Leveraging a Great Logo

Posted by on Mar 8, 2012 in Blog, Creative Process, Graphic Design, Marketing | 0 comments

Leveraging a Great Logo

I know that not everybody collects images they like for creative inspiration, but most graphic designers (and a fast-growing number of Pinterest members) do. I probably use my iPhone to capture appealing visuals for my ‘swipe’ file as much as anything else. Pictures, fonts, color palettes, and interesting layouts can serve as jumping off places for design projects. I’m a sponge for ideas and visual effects that might contribute to the creative process currently incubating in my head.

And while I honor intellectual property rights, I agree with Kirby Ferguson that everything is a remix. Creativity rarely shows up as a bolt out of the blue. Most often it’s derived from the artful combination of existing elements in new ways.

“Our system of law doesn’t acknowledge the derivative nature of creativity,” says Ferguson. “Instead, ideas are regarded as property, as unique and original lots with distinct boundaries. But ideas aren’t so tidy. They’re layered, they’re interwoven, they’re tangled.”

Does intellectual property law interfere with the cross-pollination of creative ideas? “We live in an age with daunting problems,” continues Ferguson. “We need the best ideas possible, we need them now, we need them to spread fast.” (I highly recommend his thought-provoking video, Everything is a Remix Part 4 .)

A future post perhaps…this one is about leveraging a great logo. 

I was at a strip mall on Maui recently when I stopped in my tracks to appreciate (and snag a photo of) the cool mermaid logo on Pizza Paradiso’s glass door. I’m part fish myself, and have an affinity for mermaids, as well as good design. A moment later a server came out and asked me if I liked the logo, and if I would like a sticker. Sure!

Now I’m not likely to display this sticker on my bumper or my guitar case (if I had one) but I did grab a take-out menu along with my sticker, and I do love Mediterranean food, which is pretty much unavailable in my neighborhood. So guess where I had dinner that night. It was excellent outreach to a prospective new customer and it worked. (The food is excellent too by the way.)

My client, Hula Baby Biscotti, has a gorgeous logo featuring a vintage image of a hula girl by artist Melinda Morey. When they display the logo on their big banner at farmer’s markets, customers want to buy a banner! How much further and faster might word spread about this year-old company if stickers of their logo were circulating around Hawaii? Surfwear companies are leading edge here. Their stickers are everywhere because they are cool. Why not gourmet eateries, specialty food products and boutique stores with great logos too? If you find that your stickers are in demand, logo wear (and a whole other income stream) could be the next logical step!

So what makes a logo great? These two examples obviously have beauties as their focal point and each seems to suggest a story…a sense of time and place and active engagement with the world. The women personify the brand. If your business were a human, what would its personality be? Whether or not you incorporate a person (or animal) into your logo design, how can you let your business’s character and essence shine through? How can you reach out and evoke emotion from your viewer? Capture their imagination? Transport them in time or place? For further exploration, download Kauai Design’s logo questionnaire here.

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