A Radical Approach to Logo Design

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wines.gifIf you want to create compelling logo designs sometimes you have to think outside the box or break conventions. Now, a new study reveals a unique way to develop logos – use images that consumers can relate to even if it’s not related or have little to do with your products or services.

This is a major paradigm shift for conventional branding tells us to use symbols strongly relevant to our products or services. And this is very evident in different industries like the image of a car for automotive services, silhouette of a body for beauty salon logo, or the cross symbol for religious logo designs.

But what’s happening in the wine industry begs to change our perspective. It turned out that 1 in 5 table-wine brands launched in the last 3 years use animal images as part of its logo design. Central in this tactic is the so-called concept of “psychological priming”. Here’s a concrete example:

In one experiment, participants first had to do a word jumble, either searching for words related to dogs or words related to cats. They then participated in an ostensibly unrelated study and were asked to rate a series of products, including batteries and dog shampoo. Those who had done the word jumble relating to dogs rated the dog shampoo higher, on average, than those who had done the cat-related jumble.

However, this research is limited in scope so it may not be wise for startups to assume it will apply in our chosen category. Still, it is interesting to see more examples of this approach in action. Please let me know if you find one.

via huliq

It does not have to be radical all the time

The term “logo redesign” can be quite confusing to some business owners and graphic designers. After all, a redesign means to make a new sketch or alter the current theme so as to be better than the original. We crave for something innovative or very different from what we currently have. The dilemma is how different should the difference be.

The idea behind logo redesigns is to uplift one’s image or signify big changes in one’s business. It can be a new business process, improved customer service, better quality, or more innovative products. One of the most effective ways to convey all these changes in one coherent message is through a new symbol.

Just because you’re making some major business changes doesn’t mean you have to make some big revisions on your logo design too. You may not agree with me but simple modifications can also deliver big impact to your target audience.

A classic example of a subtle yet effective redesign is the telecoms giant AT&T.

The new logo is simply a sleeker version of the old one. The globe which symbolizes the company’s worSpellBrandide communication was retained as well the blue horizontal stripes (or is it wire?) surrounding the globe. Instead of creating a unique logo, the people behind this redesign opted to use a different shade of blue to produce a more modern personality and change the typography from all caps to lowercase. For a company renowned for leading the world in wireless technology, the new logo is more fitting to its brand image.

Subtle changes are very useful particularly if you have an established brand reputation and solid customer base. As much as people preach for change, we paradoxically hate the idea of changing our habits. The same is true for logo designs. No wonder so many city logos are highly criticized by their communities despite their uniqueness and beauty.