made art design. I was OK with that because I had no such classic skills.
DO IT ‘TILL YOU’RE SATISFIED
Design-wise, logos have gone from a complicated style to simple over time - an iconification process to fit small buttons.
Modern creative types at smaller organizations can and do choose to create their own logos and branding, or at least get a head start on conceptualizing. A good first step is to check out your competition - what is trending or lacking with their public face? What can you do better to be better recognized?
As with most digital market takeovers, the logo business is flourishing on the internet. Thousands of existing logo models and templates are offered online, making it easier to compare and determine the right type of logo for your purpose. Many downloadable files are available free or at low cost license. It is worth window shopping a few sites to find inspiration for your design.
BRAINSTORM ABOUT ENGRAM ABOUT BRAINSTORM
Adam Berg - the originator of this here devtails website, has also been developing his own Note-Taking product - originally code-named PROJECT BRAINSTORM. As coding takes time, there was concurrent time early on to work on defining the branding and identity as the product developed.
The PRODUCT NAME came easy - engram is defined as a reinforced memory that has been acted upon. That is what happens when you write down a thought, so the term fits the Brainstorm story. The engram logo design style evolved through a few revisions using elements borrowed from the internet.
KEYWORDS => Brain. Thoughts. Writing. Doing. Together.
It is also important to pick the right typography (type font), but that is a whole other science not yet learned. What feels right is New Courier font - looks like typewriter lettering. The something old for the blue and new.
I insisted that I alone could make the final logo design in Photoshop, but said youngblood son jumped my gun and searched for Logo Design Services on fiverr.com.
The sheer volume of service providers on fiverr makes for a crapshoot, but the Anisha Design logo-icon thumbnail somehow looked good enough for a closer look. The designer provided Adobe Illustrator files, which are more versatile for some applications than Photoshop bitmap files.
I was skeptical – what kind of product are you going to get for under $500, let alone $5? $45 and a few days later we had a draft submission based on our concepts that exceeded our expectations. We made a few changes that were not anticipated until inspired by the artist’s improved version; revisions still included in the price. Clear communication with designers helps smooth the process and rough edges.
READING BETWEEN THE OUTLINES
The engram logo goes somewhat against the trend of less complexity - it has a lot going on. The artist added blue waves in the blue center of the cranium. This did not look as much like a still ink well, but it did symbolize a turbulent ocean of thought. The INPUT waves also helped create the appearance of clouds in the top of the cranium; where head in the clouds fits.
The OUTPUT quill was modified from the original solid black feather to add red, green, blue, cyan, yellow, and magenta stripes. This loaded engram palette symbolically represents the key color mixing components of both digital RGB and print CYMK.
Hopefully the viewer sees the message implied by the image: a tool to write down what’s on your mind.
Creating a memorable logo is a fun and certainly rewarding part of building the company or product it represents. Engram as a product is still in early stages of development, and will endure years of continuous change. The engram logo is a keeper though. For now.
xyz digital inc.