There are hundreds of candidates for "world's best logo", particularly when there are hundreds of opinions about what makes a logo great. One of the frontrunners, though, would surely be the FedEx logo (left). Many marketing and design professionals (myself included) recognize that the negative-space arrow in the logo between the "E" and the "x" make it truly special (many would call it the best logo for that reason). Not only is the logo simple and recognizable on its own (which every logo should be), but it goes a step further by using design to offer supplemental meaning. In this case, a subtle arrow that represents movement and even speed - an association that surely enhances FedEx's brand message.
Global Fund for Women has also accomplished that same elusive feat with their logo (above). Do you see it? The two purple dashes help outline the letter "E" of course, but they also create the mathematical equality sign ("="), which also happens to be the primary cause of the organization (equality)! Genius!
This logo is simple and recognizable (the prerequisite for design quality), but has also introduced a subtle design element that adds a powerful, supplemental meaning. In my opinion, that makes the logo equal in stature (see what I did there?) to the FedEx logo. Well done!
LESSON FOR MARKETERS:
Your logo should be simple and recognizable. That's the minimum requirement. And many high-profile logos are just that (think Nike, Apple, Pepsi). If, however, you can take it a step further by introducing meaning that strengthens your brand message, that's what makes your logo exceptional!
What other logos are exceptional (because of the presence of supplemental meaning)? Comment below.
You should donate to the Global Fund for Women. They're doing some great things over there.
Yesterday the Toronto Maple Leafs revealed their new logo for the upcoming season, which is its Centennial season. It is "inspired by" the version seen on the jerseys from the 40's through the 60's and makes multiple references to the team's history. There are 31 points on the leaf, representing the year the team moved into Maple Leaf Gardens. There are also 13 veins at the top, representing the number of Stanley Cups won (I guess we're just supposed to ignore the veins at the bottom... or assume those are reserved for future Cups, whenever they might arrive).
I can't decide how I feel about the new logo, since I believe they got part of it right and part of it wrong.
WHAT THEY GOT WRONG
It's old! They introduced it as their "new" logo, but it looks just like their old logo. Can they really call it new? A logo redesign is meant to inject vibrancy and excitement into a brand, but this logo does nothing, really, but regress to a previous version. No one will be excited or inspired. It won't lead to as many new apparel sales, since the older generation of fans probably still has an old version of the logo somewhere, and the younger generation of fans wants something flashy and cool. Some might even call this redesign... dare I say it... lazy.
WHAT THEY GOT RIGHT
Iconic, time-tested brands are not supposed to mess with their logo. It's too important, and it carries too much equity. The Gap got absolutely roasted when they deviated from their iconic mark, and some of the most established brands in the world, including Nike, Coca Cola and Ford, have recognized the importance of maintaining the design and heritage of their brand mark through the years. Toronto realized that if they came out with something that deviated too far from the brand mark that fans have come to know and love, they would do themselves a disservice. Interestingly, each of the "Original 6" NHL teams (Toronto, Boston, Chicago, New York, Detroit and Montreal) haven't really touched their logos, probably for the same reasons.
What do you think? Did they do the right thing, or miss an opportunity?
IHOP has updated its logo, clearly creating a happy face as part of the mark. The smile is also a big part of their new branding effort, which includes a "What are smiles made of?" tagline and a #IHOPSmile social media campaign.
But when I took a closer look at the 'happy face' integrated into the logo....
Am I the only one that sees this??
LESSON FOR MARKETERS
I've never been a big fan of focus groups, mostly because they are extremely difficult to do correctly, and they almost never yield statistically significant data. But in a case like this, getting a bunch of people together that aren't a part of the process (of creating the new logo) might have helped identify this potential likeness. All it takes is for one person to point out what everyone else misses, which can sometimes lead to a different or better outcome.
Did you see it? Does it even matter?
Almost by accident I discovered that one of Derek Jeter's retirement projects (besides dating Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover models) is the creation and promotion of a web site about sports written and edited entirely by professional athletes. Here are three things that I really love about this project:
LESSON FOR MARKETERS
There are several blog posts already written and still to come about this, but you need to take away from this post that your job, as a marketer, is to be valuable and unique to your audience. If you can do that well, your audience will do your job for you!
What do you think of the site? What do you think of the site design?
Well, I have another rant about a logo redesign gone terribly wrong (see Gap logo post here). But don't worry, I'm just as likely to praise good logo work (see DC Comics post here). My objective is to point out things that I see - good and bad - so we can all learn something about our own businesses.
When it comes to Microsoft, I certainly didn't expect it to be this bad.
Think about it. They have more than 92,000 employees worldwide, including more than 42,000 in the Sales and Marketing department (source). Surely, there are creative people in there somewhere. But after looking at the new logo, you can't help but think that they all look and act like this guy:
It's boring. It's conservative. It's square.
I think I can see what they're doing - trying to integrate the 4-colour scheme of the Windows logo. They also say on their blog (where they announced it... more on that later) that they're trying to convey the variety of products offered (Skype, XBox, Office, etc.).
OK, I'm with you, but I see several issues:
LESSONS FOR MARKETERS:
What are your thoughts on the new logo?
In a bold move, DC Comics overhauled its logo. It was bold because they changed it dramatically without a lot of warning, and because they ruthlessly abandoned an identity that had history and familiarity among their devoted fans.
In a previous post, I was pretty hard on the Gap for doing the same thing (read it here). And when I look back at that post, DC Comics is just as guilty as the Gap, except for one thing: DC's new logo is really good. The Gap's new logo was, to many (if not everybody), a noticeable and deplorable downgrade. The new DC Comics logo is really well done, and will strengthen their brand.
Here are the 5 things DC Comics did particularly well:
LESSON FOR YOU, THE MARKETER:
Not everybody loves the new logo. What do you think of it?
This blog is written by Glenn Cressman, Share Of Marketing's founder and Chief Share Builder (bio). It covers all things marketing. Feel free to comment!