straplines – it’s about making a boring thought sound new.
the idea that we create things that are unfinished, that can only accrue value over time, is foreign to us. It’s so easy for us to visualize the future, and so hard to admit that we really can’t. That’s what we face every time we unveil a new logo.
repetition can trump bezier proficiency most times
My wife and I took our son to a Zoom when on vacation in Portland a couple of years ago. Utterly different from our other hospital or doctor visits. And, of course, coverage for the visit was denied by our then-insurer, Cigna.
Now, for all sorts of reasons, I think it’s more accurate, and more helpful, to think of brand not as the cause of what the company does, but the effect. Your brand, fundamentally, is the bundle of thoughts, feelings, actions and impulses about you that people have out there in the world – and that’s why it’s so powerful.
“I don’t want to overemphasize logos in the world. I think basically if you act with intelligence and integrity and consistency, you’ll develop a “brand”, quote-unquote. And whether you’re a person, or a non-profit institution, a small organization, or a giant corporation, if you bring intelligence and integrity and consistency to what you’re doing and the product you’re making is helping people or worthwhile or desirable or making the world a better place, you could almost do anything and be okay.“
A logo is a mysterious, powerful thing. But in part, it is precisely because of that mystery – we don’t truly understand how they work on the mind – we mistake it as a shortcut to building a brand. “If we just had a better logo! If we just picked the right color!” No, the hard part is the caveat Bierut underlines here, saying it twice – “if you act with intelligence and integrity and consistency” – that’s what creates the brand in people’s minds, that’s what invests the logo with its mysterious power. And that’s hard enough for a single person to do let alone a “giant corporation” made up of many thousands of people spread across the globe oftentimes with conflicting interests and incentives.
It is only by association with a product, a service, a business, or a corporation that a logo takes on any real meaning. If a company is second rate, the logo will eventually be perceived as second rate. It is foolhardy to believe that a logo will do its job immediately, before an audience has been properly conditioned.
Awesome. Scrolling this Sonos graphic shows you what sound looks like.
The moral here isn’t that your brand needs to be part of your design early to succeed in an era of near limitless market diffusion… It’s that brand and design are one in the same.