Every logo should be…

Twelve supposedly «universal» rules in brand identity design.

Norberto Chaves, author Norberto Chaves Followers: 3873

Cristian Petit De Murat, translator TranslationCristian Petit De Murat Followers: 20

Decades go by – almost a century – and in professional branding circles (not to mention academic circles) we keep hearing staggering claims, openly contradicted by the facts. In large sectors of the discipline, work keeps being ruled by hard-to-eradicate myths: preconceived ideas, by their own nature, don't listen to reason or fact. See here twelve classic examples of professional mythology:

  1. Every logo should refer to the organization activity or its product identity.
    FALSE: yes, in some instances; not, in an ample majority.

  2. Every logo should include a graphic symbol to complement its wordmark.
    FALSE: in some instances the symbol is essential; in others, superfluous; in a few, optional.

  3. Every logo should  be unique, not answering to conventional graphic codes.
    FALSE: in some instances the logo should be unique; in others, absolutely conventional.

  4. In every logo, the wordmark should  be manipulated, or the lettering or its correlation between them should be altered.
    FALSE: in some instances, transgression of typographic or calligraphic norm is helpful, and in others, harmful.

  5. Every logo should  be amiable, informal or colloquial.
    FALSE: only in some instances the informality of the logo can coincide with its best organization or product profile.

  6. Every logo should be modern, adjusting itself to contemporary graphic standards.
    FALSE: inherent to current «contemporary style» is its diversity; and some logos should be truly «classic» o, even «retro».

  7. Every logo should  adhere to the latest graphic trends.
    FALSE: only logos of ephemeral organizations could adhere to ephemeral languages: obsolescence is rarely beneficial.

  8. Every logo should  be «renewed» periodically.
    FALSE: its redesign can only be justified when low quality or a loss of competitiveness is detected.

  9. Every logo should  be «dynamic» or be designed to modify its form.
    FALSE: it only should be «declinable» when the diversity of activities calls for articulate sub-brands.

  10. Every logo should  adjust to the public profile.
    FALSE: The logo should reflect its owner's profile (the organization or the product) and their offering is what should be palatable for its targets.

  11. Every logo should  be «sales-inductive».
    FALSE: logos with advertising claim function can only be found in some impulsive buying instances.

  12. Every logo should  be simple and memorable.FALSE: in many cases it must be; when the demands of speed of reading and memorization are a priority. In other cases, such a requirement is superfluous.


Professional logo design is always specific, not subject to supposedly universal norms or prescriptions. It must be handled according to each case: it should detect the particular alternatives arising from the strategic profile and specific communication conditions. In all twelve preceding hypothesis, its falsehood comes from the word «every», that is, the presumption of universality to the respective norm.

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Main illustration of the article Design and message credibility
Design and message credibility
Communicates' design as a mean to the conquest of plausibility: sender and referent transparency.


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Portrait of Fabiccii Gg
Oct 2016

Muy buen artículo, sin embargo me genera dudas, cómo se aplica varios de los ejemplos dados a marcas nuevas. Por ejemplo una marca nueva basada en una tipografía simple, sin añadrle algún icono podría llamar la atención o destacar? Por otro lado, muchas de las marcas usadas de ejemplo, son marcas posicionadas y son muy exitosas, que pasa con marcas que intentan establecerse pero para eso deben pasar por varios rediseños, es esto algo erróneo?


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