Image via Stuart Watson.
The ones below are accompanied by the respective brand names on their websites. Perhaps they’ll move to ditch the name online (as Apple and Nike have).
I suppose it’s an easier decision if, after removing the type, you’re still left with an image depicting the brand name.
There’s a good post on Stuart’s blog about container branding. Worth a read, for the comment thread, too, where Rob Duncan’s thoughts are shared (and below).
“I have a big problem with this ‘Branding trend’. More can be viewed in our article on Design Assembly soon.
“Having worked for John Rushworth at Pentagram and hearing Vince Frost’s talk at the Brand New Conference, we were always taught by Rushworth who I’m sure heard this from McConnell, who probably heard this from Fletcher to ‘Look for the gift in a logo’.
“So many design agencies are so concerned with unwrapping the gift and connecting to their audience with the wrapping paper that they are overlooking the bow that holds it all together.
“Clever, intelligent logos can connect to an audience emotionally as well as the rest of the identity system, but designers aren’t looking hard enough anymore for that gift. The logo as a container idea to me just seems like an excuse for an average logo and is far too overused. In many cases, take the pretty picture out of the container and you’re left with a very dull logo.
“Really good ‘Branding’ agencies have always been doing clever intelligent and beautiful marks and applying them in fantastic ways. They all know a ‘Brand’ isn’t just about the logo, and that slapping a logo in the corner doesn’t make a good brand. This has been happening for years, it’s nothing new.
“In my opinion, firms should be trying harder to look for that gift and allow a great, memorable logo to drive a great brand, rather than letting the tail wag the dog.”
A few logo credits via Logo and Symbol:
Mitsubishi, by Yataro Iwasaki, 1870.
Chase, by Tom Geismar, 1961.
Penguin, by Edward Young, 1935, modified by Jan Tschichold, 1946, Pentagram, 2003.
Citroën, by André Citroën, 1903, redesigned by Landor, 2009.
Mercedes-Benz, 1909, modified 1916, 1937.
WWF, by Sir Peter Scott, 1961, modified by Landor, 1986.