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Go Logo! A Handbook to the Art of Global Branding by Mac Cato

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2
A sampling of logos for different industries.
Top row: Lone Ranger Collection; Anjou Bakery
Middle row: A&M Upholstery; Spirit AeroSystems
Bottom row: SeaWorld Blue Team; Martens Appraisal
(Design: Gardner Design)
Determinant 2
Logos:
It’s Often the Little Things That Count
From Chambers Concise Dictionary:
Logo: A small design used as the symbol
of an organization
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Go Logo! A Handbook to the Art of Global Branding72
T
his four-letter word, with “go” and an exclamation mark added, represents
the crux of the brand’s importance and is intended to evoke an emotional
opinion. Are you positive or negative about the implied message? Logos are
generally meant to be positive marks of recognition. Obviously, some logos
send out negative messages to some audiences, but, even then, it is likely
that the logo’s original developers were addressing a specific audience with a specific
positive message.
The title of this book is meant to be unam-
biguous; it is an imperative command, a
challenge to all brand doubters. Every logo
starts its life with an ambitious, positive mis-
sion. All parties who commission the design
of a logo, even those who opt to buy six
examples for $25, as advertised on Google
(look it up), envision their brand, business,
institution, or cause ablaze in full color and
megawatt lighting, selling their presence and
“availability.” The ancient Greek meaning
for logo (spelled logoi) described significant
religious and philosophical convictions, and
some logos today still have this intention. But
the majority of logos, even those designed
by highly trained designers, are destined to
a life of relative obscurity. It takes the full
power of a disciplined organization, a lot of
time, and usually a lot of money to gain the
exposure required to transform “a small de-
sign” into a globally meaningful identity.
Giep Franzen and Margot Bouwman, in
the introduction to their book, The Mental
World of Brands: Mind, Memory and Brand
Success, list four elements they consider to
be necessary to any definition of a brand.
I’ve paraphrased these to relate specifically
to logos:
A brand essence exists only in the memory
of people. The logo is the highly visible
reminder.
A brand logo is a multi-use sign of recogni-
tion (labels, signs, events, ads, packaging,
the world wide web, etc.).
A brand logo evokes associations in people.
A brand logo can be linked to both commer-
cial goods or services and societal persua-
sion causes.
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73Twelve Key Determinants to Creating Successful Brands
The following distinctive logos instantly identify the brands they are representing.
Design: Doyle Partners
Design: Gardner Design
Design: C&G Partners
Design: Doyle Partners
Design: Gardner Design
Design: Bright Strategic Design & Branding
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Go Logo! A Handbook to the Art of Global Branding74
Logo for Alhurra TV, a U.S.
television network broadcast-
ing throughout the Middle East
(Design: C&G Partners)
The initial work in designing a new logo
for a major brand is the most personal, and
perhaps the most creatively rewarding, as-
signment an individual brand warrior will
tackle. The state of mind that designers
enter into when they begin the process of
developing a new logo is, in a special way,
a creative state of grace. Following what is
usually a collective briefing session from the
marketing team, all the designers—and there
will be several—go off to work in isolation.
Their workstations might be adjacent to
others, but, for each designer, the process at
this stage is private.
Each designer now tunes into the stereo
channels of his creative subconscious and
the cognitive facts, now playing in his mind.
After a bit of fiddling with the controls, the
creative melodies start to flow. Switching
back and forth from rational thinking about
specific objectives to the world of their sub-
conscious feelings, the “what if” ideas begin
to take shape and are transferred onto paper
or a screen.
Once each of these tenuous creative
thoughts become visible, however, the
rational judgment process begins to intrude:
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