What does the world’s biggest software company, a small San Diego storage company, and an African Teleco have in common? Three vastly different organizations, continents apart, and yet share commonality in their brand identity of using four squares to form a quadrant. I’m sure plenty of readers aren’t even aware where Djibouti is. It’s a small country in Africa.
The art of capturing an entire company’s ideas, ethos, knowledge and the future in one logo and corporate identity is an integral part of visual branding. Of course there’s more to branding than meets the eye!
Most of today’s organizations are well-versed in this most fundamental of branding-building exercises. Some are still struggling to design an identity that best represents their values and positive traits, while others come up with eerily similar-looking looking designs, albeit representing vastly different organizations, across a multitude of industries and countries.
I consider myself as a visual creature, and the past few years i’ve been on a personal mission to identify suspiciously similar looking Logos and Corporate Identities. Allow me to add a footnote, however, as I’ve learned from past experience; the opinions on the similarities are subjective, representing my views. And my sole intention is simply to demonstrate that we are all inspired by the same things. Now more than ever, thanks to the internet.
To date I’ve come across myriad doppelgängers, look-alikes, wannabes, copies, or plain plagiarism. Sheer coincidence? Or copycats?
Realistically of course, I’m not discounting the simple fact that some may have been inspired by the same ideas. Nevertheless, it’s an ever changing, ever amassing encyclopedia of visual identity that’s just a click away. Here’s a look at some.
There’s an old French proverb: “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose,” first coined by French columnist and novelist Alphonse Karr (1808-1890), which loosely translates to: “The more we change, the more we stay the same.”
Before the internet, we all operated in virtual seclusion and isolation, as individuals in our world. Collaboration only occurred in Multinational Corporations that operated across different countries and cultures. In the business world, ideas and innovation spread in limitation, only to organizations that had the resources and means to communicate
Facebook, Twitter, Linked-IN, Groupon, and Crowdsourcing are becoming a common part of our vocabulary and lifestyle… through which mediums we are connected through our work, and the objects that inspire us.
And for all digital natives (those born after 1980s when internet and digital revolution was in full swing), life without it is simply unfathomable.
It turns out that being a true original is increasingly difficult, if not virtually impossible.