The logo usually comes first. A good logo should tell consumers exactly what they need to know about your brand at a glance. The logo is often the first thing consumers see when buying a product or service, so it's critical that it leaves a lasting impression. Every day, consumers are faced with countless logos, and most are not aware of how these icons are constantly transmitting a large number of messages aimed at the subconscious.
We had him explain some of his favorite projects he has worked on, as well as some of the corporate logos he most admires. Mathews and his team thought that the capital, dark blue letters of the old logo alluded to “corporation” and were inextricably linked to popular opinion among critics, who saw Wal-Mart as a malevolent giant that crushed small businesses across the country. They considered the star to be a generic and easy to forget script. They also believed that companies with store names separated by hyphens evoked images of neighborhood stores and cheap outlets.
The redesign began with a basic premise. When the focus groups were asked what color the Starbucks logo was, Mathews explained that nearly all of the participants said green. But the thing is that only the ring around the old logo was green and the mermaid's character was outlined in black. Mathews said the designers freed the mermaid from its limitations and imbued it with the color that customers already associated the brand with.
They rejected the word brown and placed the text outside the circle, as the mermaid had become iconic enough to stand on its own. The FedEx logo is another of Mathew's favorites. As demonstrated by his work with the Hyatt Place logo, he likes images that contain surprises, and the arrow formed by the E and the x of FedEx is one of the best-known hidden designs. He also appreciates the timeless character of the logo.
It could have been designed in 1970 or it could have been designed yesterday, he said. Mathews believes that the Apple logo is a perfect example of how a logo should adapt to changes in the direction of the company it represents. One of Apple's co-founders, Ronald Wayne, designed the first Apple logo, a strange and detailed engraving by Sir Isaac Newton that supposedly represented the way in which Apple was an outsider and ambitious. That same year, Steve Jobs hired Rob Janoff to replace him with something more modern.
Janoff came up with the now-iconic image of a bitten apple, and Jobs decided that Apple's unique approach to computers would be represented by the colors of the rainbow. It went monochromatic in 1998 to adapt to the clean and simplistic designs that the company decided to follow. When approaching a brand project, Mathews differentiates between what is true and what is new. He affirms that a logo must be authentic, in the sense that it must not be fundamentally linked to a trend, to the new.
The modern character is more appropriate to support brand elements, such as in-store experiences or website interfaces. That said, a logo must be fundamentally sound, but it must also adapt to the way it will be presented. The most iconic brands are instantly recognizable. Their logos are strong, as are any other visual representation, such as the signage outside the store.
Designing them can be daunting, but they are a must for any company and are the cornerstone of any good business brand, or even a personal brand. They used the icon of a laptop inside the circle, but you could easily exchange it for a bouquet of flowers, a glass of wine or a stack of weights, depending on the type of business.