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					                             Graphics 2
         What makes a good logo design?

typical response to a query posted in a forum for graphic designers;

     „I‟m designing a logo for an exclusive garden designer to go on
     a glossy brochure and on his tender portfolios as well as
     stationery.
     I‟m thinking of avoiding green and fine lines altogether and
     instead use reds and browns with a Modern typeface - what do
     you think?‟

                       „The design should capture the essence of what the company
                          is about - to act as a flag, a standard where the standard-
                          bearer is the physical medium on which the logo appears.
                        It is so important that the logo offers the world an insight into
                            the values of the company it represents.
                       You don‟t have to use green if you don‟t want to.‟ -
What makes a good logo design?

Introduction

advice from marketing experts
advice from graphic designers
evidence from research
a look at a study and resulting guidelines from Henderson and Cote (1998) .
advice from marketers;
tends to be a little vague, perhaps stating the obvious, not really enough to
justify many specific design decisions;


1. „catch the eye‟; „grab attention‟; „immediate impact‟; „hold the viewer‟s gaze‟
2. „appealing to the eye‟; „enjoyable to look at‟; „aesthetically pleasing‟
3. „positive image‟; „speak well of the brand‟; „enhance the brand‟s reputation‟
4. „represent the business‟; „appropriate to the company‟s activities‟
5. „easy to remember‟; „easily recognisable‟; „help customers remember the brand‟
6. „stand the test of time‟; „hold its value‟; „remain fresh and relevant with age‟
7. „easy to duplicate‟; „not too expensive to print‟; „suitable for a range of uses‟ .
advice from graphic designers;
plenty of sites on the internet that have a jolly good attempt at explaining logo
design, for example;



      http://www.thelogofactory.com/library/articles/what-makes-a-
      good-logo.html




                  quite a good effort at making it clear there are no „golden
                      rules‟, that there‟s more to the process than slapping a few
                      coloured polygons on the page and adding the company
                      name in a font no one‟s ever heard of… -
advice from graphic designers;
some are good at explaining their own priorities, eg this from David Airey
http://www.davidairey.com/what-makes-a-good-logo/


      “There are four critical elements that can be seen in every great logo
         design:
      It must be describable
      It must be memorable
      It must be effective without colour
      It must be scalable i.e. effective when just an inch in size
      Points 1 and 2 go hand in hand, because if you can‟t describe what a
         logo looks like then how will you be able to remember it?
      Point 3 is important because colour is secondary to the shape. Adding
         colour to your logo should be left to the very end of the process,
         because if the mark doesn‟t work in black only, no amount of
         colour will rescue the design.
      Point 4 is vital for things such as office stationery (pens, pin badges
         etc.). All those little things that people often forget about.” -
advice from graphic designers;
more resources from David Airey;

http://www.logodesignlove.com/
Airey has assembled articles and resources dedicated to logo design, very useful
    and a practical approach from a successful designer




  http://www.logosdesigners.com/
  Another of Airey‟s projects - here he has collected a list of influential
     designers with information about their work -
from „Really Good Logos Explained‟…

•   The lettering here is very elegantly done.
    The weights of the capitals are well
    balanced to the lowercase, and the missing
    dot and slices keep if from feeling too heavy
    in any one spot.‟
•   „…the use of a fine hand-executed
    illustration emphasizes the organic and
    natural. The type is elegantly combined,
    using the tail of the „y‟ as the i-dot and
    interlinking the „O‟ and the „S‟ into a
    monogram.‟
•   „The illustration appears as though it was
    pulled from a classic botanical book. The
    interlocking letterforms do not hinder overall
    readability and their positioning creates a
    well anchored pyramid shape that refuses
    to budge.
from „Really Good Logos Explained‟…

Upaya Wellness Clinic
•   „The hand shapes used here are friendly,
    well drawn, and configured into a lotus
    shape that takes advantage of negative
    space to communicate more than one
    message - or is it massage? The feeling is
    clan and modern without being cold‟
•   „Hands and lotus flower elegantly combine
    in this mark. The appreciation of the
    symmetry of the negative interior space
    shows attention to detail.‟
from „Really Good Logos Explained‟…

•   „This is a nice use of negative space that
    adds some fun to lettering. The missing „o‟
    and „i‟ mess with your eyes and give the
    mark character‟
•   „A nice use of positive negative space that
    has a relevance to the product. More
    animated bounce might help (although that
    is somewhat of a cliché in snack lettering),
    it looks somewhat formal as is. The white
    line clipping the „c‟ indicates there may be
    more invisible white elements to be found if
    we looked more closely‟
•   „Proportional thickness defines the ring of
    the „o‟ and the circle around the dot - a sign
    of the designer‟s control over every detail of
    this tasty mark.‟
meaning…

• stimulus codability
     term used by psychologists to describe
      consensual interpretation of a stimulus; for our
      purposes the stimulus is an image

• subjective familiarity
     highly codable images also tend to feel familiar
      to the observer even if the image itself is new

• meaning of the logo
     a familiar, highly codable image will tend to
      remind people of the same thing;
     „what does the owl mean?‟ .



   Owls;
   wisdom - Pallas, Minerva both had owls
   vision - owls hunt at night, reputation for visual acuity
   dignity - association from use of the image based on
       the above and familiar images of owls sitting still
recognition and „memorability‟…

• customers may only have sight of the logo for a brief period
     walking down supermarket aisle, driving past billboard, flicking TV channels,
      flicking through magazine
• evidence from psychological studies suggests that the perception of
  images occurs more quickly than words
     in reading we recognise familiar words by shape rather then their constituent
      letters
• recognition of an image can evoke memory of textual information
  such as brand name and strapline/tagline
• two levels of recognition
     remember having seen the logo before
     subsequently recall the brand that owns the logo
• making the logo easy to remember is a function of the design
     subsequent recall is largely due to marketing efforts
• false recognition – occurs when people believe they have seen the
  logo when they have not
     obvious advantages for a new logo .
affect…

• affect can be transferred by
  association to the brand
• public perception of the product may
  be negative, even if not justified
     eg Procter and Gamble „moon and stars‟
      logo, Joe Camel (Calfee (2000))

• obviously the way people feel when
  exposed to a logo will have a bearing
  on purchase decisions, recognition
  and subsequent development of a
  „brand community‟ .
empirical research;
surprisingly little from the academic community…
…probably a rich area for future research for those that are interested


some work that‟s relevant (reading list);
Aaker, Jennifer L, Dimensions of Brand Personality, Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 34, No. 3 (Aug., 1997), pp.
347-356
Bogart, Leo and Lehman, Charles, What Makes a Brand Name Familiar?, Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 10, No.
1 (Feb., 1973), pp. 17-22
Cobb-Walgren, Cathy J., Ruble, Cynthia A., Donthu, Naveen, Brand Equity, Brand Preference, and Purchase Intent,
Journal of Advertising, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Autumn, 1995), pp. 25-40
Erdem, Tulin and Swait, Joffre, Brand Equity as a Signaling Phenomenon, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Vol. 7,
No. 2 (1998), pp. 131-157
Henderson, Pamela W. and Cote, Joseph A., Guidelines for Selecting or Modifying Logos, The Journal of Marketing,
Vol. 62, No. 2 (Apr., 1998), pp. 14-30
Janiszewski, Chris and Meyvis, Tom, Effects of Brand Logo Complexity, Repetition, and Spacing on Processing
Fluency Judgment, The Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 28, No. 1 (Jun., 2001), pp. 18-32
Muniz, Albert M. Jr. and O'Guinn, Thomas C., Brand Community, The Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 27, No. 4
(Mar., 2001), pp. 412-432
Steenkamp, Jan-Benedict E. M., Batra, Rajeev, Alden, Dana L., How Perceived Brand Globalness Creates Brand
Value, Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 34, No. 1 (Jan., 2003), pp. 53-65 -
    empirical research;
•   Henderson, Pamela W. and Cote, Joseph A., Guidelines for Selecting or
    Modifying Logos, The Journal of Marketing, Vol. 62, No. 2 (Apr., 1998), pp.
    14-30
•   study to investigate how the design features of a logo would interact with
    the following properties that are desirable in a good design;

      Correct Recognition - how easily people recognise the logo after previously
       being exposed to it
      False Recognition - whether people believe they recognise it when in fact they
       have not previously been exposed to it
      Positive Affect - whether exposure to the logo results in positive or negative
       feelings, emotions, moods
      Familiar Meaning - to what extent the logo invokes the same meaning as others
       („stimulus codability‟) or some subjective meaning (ie not tied to cultural norms) .
selection of dependent variables…
characteristic design features…

• these were selected arbitrarily in consultation with texts and
  professional graphic designers;
• example logos were prepared that exhibited each design
  feature
• subjects were surveyed on how each example logo scored on
  a scale of the desired properties;
       Correct Recognition
       False Recognition
       Affect
       Meaning


• various controls were in place to avoid priming effects
• the results were correlated and analysed using a range of
  statistical techniques to identify which features accounted for
  which variance .
characteristic design features…

• Natural – resemble common objects;
    „representative/abstract‟ –
     representative logos should enhance
     familiarity (obviously, because the logo is
     designed to resemble an object that is
     familiar to us), highly abstract
     representations are difficult to recognise
    „organic/geometric‟ – organic refers to
     the chaotic, random shapes that occur in
     nature, and should be more meaningful;
     geometric shapes are not common in
     nature, but may be familiar to us as part of
     our industrialised culture
characteristic design features…

• Harmony – symmetry and balance eg
  Gestalt principles
    „balance‟ – logos that manage to present
     elements that „even each other out‟ from side
     to side or top to bottom; may refer to
     ink/whitespace, size, complexity, colours
    „symmetry‟ – reflected along one or more axis
     – Gestalt school maintains that symmetry is
     very important for recognition and affect,
     elements of symmetry are very common in
     nature; higher animals are symmetrical
     (although with variations) -
characteristic design features…

• Elaborate – richness, capture
  essence of something with
  simplicity, eg heraldic marks
    ‘complexity’ – classic graphics advice is
     that simplicity provides best affect,
     however psychology of arousal suggests
     that there will be a u-shaped response;
     some complexity will enhance affect but
     too much will be detrimental
    ‘active’ – elements that suggest motion
     or flow
    ‘depth’ – perspective, 3 dimensional
     effects
characteristic design features…

• Parallel – lines or curves that run
  together
• Repetition – repeat the same elements
• Proportion – eg golden ratio
• Round – curves, ellipses and circles as
  opposed to sharp corners and angles -
selection of independent variables…
selection of independent variables…
selection of independent variables…
selection of independent variables…
variance explained by design features…
from discussion and conclusion…

•   Correct Recognition is achieved by naturalness, but too much harmony is
    slightly detrimental to recognition
•   “Moderate levels of harmony (the logo is not perfectly balanced or
    symmetrical) also improve recognition. These departures from perfect
    symmetry and balance (which are so common in design) appear to be
    more memorable.”
•   the relationship between harmony and recognition is not linear - there is a
    curve that peaks so that there is an optimal level of harmony - enough but
    not too much
•   note that in nature, symmetry is not perfect, and a truly symmetrical
    photograph of a face, for example, looks bizarre .
from discussion and conclusion…

•   False Recognition occurs when logos are less distinctive, more general
•   “characteristics include a lack of naturalness (less memorable than more
    natural symbols), high harmony (very common in design and less
    distinctive), and multiple parallel lines (which make symbols more difficult
    to distinguish).”
•   “In addition, false recognition is increased when the logo's proportion is
    closer to a height of approximately 75%-80% of the width”
•   the „golden ratio‟ or „golden section‟ is about 68% aspect ratio. It occurs in
    nature (snail shell) and has been copied by artists and architects for
    thousands of years - very familiar to us .
from discussion and conclusion…

•   Positive Affect is achieved with logos that are „moderately elaborate‟.
•   “The best way to ensure more affectively pleasing logos is to select
    moderately elaborate designs (degree of elaborateness is a relative
    concept, and logos tend to be fairly simple in design). Elaborateness is a
    function of complexity, activity, and depth”
•   “Slightly more elaborate logos should evoke more positive affective
    evaluations and will maintain viewer interest and liking over repeated
    exposure”
•   “Naturalness (representative and organic) also improves affect, though
    the logo should not be excessively natural” .
from discussion and conclusion…

•   Familiar Meaning is achieved when there is high codability and
    subjective familiarity is evoked - ie representations of common
    objects.
•   “After all, a logo with an unfamiliar meaning will not evoke
    common associations across people.”
•   “Familiar meaning can be maximized (without reducing
    distinctiveness) by selecting a unique, but easily interpreted,
    design of a familiar object.”
•   “Familiar meaning is increased by naturalness, as this captures
    how representative and organic the logo is, and by having a
    proportion close to that of the golden section, as this is the most
    familiar proportion in design and nature.” .
the right design for the right purpose…

•   Henderson and Cote identify three „classes‟ of logo that might use the
    experimental data to inform their design;
•   High-recognition logos – designed to maximise customer recognition and
    support the efforts of marketing – retail brands
        need to be easily recognised after prior exposure
        need to recall the brand
        should not be easily confused with other logos and their brands
•   Low-investment logos – designed to look familiar even without the support
    of marketing and brand exposure – new / small business, limited budget
        need to capture a high level of false recognition
        helpful if they are confused with other logos and brands
•   High-image logos – designed to invoke positive affect on exposure, but
    recognition not required – business to business, holding companies, venture
    capital
        need to capitalise on features that have broad appeal
        need to avoid possible negative connotations
        possibly need to be difficult to recognise eg DSGI
three types of logo that achieve different goals…
design guidelines for achieving goals…
Sources
•   Calfee, John E., The Historical Significance of Joe Camel, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing,
    Vol. 19, No. 2 (Fall, 2000), pp. 168-182
•   Aaker, Jennifer L, Dimensions of Brand Personality, Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 34, No. 3
    (Aug., 1997), pp. 347-356
•   Bogart, Leo and Lehman, Charles, What Makes a Brand Name Familiar?, Journal of Marketing
    Research, Vol. 10, No. 1 (Feb., 1973), pp. 17-22
•   Cobb-Walgren, Cathy J., Ruble, Cynthia A., Donthu, Naveen, Brand Equity, Brand Preference,
    and Purchase Intent, Journal of Advertising, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Autumn, 1995), pp. 25-40
•   Erdem, Tulin and Swait, Joffre, Brand Equity as a Signaling Phenomenon, Journal of Consumer
    Psychology, Vol. 7, No. 2 (1998), pp. 131-157
•   Henderson, Pamela W. and Cote, Joseph A., Guidelines for Selecting or Modifying Logos, The
    Journal of Marketing, Vol. 62, No. 2 (Apr., 1998), pp. 14-30
•   Janiszewski, Chris and Meyvis, Tom, Effects of Brand Logo Complexity, Repetition, and Spacing
    on Processing Fluency Judgment, The Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 28, No. 1 (Jun.,
    2001), pp. 18-32
•   Muniz, Albert M. Jr. and O'Guinn, Thomas C., Brand Community, The Journal of Consumer
    Research, Vol. 27, No. 4 (Mar., 2001), pp. 412-432
•   Steenkamp, Jan-Benedict E. M., Batra, Rajeev, Alden, Dana L., How Perceived Brand Globalness
    Creates Brand Value, Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 34, No. 1 (Jan., 2003), pp.
    53-65 .

				
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