Logo Design, Bath.

Logo design is a simple, strong expression of brand intent. Great logo design at its finest creates beautiful pieces of art in their own right. Elegant articulations of an organisations personality, past and future. We can love them and hate them in equal measure. We live with some of the most memorable ones as part of our cultural landscape, perhaps noticing their modifications and modulations over many years as they adapt to new worlds. They can grow up with their audience or stay within a delineated strata. 

Logos should stand up high at the top of an organisations visual identity; it’s face to the world. Like the king in chess, it holds the keys to power but requires its subjugated pieces to pave the way, provide context and set the scene. 

Logos marques, logotypes, wordmarks, motifs and logos are there to be deployed with presence and gravitas. But never exploited or overused. Certainly not expected to solve every brand problem and thrust out at every opportunity. They need our love and consideration; our thought and protection. In turn they will allows us to extend into areas without which we’d be lost.

The best logos are born good and become great. It’s possible almost instantly they can feel right and appropriate. But, it’s only over time they become fully realised and find their right place in our collective cultural consciousness. This is where brand design come into play. The context, positioning and the making of meaningful connections, from website to car park sign, ultimately deliver the ‘X factor’ and determine how closely we hold a logo  to our hearts.

Logo Design.

Often at the apex of a visual identity lies some kind of logo marque. A distillation of the values, outlook and personality of the organisation. The logo is then supported by other graphic interventions and protocols such as colour, typographic arrangements, illustration and motifs. A logo is necessary when there is no other way to make a quick association.

However, on its own a logo marque or a logotype, no matter how beautiful or well crafted, is not the most powerful form of brand identity expression – though in certain situations, there’s no alternative. Logos are a quick reminder of that organisation and make a simple connection. That’s the best we can expect from this kind of brand exposure in this context.

Getting a warm, fuzzy feeling, a real sense of trust, professionalism and understanding and making a truly meaningful association with a company or organisation is a lot to ask of a logo. Certainly some marques manage it better than others though clearly this must be predicated by significant prior experience and exposure to the brand.

A strong brand identity is a tapestry of contributing components coming together to build a compelling and authentic narrative. A team of contributing players utilised to achieve brand goals. The brand identity toolkit may consist of many designed items like a logo, colour palette, guide to the use of language and style, typeface(s) and materials, illustrative and photographic style etc etc. These elements and others should emerge from the core idea that espouses the values and virtues of the brand.

A logo is useful shorthand. A simple and quick expression of the brand. However, a logo should not be used instead of, or as well as, more compelling ways of experiencing the brand. For example, it is rare to see the National Trust oak leaf past the pay threshold on entrance to a Trust place or space. For good reason. You’re there, you know where you are and who’s involved. Much better signifiers for a brand are; friendly gardeners, decent quality materials, considered estate colours, sympathetic and clear interpretation and spectacular buildings, gardens and spaces.

Logos often are much better at ‘who we are’ and far less good at ‘what we are’. Before adding a logo, it’s always worth considering whether it’s already obvious to the audience the ‘who we are’ bit. If that’s plain, are there better ways to articulate the ‘what we stand for’ part. In some cases, though it’s the worst form of brand identity expression, it’s still the best.