Marketing Agency Misses the Mark?


People in the marketing world are familiar with Porter Novelli, home of well known campaigns such as the USDA food pyramid and the Truth anti smoking campaign. This public relations and marketing firm began almost forty years ago with a specialty in health and social issues. Although Porter Novelli has since taken on conventional business customers such as Hewlett-Packard and Timberland as well, it nonetheless is best known for its creative and socially active campaigns. However, the marketing firm was missing the mark itself when it came to marketing logo design and branding.

There is nothing inherently wrong with Porter Novelli’s old logo design. However, it was dated and a little behind the times, especially for a company in the marketing business. A traditional square combined with very plain writing gave a business like feeling, while the split between blue and green suggested a balance between different elements. Blue and green are both calming, earthy colors that give people a generally positive feeling. While these elements are all attractive in themselves and certainly appropriate for the industry, the logo design as a whole no longer projects the right image for this image-conscious business.

The new logo design, however, seems to be a little ‘off’. A similarly plain font is used for the agency name, which is now printed in an austere black and white palette. The only color in the logo design is the small arrow at the bottom right, which is split into a rich gold and a bright orange. The brightness of the arrow pulls in the eye and gives an optimistic feeling, while the arrow shape pointing out of the logo design suggests movement and change.

The new logo design is definitely an improvement over the previous one. It is more modern and gives a sense of branding that a business in this field needs. Further, the colors are less environmental and more appropriate for a company that takes on a variety of clients. If you examine the print carefully, it has been created so that several of the letters line up, giving a finished feeling. This may not be obvious at first glance, but the overall effect is professional and finished.

However, there is one thing that doesn’t quite line up: the arrow. If you look at where the arrow is broken in half, this dividing line is not coordinated with any other part of the logo design. It seems to have been thrown in at the last minute. If this one element was brought into line—literally—the logo design would be perfect.

Logos and other types of graphic designs are fields where the details count. Even if people don’t consciously notice certain details, they register them on an unconscious level. This means that a logo requires a high level of knowledge and education as well as a lot of attention to detail. If your business needs a professionally crafted brand and logo with every detail just perfect, talk to a logo designer today.