Buy your logo here: Naïve Marketing Strategies#10

No Logo by Naomi KleinGreat to see Peter Saville, himself something of a Manchester icon, putting his foot down over the city’s new logo and refusing to release it to his client until they’ve made up their minds on what it’s to be used for.

‘What is the point of a logo?’ asked Saville. ‘London does not have a logo, nor Paris and they seem to be managing. What do you do with one, apart from put it on a balloon and float it above the town hall?’

I once saw a pitch from a design agency that claimed their new logo would transform the client, a troubled Greater Manchester college, all on its own. People would be so inspired by their graphic artistry, which would communicate so much positive stuff just by being, that all the college’s problems would be solved. Honest, guv! They hadn’t visited the college or talked to anyone who used it or worked there, but they’d already produced a few generic logos with the name in a variety of fonts. And search Google for logo and you’ll get numerous ads from graphic designers (they’ll be populating the Google Ads here too). Typical copy; ‘We keep designing unlimited custom logo samples until you appove (sic). Pay only $199. Unlimited changes and colors, 100% money-back guarantee. Interact and approve your new logo online in 3 days’. What’s that all about?

It’s as if identity were only skin deep. A Manchester logo with green fields and sheep would not cause anyone to perceive the place as barren countryside. Saville’s been able to produce a killer tagline – Manchester: Original-Modern – that works because it embodies the spirit of the city and its history and wouldn’t work anywhere else. He achieved that thanks not just to his intimate knowledge of the place, but considerable research. Similarly, for the logo to have any value it will need to be something that embodies Manchester’s unmistakeable positives and is unmistakably Manchester. If it doesn’t do that, it’s not worth having… and that’s the case for anyone thinking about their identity.
Manchester: Original-Modern
Mazda RX-8 ideal sports car…….BT Privacy… forget the loyal customer

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