Some people love to point this out to me, sometimes in a slightly condescending manner, as if I, who came to the branding arena via the visual path, haven’t given this a conscious thought up to that very moment when the person takes responsibility and enlightens me. In these cases, I don’t know if I shall laugh or cry. As if I don’t put my nose to this branding grindstone almost daily, in my attempts to guide people who want to have a logo.
In my book “Brand Boxes” the three first chapters which you have to read before we even put pen to paper to draw anything (if you want to work with me) are solely dedicated to the “non-visual” work that should be the foundation for the creation of a logo and a graphic profile. A branding bauta that I lean on in this work is Marty Neumeier*. I quote three questions from him in the chapter named “Brand Research”. These are:
1. Who are you?
2. What do you do?
3. Why does it matter?
The last question is the most difficult and important. Why does it matter?
In the answer to this question, we’ll find our WHY. Why we do what we do, what it means to us, and what it means to others. We also find the otherness. Why does my way of helping, fit some people better than others? Why would anyone choose to get my help before someone else’s who does almost exactly the same as me? We can work with this and try to reveal the core. This work is hard as marble. Michelangelo said:
“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it. I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free”
We too can work on setting the core of our brands free and see it clearly. What we find can be described verbally. To communicate it to the world, you can repeat and repeat this message every time you have a chance.
OR: You can connect your core message with a visual symbol and charge it with the value of your core message. The symbol will then speak your core message in its visual language, which is easier to perceive and remember than words.
The charging of the symbol is not something that can be conducted only once. Like an electric car (think Tesla), the symbol needs to be recharged again and again before setting out on new missions. You can charge your symbol by acting according to your core message on all touchpoints where you can be personally present and tell your stories. When you CANNOT be personally present, like on your website, in your social media posts, and in your printed marketing materials, your symbol can be your ambassador and communicate your core message and tell your stories on your behalf.
The visual symbol I speak about is of course a logo.
Your brand is not your logo, but the logo is the visual representation of your brand. It represents the clarity you have arrived at by working with
Marty Neumeier’s simple, but terribly difficult question: WHY DOES IT MATTER?
*Neumeier in his book “The Brand Gap” quotes these questions from