The logo is dead…apparently

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Simon Manchipp, Founder of design agency Someone, today proclaimed “the logo is dead”. Manchipp feels that businesses would be better off creating richer ‘brand worlds’; they simply don’t need logos any more.

He cites the Euro 2012 branding as a perfect example of an immersive ‘brand world’, made up of a selection of backgrounds, textures and illustrations. He goes as far as to say that they could ditch the Euro 2012 logo altogether and “be left with brilliant, exciting, ownable and authentic visual identity”.

As the first comment on the D&AD blog post notes, Manchipp’s proclamation is possibly a bit late. ‘Logos don’t play the part they used to they’ve just become one of many important elements including patterns, photography, typography, language, illustration etc that constitute a modern brand identity’.

Will logos always have a part to play or are they dead and buried?

  • Rob Dyson

    Doesn’t someone proclaim the logo to be dead erm every other year? I can think of one I wish was buried: http://bit.ly/d6DM32 😉

  • Roberto Kusabbi

    Agreed Rob, does seem like similar things are said every year. I can understand what he means though. Logo’s can be an elephant in the room like mentioned London Olympics Logo. Think he is talking a bit of ad speak though, the Euro2012 might not be remembered by him as a logo but a brand world but to the layman on the street it will be a logo. What I find interesting will be how logo/brands protect or alter their brand in a very converse media that is only going to get more blurry.Ah I love the smell of a debate in the morning….

  • Given that there are remarkably few creatives capable of creating visual identities strong enough to establish highly recognisable ‘brand worlds’, and very few Clients with budget to build the associations across all media to achieve this nirvana, this comment is a bit out of touch with reality. The humble logo, well crafted, will live on.

  • Ross McCulloch

    Rob – The London Olympics logo has actually grown on me. Mind you I don’t need to live in London and see it every day.Roberto – ‘The Euro2012 might not be remembered by him as a logo but a brand world but to the layman on the street it will be a logo.’ I think you’re right there.Bronwyn – Excellent point about client budget and agency ability. Beyond global events and multi-national organisations would the average business really benefit from a ‘brand world’?

  • RosieHope

    I think it’s important that a logo sits within a brand. It’s not enough on its own. Sometimes the brand can be as much about the tone of voice (innocent smoothies anyone?), a colour (breast cancer campaign) or a photography style, like National Geographic’s.But that doesn’t mean that a logo can’t be useful, especially for partnership work, when you want to put your mark on someone else’s brand. There’s no way you want someone else trying to represent your "brand world". Send them a jpeg.

  • Ross McCulloch

    RosieHope – Good point about using your logo on another org’s printed materials or website. As you say, could you really rely on someone you’re doing partnership work with to take control of your ‘brand world’?

  • Jahnzilla

    Pah, what a load of pish. I think he is just saying logo’s are dead for the attention. Fair enough, there are some shit ones kicking about, but when done well a logo can encapsulate the essence of a brand. Fair enough, rich ‘brand worlds’ (whatever they may be) are probably a great way of helping to engage with customers but you cannae beat a cracking logo. I like logos, hail to the logo!

  • I keep hearing people declaring logos dead, but I think they’re important – symbology of all sorts tends to be very memorable (in my opinion) and it’s a good way to remind people of your brand, or the link new products/services in."Brand World" sounds like another great "Blue Sky" term! 😉

  • In the real world, clients have limited budgets, production options are constrained and focus on the practical and, let’s face it, your image needs to be comprehensible at 64×64 pixels. So, while the Euro 2012 approach may adapt the brand framework a bit it’s not realistically the universal way forward. RosieHope’s point about the context in which the logo sits is a good one. Just as important now is our total brand ‘experience’ – how we interact with the brand on a number of different channels and levels – rather than how many complex textures and backgrounds we can cram in.

  • "a perfect example of an immersive ‘brand world’, made up of a selection of backgrounds, textures and illustrations" is absolutely spot on – but to try and start a debate using an example where the logo is central to that "immersive ‘brand world’" just doesn’t stack up.I’d cite as an example the 2012 webpage (http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro2012/index.html) Take away the logo on this page and what are you left with: just another UEFA webpage. It’s early stages in the lifespan of this brand – but I’d bet my last fiver on the fact that the logo always has prime position on whatever they do – just look at how the Champions League is promoted.Also – for us all designing in the real world, can you imagine Joe Bloggs who sells nuts bolts and widgets chucking in his logo and getting himself a nice background, a couple of textures and some trendy illustrations? Nope, neither can I.

  • Tom Ledwidge

    Disagree. Long-live the logo! If everyone was presenting themselves as a brand "world" we would get lost in the noise. The logo is an integral part of a brand universe but to say its dead is ridiculous

  • I think it’s important that a logo sits within a brand. It’s not enough on its own. Sometimes the brand can be as much about the tone of voice (innocent smoothies anyone?), a colour (breast cancer campaign) or a photography style, like National Geographic’s.