the colbert report on branding logo marketing design

Last month, the innately witty Stephen Colbert broke up his signature political commentary to offer his Nation a bit of branding advice: Don’t do what USA Today did with its new logo. And he’s exactly right. USA Today’s new logo is everything a logo should not be.

colbert report usa today branding logo

The new symbol of the newspaper’s brand is essentially a blue ball icon. If only it were that simple. From there, staff designers will create a new version of the blue ball for every section of the paper every day, each logo filled with a circular graphic that symbolizes the section’s top news story. On any given morning, readers will find five to ten different versions of the blue ball within the USA Today’s pages. Quipped Colbert, “Serendipitously, this is also a pie chart showing the percentage of people confused by USA Today’s new logo.”

A logo should be simple, enduring and timeless. It should reflect the essence of your brand, not the latest trends. And most importantly, it should be an instantly recognizable symbol of your company. A little bit of continuity goes a long way.

good logo design strategies

When you think of modern logos, companies like Apple and Google immediately come to mind. But another logo that fits the bill for simplicity, timelessness and recognition is the iconic NBC logo. The NBC peacock symbol has been around since 1956, and although it has changed colors and shapes over the years, it has evolved into a logo that you immediately recognize. It’s colorful yet uncomplicated, perfect in icon form, and visually interesting. And its new line-free style ensures the peacock will keep looking modern in the bottom right corner of your TV screen.

Here are some things to think about when creating a logo:

How does it look in color? What about in black and white?
Will it work as an icon, especially with social media sites?
Does it have aspects that are classic rather than trendy?
Is it simple enough to immediately understand the first time you see it?
Is it interesting enough to set you apart?
Does it represent your brand?

If you’re looking for a logo to take your business to the next level, Write In Color can help!

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