Monthly Archives: December 2010

Can luxury brands stand out?

My recent blog, “Does your logo stand out in a crowd?“, elicited a comment stating “Can a great logo that suggests refinement and sophistication stand out as well? “. Well I never thought that luxury brand logos don’t stand out so I did some on-line research. I went to the home pages of 12 luxury brands and captured their logos in the array you see below. I aligned them utilizing the “rule” that each sample must be the same height.

luxury logo array

Now the first thing that popped out to me was the almost universal dominance of the brand name in the logo. Even the Rolls and BMW names are there even though not too prominently. The second thing: Seven of the 12 logos used reversed type (light colored type on a darker background). Third thing: except for Prada and Chris Craft, they used traditional type faces, and none used a sans serif face. Fourth thing: half of the samples use capital letters exclusively in their names. And fifth, Except for the Tiffany logo with it’s “Tiffany blue” background, there’s not much color represented in luxury logos.

As far as a small-sized logo is concerned, I’d vote Brooks Brothers being the worst of the bunch because of the lack of color contrast, the very fine lines of the type swishes, and the strange icon on the left that loses any recognition as it shrinks in size. Rolls comes in second. The only thing that saves it is the familiar RR configuration.

Now to address “anon’s” question, can a logo for a luxury brand stand out?. I’d say there are three or four examples of dominant logos in the group above, led by Prada.

Prada has the advantage of a short name which inherently leads to a clean and bold look when the typeface used is bold. Tiffany stands out primarily because of their traditional and world-famous use of  the “Tiffany blue” background. The Broadmoor with the “small” A does not diminish no matter the size and is distinctive. Finally, the Chris Craft logo is distinctive and the type face imparts speed even in a much smaller size.

So in this small sample of luxury brand logos you have some that dominate and some that don’t. I’m not sure that this proves that the logo isn’t important, but I think it does state that for this class of brands there are many attributes more important than the logo that contribute to their success.

But if I may be so bold as to make a suggestion to luxury brands, get out of your “me-too” rut and dance to a differnt drummer if you want to differentiate the brand.

Should your logo include your tagline?

My thought: emphatically, no.

That doesn’t mean the tagline can’t accompany your logo, and you can even make it look as if it’s a single element in selected cases.

But please reserve the right to separate them and use the logo as a stand-alone element where necessary. I blogged about the logo standing out when grouped with other logos – Does your logo stand out? It just won’t stand out if must carry along a tagline.

For my own company logo, I integrate logo and tagline where I have a full line devoted to the two elements, but elsewhere I separate them and usually only use the logo itself. Below are examples.

First, logo and tagline associated:

Then the logo alone:

Signature Strategies logo w/o tagline

So, logo and tagline are separate elements that can be integrated as appropriate. The thing is, be sure you have the flexibility to do either.

Does your logo stand out in a crowd?

Quite often you’ll have occasion to submit your logo to a medium that will group your logo with a myriad others as the images here demonstrate.

It’s a good way to determine just how well your logo stands out in relation to others, including your direct competitors. And two things become painfully evident to those with poorly designed logos.

logo array
NOTE PROPORTIONS OF LOGOS THAT STAND OUT

Continue reading Does your logo stand out in a crowd?