Never before has the marketplace moved so quickly or been accessed by such a complex global audience. We are saturated by fast paced evolving media, we flick through stations and dial through music on our ipod like a steroid infused hamster on a wheel. This brings the question, are simple logos right or even relevant to a brand today, is a simple logo the answer?
The answer is entirely dependant on the organisation and their market. Gen Y are used to fast multi faceted overload, where as others prefer a brand that can be seen as a solid rock in a swirling whirling sea of information overload where one can get one’s breath back and be rest assured in a well
However, some organisations are so complex and vast in their offering across a multitude of cultures, lifestyles and languages that a classic approach of a singular logo does not work. These organisations need brands designed that reflect their complexities in a flexible, yet controlled system. Of course this does happen through traditional means of marketing and advertising.
Yes brands can go further through the use of a flexible extended livery system, and in these instances the logo remains constant, but we can design the actual logo to have flexibility. In fact even in the most stringent style guides, a simple logo has a multitude of variances: portrait and landscape versions are standard, as are full colour; mono colour; reversed full colour; reversed mono etc.
So why not go a few steps further and create a suite of say 5 logos that are designed to be obviously part of the same organisation, yet send a particular message to a particular market segment. Or go as far as to create a logo itself that is actually really only a carrier of varied livery.
Design the letters/icon to be simply windows to exhibit a kaleidoscope of messages. A tapestry of meanings, cultures, feelings, emotions and experiences, something a singular logo cannot portray (as they say a picture paints a thousand words).
Great examples of this are the brand for the 2012 London Olympics and the New York City NYC brand. In these cases the numbers 2012 and the letters NYC are simply the carrier of the message.
The great thing about designing this way is that the brand is continually fresh, up to date and targeted, yet because this happens in a controlled manner it is still instantly recognisable. No longer does the organisation have to wear the same old thing everyday from the wardrobe, because the wardrobe is full of exciting new clothes.