cannot, by any means, paint a complete and
accurate portrait of a person. Like the logo, it canonly allude; it cannot speak with eloquence. Another, perhaps, more powerful, component
of the signature analogy is that a logo, like a
signature, functions as a promise. By applying
your signature to a contract, check, or letter, youhave given your seal of approval and indicated yourownership and obligation to what you have signed
for. The logo acts as a promise in a similar way.
When a logo is applied to a product, it promises
that the product will deliver a specic quality thatalludes to the brand’s identity. For instance, Apple’slogo promises innovation. Likewise, Volvo’s logo
promises safety, while the Hermès logo promises
elegance. But again, the logo can only allude to thepromise of these qualities – it cannot speak witheloquence.
WhERE doEs ThE Logo fiT in ThE WoRLd of BRand ExpREssion?
Brand expression is made up of two streams: visualexpression and verbal expression. Initially, it wouldseem that the logo ts primarily into the visual
expression stream, along with typography, imageryor photography style, graphic devices, color
palette, and layout conventions. On the other hand,
the brand name itself, tone of voice, messaging,and the tagline all comprise the verbal expression
stream. In addition to brand expression, there are a
large number of touch points that create customerexperience, as well as many internal components
that build employee brand culture and behaviors. Along with the visual and verbal expression, these
are all designed to convey the character of the
painTing picTuREs WiTh WoRds andgRaphics
And yet, while the logo would seem to t into
just the visual expression stream, it is interestingto note that it is really an unusual hybrid of both
word and picture. This ability to combine both isthe logo’s strength. It’s often said that a picture
is worth a thousand words, but any avid reader
knows that the opposite is also true: words canpaint thousands of pictures.If the word part of the logo – the name – is strong
enough, it can remain relatively unadorned as a
wordmark. But in many cases, the name requires
additional embellishment and graphics to become
an ownable logo. Part of the problem is that, with aname, we are limited to an extremely nite numberof words, if not a single one. This brevity seriouslylimits a logo’s expressive capacity.
Apple’s logo promisesinnovation. Likewise, Volvo’s logopromises safety