Skip to 4:16 for the logo chat. All interesting though.

“The earliest known logo, I believe, is the Bass Ale triangle that’s credited as being the first registered symbol. But think about it, it’s a red triangle. Target is a dot with a circle around it. The Apple logo is a silhouette of an apple and there’s a bite out of it. These are all things that are so simple that I suspect if you came to someone like me and said, ‘Look, I have lots of money to spend and I want the best logo in the world,’ if I came back to you with a red triangle or a dot with a circle around it and said, ‘I’ve thought about this a long time, here you go,’ you would say, ‘What? How much did I pay for this? My three-year-old could do that.’

“What people don’t understand, and I think some designers don’t understand to a certain degree, is that designers only make a vessel to hold things that have to be filled in over time. The power that we associate with the Nike Swoosh has to do with all of the associations that Nike has helped you make with it — commercials, sponsorship. If you like Nike as a company you’ll take the good will that they’ve generated and deposit it right into the vessel they created for it, that shape.”

From the The Creative Influence documentary series by Sandbox Studio.


Essentially he’s saying it’s not the logo, it’s what’s “built into” it, what surrounds it, that gives it its value. I can see that. And that’s something that definitely takes time.

This sounds much like what he said in the Chris Bowden interview you posted back in 2010. Although, I like his presentation of the point here better.

In the other interview, he seemed to be neglecting the depth of the process employed in logo creation when he essentially stated third graders could do most logos. Most third graders could *copy* most logos. But the ideation process, the sketching, the presenting, the considering–these things that all influence the end design–couldn’t be replicated. I could probably construct an exact replica of the light bulb, but copying and *inventing* are two different things.

I definitely agree, though, about building brand value through the multitude of ways in which a logo is presented. As with advertising, you don’t boast up the product, you boast up what you can do with the product. A static Nike logo may mean very little, but a respected athlete wearing Nike branded apparel while he dunks a basketball–that resonates with people.

This is why I think it’s important for identity designers to help clients build value into the design by proposing a strategy for how it will be presented and used.

I’ve got a doozy of a trivia question for ya:

Which came first, the “PATRON” tequila label, or the “Algerian” font. I think its rather uncanny that a top-shelf liquor would include a font that begins with the letter “A”.

Or, were they swindled by savvy designers?

Very good. Makes you think about the internet companies that can design you a logo for £20. They supply three versions with infinite revisions… I would love to see one of these internet logo designers summarise the value in brand and mark as eloquently.

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