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A logo’s purpose is to visually identify a company.
For example, think of Target, Nike, and Apple. Their logos instantly come to mind. All three companies have successfully created strong logos that represent their companies.
When using those examples with clients, they often protest that they have nothing in common with Target, Nike or Apple since those are companies have multi-million dollar budgets for marketing. That’s true, but it’s confusing money with design.
While the millions Target, Nike or Apple spend on advertising obviously affects the number of people that see their logos and how often it’s seen, those dollars have no affect on the graphic qualities that make the logo identifiable. There are numerous well-established companies with marketing budgets in the millions that do not have easily identifiable logos. The design of a logo makes it identifiable; the dollars place the logo in ad campaigns seen globally.
If you still aren’t convinced, let’s take a fast look at where each of these companies were when their iconic logos were created. For reference, the Target bullseye was created in 1968, the famous Nike swoosh was drawn in 1971, and Apple’s logo was designed in 1977. Each of those logos has had minor tweaks over the years, but the essence remains unchanged.
- In 1968, Target stores were only found in Minnesota, Denver, St. Louis, Dallas and Houston.
- In 1971, Nike was just beginning to make their own shoes and had no athlete endorsement deals.
- In 1977, Apple’s offices were in a local strip mall.
So when each logo was created, Target, Nike and Apple weren’t the global corporations they are today; they far more closely resembled many everyday businesses. This demonstrates that great design isn’t reserved for global companies with huge budgets. It’s the design of your logo that makes it identifiable and memorable or forgettable.