What a client wants

Logos vs. Logotype:

Logos are a product of marketing in the second half of the 20th century.

Before that, if you think of companies and what they used for their identity, it was almost exclusively a stylized type treatment. Think of automobile companies, department stores and other retailers, outfitters, etc. To this day, many of those companies either have continued to use a text only logo (Abercrombie & Fitch, Macy's, Ford, Coca-Cola, etc.) or they have abandoned the iconic look for a more classic representation of their name. Even new companies continue to only use text as their logo, for example, Wal-Mart. Not to say that iconic logos shouldn't be used, they should. It's a way to make a logo memorable. Even the best of the iconic logo companies use a text only treatment in different instances, though. Nike is a perfect example.

Single Color?:

For many years, the US Trademark and Patent office would only register a trademark based on a black and white submission. They now do accept color submissions, but only if the color is essential as a distinguishing element of the design, think "Golden Arches".

The "Brandable" Question:

Many companies today are looking for an instantly "brandable" logo. This is a misnomer. "Brandable" is a product of marketing success, and has nothing to do with the design of an identity piece.

Branding is something that is attached to a product. A company which offers many products will choose to "brand" their items through the use of customer satisfaction, quality, advertising and marketing efforts. How many people can give you a rough drawing of the Proctor & Gamble logo? Not many, most likely. But, how many can give a rough drawing of the "Tide" logo? It's a universal "brand".

Companies which are singular in purpose, think Oil, telecom, banking, etc. will look to leverage their identity as a brand because the products they offer are not unique. They have to sell the company as a brand to gain consumer recognition.

I asked a client a while back what was the most important thing that his customers remember when looking at his new logo. He gave the patented "branding" response of satisfaction, experience, strength, etc. Where he failed is thinking his customers can get all of that by just looking at the logo. The answer is very simple. The most important thing that a customer must remember when looking at a logo is the name of the company. Consumers are fickle, if they don't remember your name, they wont come around. It takes years for an emblem or icon to become well known enough to stand on it's own.

"We want a Tagline in our Logo":

Slogans, which aren't actually part of a logo can also be an essential part of the "branding" process. If I say, "It's mmm, mmm good", and you grew up in the US, you will know that I am talking about Campbell's Soup. "Where's The Beef" did more for Wendy's restaurants than all the identity work, research, "branding" efforts, etc. Wendy's was a fledgling burger joint trying to compete with the two big fast food companies, they were having troubles. Along comes a little old lady and here, 20 years later, Wendy's has taken over Burger King and is the second largest Fast Food operation in the world.

The key element to remember about a tag line is that as part of a logo, it takes away from the impact the icon and/or company name has. It is great if someone remembers the tagline, but if they do so at the expense of forgetting the company who it belongs to, the tag becomes a liability. Generally taglines/slogans/service marks are used in the marketing process and not as part of the identity materials.

Author: Carl Diedrich, imagwerks.com

Found on logogab.com