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Photo © Greg Durrell
ART6 Standing Out in The Crowd

When Superman tears off his Clark Kent persona in the nearest available telephone booth he reveals his true ‘identity’. We immediately recognize the costume, the use of colour… and more than anything, the bold ‘S’ Logo emblazoned on his chest. We need no time to think about who this can be. We Know!
— Burton Kramer

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Burton Kramer

1994

 

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Originally part of a lecture at Ostend, Belgium; 1st Logo Biennale, September, 1994

 

Supplied and written by Burton Kramer

 

Branding, Trademarks & Logo Design
How did we get where we are? And where are we going?

 

The need for corporate identity and ‘branding’ began with the need to make known the individual identities of the successful hunter, the tribal chief, the shaman, the priest, the village, city, canton, country; the identities of the nobility and the reigning monarch. In commerce, it was the response to a need to identify the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker…more recently the ecommerce and high tech corporations, the banks, the multi-nationals, but still, organizations of every size, worldwide.

 

Visual Identity and branding had its beginnings with body painting, masks, and costume, then tattooing, length and style of hair, body piercing and ornament — to the school tie, the right hat, trendy, group-defining dress, etc.

 

But the comprehensive, integrated (and therefore effective) identity or branding program, with its essential core logo (element) has been with us from the time frame of Kurasawa’s Samurai films and the heraldic banners and shields of feudal Europe, conjuring up other film memories of heroic Knights of the Round Table or the masked, Teutonic Knights of Eisenstein’s ‘Alexander Nevsky’.

 

The logo for a bank would be inappropriate if it appeared to represent a Travel Agency. The Logo of a Hotel chain should convey both comfort and efficiency, that of an airline speed, technical capability and security.

 

But no matter what the organization, an effective Logo, as part of a comprehensive identity and branding program must be an extremely good ‘fit’… it must project the corporate attitude, style and aspirations.

 

The ongoing need for clear identification has produced identity and branding programs for most major national and international corporations, organizations and services.Clarity in large and small sizes, in electronic usage, in colour and monochrome, in animation, and the ability to be realized 3-dimensionally along with the potential for controlled variation while maintaining recognition are basic to success in logo – brand implimentation and a continuing successful and vigorous life. But the comprehensive, integrated (and therefore effective) identity or branding program, with its essential core logo (element) has been with us from the time frame of Kurasawa’s Samurai films and the heraldic banners and shields of feudal Europe, conjuring up other film memories of heroic Knights of the Round Table or the masked, Teutonic Knights of Eisenstein’s ‘Alexander Nevsky’.

 

The logo for a bank would be inappropriate if it appeared to represent a Travel Agency. The Logo of a Hotel chain should convey both comfort and efficiency, that of an airline speed, technical capability and security.

 

An effective logo (and Corporate Identification system) must appear to ‘fit’. It must clearly project the corporate persona….its attitudes, culture and aspirations. The look and feel of an organization’s logo must always ‘ring true’. This goal requires the distillation of research and corporate objectives in order to project a condensed, appropriate and ‘rememberable’ image and for an organization… assuring that it will ‘stand out in the crowd’, now and in the future.

  

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Additional

Archive Repository:

Burton Kramer

1994

 

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