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Brand Matters 11 July 2023

The Secret World of Logos

Writen by Marissa Meyer

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Where it all begins

Over the years I’ve had many clients approach me for logo design jobs. As a designer, I have to admit, doing logos is one of my absolute favourite projects to take on. Why you may ask? Well for starters it is the most conceptual, purest and challenging aspects of capturing the essence of any brand into a simplified and recognisable mark.
The challenging part usually comes in when a client confuses the Brand and Identity System with the purpose of a logo mark, or simply don’t recognise the need for those three systems to work together as one.
This is where many brands risk their demise in the long run. You see a logo can only successfully live within the context and atmosphere of brand and identity systems. Let's break it down, shall we?

What's in a logo?

Many people think a logo is meant to relay everything about a brand. To some degree I understand that way of thinking, but really a logo can never capture the whole story of a brand.

Think of your logo as a signature, a name, a simplified mark/symbol/type, or the combination of those elements to form an easily identifiable and memorable visual element that help customers identify and recall a company’s brand. I know, that’s a mouthful! To put it another way, you know me simply as Marissa the graphic designer, but that name and occupation, is not meant to capture my creative expression, history, personality, passions, values or essence of my personhood. It’s simply a mark of identity to point you to the bigger picture of getting to know me in person.

“It is only by association with a product, a service, a business, or a corporation that a logo takes on any real meaning. It derives its meaning and usefulness from the quality of that which it symbolizes.”
Paul Rand
Legendary Designer and Art Director
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A logo therefore never exists purely on its own and should never be considered as a simple job outside of the bigger context. It points to the personality, the tone, the language, the 'person' so to speak, just like a name. It is the seed form of 3 systems within each other: Logo, Brand and Identity.

Think of it this way, if the logo is the name (or mark of recognition), the brand is my personality, tone of voice, stories and history of who I am, while identity is the clothing I wear and my physical attributes that makes me recognisable for who I am. These three cogs should always work together as a whole.

Branding Matters

When it comes to branding, few companies realise the importance of brand building. The levels of intentionality, consistency and focus needed over many years to tell a uniform story that people will get to know and trust, is of the utmost importance. Branding not only frames up the perceived image of a company, but more importantly it evokes the emotional response people have towards the company, its products or services.

Emotional connections in turn, leads to the conversations that customers have with each other about the company. What they project about your brand and what they admire, forms the lifeblood of any well-known company.

All these factors are not something that happens overnight. Brands are built over years and the more consistent the tone of voice and values that are expressed to the outside world, the more trust and customer loyalty a brand will harness from its followers.

"A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer."
Seth Godin
Best-selling author, entrepreneur and marketing titan

The Identity System

This is where the magic happens in studio. An identity system usually starts after the logo is complete and is an absolute essential part of brand building. The purpose of the identity system is to build an ordered visual language around the logo and brand that not only compliments the design thinking of the logo, but also offers a set of useful, malleable visual elements that will strengthen design marketing and business collateral.

In essence it is the visual wardrobe of the company. This wardrobe so to speak, adheres to style guidelines and pairing of visual components in a way that consistently and cohesively communicates the bigger company framework. Without consistent design components and adhering to the style guide, brands risk losing their identity and uniquely recognisable style altogether.

Some of the visual devices that builds out the brand elements and style guide are assets like: fonts, colours, style of photography, iconography, marketing material like business cards, packaging, signage, printed brochures, flyers, websites and digital assets, presentation templates and emailers, etc. Without a strong, well-organised “wardrobe”, your brand might find itself a little naked in the harsh environment of market competition.

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A Good Place to Start

If you’re looking for a new logo or branding package, you’ve come to the right place. I am passionate about listening to my client’s needs and approach any design job with the bigger picture and systems in mind. My pursuit and passion are to make sure that my clients get the best tools in their visual arsenal to ensure their brand flourishes in the long run. When you approach me with a logo design job, you can be assured I’m already thinking ahead of the brand and identity systems and how to best meet your needs and get your brand front and centre in the minds of your customers and target market.

For the months of July, August & September 2023, I am running a special branding offer that is an absolute steal for any business. If you would like to find out more, please get in touch and let's discuss how I can help you meet your design needs. For a quick overview of the deal, be sure to follow my Facebook page.

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