The evolution of a logo
Paul, our Creative Director, discusses what’s in a logo, and how a logo can evolve over time in our latest blog post.
The logo – a graphic mark, emblem or symbol commonly used to identify a company or product; it is not the brand, nor the identity, but more of a graphic summary.
If you liken it to a cake, a logo is the cherry on top, which rather than describe the company or product, should symbolise it in a distinct and more importantly, memorable way.
Over time our familiarity with a logo adds to its strength and its main function – recognition.
The good, the bad, and the ugly
Rather like a painting in an art gallery, beauty is very much in the eye of the beholder. Our opinions on logos are often very subjective – take the 2012 Olympic logo for example:
As a sports fanatic I dislike this one as it evokes none of the ‘joi de vivre’ I feel an Olympic logo should exhibit. It is certainly different from past Olympic logos but I’m not convinced that being different makes it good.
I prefer the logo for the 2016 games in Rio which to me feels human, celebratory and relevant.
Many logos stand the test of time extremely well – they have a timeless quality about them – the V&A Museum and World Wildlife Fund are both good examples:
Well-known brands often update their logos over time so that they remain relevant and ‘of the now’. This is done via an evolutionary design process so that the essence and equity already established with the existing mark is retained.
A great example of this is Qantas, Australia’s largest domestic and international airline. Established in the 1920, Qantas was originally called ‘Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services.’ Last updated in 2007, the logo has recently evolved once more to include a new, paired down, icon and new typography.
Released in 2016, this is a recent favourite of mine. I liked the previous logo which was bold and confident; typifying Australia for me. The evolution of the icon and the sophisticated typography brings an already striking logo into the present beautifully.
Accenture, one of the largest consulting firms in the world, recently updated its logo. The new logo uses a new typeface along with a new identity system.
This is a classic case of modern logos becoming just a little too bland. The old logo at least used a distinctive typeface which had character, whereas the new logo seems to have been stripped bare of any character. The new visual identity is appealing but the logo doesn’t do it for me.