Designers consider the best examples of branding without a logo or wordmark

Jean Jullien helped Majestic Wines brand a range of wine, which only feature illustrations. “What is your favourite example of branding without an obvious logo or wordmark?”


Max Ottignon, co-founder, Ragged Edge

“Hawk-Eye demonstrates the power of a name as a vehicle to carry a brand’s key attributes.

The Hawk-Eye brand is delivered almost entirely verbally. We rarely – if ever – see any visual application of the identity, making the logo almost irrelevant.

Instead we’ve learnt what it stands for from third parties: primarily commentators who refer to Hawk-Eye in reverent terms, putting complete trust in the system’s accuracy and precision. As a result, it has become synonymous with sports technology, to the extent it has almost become the ‘Hoover’ of its category. An incredible feat of branding.”

Amanda Jackson, director, Jackdaw Design

While most brands are subject to their own strict rules in the delivery of a static brand, we now see some fantastic alternative examples of success in capturing the brand essence and spirit of a brand.

As consumer tastes are now more personalisation-orientated, brands can become more dynamic and alive. One example we’ve all experienced is Google; this dynamic brand has the ability to be recognised without an obvious wordmark. Instead of the logo being the core of the identity it’s an identity formula – a set of colours in a particular order and a vague shape of the wordmark.

Over the years there have been over 2000 Google doodles created to celebrate interesting events and anniversaries. Hurry up Easter so we can see what the next doodle will be!”

Duan Evans, executive creative director, AKQA

“He may hate – or love – to admit it but Banksy is a great example of brand building without an obvious or prominent logo or brand mark. He does actually have a logo and he wasn’t the first person to use stencil street artwork or propagate anti-political messages – but he has managed to build his brand without relying on the logo in an extraordinary way. This is particularly highlighted when a new piece appears in his style and debate rages whether it’s an ‘original’ or a ‘fake’ and how much it would be worth to steal the piece of wall it’s set on.”

Tom Hearn, business director, Nude Brand Creation

“Discrete logos can be a choice, or a necessity. With increasing legislation some brands need to rely on colour and shapes, not just logos. Tobacco packaging is a great example of this. Marlboro has been using the red chevron for years but its latest packaging relies totally on it – almost doing away with the wordmark altogether. Camel is another example, relying solely on the icon as branding on some packs such as Camel Natural Flavour. Both very iconic and confident, with great standout and attention to detail in the finishes. Their hand has been forced but it’s something other categories can learn from.

Of course this is only the case in certain territories. In the UK new Government-imposed restrictions mean that all cigarettes are now sold in olive green packets with new graphic health warnings. Brand names are written in Helvetica.

Just last week it emerged that tobacco companies were making small interventions onto the new packs, such as price stickers on cellophane wrappers.”

Have you got a favourite brand which does not use a logo or wordmark? Let us know in the comments section below.

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