Brand New Logo

Toolbox — Aspects of Logo Design

A corporate brand logo is a significant element of a brand’s identity and as such representing the whole company. A change of a brand’s logo has implications that must be taken into account prior to its implementation. The strategic, but also the communicative aspects related to both internal and external audiences, influence the direction of the logo development.

Changing the logo, influences your brand and the perception of your company long term. Growing the business means growing it with a brand that is able to support your business objectives. Today we are less focusing on the aesthetics of a logo design. Instead, we would like to concentrate on the strategic aspects of how we can create a logo solution that optimally fits to the positioning of the brand and its role.

Key perspectives

‘How it looks’ The aesthetics of a brand logo can

  • create immediate sympathy and connection with a brand (e.g. TUI)
  • underline the personality of a brand (e.g. NIKE)
  • express tradition, contemporariness or future orientation (e.g. König Ludwig Weißbier)
  • support the positioning of the brand (e.g. Hermes Paris)

‘What it tells’. The logo is a steady carrier of the explicit or implicit brand messages, e.g. about

  • the personality, brand idea and values (e.g. Ferrari)
  • the image it wants to be associated with (e.g. Puma)
  • the type of business or category the brand represents (e.g. Wollsiegel)
  • the belonging to a faily, region, nation (e.g. Südtirol)
  • the benefit of liasing with the brand (e.g. Deutsche Bank)

‘If it’s remembered’. A strong iconographic logo is a key element in building a powerful visual impression. An iconic logo

  • increases through its clarity communication efficiency (e.g. the NIKE swoosh)
  • is more easily recognized an thusmore efficiently memorized (e.g. the peacock of NBC)
  • facilitates the emotional bonding with the brand (e.g. the heart in I (love) NY)
  • raises the brand’s stature in terms of its authenticity (e.g. the shell of Shell or the panda-bear of WWF)

‘If it’s on brand’. A logo can be key in visually telling what the brand’s positioning is. Everything from

  • relating the brand to its core mission (e.g. bp)
  • expressing category leadership and quality (e.g. Mercedes Benz)
  • focussing on the feeling the brand radiates (e.g. TUI)

‘If it’s in line with business’. A logo can bea key element in communicating/supporting a new business strategy and/or corporate architecture

  • extension of the business into new areas/markets (e.g. Starbucks)
  • change of business perspective from customer to consumer (e.g. Unilever)
  • business re-oganisation separating holding brand from operational business brands (e.g. Altana)

Feasability Factors

The acceptance of a logo among key stakeholder is a must. Otherwise

  • brand equities are weakened
  • brand recognition diminished
  • perception of brand positioning endangered autheniticity of brand lost

(See: Gap logo relaunch in October 2010. http://www.theguardian.com/media/2010/oct/12/gap-logo-redesign)

Introducing a new or a modified logo is always associate with some risk.

Legal risks: Potential conflicts with already existing figurative or combined figurative/word marks owned by third parties.
(see: conflict between TAZ and jack wolfskin) (see: SonyEricsson sues the clearwire corporation for branding mobilephones with a similar logo. http://www.cnet.com/news/sony-ericsson-sues-clearwire-over-logo/)

Cultural/political risks: Potential similarities with signs and symbols that are perceived as inacceptable due to cultural/politial issues.
(see: Iran objects to the 2012 London Olympics logo, contending it is racist because it resembles the word ‘ ZION’ and was warning of a possible boycott. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/feb/28/iran-london-olympics-logo-zion)

Differentiation of a logo needs to be sufficient by addressing following aspects

  • differentiation from famous brand logos, independent of business category
  • differentiation from direct competitors
  • differentiation of logo within own brand portfolio

Logos have also to meet a number of criteria in order to facilitate the implementation

  • ease of integration into a current identity system
  • holistic and harmonic new brand impression
  • technical production and printing matters, e.g. application on analog and new digital brand touch points, downsizing, application on different shapes etc.

Ultimately, the introduction of a logo is associated with costs and expectations regarding tangible benefits.

  • overall investments necessary for a logo change (short term/mid term long term)
  • strategies to lower cost by the way the logo change is carried out
  • hidden/alternative costs associated by not changing the logo


  • Short term benefits vs. long term benefits
  • Opportunity to communicate change ‘symbolically’
  • Preparing the way forward to signal extension of the business and driving the change proactively
  • Renewed image reducing weak spots in brand image


  • Reflects/supports business strategy
  • Signals future orientation
  • Is a fabric of the corporate style and culture
  • Is the long term visual recog-nitionelement of the brand
  • Supports positioning
  • Expresses core idea
  • Expresses personality
  • Creates differentiation
  • Triggers immediate associations with the brand world
  • Facilitates Recognition
  • Creates initial interest
  • Triggers spontaneous emotions
  • Delivers an explicit or implicit message
  • Communicatesvalue(s)
  • Enhances identification with the business and brand
  • Creates employees’ pride
  • Differentiates people from others in a private context
  • Creates first impression
  • Triggers associations
  • Reflects relevant differentiation
  • Relates the new offer with previous experiences
  • Calls upon the brand goodwill
  • As a representiveof the brand/company it positions the product/service
  • Leverages the product experience
  • Recognition creates trust and product preference