Logos have been around for centuries. If you do not believe this, think of the show ‘Game of Thrones’. This is a medieval fantasy that was based on real events during the Middle Ages, specifically, the War of the Roses. In the show, and even in our own history, the way people show their allegiance is through brandishing their lord’s arms or family crests. You can go as far as to say that their house words work like a brand tagline. Fast forward a bit to the Crusades – soldiers chosen for the Knights Templar who wears a big red cross on white and on their shields. And that cross has become a marker that this knight works for the interests of the church.
Recounting the history of logo designing:
In a more related commercial context on how we use a logo design now, it used to be a way to differentiate merchant shops from each other. Remember that trading was the norm, and the game involves carrying exclusive items like spices, silk, and other rare goods.
It was not until the mid-20th century that logos started to become part of building an identity. Designers started thinking about how to communicate with buyers through the logo and how they can encapsulate company values and its essence through it. This produced some of the cleanest and modernist designs that have become iconic today, taking into account the following elements: simple, memorable, and no frills. And you can see this practice today through logos from Apple, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and Nike.
Smartphones and its influence on logo design:
At present, designers are not just creating logos for classified ads or posters, they are creating distinct icons for the digital platform. The rise of smartphones has also brought with it the minimalistic style. In this new logo trend, companies do not just want to make it memorable and simple, but that it has to be flexible enough to be redesigned for smartphone interface. If you look at your phone’s home, all those icons you see are not merely made for you to know which app you are using. You are literally carrying and interacting with brand logos in a way that was not as personal before.
And if you still don’t know yet, brand logos used to come with a manual detailing how to use it for different means. For instance, if you have a firm that distributes collectibles to retailers called Pop Culture Central, firms will not just create a logo for you, but they will tell you how you can position that on your trucks, and the dos and don’ts on using it on paper.
But the digital culture made that a little irrelevant. Let us take Nike as an example. Their famous check or “swoosh” mark did not actually get the attention that it was gunning for back then. In fact, people were a just “meh” about it. However, incessantly marketing it and channeling tons of creative power to it has made it one of the best examples of a simplistic logo that is globally recognizable.
Another example would be the Snapchat logo – A white ghost drawn in a scrawly manner, on a yellow background. The story was that the founder drew that ghost himself and chose the color yellow because there are not a lot of apps that are colored as such. Together with the app’s capabilities to share ridiculously filtered video and photo messages with friends and marketing power, the Snapchat logo has earned a universal reputation. Right now, once you see yellow, Snapchat would be one of the first things you will think about.
When it comes to logo design, it is not only about using it as a visual communication tool. Yes, it is important that designers are able to get a brand’s values and essence and turn it into an icon. But with the marketing platform perennially changing, it is also important to create marketing strategies that will not only help make the logo memorable, but also to give the company a feeling of ownership towards it.