Logos and Corporate Identity are all about communicating messages through Signs and Symbols. What message and how it’s communicated has much to do with culture. Take, for example, a simple circle, it may carry different meanings. Universally it may mean an infinite shape, that has no beginning and end, and may depict wholesomeness, unity or solidness. Oh, and one more thing, once you apply color the meaning can change altogether.
As culture never ceases to amaze how it defines identity of a people and how signs and symbols have been used throughout history to communicate. In the modern business world, it’s no different.
Take a look at circles used as corporate logos, and notice the diverse organizations and economic sectors they represent. French brand of natural cosmetics and personal care, Marque Verte [Brand Identity Rejuvenation done by Landor]; SF-based Orrick Law Firm; Revolution Sports Marketing, UK; The Original Basket Boutique of Richmond, Virginia; The Circle of Reason; Octagon Theatre, Bolton, UK; OFPSA (Organization for Facial Plastic Surgery Assistants); Conservation International; Exploratorium Science Museum, San Francisco; Open Angel Forum, Start Up Accelerator & Business Incubator, USA; EBS, Diversified Group of Companies involved in Education, Seoul, South Korea; DOX Centre for Contemporary Art (Centrum Súčasného Umeni), Prague, Czech Republic; NOA Audio Solutions, Vienna, Austria; Direct Energie, French Utility Group; Ogami Collection, designed by Office Milano Brand Design, Milan, Italy; ENO (English National Opera), UK; Banesco Bank, Caracas, Venezuela; Blue Dot Café, Alameda, CA, USA; Planet Green TV, USA; Blaupunkt (Blue Point), German electronics brand; USA Today Newspaper, USA; Focus Bank, Jonesboro, AR, USA; Blue Circle Cement (part of UK-based Blue Circle Industries), now defunct when acquired by French Group, Lafarge in 2001; Around the Bend Driving School, Dublin, Ireland (logo designed by Mel Gardner); Quantel Data Solutions, UK; Google Circles, USA; Talent Circles, Web-based Talent Recruitment Platform, USA; Enterprise Ireland, the Irish economic development agency focused on promoting Irish-owned businesses; Torresol Energy, Solar-Power Energy Co., Spain; Adagio Long-Stay Hotels by ACCOR Hotel Group, France; TATA Indicom, India’s leading broadband and internet service provider; OCTANEe, Networking organization for Orange County’s information technology and biomedical industries in the Orange County Area, OC, CA, USA.
You don’t need to search far and wide to realize that the modern homo sapiensis is inspired by the same thing when it comes to creating logos and corporate identities. The internet has brought the world to our fingertips like never before.
Images that we’ve never had access to, or could only see on TV or read in the news irregularly and without our control, are now in cyberspace. All awaiting our discovery… that is if you know where to look.
Having the world so much closer, and on our screens, also means that we can see how more similar we all are. How we see our own immediate environments and how that inspires us. Including how businesses and organizations communicate their message through their identity.
After all, a Logo is the primary visual identity that the outside world sees. And the internet has enabled us to see the similarities in corporate identity from distant shores, representing organizations that are vastly different and yet have somehow been inspired by the same idea. All brought together by a similar vocabulary of design language!
And although two logos may be close to identical, the message they emit is not the same. For its the meaning that customers attach to them according to their culture that gives them the value.
In other words, a logo is a sign or symbol that carries a meaning.
“People only value things that have meanings.
Brand building occurs when brand owners understand the meanings of their brands in the customers’ minds. The strongest brands are those that are able to connect with customers on an emotional level through an engaging relationship built on mutual trust. Just like an old friend.
Recognizing this is key to building stronger brands that go beyond functional, and tap into the emotional and symbolic meanings. After all, people value more what things mean than what things are!”