Logo Design Articles
Analyzing Logos: UPS Case Study
by Grace Conlon ©2003 Logoworks
If your company's logo were a real-live person, hired by you to represent your business to the wide world of potential customers, would you be satisfied with the image it projects?
As a person, would your logo be dressed in the right colors - is it the right shape? If it is communicating a word message, is it saying something important? Are the words, and their graphic presentation, a hook that grabs the interest of a passerby?
Right at the core of the tasks your logo should be handling for you, is the responsibility to be deeply integrated with your company's total image. Entrepreneurs will benefit by considering if their logos conform with their product and/or corporate image, i.e. the face they want to show to the public. Or does the logo travel, on a parallel but different direction, contributing nothing to the desired impact?
That impact, ideally, is one of recognition and instant recall of the company/product/service that the logo represents. Each repetition - whether on a package, a flyer, a vehicle, a uniform - will reinforce whatever message the logo is subliminally sending out.
A very successful example of a fully integrated advertising/publicity effort is the current UPS campaign. The image-makers at UPS have a profound understanding of the need to present a completely interfluent marketing message to the buying public.
We spoke with a brand manager in the UPS corporate office in Atlanta and checked out some things about their "brown" image campaign. The multi-media marketing drive began just about six months ago, on March 25, 2003. Concurrent with the "brown" theme, the company acquired retail mailbox stores, providing even easier access to the company's services.
UPS logos play an important part in the organization's image making; the company has trademarks for each of its many services and we counted more than 100 listed on the UPS website.
If we analyze the shield device, which seems to be the most familiar of the UPS logos, we come up with several observations:
- The shield shape is reminiscent of a family crest, a coat of arms, which communicates longevity, a history of service
- The choice of brown as the predominant color reflects trustworthiness. Combined with gold, the most precious of metals, it indicates value, steadiness and reliability. Brown is a warmer, less "flashy" choice than black; it is a color that wears well over time.
- The choice of lower case letters sends a message of service; this puts the customer above the corporate entity
- The swish across the top of the emblem radiates a feeling of rapid velocity, i.e. speed and direction, which UPS is dedicated to with its worldwide services in the air, land and on the sea.
The "brown" theme is replicated in every other facet of the company's image - employee uniforms, trucks, print and electronic media. The UPS logo does not have to stand alone.
Diagnosing one's logo is an exercise every business person ought to do, using an objective eye to determine if the logo projects the desired company or product image. Every company, every brand needs a logo. No company or product should wander, faceless, in the competitive marketing jungle without one.
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