An obsession with mark

Paradoxically we have never had so many new business requests for ‘a new logo’. In the current communications landscape the single marque itself is having to be reconsidered. Increasingly, there are greater opportunities for the visual identity to be applied but a single, static marque is becoming marginalised. We talk about a brand tapestry where identity can be applied creatively over multifarious communication channels. A logo, logotype or marque clearly has its place. But, it is important to remember that it is really only a relatively crude link to a brand. Sometimes this is absolutely necessary. However, it is more powerful and resonant to articulate an entity through the essence of the communication piece. The words, the composition, the colour, the imagery, UX, the materials employed and the quality of production. These signifiers are more capable and sophisticated at describing the values, ethos, history and ambition of a brand. For example, the branded communications we produce for the National Trust, don’t display the logo marque itself once passed the ‘threshold’. Though clearly these comms are unmistakably National Trust. Context here is also very important.

A logo marque clearly has its place. For validation often or when space is very limited. Think of the ‘logo soup’ often found behind interviews of sports men and women. In some ways it sort of works but in many respects feels awkward and unsatisfactory.

Brand identity is changing and it is incumbent on brand design agencies like Ice House Design to find cleverer and more sophisticated ways of communicating the presence and core idea of an organisation with brevity, relevance and charisma.

It’s likely the marque will always have a role  but clients should expect brand design agencies to be less reliant on a single graphic device and push for more sophisticated manifestations of brand visualisation in all mediums and down all communication channels.

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