On the subject of logo design

So I’ve got a New Year’s resolution, and it’s a hum-dinger. I’m going to expand my mind by buying a new design book every month (money permitting). For January I picked up a copy of Logo by Michael Evamy, I got it for a steal on Amazon. It arrived this morning and coincided with the Design Assembly publishing this response to the frankly pretty harsh article by Emily Gosden of the Times. I have to admit that I did pause momentarily and ask, ‘why are county councils branding everything that moves? Surely the money could be better spent on, you know, better schools and that?’ And it’s definitely the main concern that members of joe public seem to have from looking at the comments on the Times article, and it’s also one that I feel the Design Assembly doesn’t quite address in their riposte.

Luckily in his introduction to the book Michael Evamy, at least partly, answers my question. A logo, or a brand, or identity, or whatever, can only at best be a symbolic reminder of that which it stands for. The brand can give an idea of the values it stands for, but what really matters is the impression that the business, product or campaign itself makes on the audience, that then is what they will forever associate it with.

Put another way, a logo is like a lens that an organisation holds up to itself. If there is light behind the lens in the form of outstanding products, a memorable customer experience and excellent supplier relationships, it will shine; the logo will offer a beam of positive associations. If there is no light, there is nothing to see, and swapping lenses will not make a blind bit of difference.

Well put sir. So people, don’t blame the design agency for being an expensive waste of money when a project fails.


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