Monday 11 April 2011

Logos explained

A review of Deconstructing Logo Design by Matthew Healey,
published by Rotovision

For nearly 40 years Rotovision has been recognised as the publisher of choice for books on the visual arts, graphic design, photography, illustration, digital design and craft reference. Their mission is to highlight innovation and excellence in all these areas of design and to explore the process, creative techniques and inspiration that make the work stand out.

Matthew Healey has just written the latest book on design to be published by Rotovision. The book entitled Deconstructing Logo Design follows a number of other books from the same publisher on the intriguing subject of logos. Matthew Healey is a brand consultant, graphic designer and lecturer who has worked in advertising agencies in New York and Prague, is a member of the Design Management Institute in Boston and has lectured on branding, advertising and marketing throughout Europe and the USA.

The book gives an interesting insight into the ways that leading designers from around the world create the logos of today to communicate the values of a client’s brand. The challenge of today’s designers is to always create an identity that is original and will make their client stand out from its competitors whilst ensuring the result is functional and comprehensible. Designers must therefore be forever pushing forward the boundaries to provide client satisfaction. In this multi-media age a good visual expression of a brand , beginning with a logo seems to be more critical than ever.

The concept of a logo as set out in the book is to work on a number of levels:

• On the most basic level the logo needs to refer to the brand’s name

• On the next level, it may impart the offering behind the brand, although this is often not done, either because the offer is too complex or else the stand out is provided by the ethos or vision

• On a higher level, the logo needs to advance the broader strategic goals of the organisation to a specific audience

• Finally the logo ought to convey an implicit sense of the values, aspirations and promises the brand lets its consumers embrace.

300 international logos are presented and analysed as to how they meet the four objectives set out above. It is interesting that the logos are picked from the work of small agencies and individual designers as well as from such established and distinguished agencies as Fitch (10 examples), Interbrand (16 examples), Minale Tattersfield (9 examples), Landor (4 examples) and Siegel & Gale (10 examples). The designs featured had a certain universality about them and a number of design techniques in common, no matter what the country of origin which is probably not surprising given that organisations now want to communicate to a world audience and that all designers are able to keep abreast of design developments from around the world via the internet.

The book is an invaluable guide to all those designers who work within the realm of corporate identity design and for those who seek to sell their services as well as to corporate communicators and marketeers who need to promote their own organisations.

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