Thursday, 26 September 2013

Tips for a Successful Logo Redesign

The retailer is the latest addition to the list of brands that have recently tried to revamp their look with a new logo –  GapComedy Central,Starbucks, etc. Sadly, many of these logos haven’t been well-received by consumers, although, in this case, response seems pretty muted.
Is a good logo redesign the equivalent of a magic unicorn? A fairytale? A fantasy? It doesn’t need to be. We asked experts from across marketing, PR, and design to help out with suggestions for how a successful logo redesign can become a reality.
Mike Scheiner, EVP and creative director of integrated branding and digital in Porter Novelli’s digital communications group. Porter Novelli recently executed a rebranding.
I think we learned from recent high-profile rebranding missteps that it’s critical to clearly establish several factors before engaging in a redesign, including:
  • The business rationale for the rebranding
  • How the redesign will impact the equities that have been established with the brand’s stakeholders
  • Whether the mark requires an update to be made more current, or a complete overhaul (particularly it if is trying to move into a new category)
Ultimately it will come down to the audiences and whether they believe the redesign matches their perception of the brand.  Hopefully, all of the research will have validated the change beforehand, and all stakeholders will not only be aligned but transformed into ambassadors for this change.
Adegbenga B. Agoro, founding partner at Creative Network in Lagos, Nigeria
When implementing a corporate logo re-design, it’s best to engage the people that matter: the people you are in a relationship with, and in the case of any business, that refers to your clients, target audience, and stakeholders. Any company trying to institute a corporate logo re-design should take a survey on their Facebook fanpage. It will go a long way in enlightening the organization about people’s perception about their brand, and perception is key.
John Harneexecutive creative director with marketing agency Definition 6
1.      Don’t change a logo and/or brand  if you do not have to
2.      Remember your customers have a relationship with that logo.  It may have a place in their hearts and minds
3.      If you have to make a change, make it relevant and memorable for the 100 years to come
4.      Be yourself and buck the trends
5.      Repeat rule number one
Pat Regan, VP of creative services at Saxum, an Oklahoma-based PR and marketing firm.
The key is listening. What is paramount is what the customer, and prospective customer, thinks of your brand ( if they think anything at all!). Find out through customer listening, similar to a focus group. This must be balanced with listening to your internal audience and evaluating the logo’s brand equity. Is there anything – font, color or image – that is strong and valuable? This serves as the anchor for the designer. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement and lose sight of the shore.
Dan Reddingfounder of Magnetic State, a Brooklyn-based design company and brand consultancy.
Redesigning your logo is the job of a professional designer. Hire an experienced designer or firm that understands your business needs and your professional personality. Do not crowdsource unpaid submissions; this technique rarely results in high quality results (see JCPenney’s unnecessary redesign for an example). If you choose a professional who can guide you down the thorny path of logo design and brand equity management, you’ll be in good hands.

Famous and Successful Logo Redesigns

As we realize that we are now living in the Brand Era, where everything is branded and labelled we are more concern to companies we believe can help us, shops where we can get our supplies, or websites we trust to keep our data or information securely. This is how a company’s logo appeal as the first thing costumer will consider to trust or not.
Among thousands of logos out there, some of them may look cheesy and cheap, and some visually give us confident. In order to grab our attention and get our trust, many companies even consider to re-brand/redesign their logo. As might be expected, the company will have to take the risk and be prepared of the pros and cons of this act. They should have really consider the reasons behind the redesign of their brand.
Below is a list, in no particular order of what I think to be famous and successful logo redesign from their old logo to the latest with explanations of what has been improved.

1. Toys R Us

Toys R Us has been the second largest overall toy retailer in the United States with many branch chain which located in Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa, and Canada.

Old Logo History:

The yellow reverse “R” in quotation marks, which is similar to the Cyrillic letter Я, (ISO 9: Я), imitates a small child’s backward writing of “R”, which is short for “are”. The “R” is the most distinctive part of the retailer’s colorful kid-friendly logo. The current, modernized Toys “R” Us logo was introduced in 1969 as the first logo, then a blue star was added to the logo in late-1998/early-1999 during the Toys “R” Us “Concept 2000″ era.

New Logo – What has been improved:

On September 24, 2007 the logo was redesigned with alternating sized characters and a star in the middle of the reverse R. The letter R was changed from yellow to blue. In this new logo, the company achieve a better shape for the font character, leaving the “classic” feel behind and gives a bright and fun feel to it.

2. UPS

UPS, short for United Parcel Service, Inc. is the world’s largest package delivery company. Headquartered in Sandy Springs, Georgia, United States. UPS is well known for its brown trucks, internally known as package cars (hence the company nickname “The Big Brown Machine”).

Old Logo History:

The iconic package and shield originally designed in 1961 by Paul Rand. It became their original logo and first saw use in 1916 when the company was American Messenger Company. In 1935, the logo was redesigned to reflect the company’s new name United Parcel Service.

New Logo – What has been improved:

UPS decided to re-brand themselves in 2003, the new logo was designed by New York-based FutureBrand and it represents a strategic decision to emphasize UPS’s expanded business operations. All four designs for the logo shared the shield theme, but the new design clearly feels much more modern and and clean. Although the logo obviously doesn’t direct us to the shipping company, it gives the safe feel with the shield on the logo, knowing that our package will be protected.

3. Skittles

Skittles is a brand of fruit-flavored candies which were first made commercially in 1974 by a British company.

Old Logo History:

Candy brands are some of the most enduring brands in the market. Skittles have the excellent & long standing tag line ‘Taste the Rainbow”, with this tag line the company only focus on the rainbow color for additional effect behind their “Skittles” text which in this case become their logo.

New Logo – What has been improved:

Miles Newlyn admitted that concept & design for the new Skittles logo is not his but that of Dragon Rouge. Nevertheless, The colorful ‘tongue’ he retouched has been blogged around the internet. This multi-colored tongue concept is a literal though stylized translation of the brand’s slogan, “Taste the rainbow.”

4. MTV

Easily recognized since it’s first launched on August 1, 1981 is an American cable television network based in New York City. The original purpose of the channel was to play music videos guided by on-air hosts known as VJs. Today, MTV doesn’t play music videos, and primarily broadcasts a variety of popular culture and reality television shows targeted at adolescents and young adults.

Old Logo History:

Throughout MTV’s early days, the channel’s main logo was a large yellow “M” with red letters “TV,” but unlike most networks’ logos, the MTV logo constantly morphed and adapted with different colors, patterns, and images filling in the large block letter. The very first moments of MTV after the “moon landing,” as well as the top of every hour until at least the mid-1980s, featured a rapidly changing station ID logo that changed its appearance several times per second. The only constant aspects of MTV’s logo at the time were its general shape and proportions; everything else was dynamic.

New Logo – What has been improved:

MTV’s logo has been instantly recognizable for the last three decades. Up to this point, MTV revised their original 1981 logo by excluding the “Music Television” caption under the big “M” letter, and the trailing letter “V” that branched off to the side of the original logo. Their long-running tag line “Music Television” at this time has been officially dropped since they are not primarily broadcast music videos anymore.

5. Delta Air Lines

As it emerged from bankruptcy, Delta Air Lines wanted to signal to both customers and employees that the airline was “coming back new and better”. In preparation for the momentous occasion, Delta engaged Lippincott to reposition the airline with a revitalized image and redesigned customer experience that would force reconsideration of the airline.

Old Logo History:

Delta’s identity has been short-lived for the last decade or so. Throughout its history with a whopping 19 logos in 78 years — with two major identity changes. See Delta Logo Timeline.

New Logo – What has been improved:

Some people think of Delta’s redesigned logo is more to a realign than a redesign. In spite of that,  Delta’s new logo now looks sharp. The colors in are more subdued and the choice of a all caps sans serif typeface gives the modern look and feel as well. This 3-dimensional red widget logo successfully reflects Delta’s transformation into a highly-differentiated, customer-focused airline.

6. Starbucks

With the largest coffeehouse company in the world, we can hardly ignore this green logo from Starbucks.

Old Logo History:

The original Starbucks logo sported a wood cut type illustration of a siren from Greek mythology. The logo has been significantly streamlined over the years. In the first version, which was based on a 17th-century the Starbucks siren was topless and had a fully visible double fish tail. In the second version, which was used from 1987 – 1992, her breasts were covered by her flowing hair, but her navel was still visible, and the fish tail was cropped slightly.

New Logo – What has been improved:

Starbucks’ current logo is used since 1992, her navel and breasts are not visible at all, and only vestiges remain of the fish tails. Today the current incarnation of the logo is much more streamlined and and memorable. It is a significant and unique logo for coffeehouse furthermore giving the impression of ‘one of a kind’.

7. Sprint

Sprint is a global Internet carrier and makes up a portion of the Internet backbone. In the United States, the company is the third largest long distance provider and also owns a majority of Clearwire, which operates the largest wireless broadband network.

Old Logo History:

The original Sprint logo was used from 1989 to 2005 with 4th variant used from 1995–2005.

New Logo – What has been improved:

When Sprint merged with Nextel a few years back they underwent massive re-branding campaign. Nextel’s attention getting black and yellow color scheme was merged with The Sprint name. The new symbol is based on sprints signature ‘pin drop’. The switch to a nice sans serif typeface also does wonders for making the logo look modern. This logo really shines when the symbol is set in motion.

8. KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken)

Old Logo History:

By the late 1990s, the stylized likeness of Colonel Sanders as the KFC logo had been modified and only used until November 2006.

New Logo – What has been improved:

With the colonel putting on his apron to replace his suit coat, this new KFC logo giving us the friendly and inviting feel. The new angled backdrop to the logo also adds a nice dynamic feel and implies quickness.

9. CBS Broadcasting Inc.

CBS Broadcasting Inc. (CBS) is a major American television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network’s former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the “Eye Network” in reference to the shape of the company’s logo.

Old Logo History:

CBS unveiled its Eye Device logo on October 17, 1951. Before that, from the 1940s through 1951, CBS Television used an oval spotlight on the block letters C-B-S.[16] The Eye device was conceived by William Golden based on aPennsylvania Dutch hex sign as well as a Shaker drawing and made its broadcasting debut on October 20, 1951. Since then the company insisted on keeping the Eye device and using it as much as possible.

New Logo – What has been improved:

Today the logo which is alternately known as theEyemark, has been slightly changed on the typography to get the modern and futuristic feel, keeping their classic long lasting Eye device logo (vaguely bigger) in the front of “CBS” characters.

10. Apple Inc.

Old Logo History:

Apple’s first logo, designed by Jobs and Wayne, depicts Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree. Almost immediately, though, this was replaced by Rob Janoff’s “rainbow Apple”, the now-familiar rainbow-colored silhouette of an apple with a bite taken out of it. Janoff presented Jobs with several different monochromatic themes for the “bitten” logo. In 1998, with the roll-out of the new iMac, Apple discontinued the rainbow theme and began to use monochromatic themes, nearly identical in shape to its previous rainbow incarnation.

New Logo – What has been improved:

Entering the digital era, in 2007 Apple started to redesign their apple logo to give their customer a simple, minimal, yet modern look with the touch of chrome shade.

11. FedEx

Old Logo History:

The original Federal Express logo was designed by Richard Runyan in 1973.

New Logo – What has been improved:

The Fed is always purple and the Ex is in a different color for each division and grey for the overall corporation use. The original “FedEx” logo had the Ex in orange; it is now used as the FedEx Express wordmark. The FedEx wordmark is notable for containing a hidden right-pointing arrow in the negative space between the “E” and the “X”, which was achieved by designing a proprietary font, based on Univers and Futura, to emphasize the arrow shape. Other than giving the new and modern look, this new logo with the hidden arrow was a genius idea behind their new logo,  made it looks like it’s presenting the moving forward company as well.

12. City of Melbourne

The City of Melbourne is a Local Government Area in Victoria, Australia, located in the central city area of Melbourne.

Old Logo History:

City of Melbourne first logo M and leaf symbol was introduced in the early 1990s.

New Logo – What has been improved:

The new logo received many critiques for the cost of the big “M” research and design. Despite that, this dimensional colored “M” is different compared to the other city logos on earth. Unique and sophisticated.

13. Discovery Channel

Old Logo History:

The Discovery Channel’s very first logo was a television screen picturing a map of the World. In the mid-90s, the word “The” was dropped from the channel’s name. A globe became a permanent part of the logo and a strap was added to the bottom of the logo.

New Logo – What has been improved:

Discovery Channel started using a new logo on 2008. With new graphics and the new tagline “The World is Just Awesome”. The new logo has been designed by Viewpoint Creative in Boston and replaced Aurora Bold Condensed with Gotham. The globe has been merged with the “D” in “Discovery”. Their new logo now looks more simplified and less crowded.

14. MailChimp

MailChimp is a free and paid email marketing service started in the 2001.

Old Logo History:

Their first logo was the iconic monkey head used in the year of 2001 until 2005. In 2006, they decided to change the monkey-icon logo with using only typography “MailChimp”.

New Logo – What has been improved:

Since 2008, MailChimp with their third generation logo has become one of the best email marketing services. The new monkey logo gives us a warm, friendly feel and overall pleasant.

15. Target

Target Corporation, usually known simply as Target, is an American retailing company that was founded in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1902 as the Dayton Dry Goods Company.

Old Logo History:

In 1968, Target changed its bullseye logo to a more modern look. Target script used from 1980 until 2004. Changes from the original logo are that its brandmark is a single red ring with a red dot in the middle, and its wordmark uses the Helvetica font.

New Logo – What has been improved:

Target’s latest logo are in red block letters using Helvetica font that the word “Target” uses in favor of a more streamlined red “Target Brand” look.  Over the survey, ninety-seven percent of American consumers recognize the Target Bullseye logo. Perhaps their logo redesign isn’t essential, but by making their Bullseye bigger that the “TARGET” characters, it obviously focusing more on their recognizable brand.
What are your thoughts about these logo redesigns? Feel free to share them with us.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

10 TIPS of Graphic Designers

1. Is Graphic Design Really for Me?

Before you take the first steps towards becoming a graphic designer – which may require a sound investment of time, money and energy – ask yourself whether graphic design is really the right path for you. While graphic design is a wonderful creative profession, it comes with a price tag: tight deadlines, long hours and sleepless nights. Freelance designers may also experience financial stress and dealing with difficult clients. So graphic design is only worth going for if you really love it!

2. The Right Mindset to Have

Every graphic designer hits a low point at some stage of his/her career. Developing a strong, positive mindset will help you get through these challenging times and will make you more successful in general. When you love and understand the creative process and live in the now, strive to improve all the time and appreciate what you have, your career will happen naturally and criticism won’t bother you. Over thinking may cause frustration, so when you experience doubts about anything career-related, step out of your comfort zone and just do it, even break the rules.

3. The Required Investment to Become a Graphic Designer

Pursuing a career in graphic design has a financial cost. Get ready to start spending as soon as you start your education. You will become a regular client of the printers for posters, brochures, and other print services. Other expenses may include sketchbooks, paper and various other materials. And while you may have access to a computer at your college or university, I recommend investing in your own machine, preferably a Mac, if you can afford it. As a student you may be entitled to discounts on your computer as well as on Adobe’s Creative Suite and on font packages, which you will definitely need, though there are other options such a Canva. Further down your career line, if you start your own business, other costs may arise, such as high quality screens, software license, Wacom tablets, office space and more.

4. Is a Graphic Design Degree Essential?

There are two basic approaches to graphic design education: doing it yourself through online tutorials, articles and books or taking a professional class or obtaining an art school degree. Personally, I’ve invested in an art school degree, and I recommend you do the same. Here’s why: online resources and professional short-term courses focus mainly on software, such as Photoshop and Illustrator. But there’s so much more to graphic design.
Art school studies will expand and enrich your mind and as a result you will develop a unique, creative way of seeing the world with an eye for details, which is a gift for life. While an impressive portfolio and design skills can get you hired, a degree coupled with industry experience could mean higher payment. Specializing in a certain area within graphic design, such as interaction design, Web design or print may increase your hiring chances and earning potential further.

5. How to Gain Industry Experience

The best graphic design vacancies require industry experience. But how do you get that experience if you’re just getting started?
Approaching charities and offering your services to them is one way to go. Another option is to take low-budget projects for friends and family or to create personal projects. Doing internships is a common way of gaining industry experience and sometimes getting a permanent job at an agency. However, in the current climate it might be easier to get your first clients.

6. Why Relationships Matter

While you can definitely succeed as a designer on your own, developing relationships with peers in your industry can help you land your first job or clients, or even elevate your existing career to new heights. You can also collaborate with other creatives, such as writers, illustrators and musicians on exciting projects, or even get into the public eye, helped by bloggers, marketers and PR (public relations) experts. But where do you meet people? Well, online you can search for design forums and ‘in the real world’ you can join design organizations and go to design events.

7. Starting Your Own Business vs Getting a Job

As a designer in the making you will be faced with the famous dilemma – whether to get a job or to develop an independent career as a freelancer or even open your own studio. There is no easy answer here. A common practice is to first get a job as a designer, gain experience and reputation and once you’re confident enough – start your own practice. Working for someone else may be somewhat restrictive when it comes to diversity of projects, clients and income. The upside though is that there is less financial stress and you don’t need to worry about attracting clients. If you’re an entrepreneur at heart you can enjoy much more creative freedom and potentially better income as an independent designer. You will need to acquire business background and deal with all sorts of contracts, with pricing yourself and with naysayers.

8. How to Leverage the Internet for More Opportunities

Developing your online presence is essential today in most industries. In graphic design, however, it is key to your success in finding a job and attracting projects and clients directly, due to the visual nature of this craft.
  • Online Portfolio

To begin with, every designer needs to have an online portfolio. With a small investment per year, you can purchase your own domain – ideally including your name or the name of your brand – and hosting. There are countless free portfolio templates for Wordpress, a platform which is pretty easy to install and maintain. SquareSpace, albeit a bit pricier, is a one-stop-shop for setting up your website and putting together a beautiful portfolio. Running a blog can also help attract new clients and employers and the aforementioned services offer powerful blogging tools as well. Many designers prefer to use Behance, a network of online portfolios, popular works get voted up on Behance and can get noticed by some of the top recruiters.
  • Social Media

Using major social networks, such as Twitter, Facebook and Flickr to establish your online presence and bring traffic to your website is essential. However, there are social networks for creatives – the bigger of which is deviantART where designers, artists and illustrators can connect, collaborate and sell their art.
  • Online Business

There’s a huge demand for graphic services on the Internet. Sebastiano, for example, uses his site, Wegraphics, to sell graphic resources to other designers. ThemeForest sells themes for WordPress blogs and for other platforms. You can also pitch for design projects through blur Group’s very own Design Exchange (which is free to join).

9. How to Form Your Own Style as a Graphic Designer

There is no recipe for developing your own style as a designer. As you create more and more projects, your style will be developed naturally. By going through design publications and websites and exploring some prominent designers and trying to imitate their style – as a learning process only, of course – you can more easily find your own direction.

10. Where to Find Creative Inspiration

Designers can’t create without inspiration because graphic design is a creative craft more than it is technical. But where do you find inspiration? The short answer is: everywhere. Your breakthrough idea can hit you at dinner, in the shower or even when you’re traveling. Inspiration is fickle and you can’t force it but you can stimulate it by going outside and seeing people, nature, art, movies – whatever fuels your mind. Also, make it a habit to always carry a pen and a pad for when inspiration strikes.

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