Opinion

Time to stop beating up logos

26 April, 2018 Share socially

So, what are brands to do? The question comes down to the reasons behind a redesign in the first place and the full experience the brand offers.

Earlier this month, American Express relaunched its logo for the first time in 40 years. For all but the highly perceptive, the change is minimal. But the real benefit is in allowing the brand to work better across small-screen platforms as the brand looks to grow in new markets. A flexible crop allows for the abbreviation ‘AmEx’, which might in time become the official name of choice.

By comparison, last month Expedia Inc. became Expedia Group (mother ship for on-line travel app Expedia). Much comment has been made about the overhauled identity and the new typography and “e” icon. But subjectivity should sometimes be set aside when judging design. In this case, it’s more about brand architecture and management of a portfolio than attraction. To be a credible power in today’s consumer-centric market Expedia Group balances approachability and scale, and has the confidence to do something different.

Both are examples of brands better connecting with their desired audience. But the logos themselves are only standard bearers for the wider experience one has with the brand.

Time to stop beating up logos
Powerful brands remove barriers, helping us better engage and connect. They create unified experiences across the customer journey and across all touchpoints. It’s as much about the way they operate as how they look and feel.

Reactions to the London 2012 icon where mixed but it has become a symbol of a hugely successful Olympic Games. In fact, the wider ‘brand world’ surrounding the logo at the time brought more of the dynamism that was expected of a sporting event of this magnitude.

Powerful brands remove barriers, helping us better engage and connect. They create unified experiences across the customer journey and across all touchpoints. It’s as much about the way they operate as how they look and feel.

In design terms the touchpoints that surround a brand are not slavish rubber stamps of a logo. They should bring the story to life in imaginative ways. After all there is only so much a logo can do.

So, when judging whether a rebrand is successful think first about the reason behind the revamp, then look to the wider touchpoints and ask if as a whole they create a more connected experience. It’s time to stop beating up the logo.