Friday, November 18, 2011

Logo Issues

One of these logos is for a headphone company, the other a blog for moms. A little tricky to decide which is which when they are next to each other; imagine trying to do so if they weren’t side by side.

A company’s logo, once established, is much more than a picture or set of text; it is layers of brand recognition that are available to a consumer with a single glance. When you see two golden arches you, immediately know it is McDonald's with their Big Mac’s, golden French fries, and that McRib sandwich that seems to not want to die. We have thousands of memories, experiences, and opinions that are all linked to this single logo.

It is like this for thousands of brands across the world; they build a huge brand that can be fit into one single image. It makes advertising much more compact. We do not need McDonald’s mission statement stamped on any of their ads, or the side of their building; we just need to see those golden arches, and we all know exactly what is being offered.

But what happens when your logo looks almost identical to that of another company's? Well, for hip hop artist Dr. Dre’s headphone company (Beats by Dre), and Disney’s newly acquired mommy blog (Babble), this has seemed to happen. I came across this by chance; when I thought that the ad banner on my computer was for a new set of headphones and not a blog that features articles about vegan Thanksgiving meal ideas.

The point I am trying to make is that, when you're designing a logo, you want to make sure there is nothing out there that can easily be mistaken for yours. Maybe these two companies have such different markets that this will not be an branding issue, but for me it was. I was not able to see the Babble logo and instantly think, “That’s a website for women to go and learn about healthy foods for their children” or even, “What logo is that?” I was thinking about over-sized headphones and west coast hip-hop.

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