Logos and Logotype

Logos are an image – a symbol, emblem or abstract icon, which can be associated to a brand. Logos should be instantly recognisable, although they don’t necessarily need to be a concrete representation of the brand name. Examples of successful logos are Apple, Target, Shell, and Starbucks.

Logotypes are a different way a brand can represent itself to the public. Instead of using imagery, logotypes, or wordmarks use custom fonts to display the brand name.  It is important to consider how a certain type will reflect the brand, which I will discuss further. Successful examples of logotypes are IBM, Adidas, Google, and Coca Cola.


Nike – A Successful Logo

The sports company Nike was founded in 1964 and it’s first logo introduced in 1971. The very first logo had the iconic ‘swoosh’, with Nike written on top. From then, 3 revisions have been made: movement of text and image, colours, and the removal of type. The reason I feel that the Nike logo is so prominent and successful is due to the fact that they have kept the swoosh in each logo. The simplicity and the tag-line (Just do it) that Nike incorporates into all its advertising and clothing bombards the public with its brand.

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Gap – An Unsuccessful Logotype

Gap is a clothing company which redesigned its iconic logo in 2010 into something which is less successful. The old logo was simple, and created its own styled type. The brand became a household name, and with it, the brand’s branding was memorable. In 2010, Gap rebranded itself, however it came as a shock to everyone. The new logo was seen as lazy and boring – ditching its old font for a new, bland, block typeface which doesn’t separate it from the crowd. Furthermore, the blue background was ditched, instead opting for a blue square which fades in colour. In my opinion, the logo has stepped back in time and is reminiscent of the 90’s Microsoft logo. The new Gap logo was seen as such a flop that it went back with its old branding.

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