8 responses to “a logo is not a replacement for content or actions.

  1. Got to agree with you here Tim. A logo is important in the branding process and creates a vehicle by which someone can associate a message. Without the message (content), it is just some pretty shapes and colors. Good post!

  2. If I’m reading this correctly, your sesquicentennial group already has an official (or endorsed/sanctioned) logo, correct? But some department has a student designing another logo? This sounds about par for the course. The only thing missing is the requisite logo contest.

  3. Great post, and hits me right where I live right now as we prepare for a capital campaign, which actually has several logos (don’t ask).

    I think the obsession with the logo has to do with the turf-claiming that you describe. To be crude for a second, when you create a new logo for something you’re basically lifting your leg and proclaiming “this is mine.” There is also that very new-ness of it. It is always more fun to create something new than to fix something that already exists.

    Primarily though, I think the appeal of the logo is that it is something that everyone can have an opinion about but that most people don’t have to actually do. Your graphic designer or your student or your contest winner does the logo; *everyone* has to work on content. I am never greeted with more blank stares and buck-passing than I am when I ask someone to actually write something for the Web.

  4. Tim Nekritz

    LOU: Good point as relates to branding. So many times people say “let’s make a logo!” and never stop to ask what it has to do with brand. Or aesthetics, for that matter. And yes, without correlating content, it’s nothing.

    ANDREW: I probably didn’t explain well enough that example #2 isn’t related to the Sesquicentennial. It’s a neat project that could mean a lot long-term, and has some really good people on it, so that they’ve focused on the logo is misplaced since they have many benefits to sell. And don’t get me started on logo contests …

    LORI: You comment is spot on, from the territorial markings to avoidance of content. It’s all part of the general “I want a shiny object!” mentality, as opposed to rolling the sleeves up and working on what’s really needed to accomplish any task. People aren’t going to attend my college or make a donation to your institution because of a logo, but they might be moved to action by actual compelling content. Which is harder to get resources for than logo development!

  5. So, I just get back from a meeting and in my email is a request to review a departmental logo. Sheesh. I really wish I had a big rubber stamp with the word “DENIED” to use on these requests.

  6. Great post and very true.

    Nothing says “due diligence” like slapping a logo on everything in site. While I agree with you on this point, what else is being done to help these folks who don’t have a lot of access to the strategy or tactics? Are they given a list of possible tactics to use in conjunction? Or a internal blog or forum for exchanging ideas on getting more involved. I think many people at the departmental/unit level are waiting for word from the central unit for how to implement and get involved. Lazy on them, but having some of these things may get more involvement from others.

    On a slight note, Lori – this blog Bob Brock just wrote may shed some light for capital campaigns – http://talk.emgonline.com/Blog/Pages/Notebook/Brand-Manager-s-Notebook/July-2011/Branding-and-Capital-Campaigns

  7. Tim Nekritz

    TRAVIS: Good points there. Early in the process, one of our committee members held a number of focus groups with various stakeholders, then we came up with a poll of potential events and asked people to let us know a) what they’d like to see us do, and b) if they’d like to volunteer to help us. One could say we could have pushed harder on getting follow-up, but I’ve also seen people use the logo as their safety valve. And when institutions are decentralized, it’s harder to move the various parts to action. Maybe we’ll figure this out by the bicentennial. ; )

  8. joesunyoswego

    Reblogged this on refreshing oswego.

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