Logo creation: Some real food for thought
Logo creation is often overcomplicated. There are many cool-looking three-dimensional brand logos in the marketing landscape now. It’s a trend worth noticing.
Because in this highly competitive selling environment, companies of all sizes constantly seek visual advantage. Too bad they are not looking at the strategy the logo is made to represent. Call us, and we will show you how it all fits together. And they often see three dimensions representing that advantage over the traditional two-dimensional logo.
The question to ask is whether the perceived benefit is worth the cost. Or whether there is a benefit at all. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but you Googled this. By the way, you might also want to read our Logo Development article.
Logo creation needs to be part of a rebranding strategy. So integral is strategic thinking in this that we hesitate to talk about logos out of this context.
The purpose of logo creation
That is because its purpose is to convey the strategy. And to do so in the most immediate and direct way possible. To do this, there must be an idea – a concept – not a mere decoration. And its design must be simple for it to have meaningful resonance for audiences.
Because those who usually see it do so in a blink.
Simplicity is critical to communicating the concept
Simplicity is key in logo creation because complexity means interference between the viewer and the concept. The primary goal of the brand logo is to create a focus for the concept. And that can only be achieved when there is a single point of action.
If target audiences are distracted and allowed to wander, they lose focus. As a result, they lose the concept and forget it altogether.
Dimensions add complexity
In contrast to two-dimensional logos, a brand logo with several dimensions adds immediate complexity. The third dimension adds another layer.
Unless the design considers the potential for this complexity, the viewer is forced to work harder. MUCH harder to get the concept. Instead of immediately seeing the single action point (and concept), the viewer has to digest more information.
The single-action point may be diminished.
Dimensions add cost
If the only application of a logo were for multi-tonal media like onscreen or halftone printing (print ads and brochures), then cost would not be a consideration.
In logo creation, tones are necessary to achieve the effect by adding dimensions to the logo. Notice the additional tones needed to turn these simple shapes into 3D. For the square, three colors are required.
With the circle, gradient tones are needed. For signage, packaging, and premiums (folios, shirts, pens, etc.), extra tones require extra costs for each additional tone.
Even in halftone printing, which breaks up solid colors into tones through small halftone dots, there are limitations regarding the size.
Small logos (1/2” or smaller) will begin to look rough as the halftone dots cannot adequately render a sharp edge at tiny sizes (without extra expense).
Dimensional logos are also impossible to stamp or etch on products. Consider that in your logo creation.
Dimensions are less readable and small
Dimensional brand logos are less readable at small sizes because of their complexity. The tones tend to blend, and the definition of shapes is significantly reduced.
Logo creation with dimensions is a trend
With the advent of AI, the technology age, computer graphic designers and advertising agencies worldwide jumped to adding dimensions. Computers allow brand logo designers to “dimensionality” symbols and art with the touch of a button.
A logo creation trend was instantaneously set in motion. Whether it helped reinforce a particular strategy or message was immaterial. The “look” was “in,” and it was king.
Dimensions and the resulting need for two logos – AT&T
In the world of logo creation, AT&T was one of the first to turn to add dimensions to its logo. As a result, they did this to signal that they were part of the new technology age.
They took their well-established “world” symbol and gave it dimension. And they added tones, gradations, and transparencies. The new logo was great on TV and online, but a single-color version had to be created for all physical products (phones and equipment).
It simply wasn’t feasible to print tones and gradations on every product that, up to this point, had a single color silkscreen or emboss. In effect, the second brand logo symbolized the first brand logo.
Two logos are not a good idea for any company. Although the differences may seem slight, it causes a loss of focus and subtle confusion among target audiences.
Today’s world of logos
Dimensional logos have become part of an entire landscape of logos today. Many are three-dimensional, but most prominent brands are still two-dimensional.
They take discipline and commitment. And brands usually don’t get much back in return.
As a result, they can provide a measure of a progressive presence, but the extra dimension does not help most meanings, especially when considering the additional cost.