When it comes to UK logo design, there are two basic choices. On one hand, there are logos that use images to represent their company. On the other, some businesses choose to let their name stand alone, portraying their brand with a carefully designed font. These two devices can both be very effective, but each comes with a unique set of pros and cons.
Typographic Logos: Pros and Cons
Some of the UK’s most recognizable brands, such as Tesco and Virgin, allow their wording to do the talking. This creates a very simple, easily recognizable identity. It also yields a more timeless image. Consider UK business giant Virgin. The typeface used is distinctive enough for easy recognition, and it has been used successfully for decades. Typographic logos also are more versatile than those that use images. The Virgin logo has been used on products as diverse as soft drinks and airplanes, all with relative success. Further, there are no distractions from the business name, which is above all else the most important piece of information to remember.
On the other hand, there are drawbacks to typographic logo design as well. Because there is no image to represent the brand, the fonts and colours alone must present the message. Every element must be carefully chosen to create a distinctive sense of identity. This kind of simplicity can actually require more work and more thought than the creation of a logo image.
Image Logos: Pros and Cons
At the other end of the spectrum, many companies choose to be represented by a logo that features an image such as a picture or shape as its main identifying factor. This is also a common choice in UK logo design. Consider the BP sunburst flower, or the red quotation mark of Vodafone. Obviously these are very memorable logos, and they offer character that a typeface alone could not match. Further, while typeface logos may hint at the character of a brand, image logos are much more direct.
The drawbacks are easy to see. Image logos are not as timeless as typeface counterparts and necessitate more regular updates, which can be both expensive and time-consuming. If the name of the business is not part of the logo in some way, customers may have a hard time connecting the logo with the business. As we saw in the recent BP oil spill scandal, image logos can easily be parodied and made the butt of jokes in a very public and embarrassing way.
Both image and typeface logos have a long and distinctive history in the UK. However, there are benefits and drawbacks to each choice that must be overcome in order for a business to achieve branding success. While both types of logo have their pros and cons, there is probably a ‘right choice’ for your business. If you are having trouble selecting the type of logo to represent your unique brand, talk to a professional UK logo designer today.