While it might be an interesting intellectual exercise to pretend the logo is dead (Insight, 1 April), it seems that Simon Manchipp hasn’t walked down his local high street for a while.
In a world full of advertising a simple and easily recognisable logo has never been a more important property. Look at shopfronts, look at ad hoardings – and even look at your iPhone, where tiny logos make the apps instantly recognisable to the user.
Yes, consumers are quite capable of choosing their curtains, shoes and haircut, but most of these will be based on something that has been designed. Even the haircuts. Therefore, to suggest consumers can go it alone is ridiculous.
When an organisation revamps its logo, it is rarely a standalone action. The logo is just one expression for other changes that have been introduced to a brand. The brief for a redesign may be linked to internal and external business changes, market forces or ways of working that directly impact the consumer experience.
A new corporate logo often has a boost on staff morale and can improve loyalty with consumers who might love a product, but don’t think a brand is as modern as its competitors.
In a world where brands are seen as social currency, the logo is like the watermark on the money – it is the ownable, individual, credible aspect of the brand. Yes, a shorthand online is definitely needed for complex logos, and most brands are responding to this.
In a simple world, only logos that are intuitive will really last – but that just makes our job as designers more challenging, not redundant.
And as for O2 – surely the ’bubbles brand world’ came from the name and logo – an O is strikingly similar to a bubble. But without the O2 name, the brand world is meaningless. Out of context, the bubbles and moody imagery could represent a new spring water, ambient imagery for a chill-out album or a trailer for The Abyss II.
Rebecca Fone, Head of client services, Holmes & Marchant, by e-mail