Although corporate design is “only” a part of the corporate identity it is the most visible part and therefore most companies need one. I will explain in a minute why I say “most” and not “all”.
The 2 kinds of Logos.
It all starts with the logo. To me the logo is the condensed version of a company’s corporate identity. The characters and the colours must reflect what you stand for. That is why it takes so much time to develop it. And it is definitely worth an investment.
Basically, there are two kinds of logos.
- Just the company’s name designed in a specific character set and colour
- A symbol (as for example the two C’s of the House of Chanel or the “hook” we find on all Nike items
Typically, the companies that use a symbol combine it with option 1.
Samsung for example does not use a symbol but a certain character set and the A looks like Λ. Nike on the other hand uses the famous “hook” and specific characters for the name. Which option you choose depends on your business and (at least from my perspective) on your preference. If your name contains 24 letters and you want to stich it on every t-shirt you sell, you might want to go the “Nike-way”.
3 Aspects A Good Logo Must Cover
Yes, I know, all you finally receive from your graphic designer is a set of files and a heavy bill. But I can tell you that the development of a logo – with or without a symbol – in most of the cases takes weeks of hard work and many meetings and debates.
1. Your logo must tell your story
The visitor of your website or the recipient of your letter must somehow be able to see your business in your logo. Remember, last week I used the example of a shoe shop. If you are selling outdoor shoes that are supposed to withstand to cold and dirt you would probably rather go for a heavier font and an “earthy” colour. If you speciality is elegance you will choose a slander font go for an “expensive” colour.
2. Your Logo must be Unique
Often we are inspired by the logo of a brand we like. On the other hand we need our logo to be unique. As mundane as it sounds; inspiration is great, copying is bad.
3. Your Logo must be Scalable
This is the hardest part of it. The entire corporate design must be scalable. Maybe you have printed matter, a website and different products. Your logo must work for all of it; even if you add new articles to your business.
Once you have finalised your logo you can start forging letter heads, business cards, websites and all the rest of it.
Who does not need corporate design?
In my last week’s article I used the examples of shoe shop and of a scientist. If you have been reading here for a while you might know that I published a series on Nobel laureates. I do not think that any of them had a logo. Within her field Marie Curie was a brand long before she received the Nobel prize. The honour of winning one made her visible to the rest of the world.
From this aspect her Nobel prize was Madame Curie’s logo. If you are running a business you need to be known hence you need corporate design.
This book is an excellent source of inspiration.
It helped me a lot to make up my mind.