A logo should tell a story

Storytelling for brands is the concept in vogue, even though that has always been what it is. (still, I’d hate to write storyteller on my business card, and other such similar titles i.e. chief troublemaker, agent provocateur, professional amateur, annoy me. However, Isaac Asimov gets a pass.)


Yet storytelling is what I/we marketers/designers/writers do, and I’m going to commit the following to my memory so family and friends can stop giving me blank stares when I describe my work (obviously the fault is mine):

Your logo is an extension of your brand, and your brand is a story. Your story.

Who you are and what you do is one part of that story; the combined experiences, feelings, and perceptions that your brand evokes are the other. The designer’s job is to distill that “special something” as neatly, and as elegantly, as possible.

Thoughtful design involves far more than simply choosing colors and stock images. To craft a brand identity that clearly (and effectively) communicates the core of your story takes an in-depth process of research, exploration and refinement.

The logo is only the final product.

It reminds me of what CS Lewis said about writing in a letter response to a young fan:

Dear Joan–

Thanks for your letter of the 3rd. You describe your Wonderful Night v. well. That is, you describe the place and the people and the night and the feeling of it all, very well — but not the thing itself — the setting but not the jewel. And no wonder! Wordsworth often does just the same. His Prelude (you’re bound to read it about 10 years hence. Don’t try it now, or you’ll only spoil it for later reading) is full of moments in which everything except the thing itself is described. If you become a writer you’ll be trying to describe the thing all your life: and lucky if, out of dozens of books, one or two sentences, just for a moment, come near to getting it across.

It’s more art than science, more history than invention, more fundamental than specific, more everything than something.

1 comment
  1. Great post. Brands are made of stories, or should be. Without their stories, a brand became just a product seller.

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