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. COSI Science Center (formerly known as Center of Science and Industry), Columbus, OH, USA; The Original Basket Boutique, USA; Magyar Állami Operaház (Hungarian State Opera House), Budapest, Hungary; Octagon Theatre, Bolton, Greater Manchester, UK; The Circle of Reason, Non-for-Profit Organization, USA; Angel Flights, Non-for-Profit Organization that provides medical flights for sick needy children; Burn Your Own Records, USA; Evolution 7 Digital Marketing Agency, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; ITM (Instituto Terra e Memória), Mação, Portugal; The Health Foundation, UK; SEGRO Asset Management Company and Developer of Modern Warehousing, Light Industrial and Data Center Properties, with a portfolio that includes properties in the UK and Poland; OpenShift Origin open source upstream of OpenShift, the next generation application hosting platform developed by Red Hat, USA; Fox School of Business, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA; NANO, z akcentem na detal (NANO, with accent on details), part of Point Group Platforma Mediowa (Point Group Media Platform), Warsaw, Poland; World Sports Group, Singapore; ODesk, Online Community of Global Freelance Professionals Workers. Morningstar, an investment research firm headquartered in Chicago, IL, USA; CCO (Centre de Communication de l’Ouest), Nantes, France; Reata Pharmaceuticals, Irving, TX, USA; Eye for Pharma Forum and Social Media Hub for Pharmaceutical Pharmacists, Patient Advocacy Groups, and Trade Professionals, USA; OMD Global Media Group, London, UK; Zero Harm by Balfour Beatty Engineering & Civil Construction, UK.
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!”