Brand identity, Lovemarks, and the successful logo

In college, you learn color theory, gestalt theory, semiotics and other lines of research in order to inform the creation of a logo or a “mark.” But what happens when marketing meets the “mark?” Then, you have the creation of a “lovemark.” Lovemarks are brands to which a consumer has developed an emotional attachment. These attachments can be quite strong, as evidenced by this image.

Here is a collection of links to consider when pondering the difference between logo, brand, and identity, and which logos are connected to a brand who have ascended to the emotional status of “lovemark.”

The difference between brand, identity and logo

What makes a logo successful?

But I LOVE Starbucks!! (Lovemarks)

Here is an exercise to grow your identity acumen: Pick one Paul Rand logo from the above site (or one from your current environment). Answer the question: Why are these logos successful (or are they successful)? You may reference use of elements of design, such as line, shape, direction, size, color, value, or principles of design, such as balance, contrast, scale, unity, repetition, etc. Here are some guiding questions. 


Line: is it horizontal (restful)? vertical (active)? diagonal (unsettling)?


Shape: Is there a dominant shape? Closed or open?


Direction: Is it “pointing” a certain way? Why? Are there emotional connotations to the direction?


Size: Is there a tension happening in scale?


Color/Value: For the single color logo, are there changes in value? What does this do for the logo?


Balance: Is there symmetry? Asymmetry? How?


Contrast/Scale/Unity/Repetition: Is there a change in the scale of items that are repeated?
Does the logo reproduce well at a small size, such as 1″ x 1″ or the size of a postage stamp? Does it drop line width, legibility, or design elements at such a small scale?

Does it work well in a single color, such as black? (I recommend designing a logo in black and white only at the beginning of every project).

You can blend several of the items above into a single statement about the logo. Don’t be afraid to make your observations. There is no right or wrong way of looking…there is only looking until you see. 🙂

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