Telling Your Brand Story in a Logo

Telling Your Brand Story in a Logo.jpg

Your logo should tell people more than just your name.In a noisy world, logos should do more than serve as a reminder of a brand identity. They should add definition to the brand.

Logos have become an avenue for visually explaining a brand. A British firm called Oomph produced an infographic with 40 examples of logos with subliminal or not-so-subtle messaging about their brands. 

A good example is the Baskin Robbins logo, which uses two colors to work 31 into its "BR," reflecting the ice cream company's value proposition of offering 31 different flavors. The symbolism in this logo is hard to miss, even if you are color-blind. It tells you the company's name and what it offers. A nice piece of work for a logo.

Zoos frequently have logos with subliminal or familiar features. The San Diego Zoo spells out "zoo" with animal paws. The Cologne Zoo combines an image and its negative space to create pictures of an elephant, giraffe, rhinoceros and the distinctive spires of the city's most recognizable landmark. The Pittsburgh Zoo accomplishes something similar with an illustration of a tree, with the negative space under the branches in the shape of a gorilla and a lion facing each other.

The Pinterest logo starts with a "P" fashioned like a "pin" to describe the social media site devoted to galleries of pictures that people pin and share.

The Tostitos logo is a drawing that shows two stick figures (the "ts") enjoying themselves with a chip and a dip, with a Southwestern-looking backdrop, which pretty much covers the positioning of this food product.

The Milwaukee Brewers logo is a mitt, drawn so the "m" is the fingers of a mitt and the "b" is the thumb and pocket. The baseball in the middle completes the visual sentence. 

VIA Rail Canada's logo leverages the straight lines of the "V", "I" and "A" to project an image of railroad tracks, reinforcing its business.

The story of these examples isn't how clever artists can be; it is a lesson in how to infuse a logo with more depth of meaning.

A well-designed logo can reinforce a brand personality or underline a brand promise. It can be a familiar face in the crowd and a voice for what you do and stand for. It should be a lot more than just a pretty picture.