What Does Your Logo Say About Your Business?

The image of a square brown retro camera was instantly recognisable as Instagram. Then last month they changed it to something more modern and colourful. Almost six years on from launching, and with over 400 million users, Instagram wanted to update their logo to reflect the changing nature of the app. It’s been met with a big thumbs down from the Instagram community. It seems that like other companies before them, Instagram may have underestimated the users’ attachment to the iconic logo. In a poll conducted by The Telegraph, an overwhelming 83% prefer the old logo.

In our recent blog posts Branding Myths Busted and Why We Love Branding (And You Should Too) we touched on how logos are part of your branding, and not the brand alone (which is not to downplay the importance of having a logo). A logo can say a lot about your business. Think of it like an ambassador for your business.

Have you ever stopped to think about what your logo says about your business, and what would happen if you were to change it?

Take a look at the three images below and ponder the associations that come to mind when you look at each of these. That’s how you identify with these brands. How you identify with a brand might be different to the way the person next to you identifies with it, but generally you’ll find there’s a lot of common ground.

That’s the power of a logo. It has meaning to your customers. It brings to mind your products and services, what you stand for, and highlights your uniqueness. It might take years to build logo recognition to the level of those pictured above, or for your brand recognition to be conveyed merely with the use of a symbol.

Mercedes Benz has been around for over 100 years and there have been five iterations of their famous logo. Apple was founded in 1976 and the first logo was ornate and didn’t bear any resemblance to the current logo. It only lasted a year before the Rainbow Apple was introduced, which had a run of 22 years before it was replaced with today’s monochromatic version. WordPress started with just the words – Word in blue, and Press in black – back in 2003. The symbol you see above was introduced around 10 years ago.

“A logo doesn’t sell, it identifies. A logo derives its meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around. A logo is less important than the product it signifies; what it means is more important than what it looks like.” — Paul Rand (American graphic designer, known for corporate logo designs such as IBM and ABC)

Google the word ‘logo’ and you’ll likely see a bunch of sites relating to DIY logo creation. That’s one option, but many people still prefer to hand the job over to a design professional. A clever designer will be able to incorporate the messages that you want your logo to send out to the world. Do you want it professional and serious, or maybe you lean more towards fun and playful?

There is many a great story behind the design of corporate logos. Some designers have really outdone themselves cleverly hiding a dual image or meaning in the symbol: take for example, the bicycle and rider in the text of the Le Tour de France logo.

So what is the story behind your logo? Does it say what you want? Is it in keeping with the message you want to portray? Is it time for a logo audit to see if it needs updating?

For a bit of fun take this quiz to see which brands you recognise by logo alone.

If you’d like to know more about using logos, get in touch with the team at Ideaseed. We know how to use imagery powerfully.