Ushahidi: Crowdsourcing Crisis Information

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Logolysis of McDonald's

McDonald's Logo analysis:

Likewise all businesses, it started on a small scale with a single location in Southern California. In 1937, McDonald’s was first a restaurant that sold hotdogs, orange juice, coffee and tea. Then, it was moved to San Bernardino and it was converted to a BBQ restaurant. Soon after, an investigation of sales showed that hamburgers accounted for 80% of items sold. That is how the switch was made – from a BBQ to a fast food chain. For more on McDonald’s history click here. Let’s focus on the logo :

In the begining there was the chef character named “Speedee”  ( #1 and #2. )  Then, in 1953, the arches were introduced. One of the founders, Dick McDonald sketched a pair of stylized yellow arches on both sides of the new outlet in Phoenix, Arizona. On #5 is one of the McDonald’s history museum locations. When the arches are viewed from an angle they resemble the letter M. From this reminiscence came the concept of the new logo, introduced in 1962, and designed by Jim Schindler.

The vintage cup on #3 is a McDonald’s waxed paper cup from the 1960s for milkshakes. It is part of “The All American” advertising campaign ran by McDonald’s at the time.

The logo expert Andy Payne, creative director of Interbrand, said: The interesting thing about this logo is that it was born of architecture. The arches were a design to be used in a building and that has created the unique nature of the “M”. It does rely on colour, in that you might not recognise it as McDonald’s if it was not yellow and red.” Later on, in 1968, the name ‘McDonald’s’ was adjoined with the McDonald’s logo.

There are numerous variations of the arches as you can easily see. What is the difference you might ask? Well, to me it was fascinating to try to decipher the different advertising messages that a variation in the shape, colour tint and colour choice, orientation and size, could propose.  For example, in #12 and #14, the edges are sharper, which speaks of a more solid, business-like and  corporate character. On the contrary, #10 apparently targets a funnier, happier, and more casual audience. This ‘M’ is used mainly when advertising to children. The wider arches, the brighter yellow, and the imitation of a drawing are all elements that contribute to the attempted young-spirited vision. Another use of wider arches is when the logo is utilized as a street/road sign – the thicker arches are seen easier from the passing cars.  

My take on McDonald's Logo:“The simpler the font of the logo, the more radiant it becomes for the spectator.”

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Logolysis of Nokia

This time its going to be Nokia and its a very short post!

Nokia Corporation has been in the telecommunications business since the 1960s and has become a global leader of the industry. The Nokia logo, like the company, is synonymous with mobile technology, high-tech gadgets and new ways to communicate and explore.

So when it came to designing their logo, Nokia Co. made every effort to make its logo represent the company’s mission. And thus, the infamous ‘Nokia Connecting People’ logo came into being.

Features of the Nokia Logo:
Let’s look at the features of the Nokia logo that make the brand so attractive.

What’s in a Slogan?
The Nokia logo consists of a very burly slogan that gives the brand a truly strong position in the telecommunication industry. The slogan cleverly expresses the company’s mission, which is to connect people without barrier and distance. This has made the Nokia logo stand out from the rest.

Picture Perfect!
There is a perfect image of two people almost joining hands with each other on the Nokia logo. The image has given a proper support to the logo and has brilliantly complimented the company’s mission and the slogan.

A Powerful Brand.
Undoubtedly, Nokia is a powerful player in the mobile telecommunication industry. Its mobile phones and gadgets have been infiltrated globally in mobile markets and are the customers’ favorite. Apart from being celebrated for its mobile phones, Nokia Co. also offers it’s customer other corporate functions which include multimedia devices and applications, enterprise solutions and network services. This further makes the Nokia logo a common household icon.

It will be irrevelant to discuss about the other logos of Nokia, because it existed as a company in different businesses throughout its history before entering the telecommunications space. Anyway a splash of the different logos of Nokia are shown below:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Logolysis of General Electric (GE)

A great company founded by a great inventor! Thomas Alva Edison founded the Edison Electric Light Company in 1878 to manufacture and sell his new invention - incandescent electric lamp. Later Edison combined all his businesses under Edison General Electric Company that merged with Thomson-Houston Electric Company in 1892 to form the General Electric Company.

GE’s logo has changed little since inception. The original logo was designed almost 100 years ago. Actually, it was just a badge for the center of one of the first electric fans. You can see this in the first of it’s kind GE logo. The fans were lost in the history but the swirly logo remains the same although it has gone thorough minor revisions over the time.

A time-line of GE logos is displayed below:

Current logo was adopted in 2004 when GE also changed its corporate color to blue which represents intelligence, stability, unity, and conservatism. The new logo was designed by Wolff Olins. GE also adopted a new slogan, “imagination at work” replacing the longtime slogan “we bring good things to life”. GE's logo shows a subtle movement (swirly) and this is a very fine point to be noticed that represents dynamism and forward looking.

The new GE brand system was officially launched in January 2005. GE believes that in the 21st century, its image should reflect the brand’s attributes and characters such as trustworthy, leading, dependable, contemporary, global, innovative, dynamic and approachable. It also best represents GE’s focus on imagination, innovation and the determination to maintain its century-old tradition of continuously bringing high-technology products and services to the market. 

The most remarkable transformation was the change of the black and white GE logo into a variety of 14 colors. The Pantone7455 blue replaced black to be the most common color used in the logo. The new brand system clearly defines the brand architecture, logo, tag-line lock-up, typography and colors as well as providing the instructions for ads, stationary, gifts and print productions.

GE's logo will always remind us of a trustworthy, an approachable and a global company that is committed to imagination, innovation and century-old tradition of bringing quality products to the people. The classic logo will remain contemporary for the years to come by having some minor but thorough change.

GE's logo will be a stamp of trust, tradition, innovation, imagination, quality and so on...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Logolysis of Microsoft

Happy New Year to You! This is my first post of the year 2010!

This time its the giant software company Microsoft. This time its more of critic of the logo than analysis, lets see how this pans out. The present logo of Microsoft is about 22 years old. The current logo of Microsoft is supposed to be simple to satisfy both B2B and B2C markets. In my opinion the current logo is not really suitable to compete in B2C markets, for several reasons.
  • Today, after the internet boom, the role of multimedia has increased.
  • The aesthetics, creativity and dynamics became more important for the computer users, who seek visually attractive products.
  • I believe that the current logo is inconsistent with the appealing products offered to customers like Windows 7, Xbox, MSN, or Zune which are modern and up-to-date.
According to a research conducted by a private group,
  • Dimension of Name is satisfying with a good grade.
  • Dimension of Aesthetic is quite satisfying, and gives indications for possible minor changes.
  • Poor results in Dynamic, Shape and Color are symptoms of obsolescence of the logo.
  • Dimension of Creativeness has also received bad responses.
All through the years Microsoft’s logo has been a very dull and straight forward logo. Even Steve Jobs of Apple has quoted that “Guys at Redmond don’t have taste”.

The first logo of Microsoft resembled neon sign fonts on motels and other road side diners. This logo had a two step layout with the Micro on top and Soft underneath it, conveying the message that it stood for Microcomputer Software.

The second logo of Microsoft was a thin font, all capital logo with just a dim-witted design for the letter “O”. The logo in itself didn’t convey much about the brand and its values.

Then there was the title cased Microsoft logo with a small hyphen between Micro and Soft. This time it was a little more formal and dead simple.

Finally the hyphen was removed and a single word logo was formed. This logo has stayed the same from 1987. The letter “O” was in pac-man style face. I feel that Microsoft has not evolved in terms of its brand identity like other technology companies for instance Cisco, Google, Apple, Adobe, Sun, Amazon, HP etc.

According to one marketing and brand consultant, the following can be subtle but powerful change in Microsoft’s logo. I also felt that MS needed this change! Tell me what you think.