Monthly Archives: January 2017

What’s in a logo

According to, there are essentially three types of logos:

  1. Iconic/Symbolic logos capture an essence of the brand or product in their imagery. Think of Nike’s “swoosh” which captures a sense of movement.
  2. Logotypes (this is where the word “logo” comes from) or Wordmarks incorporate the company or brand’s name in stylized form. Think the “Disney” logo, below.
  3. Combination forms, like the Starbucks logo employ both an icon (the mermaid) and the name (in a ring around the icon).

According to logo designer Lo Min Ming, “a good understanding of the psychology of colors, typefaces, and shapes is an important part of making a great logo.” He compares the emotion and tone of the Disney wordmark with the impact of the same typeface for a different kind of company or product, as shown below.

Consumers have an amazing ability to recall companies’ identities from the tiniest fragment of a logo, suggesting that the choice of logo is critical both when introducing a brand and when maintaining it over time.

No-go Logos

Take a look at Business Insider’s list of logo fails… although copious resources were likely spent on each one, they do seem particularly  awful, as though a manager was phoning it in the day the work got approved. A frequently used example is the logo for the London Olympics in 2012:

logo olympics

Are there any logos that you find particularly effective? What are some conditions that make logos more or less critical to corporate identity. For example, would you argue that they were more, or less, important in the B2B space?


“For those who value experience over possession,” aka…Millennials?

Book by Cadillac

Cadillac’s experimental new “Book” service let’s members drive a new luxury car, and switch models whenever they want. SUV this week? Sports car the next? At the end of the day, Cadillac is betting that young affluents will value freedom, choice and expression in a single brand to ownership of a single vehicle model.

Are they right?

We’re going to be seeing a lot of business model innovation in the years to come, as brands wrestle with finding novel ways to engage and inspire consumers towards loyalty.

When the brand message is “unexpected,” what do you expect?

Nike’s promotion of Cleveland Cavalier Kyrie Irving’s shoe collection emphasizes Irving’s “unexpected” moves. A series of ads numbers the moves (#1: the Kyrie Effect; #464: the Ky-Razzle Dazzle iD), illustrating the ways in which Irving’s play can surprise competitors–or just viewers of the ad. Among these: the Ky-rispy Kreme shoes, which emphasize a special rubber sole and are decorated with sprinkles. Limited editions of the shoe were handed out from a modified Krispy Kreme truck.

Image result for kyrie irving + questlove

Whereas most of the commercials in the series have Kyrie showing and talking about his moves, in the latest ad, the rhythm of Irving’s mad-dribble moves is simply juxtaposed with Questlove’s drumming. This execution attempts no explanation tying the shoe and the drum solo together.

The question is, does this latest ad work? And, if so, does is work with the rest of the campaign, or does it feel like the start of a fresh series? Is the co-brand with Questlove a good fit? What do you think?