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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