This year I decided to fill my time with more “passion projects”—uber creative and liberating experiences (or experiments) that will challenge me to be more creatively well-rounded and energize my work.
One of my most recently inspired undertakings was to learn to play a new instrument. I chose ukulele because, coming from Hawai’i, I already had a Kamaka laying around my apartment (that’s Hawaii-speak for a really awesome ukulele). Anyways, as I was strumming along to Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow and simultaneously brainstorming ideas for a new client logo, it occurred to me that a song is a great way to understand the relationship between a brand and its logo.
A song is simply a story told with music. What your company does and believes, the products or services you provide—that’s your story. But without music, no one listens.
Your brand is the music, telling your story in a way that captures people, moves them. Like a song, your brand is made up of many different parts played together to create a beautiful brand song.
One of those parts, and a very important one, is your logo. The logo is the song’s melody. By itself (and if played well), you should get an immediate feel for the song. You may not know what the song is about, the story or lyrics, but you’ll gather some important qualities. Is it upbeat? mellow? Do I like it?
I often see a lot of pressure put on logos. People expect the logo to represent everything about the brand, its values, personality, history, products—all in a fleeting glance.
However, a great logo, like a melody, is beautifully simple. It reveals just enough for the customer to decide if they like your company or want to engage. The melody is not the complete song, just as your logo is not your brand.
“Your logo is not your brand.”
Your logo should be as simple as a melody. Understand that your brand does not depend on your logo, and is rather a rich song, built from many different elements, each with its own part to play. From your identity to your customer’s engagement with employees, these touch points, when in harmony, make up the rich brand experience that creates your brand’s perfect song.