[This post was originally uploaded on September 1, 2014. It has been updated below with new information on January 18, 2015.]
A critical element of any successful branding strategy of a company or a product is its logo. These are simple but highly distinctive and evocative graphic symbols that instantly evoke deep imagery, loyalty and reputation.
Just to name a few of the multitude iconic logos, there’s Apple, IBM, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Amazon, Twitter – – all of whose mere mention brings to mind their logos. These graphic symbols are recognized by consumers throughout the world across all electronic and real world media.
Even moreso, with the critical importance that online media now plays in e-commerce, logos are an essential part of nearly all branding strategies. For some very insightful observations about the importance of logos and their effects and visibility across social media platforms, I recommend an August 28, 2014 posting on SocialMediaToday.com entitled When Logo Design Meets Social Media Marketing. The author, Eric Haskell, presents a series of factors for all branding and content strategists to consider as to the placement, power and persistence of logos on social media. Moreover, he provides five highly practical tips for designing an original logo, with strong emphases on simplicity and consistency.
In the news this weekend, one of the world’s oldest, most recognizable and surely beloved logos, Hershey’s Chocolate, has just been updated. Here is the coverage and new design from an August 30, 2014 posting on BusinessInsider.com entitled Hershey Unveils New Logo. Sweet!
For yet another highly original flight of logo creativity and literally scientific take on logo design, a company called Motionry added a retweet to their Twitter feed on August 25, 2014, whose titles says it all with What If Great Scientists Had Logos. This was originally posted on @imgur a few weeks prior. All 21 of these designs very cleverly capture the essence of the major achievements of these giants of the scientific world.
Finally, these two posts reminded of a book I read nine years ago called Wordcraft by Alex Frankel (Three Rivers Press, 2005). It is a highly insightful and instructive examination of how five very different products in different markets got their names. The design processes for the logos is also discussed in several instances. I highly recommend this to anyone who either works in product branding or just has an interest in reading a fascinating book on the power of language in commerce.
January 18, 2015 Update
Following up directly the last paragraph of the original post above, there was an excellent article in the January 18, 2015 edition of The New York Times Magazine entitled The Weird Science of Naming New Products by Neal Gabler. This explored the science, art, and work of professional “namers” who devise names for new consumer goods and companies. Many highly specialized processes go into creating such names in terms of their letters, sounds, pronunciations, evocations, imagery, translations into other languages, and copyright issues. It seem like a unique and creative field where true polymaths can flourish.
Many of the leading individuals and naming design firms in this field were quoted in this piece. What I found truly fascinating was how long lists of potential names are developed for presentation to the manufacturers and companies and their vetting process to determine a final choice. Numerous alternative candidates not chosen still sounded quite effective and provided great insight into the naming process.
In a timely opportunity to make cross-references to two other recent Subway Fold posts, a good portion of this feature is a case study of how Jaunt, a startup working on virtual reality movie technology, engaged such a corporate namer to come up with the firm’s name. Descriptions of Jaunt’s innovative work in this nascent field appears in both the January 13, 2015 post entitled A Full Slate of Virtual Reality Movies and Experiences Scheduled at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and the November 26, 2014 post entitled Robots and Diamonds and Drones, Aha! Innovations on the Horizon for 2015.