The branding process is deliberate and calculated. A well-defined strategy establishes an actionable plan that will define the creative pursuit of how a Brand will present itself to the world. Each piece must simultaneously build on, and support every other aspect of that Brand.
The two most visible and recognizable parts of any Brand are its name and its logo. The average consumer comes into contact with thousands of brands on a daily basis, and to stand out from the crowd and establish a lasting presence is no easy task. It requires a unique and memorable Brand composed of a verbal and visual identity that consistently work together to reinforce a larger message and personality.
Once the strategy and creative direction has been clearly defined, the verbal Brand name is the first piece to create. As this component begins to wind down, and it’s time to get the preferred name candidate trademarked, and then begins the logo design. But how should that logo reflect and relate to that previously defined creative direction and the newly created name? Let’s take a look at some of the most iconic logos in the world and try to understand how they reflect what their Brand name and personality represent:
When you hear the word ‘apple’ what color do you think of? If pre-school taught us anything the expected answer is ‘red’ –although the fact that some of you might have thought of silver or grey illustrates my next point perfectly. In the English language, ‘apple’ is a ubiquitously simple term, “A is for apple” is the first phrase we learn when being taught the alphabet. It is no different with the multi-billion-dollar Company of the same name: Apple’s most recent iteration of their logo is designed to fit their current Brand personality. Simplistic, functional, and easy-to-understand … all things that Apple pushes in their technology. The logo is a monochromatic, flat design – usually in grey or white – and is immediately recognizable, tying directly to their name in the most functional way possible. In fact, their name and logo have become one in the same, with the logo replacing the name in recent product releases (i.e., [Apple] Watch, [Apple] TV). The name and logo each build off the other to add something to the Company’s core personality and message of high-end technology that is accessible and functional.
Remaining consistent since it was first introduced in 1971, Nike often displays their logo front and center, using their signature “swoosh” nearly interchangeably with their Brand name. Visibly representing movement and speed, the athletics Brand is named after the Greek goddess of victory and its logo is designed after her wings. Both the meaning behind the name as well as the design implications of the logo work together to push Nike’s mission of “bring[ing] inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”
World-class brands are built from the ground up, starting with a well-defined strategy, leading to a targeted and marketable name, which is farther expounded by a logo aligned with the same concepts. All of these are put together to create a lasting Brand that will continue to find success with their audiences for years to come.