The Crown Jewel of Communication

By - Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

The newly re-established Winnipeg Jets hockey team unveiled their new logo last week to much local support. In sports, logos change relatively quickly, and it’s clear why: a new logo means increased merchandise sales. What die-hard fan won’t cop his or her favorite player’s new jersey? Plus, if a team has a couple losing seasons, a new logo can create some much-needed distance between themselves and their losing ways. There are those teams (see: the Yankees, Red Sox, Chicago Bulls, Manchester United, etc) whose logos are so ubiquitous that they’ll probably never have to change them– their logos transcend language, culture, time. The same is true of non-sports companies: Coca-Cola, Nike, Apple, Jordan, Louis Vuitton, Google, McDonald’s, all the way down to niche companies like Supreme, Stones Throw Records, and other companies whose logos haven’t changed since their inception. Now more than ever, the logo reigns supreme. Diminishing attention spans and truncated communication require an even more exact, purposeful logo than ever before. It’s a given that, in order to be successful, a brand’s product or services are high-quality, but the logo represents a brand everywhere– as the brand’s avatar on social media platforms, as the brand’s favicon (the 16×16-pixel icon that accompanies all shortcuts), on various smart phone applications, and on more traditional print and billboard ads. A company has to be able to convey the essence of its brand in under 60 seconds (the average amount of time internet users spend on a  web page), and that’s no easy task. It’s easy to fall victim to cheap design– there are certainly talented artists and powerful companies that will create good-looking logos for next to no money. But as Thomson Dawson, a managing partner at PULL Brand Innovation, wrote recently: “What Paul Rand said about the importance of the logo three decades ago still holds true today: ‘If, in the business of communication, image is king, the essence of this image, the logo, is the jewel in its crown’… …Creating a logo that brings enduring value and differentiation to the business enterprise it represents requires deep insight and highly specialized talent and skill. As our world gets smaller through technology advances in how humans interact and communicate, logos that are instantly recognized and clearly understood are more important and more valuable than ever…” For that, you’re probably going to (and should) drop some substantial bread. The Winnipeg Jets took into account a host of factors in designing their logo, and it may just work for their team and their fans. At the very least, it’ll give Curren$y some new source material for his Jet Life movement. Text by Pete Drinan

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