How important is a logo to a company?

Design

So how important is a logo? Pretty damn important as it happens. Just think, with the use of a simple tick, we know that a product was made by Nike. I could write hundreds of blogs on branding and brand identity, but the purpose of this blog is to illustrate the importance of the use of logos in print and the key things to adhere to in order to achieve the best results.

The importance of the logo format

A logo can be in two formats for print - either a bitmap or pixel based object or a vector. A vector is a format where the information for the file is stored as a mathematical formulae, this means the file size can remain very small and you can scale the logo or illustration to the size of a building and it will still look perfectly sharp and crisp, unlike a pixel based object such as a Jpeg or Tiff, which will quickly become distorted and unreadable. Using a pixel based logo and printing it at large scale means the file has to be very large, in both scale and dpi, making it very difficult to transfer from one point to another. The illustration below shows the difference between the two.

Vector Logo

Examples of simplified logo design

The more complicated the logo, the more difficult it becomes to reproduce effectively and consistently, which is why large companies tend to keep their logos very simple and they have evolved over the years to become more and more clear. You would be hard pushed to get much more simple than an orange box (for Orange, the mobile phone network) and there's certainly no difficulty there when it comes to reproducing it on a pen, poster, leaflet or car for example. When your identity is so important, you don’t want any confusion as to who you are when in the public domain. The following examples chart the history of some key brands over their lifetime - just imagine how difficult some of the early versions of the logos would have been to reproduce.

Logo Evolution

As you can see, only a few logos have changed significantly in terms of how they look over the years. Apple, Audi, IBM and Nokia are examples of these. Most companies have refined and refined to finish with a simple design and colour palette badge. Having an identity that closely reflects a badge/sticker makes it easier for it to stand alone on any surface with minimal compromise, reaffirming the old adjective, ‘Less is More’. The companies shown above, are great exponents of this.

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