Look at the big picture before criticising the BP logo

Rick Holmes’ letter (DW 11 August) misses the bigger issues raised by the new BP identity. BP uses the two most ‘eyeball receptive’ colours in the spectrum and nothing on the garage forecourt scene scores as many points for visibility minus garishness.

Rick Holmes’ letter (DW 11 August) misses the bigger issues raised by the new BP identity.

BP uses the two most ‘eyeball receptive’ colours in the spectrum and nothing on the garage forecourt scene scores as many points for visibility minus garishness. It has helped to create that rare brand where the colours represent as much, if not more, than the logo. With this background it could be argued that the risk of dumping a time- honoured logo is reduced.

Time will tell. The design fits within BP’s scheme; if it’s been seen on pansy seed packets it must score ‘Green’ points, and it seems to have plenty of animation potential. Could the shield, with its medieval connotations, ever be as effective?

The three real issues are:

How readily can an established marque be killed off;

How long will it take a new one to become established as the hallmark of any particular new corporate philosophy;

How much will it cost to make it succeed.

After all, bear in mind that people still Hoover, they don’t Dyson.

These issues inevitably lead to the client’s door and a whole list of considerations: the client’s awareness of the recognition value of a logo; how long it takes to establish a new marque; and how much extra effort needs to be invested to accelerate customer recognition and awareness of what it represents.

Too much emphasis on the risk potential directed at the client will probably result in ‘don’t call us, we’ll call you’. By this time, the boardroom battles have been won and all dissenters dismissed, where the potential designer can join them if he doesn’t read the signs carefully.

J. E. Mulverston

cdjem@talk21.com

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