Advertising and design: A useful resource to inspire logo design

Bauhaus - may favourite font. And the one I use as the logo for my engineering PR companyFollowing last Thursday’s post about Wordle, I’ve had a number of people send me e-mails about the function of design in technical marketing and technology marketing. The thrust of these e-mails was that we have become too caught up in the functionality of design for the Internet and forgotten about designing for people. I for one am guilty of this and I now know that lots of you also consider yourselves sinners.

Furthermore, as marketers we seem to brief our designers far too tightly to look only at what works for our competitors. However, just because ABB or Apple’s logo seems pretty attractive and those companies are doing OK for themselves, it doesn’t mean that imitating the best in their designs will work for a new company or one that is re-branding.

Catalan architect Antonio Gaudi said, “Originality consists in returning to the origin” and by this he meant that returning, to “the simplicity of the early solutions” is the key to innovation. Perhaps then, next time you address a design issue such as a new logo, instead of analysing the sophistication of Orange or the complexity of London 2012 (and it is complex and clever, whatever you think of it), return to the sources of inspiration that the designers of those works used.

This applies equally to design for the Web – we focus on usability, search engine optimisation and industry relevance constantly. Wouldn’t it be a breath of fresh air to also address originality?

So, for those of you who want to return to the origin on your next project, I can recommend Smashing Magazine’s recent piece on Modern Art Movements to Inspire your Logo Design. It’s a useful introduction to the 20th century schools of art that influenced the way we think about colour and shape in industry now. It could be just the tonic for use technical marketing sinners.

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Richard Stone

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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