Should your logo be a recognizable icon or unique?
I live in the Charleston, South Carolina area. A few years ago the old bridges spanning the Cooper River were torn down and a new breathtakingly beautiful bridge was built. The Arthur Ravenel Bridge is a suspension bridge that is a pleasure to drive over because of its architecture and ability to carry a large volume of traffic between Mt. Pleasant and Charleston.
Now as much as I like the bridge, it’s never occurred to me to use it as a component of my corporate identity, logo or in my advertising, but I think I’m in the minority. It seems that 8 out of 10 companies use the Arthur Ravenel Bridge, its towers or other features in their advertising.
Now it makes sense for the Cooper River Bridge Run to use it in their promotions and advertising, but for a home oxygen supplier? It makes more sense for the Yarborough Applegate law firm because the letters of their names form an impression of the bridge’s superstructure and it fits for The Bridge 105.5 radio station to use it in their advertising. But I’ve seen the bridge used in real estate ads, restaurant ads, flooring company ads and business consultant’s ads. Just get over it!
Examples of logos which use the bridge as their icon
Sense of place or sense of customer? Which is more important?
If you do business in the Charleston area, I suppose you may want to use the bridge to give a sense of place in your logo or advertising, but wouldn’t you rather have imagery that depicts or speaks to how your customers use your products or services?
Your logo is a visual communication between your company and your customers.
Because of this, it should be distinctive. Individual. When customers see your logo, they should comprehend your brand qualities or understand the benefits of doing business with you. It’s lazy to use the most iconic image for your business sector or locale; the Ravenel Bridge in Charleston, the Eiffel Tower in Paris or a scale for a lawyer’s office or a chef’s toque for a restaurant.
When developing your logo and corporate identity, use a brand development process that clarifies your brand promise, qualities, benefits and features. Then your graphic designer can use this material to develop the best corporate identity materials for your company.
When your logo is developed, you’ll be glad yours is as individual as you and your company are.
Featured image by Photo by David Martin on Unsplash