FINE Muses On Clio: Cool Logo. What Else You Got?

Posted in Insights

As featured by the Clio Awards, our look at how branding goes much deeper than a logo.

Recently, we replied to the media query "How to decide if you need a logomark or a logotype." One's got a picture and the other's just a fancy-looking word. Decisions!

Nowadays, the old Greek word logo shows up in a sub-bullet point in some proposals as terms like "identity," "signature visuals" or "special moves." Maybe those sound like fancy-pants agency words, but they're actually more humbly descriptive of what you probably need.

The word logo makes us think of branding unsuspecting cattle, or rock stars Sharpie-scribbling their signature on groupies. There are some great logos, of course. But that doesn't mean the goal is to conceive them to stamp on every available space.

As soon as you make rules about branding, there's opportunity in simply breaking it. An aspiring shoe brand may think they need a Nike swoosh, or they may want to spell their name out in big block letters to stand out, like Supreme. The one rule there is is, it's not about you.

What matters today is less about logo recognition on store shelves, and more about visual patterns and where they interact with customers. Don't think of a logo as the company equivalent of a dog marking its territory. Think of it as a sort of SERVICE. It adds value, looks cool, makes lives easy, it's helpful, distinctive, subtle or stylish. It's associated with moments in time, not just taking up space.

Some of the most iconic visual signatures aren't logos at all. For every Nike swoosh logomark, there's a Coke or Google that hits home with a bottle shape or search window. And almost all brands have short forms now for use in places like phone screens. Visual signatures emerge as you think through where/when to apply them during the customer experience.

Viewed like this, you may start to think of logos as signatures. If you need to mark something, shoot for those periods in time when a person comes in contact with signature evidence your brand exists to give them something. Working through actual touchpoint context is the best way to decide how to get identity into the mix in some form, and maybe add value to your product while you're at it.

Check out the full article here.

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