Many believe that a well designed logo that reflects a company's business and values can have a positive impact on its bottom line. Good logos drive profits. In the case of Not for Profit companies a good identity will further the purpose of the organization, whatever that purpose may be. An identity that effectively uses graphical imagery, color, fonts, and contrast to establish brand recognition is seen as a potential gold mine for the company. At a glance, customers recognize the logo and the brand behind it in a positive way. Many international companies like AT&T, Nike, Intel, Apple Computer, and Reebok have actually done this. Or have they? Did the logo drive the brand or did the brand drive the logo? Do people instantly recognize Nike's famous "swoosh" because the brand was already well established and recognizable before the identity was introduced? To address this question let's look at two internationally recognized logos: The AT&T Blue World and the Wikipedia Planet Earth'
AT&T's Blue World Logo: An Example
Long before the arrival of the Blue World logo -- or the Blue Marble as some like to call it -- AT&T was simply known as the phone company. Hard for young people to believe but in the not too distant past we all had the same phone company for everything -- AT&T. Then came the court ordered breakup of AT&T which allowed them to get into the personal computer business to compete with IBM. That didn't work out so well and left AT&T as a once proud company in search of a new identity. They redefined their business as communication in nature and global in scope. And the Blue World was the logo introduced to support and enhance that new identity. And it's worked. Than logo can be reproduced anywhere in any form. It only uses two colors so it can be reproduced in Black and White. When you see it on letterhead, or billboards, or keychains, or hats, or shirts, you know it's AT&T. Since some skeptics claim that the AT&T brand was well known before the Blue World came along, let's look at another logo example: the Wikipedia Planet Earth. But before we abandon AT&T let's remind the skeptics that younger generations were raised in a world of MCI and the baby bells. AT&T did not mean to them what it meant to baby boomers. Now on to Wiki and their earth.
Wikipedia's Planet Earth Logo
Wikipedia sees itself as an encyclopedia to the world. Informed users worldwide and enter and edit information into Wikipedia. They want to be the trusted source for information, worldwide, pulling bits and pieces floating around into a single source. There has been some debate over the accuracy of some of the information put into Wikipedia, especially edited input but the founders are taking steps to correct the issue. Their logo is a depiction of the Planet Earth as a collection of puzzle pieces with missing pieces at the top of the planet. This graphic logo brilliantly captures and represents the core nature of what they do and how they see themselves. And now everyone who sees that planet knows it's from Wiki and it can be trusted. With Wiki, the logo is driving the brand!