Join Von Glitschka for an in-depth discussion in this video What is logo design?, part of Foundations of Logo Design.
Logo design is arguably the most well-known aspect of graphic arts. If you asked a non-designer what a graphic design is, more than likely their response would include a reference to logo design, and rightly so. Visual communications is one term used to classify what our industry does. And logo design is all about communicating through an image that will represent a company, a product, a service, or even an individual.
But this idea of relating a visual image to a person, place, or thing Has been around since the dawn of time. One could easily argue that the ancient culture of Egypt branded their rulers in God-like manifestations such as the Sphynx. Native cultures all around the globe have applied tattoo designs to their bodies in order to communicate positions of power within their sphere of tribal influence.
Early Christians used a fish symbol to associate and fellowship with like-minded people during times of persecution. The Roman Empire used an official stamp designed to denote their rule and ownership, and heraldry is all about branding a family with the unique crest that represents and distinguishes them from others. But the term branding finds it roots specifically in cattle ranching from the 1800's.
Open ranges meant cattle would sometimes wander into other herds, so to help avoid confusion, ranchers designed their own unique brand marks. Logos that they would then seer into the hide of cattle to claim their ownership of it. And thus branding, in its truest sense, was born. All of these historical attributes have led to our modern definition and practice of branding. The popularized phrase, brand, and it's association with logo design and commercial-oriented art, however, What's originally coined by advertising legend, David Ogilvy, in the 1950s.
But brand logos aren't anything new. There are commercial oriented brands that have been around for a very long time. Baker's Chocolate is the oldest American brand founded in 1780 and is now owned by Kraft Foods. Coca-Cola established their famous logo type brand in 1886 and advertised their product using many of the same methodologies put forward by David Ogilvy. The term branding is thrown around a lot when discussing logo design, but a logo should never be confused with a brand. A logo puts a face on a brand, but a brand will be what tells people who you are, what you do, and explains all the detail related to those services and convictions. And this is done through a website through customer service, through print collateral.
The experience a client has with a company, product or service. How well a business performs and communicates through the totality of their marketing efforts, etc. Most of these channels of communication will come after a logo is designed. A logo exists in the midst of all of it, but it's not the brand. It just represents the company, business or service. It's part of the brand, but it doesn't tell the full story on its own, nor should it.
Therefore, a logo is not a brand, but a logo is most definitely the capstone in the arch of any brand. Logo design is all about developing and creating an engaging personality through visual identity. When done well it will effectively represent and communicate your client's brand to their audience.
- Gauging client perceptions
- Determining the scope of work
- Quoting a project
- Profiling the client
- Developing a brand name
- Isolating design directions
- Crafting a visual identity
- Pitching your work
- Presenting brand systems
- Handling a change of course
- Making style guides
- Developing a brand narrative