The Art of Branding and a 5-Year-Old’s Take on Famous Logos

We see hundreds of thousands of logos each year. But what really goes into the design process? How can you best communicate with a designer to make sure you get exactly what you want? Written by Juliet Rocco

Let’s go back in time for a minute: Think way back if you can to a time when you were very young and couldn’t read yet. When a commercial came on you relied only on the graphics and voiceover to help you understand the message.

McDonald’s developed a simple call to action: buy a Happy Meal and get the awesome toy inside! All you had to see was the golden arches logo at the end of the ad and you knew immediately where you were asking mom or dad to take you for dinner.

Loyalty ensues: Thanks to millions of dollars invested and an effective branding team, McDonald’s was able to turn most of us into brand loyalists from very early on. Those Happy Meal toys were the gateway to loyalty and you didn’t even realize it!

Personally, I try to stay away from fast food unless I’m out in the boondocks somewhere and my options don’t stretch past a microwaveable burrito, but I’ll give McDonald’s credit for being able to hold on to many of my fellow peers.

[VIDEO] Last week, I attended a webinar where we watched this video about branding. It sends a great message about how effective branding is and how it has impacted our culture today.

The design process: A lot of work goes into product research and development. After a brand name or product is developed, the company will reach out to a creative team to create a logo. This creative team of designers can be in-house or a hired agency/graphic designer.

It makes it a lot easier if you have a list of adjectives to go along with the product or brand which best describe it. Tell the designer what you’re looking to get out of this. It will make their job easier and give you better quality.

Important questions to think about:

What do you want people to think when they first set eyes on your logo?

How do you want them to feel?

What message is your company sending?

Once a meeting with the sales and marketing representatives takes place, the designer will begin drafting up logos, making revisions, and having a sample of potential designs ready. This process takes time and a solid creative mind. Think of those people who sit at their desk with the wastebasket full of crumpled up pieces of paper.

After a final sketch is chosen, the designer will transfer it into a digital editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. This will give the image a nice, polished look for the finalized result. This is the turning point where everything really comes to life.

Final steps: The top designs will then be picked through market research, a final winner will be chosen. Focus groups can play a helpful role in choosing a logo. Their input can be valuable in making small, yet effective changes in the design. Even the smallest changes can make a big difference.

[VIDEO] This YouTube video went viral in the ad world about a month ago. Graphic designer, Adam Ladd, recorded his 5-year-old daughter’s thoughts and perceptions on popular brand logos. She has some humorous quips to add. Watch below.

Takeaway: You probably hear “Google it!” and “Facebook that person” too many times to count. If you can get someone to use your brand name as a verb, you are generating a successful amount of awareness. Remember that a brand is more than just its logo. The logo is simply a representation or reminder of what your company already does. Make it nice, make it simple. You never know what a 5-year-old is going to say about it.

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