Let's hear it for the designers
And shoot the PR bunnies
I feel obliged to proudly stand up for all of us Reg readers who work at "award-winning design consultancies". With the LogoWatch series running for some time now, it feels like we're unfairly getting a bad name.
Most of the design houses that I know or have worked in would NEVER write such high-school grade reasoning for any logo (new or revised). The design of a corporate ID is a very subjective and sensitive process that takes longer the bigger the company is (number of cooks).
What you WILL find is that PR folks at the company concerned suddenly get very fluffed up and concerned about how to justify/explain the logo to the public. Therefore they themselves write up some juvenile
explanation of the icon as if it was a bloody coat of arms.
"This cutlass stands for ruthlessness!". A logo is obviously NOT a coat of arms. A logo is a brand that distinguishes the company from the competition and might say a few simple things - forward-thinking,
contemporary, young, capable, stable etc... At the very LEAST it's just a mark that people remember. But the Minolta one was just ridiculous. I sincerely believe some PR person at Minolta wrote that. At the worst, some slimy client service person on the design-company side gave in to pressure and sucked that one up to keep the client quiet.
Designers are generally well-aware that you either like and 'get' a logo, or it will grow on you. Taste cannot be accounted for and subjectivity is king. Ridiculous justifications aren't in our realm.
That said, re-branding can really be a valuable thing - especially for a company that's changed their ways but are stuck with old perceptions.
People who pooh-pooh new identities, seem to want to do so to declare how much smarter they are than 'those silly wasteful marketing folks'.
And well... that's as sad as a platform argument. I've done work for big companies who spent more on buying branded coffee mugs and fridge-magnets for their staff every month than they were prepared to pay for an annual design job.
Chris Lockhart, South Africa
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