We read an interesting article in Adweek a few weeks ago.
Research by Charles Spence, an experimental psychologist at the University of Oxford who investigates sensory perception of food, has determined that consumer perceptions of the taste of Pringles were actually altered by how fresh or stale the chips sounded. In further experiments, Spence discovered that product packaging influences taste perceptions, as well.
A failed packaging experiment for Coke involved a limited edition white can — designed as part of a fund-raising effort for endangered polar bears. The can was discontinued because consumers complained that Coke had changed its formula and the “new product” didn’t taste as good. Which wasn’t the case at all. It was a new can, not a new Coke.
The takeaway here: Color palettes, packaging, product shapes — even product names — can make or break your product. Design is more important that you might think. So choose wisely.
Your choice of a logo may not determine the life or death of your business, but it will certainly provide a visual cue into the culture, values and behavior of your brand, which may in fact act as a springboard to gain customer recognition. Every day consumers come face-to-face with countless logos. However, few are unaware of the impact these visual icons are making through subconscious messaging.
A logo gives consumers an instant impression of your brand, so it’s critical to develop a design that’s not only dynamic, but captures your brand’s vision and strengths. In many cases, a logo may only have a few seconds to tell a story, which can make creating one the most difficult aspect of the branding process.
As you begin the process of turning the image of your brand into a commercial reality, we suggest considering these four characteristics:
1. Is it unique?
Does the logo design remind you of someone else’s? Having a strong, distinctive logo identity will not only show how different you are, it will set you apart from others in your industry and make your brand more memorable.
2. Can it be described?
If you want to generate word of mouth around your logo, people have to be able to talk about it – therefore, it must be easy to describe. The simpler it is, the easier it will be to describe. We recommend playing around with bold and clean-cut techniques and foregoing the overcrowded and busy designs.
3. Does it suit your purpose?
When developing your logo, it’s important to identify what you want it to accomplish. Are you looking to persuade? Capture attention? Create awareness? The purpose of your logo will depend on the type of business you have and the effect you want to achieve. Your brand’s personality — the characteristics of your company — can help you figure out the typeface and colors that are most appropriate for your business.
4. Does it suit your target audience?
It’s important to look at the demographics of your target audience when determining the style and tone of your logo. If you have a business aimed at targeting men, you’ll want to think about incorporating strong designs with a macho edge. Likewise, if you’re targeting women, a delicate logo with subtle colors might be something to consider.
Looking to create a new logo for your brand — or to come up with something to replace the existing one? Contact us. We have a wealth of experience creating award-winning logos for major brands in a broad range of industries.
Adrian Frutiger, one of the great type designers of all times died this month, in his home in Switzerland at age 87.
Mr. Frutiger created some of the most widely used fonts of the 20th century — seen daily on signage on city streets, in airports and in subway stations. For him, the whole point of type was for it to be inconspicuous “so you’re not aware it’s there”.
His best-known fonts include Univers, Avenir and Frutiger, the one bearing his name, considered to be one of the world’s best signage typefaces because of its legibility and “clean” design.
Mr. Frutiger’s obituary in the New York Times had some very interesting points about typography we think are worth sharing.
“A font is how the sounds of language meet the eye, and each character has its own anatomy, temperament and needs…A type designer is obliged to reconcile the often competing imperatives of form and function, for a font that is especially beautiful may not be especially legible, and vice versa. Postmodernity — in which words are read not only on paper but also on fleetingly glimpsed road signs and electronic screens — has only amplified the problem.”
Typography continues to be exceedingly important in helping branding experts like us create unique and compelling identities and communications for our clients.
In addition to legibility concerns, every typeface has a distinct personality and identity — and can impart meaning by virtue of how it looks and reads.
Thanks to Mr. Frutiger, we brand designers have a rich palette of choices to work with. He will be missed and his legacy will certainly live on.
The new Communication Arts Design Annual just arrived in our mailbox — always eagerly anticipated. Besides the stellar work, what is particularly interesting this year is what the Award Show judges have to say about the business of design. We think their comments are blog-worthy.
Asked about how they perceive the role of design is changing, the panel offered insightful perspectives:
“I think design is transitioning from being seen as a commodity to being seen as a crucial part of a business’s success.”
“The best brands in the world have design within their C-suites. I don’t just mean marketing, but product and brand creatives who are involved in business decisions and help steer companies.”
“Technology will continue to change how we consume media, images and messages…but the underlying principles of design will always be relevant in communicating effectively, regardless of how the future evolves.”
The phenomenal success of design-oriented brands like Apple, Crate & Barrel, Nike and Starbucks underscore the growing importance of the visual impression in defining and solidifying user experience — and brand loyalty.
According to Sam Yen, chief design officer of SAP, “Design and design thinking brings the focus back to the most essential elements in anything you do, whether it’s a new product, a new service, a process improvement, or more. The focus instead is on the features and functions that matter most and that have the biggest impact – which in the end becomes the epicenter of great brands, solutions, and organizations.”
Make design a competitive advantage for your business, regardless of the business you’re in.