Brandmark vs Lettermark vs Wordmark: which is the logo of the future?


Brandmarks (or abstract marks) are redefining the way we approach logo design. They are designed to be instantly recognizable, memorable, and adaptable across a number of platforms and mediums – exactly what you need in a digital world 

As far as logo design, how do they stack up against Wordmarks and Lettermarks?

Why do the modern-day logo giants like Draplin, Allan Peters and James Martin emphasize Brandmarks in their work?

In this episode of The Angry Designer, join the bearded behemoths as they try to tackle the future of logo design: Brandmark vs Wordmark vs Lettermark? In this episode, the gents cover:

– What is a logo
– What is a Brandmark, Wordmark, Lettermark
– Strengths and weaknesses of each
– Aaron Draplin, Allan Peters, James Martin
– Brandmark Logo design process

By the end of this episode, you’ll have all the information you’ll need to present different Logo options to your clients, and being able to recommend which they should go with. Cha Ching!!!

Episode Transcript


Massimo: [00:00:00] I don't know if I can fit your tagline and your company name and your logo in a favicon. Yeah, but I'll try. 

Shawn: I'll give it a go. I'll give it a go for you. Okay. A 0.001 tagline, point size that's going over well are loving it.

Massimo: You are listening to the Angry Designer where we cut through the industry bowl to help frustrated graphic designers survive. And thrive. 

Shawn: All right. Oh, yes. Cheers, 

Massimo: my friend. Cheers. Short, crazy week. 

Shawn: Yes. Happy Easter. Mm-hmm. Happy 

Massimo: Easter. Short weeks are always a killer. Yes. 

Shawn: Always a killer. They're very difficult, right?

Shawn: Because it, we've always maintained that it's still five. Days worth of work. Five 

Massimo: days worth of work shoved into four days. Four days, yes, exactly. Oh, it doesn't, it doesn't even like, oh yeah, not 

Shawn: at all. And, and then, you know, all the stuff gets pushed over to the next week. So the next week is, [00:01:00] you know, the shit show too.

Shawn: It, it's, it's crazy. It's, it's almost not worth it. What are we 

Massimo: drinking today, Sean? We, and I'm surprised 

Shawn: by this. Why? Just, well, I was off for a couple of days and, uh, I had an illness. It wasn't covid, but I missed our whiskey Friday. Mm-hmm. And I, I, and I know how you like to come in on the weekends. Hmm.

Shawn: You know, you, you do your laundry or whatever it is. I don't know. It's like I gotta go wash the car, disappear for two hours. That's what it is. Better have a drink. Silence. So I, I'm shocked that it's still 

Massimo: here. That's, that's awesome. It's, yeah. Yeah. I actually, cause I wasn't allowed to leave the house.

Massimo: This, you were, it was such a busy weekend. I, I couldn't get away unfortunately, for some peace and quiet. But you have 

Shawn: a, you have your personal stash at home? Yeah, of course. 

Massimo: Okay. I've got a couple things to drink at home when I need to, but Yes. Yeah. This past weekend was cr it is a formula one weekend, but it was the Australian one, so I was up so late.

Massimo: Cause again, it's not the same. Watching it. Live or watching a rerun of it. Right, right. Yeah. So it just messed me up. I was just So, what time does it start? Oh, mean the [00:02:00] race was like one o'clock in the morning. Oh, geeze. Yeah. Like it's, you know, usually, you know, it's like a Sunday morning ritual. You get up Sunday morning, you watch firm night.

Massimo: No, no, this, this stay up late on a Saturday night. God, now I'm not. Now I'm that person who goes to bed early on the one night and we fucking, I'm a nerd now. Shit, 

Shawn: what happened happens. It happens to the best of us, man. 

Massimo: Well, we did have some exciting things that happened this week. Yes. You know, work-wise it was, uh, we had some fun projects come through.

Massimo: Yes. With that, you know, working on that other podcast. Yep. And then of course Cool. The big Pepsi reveal. Yes. You know, that was a little kind of crazy. The Pepsi logo came out there, and that was quite controversial. Yes, it certainly was. I mean, we had a post that just kind of like how many people got, everybody's so passionate about this one, right?

Shawn: Yes, yes. And because I think it's. Pepsi is notorious for spending 

Massimo: tons money, ridiculous amounts of 

Shawn: money. So you know you're gonna expect something good. Right? But we're [00:03:00] always 

Massimo: disappointed. Nowaday, nowaday days, well, anything's better than the last two or three things that they actually had out there.

Massimo: This is true. That's true. Can't mess 

Shawn: around with that. And you know what's funny, cuz we are watching that video in your office today and I was kind of, oh my god. Yeah. And I saw the video and I was like, I saw the logo again. It was like, God damn it. I think it's kind of growing on 

Massimo: me. I told you, I told you and you were right.

Shawn: Right. 

Massimo: I concede to your greatness. Yes. It seems, it seems, seems like okay, everybody loves the whole throwback to a retro. Yes. Okay. So then it's like, which it has, right? And then, and then they amped up the colors. Yes. So it's more digital. Yep. Right. Yeah. Which is great. And then, okay. They added a little bit of black in there, which it didn't have before, but fine.

Massimo: Mm-hmm. I'm okay with that. That's something Cause that'll help contrast wise. That's right. That's right. Because again, that really saturated blue and that really saturated red. Yep. And then you've got a white background. Well, you put that you need a black, that's okay. Mm-hmm. But that font was so questionable.

Massimo: Exactly right. And I think everybody, everybody said the same thing. Love the throwback. But what's with 


Shawn: font? What's with the font? Right. And good. I think that's kind [00:04:00] of, it seems like 

Massimo: it, right? Yes. And again, like so, and I still state to the claim that I'll just, it's, it's a forgettable font. It is. It's not like some of the cool fonts out there that you look and you try to replicate and mimic.

Massimo: No, no. This one's, you know, but begs the question though, is, Did they even need the font in this case? Right. Because again, it's, it's, it's Pepsi and it is such a, okay, so that's kind of what we're here to talk about today. Right, right. Of course. Is brand marks. Yes. Yes. And if they were to remove that Pepsi word from the middle Yes.

Massimo: Is the swoosh is strong enough to to to stand on their own. Is that an identifiable brand icon that everybody would recognize? Totally. 

Shawn: Absolutely. Cuz they, what they're doing now is they're going backwards, right? Yep. Because they did have that, the ball. Yep. They did was their, was their brand mark, right?

Shawn: Mm-hmm. And, and that was pretty, pretty identifiable. Everybody knew what that was. 

Massimo: Then they did that weird shit in like the nineties. And the nineties were The nineties. Yeah. Yeah. 

Shawn: No, no. Yeah. Like the last one with the 

Massimo: wall. [00:05:00] And they got rid of the name. Yes. 

Shawn: And see, so they did, they they did get rid of it.

Shawn: Cause the fonts were weak on that one 

Massimo: too. Oh my God. Yeah. Right. It's talk about closing your eyes and not remembering that. That's it. I was a forgettable font. Yeah. So, you know, why did they even put the font in the middle there? And it's a good point. I, you know, I. Think that in that case the brand Mark was so strong.

Massimo: Mm-hmm. It probably would've done the brand more justice just to tighten up, you know, tighten up the white space. Yes. And just leave the, the abstract symbols on their own. And I think, yeah, that would've probably pleased so many more people. Yep. Bump up that color than what they did. Yeah. Yeah. Now it's like, how long, you know, forget about that font.

Massimo: You know, it, it, it'll be like nothing in the little while, but it's those swooshes, right? So, okay. So the difference between, so I guess what we are here to talk about is of course, the difference between a brand mark. Mm-hmm. And a logo. Right? And then of course we'll talk about different kind of marks.

Massimo: Mm-hmm. And then we'll talk about what we think the future is, you know? Mm-hmm. For logos, brand marks. And then we're gonna finish off with just talking about our process. Right. That's a factor. Yes. [00:06:00] Right? Yeah. So, okay. So just. A little bit of, little bit of logo 1 0 1. Okay. A logo is basically a combination.

Massimo: Mm-hmm. Right? Of an icon, an image, a shape, plus the typography, the font, sometimes the tagline, right? Yep. And all these things together create a logo, which helps to describe what the brand is, right? Right. Often when the three of those are together, We refer to those as a lockup, A lockup logo lockup, right?

Massimo: Yes. Because then it's like, you know what, boom, there's the logo Lockup is that configuration that this is the way it's gonna be and this is the way it's supposed to be presented out to the world. Right? Yeah. And the reason why people do this, of course, is to keep consistency across, you know, presentations, right?

Massimo: Product packaging, right? Yeah. They wanna make sure that people recognize the brand, know who the company is, know what the tagline is, and kind of identified them all together. Yeah. That's like, you know, it creates this visual unity. For a brand I can. Right. So And that's fine. That's fine. Right. And, and take it what it is, right?

Massimo: Yeah. Often though, the problem with this is that logo lockups [00:07:00] are pretty locked down for a reason. Right? Okay. The old adage, of course, is that nobody fucks with them, right? Mm-hmm. Like this is the logo, this is the name that. No, you're not allowed to touch it. It's gonna hurt. The brain gonna hurt. That's an old way of thinking.

Massimo: Yeah. That people still to this day believe in believe. Mm-hmm. I mean, we have this argument all the time and they're trying to tell us, oh no, you can't do that to the logo. That's, that's bad for the brand. It's just like, yes, dude. Now 

Shawn: mind you putting it, putting a plaid texture inside it, yes. You're not, 

Massimo: you're not allowed to do that.

Massimo: You're not, we're not recommending that. However, yes, yes. 

Shawn: You know, like, but if you want a responsive logo and you say, no, we're not doing that, then you're kind of. 

Massimo: I don't know if I can fit your tagline and your company name and your logo in a fcon. Yeah, but 

Shawn: I'll try. I'll give it a go. I'll give it a go for you.

Shawn: Okay. A 0.001 tagline, point size, that's going over well, this is good. People are 

Massimo: loving it. So, so I mean that's, that's what we think of when we think of a local, right? Yes. It's almost like a [00:08:00] nice finished product. Yes. Okay. Yep. Now, A brand mark. Mm-hmm. Okay. Which is kind of, I think, part of a logo. Okay.

Massimo: It's the abstract icon or the symbol that represents the brand. Without anything else. Ah-huh. Okay. Right. So it's only images, it's the core image that represents the brand, right? Yeah. It's the most recognizable mark of the whole brand. Right. Okay. So if you were to remove everything from the logo and just leave that image mm-hmm.

Massimo: Then you're left with the brand Mark. So this is why we're saying with that Pepsi logo Yes. If we were to get rid of that logo or the, the, the Pepsi word in the middle. Yeah. Yep. And you know, just tweak out, you know, the top and the bottom waves. Yep. You would have a beautiful brand Mark. It's recognizable.

Massimo: It's minimal. Yep. It's classic. It's classic. They will never have to change their logo again, because every 10 or 15 years fucking Pepsi does this. Yes, I know. And they keep changing this, right? Yes. So a brand mark is only imagery. Mm-hmm. And the purpose of it is, of course, to kind of, it's like a, a visual [00:09:00] shorthand to the brand.

Massimo: Ah, right. And the most important thing is that it simplifies it to the point that if you do your job right mm-hmm. It's the most memorable part of that experience. And, and you can always tie, so hopefully in the future, if you're doing it right, you drop all the other elements. That's right. That's right.

Massimo: That would be the brain mark. Yes. No, it's not saying that there isn't any other marks because not. All logos involve a mark. Right, right. Like that. And this is the sad part, and this is where it gets a little confusing. You've also got a letter mark. Mm-hmm. Okay. And you've also got a word mark. Ah-huh. Okay.

Massimo: So a letter mark basically consists of initials. Okay. Right. Usually an acronym. Mm-hmm. So if the name is too fucking big, yes. Right? They shorten it down into acronyms. Right. So we all know these companies and they're, they're usually done in a stylish way to kind of, Give it a nice composition and it turns it into a mark.

Massimo: Right? But in this case, it's not a brand mark, it's a letter mark. In theory, you could argue it is still the brand mark, but yeah, you know, it's actually called a letter mark. Okay. Okay. And then last but not least is the [00:10:00] word mark. It's the word marks. The word full works. The full work. Yeah. Same idea, right?

Massimo: It's, it's, it's usually the brand's name. Mm-hmm. It's usually typography in some sort of way. Right? Yep. And customized in a stylized way, you know? And again, it could be a shortened one, a long one, but I mean, they exist everywhere. Okay. Yes. Yes. So generally these are the three types of marks. Yeah. In my opinion, that all fall underneath the brand mark.

Massimo: Yeah. But you know, they all have their own different names and that's fine. Mm-hmm. Okay. Yeah. And they all have their own purpose, and this is the kind of unique thing, right? Because I mean, you'd think that, you know, we'll just. How do you choose? But there is, you know, some sort of idea, right? Like, I mean a letter mark is good for brands that have a, a really long and complicated name and you know, you want to simplify it so people can make it a little bit more memorable.

Massimo: So you take a giant long name and you turn into an acronym, make it look really fucking cool. Yep. And boom, there you go. You know, like famous examples, right? IBM. Industrial business machine. Business machines. Right? Something like that. 

Shawn: That's right, that's right. Something like that. Like that's a hell of a mouthful 

Massimo: to say it is.

Massimo: And to remember. And the cool thing is [00:11:00] by shortening right. Industrial business machines. Well, that's not what they do. Yes. They're fucking computers, right? Yes. Their home computers. Is that like all kinds. So by going with it, going with that whole style of a letter mark, you're modular. Yeah, exactly. It completely changes the game.

Massimo: You've got, you know, I B M J C, jv C, rca, a, B, abc, S, espn, N. Right, right. And I mean, the list goes on, H B O, EEA sports. Mm-hmm. Like. They all have elongated names. Yeah. That, you know, basically over time people brought 'em together and turned a letter mark out of 'em, and now, you know, they're recognizable as they are.

Massimo: Okay. Yeah. Yeah. And then a word mark is a good choice for brands that have a unique distinguishable name. So there are some, you know, purposes for this. Mm-hmm. You know, that they want people to remember the name of the company, they want that to be the brand, and, and it's a key element of their visual identity.

Massimo: Right. Okay. So examples of famous Wordmarks, of course. Coca-Cola. Right? Right. Famous and everybody knows it, thinks it. Mm-hmm. Re relate. Not a problem there. Google. Right. FedEx Kind of a fun one cuz that one used to be [00:12:00] Federal Express, right. Shortened down to FedEx. Yeah. After we found out Allen's school's story about that.

Massimo: Yes. But then brands like Logitech well known, you know, and there's a whole, you know, word mark L'Oreal, oh, another global one is the never change has always been the same, but it's recognizable. Yeah. You see it. You remember it. And they want you to tie the two together. Right, right. So, so there is a reason for that.

Massimo: And then of course, last but not least, you know, a brand Mark is generally a good choice for a recognizable brand that generally has a stronger brand. Recognition. Mm-hmm. For people. Okay. Okay. It doesn't mean it can't be used the other way, but initially, you know, for the most part it was always recommended for companies that already had an established brand.

Massimo: Okay. Right. Okay. But at the same time, if a brand has got a unique. Value prop, right? Mm-hmm. Unique product or many products, and they don't want to be tied down to it. Right. That was also another way for a brand to use, you know, an abstract mark, right. To represent what it is that they do. Right? Right. So oftentimes, you know, abstract is the key word here.

Massimo: Mm-hmm. But [00:13:00] this way it doesn't pigeonhole them into a specific direction. Right. Brand mark. So companies like. Target everything to everybody, right? Yeah. So that brand Mark is more in the name, not what they do, right? Apple? Yeah. It's a, it's a fucking, it's an Apple with a bite out to, right? Yeah. Nike, the swoosh.

Massimo: Yeah. Okay. Twitter the Bird Dominoes is actual domino, which is kind of cool, right? Yeah. But again, and it's like it keeps going and going Starbucks, you know, world Wildlife Foundation, wwf, right? Yep, yep, yep. N B nbc, bmw, they. All like the NCP car. Right. So these are all brand marks that have become extremely recognizable and in some cases part of everyday pop culture.

Massimo: Right. Okay. But the thing is, it doesn't have to be, and, and I think this is the breaking point now where, where things are kind of changing a little bit. Okay. Because it used to be a brand, mark would only be recommended if you had a big company and everybody knew you and you already had an established brand.

Massimo: Mm-hmm. Okay. But that's not necessarily the case anymore because of the age that we [00:14:00] live in. Right? Yeah. Because the big difference between now and 50 years ago when people used to think this way is we've got, we're totally in the digital age. Yes. So we need flexibility. Yes. You know, in all kinds of different medium sizes spaces, right?

Massimo: Mm-hmm. And we've professed this before about, you know, the importance of being a responsive logo. Mm-hmm. Right? And this is where a brand mark works, cuz it works in small sizes. Big sizes, different shapes. Mm-hmm. Um, digital platforms. Right. It's a lot more versatile than the other two forms. Yes. And I think that's the difference between brand marks versus letter marks and word marks.

Massimo: Right. Yeah. They should all do the same thing. They should all. Effectively communicate the brand's identity, right? Differentiated from its competitors, be easily recognizable, right? Mm-hmm. These thin, you know, these are the same across no matter which one you do. Yeah. But the brand Mark seems to be a little bit more flexible or versatile, you know?

Massimo: Yes. Versatile for sure. In its execution. Yeah. And I think that's the [00:15:00] difference and, and you're sitting there thinking, you know, you could easily thi sit there and think, oh, well that's just for small companies or startups and such, right? Anybody could do that, but. They don't, and that's the challenge here.

Massimo: Part of this, you know, from a digital perspective, I went and checked out Coca-Cola's website. Mm-hmm. I checked out Coca-Cola's Twitter page. Mm-hmm. Right. I started going on social to see some of these big brand companies like Coca-Cola, star Wars, right. All these companies and the companies that have.

Massimo: Letter forms or word, you know, word marks or letter marks or word marks. Yep. They often didn't change it in the format, right? No. Like you'd look at the Twitter logo and the, and the Coca-Cola and Twitter logo was just the small Coca-Cola, just smaller. Right? So again, it was all this space on above. Above and beyond.

Massimo: Below, but on Twitter. But it said Coca-Cola and while on the computer it wasn't a big deal. Mm-hmm. When you looked at it on your mobile phone. Yeah. Couldn't even see the Coca-Cola. Wow. So this goes back to the fact that, you know, what's hurting the brand more? Them, you know, fighting for this and changing, you know, we're [00:16:00] never gonna change.

Massimo: Or the fact that it just can't move. Yeah. Right. Star Wars, same thing, right? Star Wars, it just, they refused to change the size. So unfortunately, you know, things like the Favicon and some of the places where it would show up, it was just not utilizing the space. Properly, huh. And again, and, and it was just, I was finding this a time and time even i b m, believe it or not, ibm, even b m Wow.

Massimo: Would, you know, in the right space? Yeah. Instead of having the white, the top, the white space at the top and the bottom, I saw them use, I think their fcon actually is the bee that Paul Rand created. Okay. Which is cool. 

Shawn: Yeah. That's kind of neat. But how many people even recognize That's exactly, we would know because most, most people would be like, what the fuck is that?

Shawn: Yeah, it's just a B That doesn't make any sense. 

Massimo: It doesn't make any sense. Right. So it would 

Shawn: be better if we had the, I at 

Massimo: least. Well, you'd think, well is it though? Cause I, if I was to just pull up one of those letters and show you. Yeah. You may not recognize it as I A B M. This is true. The all kind of work together.

Massimo: It is this, it's the strength of the three, right? Yeah. And this works with all of the letter marks. Yes. And the word marks. Right, right, right. So this [00:17:00] is a challenge. However, when I went to Disney's, you know, social Disney's website, right? Disney does it, right? Right. Yes. So first off, you know their logo is Walt Disney?

Massimo: Yep. With the Princess Howard or the Yes. The, the Castle. Castle. So that's the logo, that's the actual lockup. It's huge, but it's not. A lockup per se. Yes. Because as soon as the size changes mm-hmm. First thing to drop is the castle. Yep. Second thing to drop is the, is the Walt. Yep. And then, and then the third thing to drop is the, is me.

Shawn: It's It's just the d d. Yeah. And it's such a stylized 

Massimo: D. Exactly. It's recognizable. Yes. So this is why I'm saying I genuinely believe that the brand or the mark of the future, That everybody should be leaning towards. Yeah. Our brand marks. Mm-hmm. Right. Because it seems like brand marks lend themselves very well to this responsive environment that we now live in.

Massimo: Yep. And not that saying that, you know, like letter marks and type mark, like those are amazing. If you can pull them off. Yep, yep. But don't [00:18:00] be so stringent. In the logo, um, lockup section. Yeah. When you put it all together that it, it's not gonna be responsive. Yes. Because I think that's the challenge, right?

Massimo: When you look at some of the awesome books that I, you know, I, I constantly rave about, right? Yeah. Logo, modernism, logo beginnings. Yeah. What is it? Logo design, you know, little complex one. They all have the exact same. They, they had the same looks, feels, you know, they're showing stuff mid-century and it's all.

Massimo: Marks. Yeah. Right. 90% of what we're seeing in there are logo marks. Yeah. Because they were the most versatile back then. Cuz they had to be. Yeah. They had to put 'em on mugs. Cuz don't forget, back then it was a lot more tactile. You're, you're advertising. Totally. Yeah. Your social media was, you know, you, you holding your mug and drinking it in front of people.

Massimo: Right. That was your social. Yeah. You see that Moggy head Sean, 

Shawn: or a fucking binder, remember? 

Massimo: Shit, the shit that we would try to pull off right 

Shawn: off to your meeting with your, with your cigarette, your drink, with your binder, with a logo on it. Yes. That's how you did it back then, [00:19:00]

Massimo: but Okay. Fair enough.

Massimo: Obviously I'd recommend those books, but people can be like, oh, but those books are 50 years old. Okay, fine. Yeah. Right. Classics, but fine, whatever. Yeah. Then let's look at some of the modern masters that we all know and love. Let's look at Joplin. Yes. Let's look at Alan Peters. Mm-hmm. Or James Martin.

Massimo: Mm-hmm. When I look at their books and when I look at their work. Yep. Okay. It always seems to focus around the mark. Mm-hmm. Okay. And then again, you'll, you know, you'll take the mark, like Alan Peters, for example. He will focus on the marks. He will sketch up marks. Yep. Right. He showed us all his pages and pages of work.

Massimo: Mm-hmm. And it's all Mark after Mark, after Mark, after Mark, yes. Looking for negative space, looking for this like, uh, I mean, it's fantastic, right? Mm-hmm. But then he would take those marks and then once he found something, he would create variations of the mark. Yeah. He would add. Fonts on it. He would create it in a badge form.

Massimo: Yes. Right? Yes. He would create patterns out of 'em. And I'm seeing this not only with him, but I mean Chaplin does this. Yep. James Mar, again, all three of the people I just mentioned. You know, if you look through their material and their [00:20:00] pages and their social media and their bee hands pages, you know it heavy on the marks.

Massimo: Yes. But then even heavier on the execution and the rollout. Yes. And that's why I think the brand Mark Yeah. Is the future for this space, for, for brands altogether. Yes. Uh, again, I can't say because again, unless people are willing to adopt a very flexible, very, you know, adaptive logo. Yeah. Like Walt Disney did.

Massimo: Like Disney. Yeah. Right. It's gonna be very hard for people to recognize these brands. Yeah. Based on just a mark alone. Yes. Right. So that's where something start in the mark and build 

Shawn: it out that way, way build out that way. Yeah. But what did Alan say last, last time we talked to him, he was like, part of this goes hand in hand with like, say Nike.

Shawn: Like if you were, if you were coming up with a, with something that was a variation on like a swooshy kind of thing. Mm-hmm. Right. Pitching that to somebody. I think he said he had to have like the clout of a, of a target kind of. Like budget in order to kind of push that, to drive that through, to drive that through to the consciousness of 

Massimo: people.

Massimo: [00:21:00] Right. Well, and and what I mean, that's absolutely true. Yes. Right? Yes. But this is why the strength in the mark is right. Because again, just like, and, and again, it's not just these guys. You know, Michael, be rude. Mm-hmm. Remember he did that with, was it a sax fifth Ave? Right logo. Right. It was the sax fit that ended up being a word mark.

Massimo: Mm-hmm. Right. Cuz he took an old font from them. Okay. But then he also took elements of that font. The letters splashed them all over the bag. Okay. So again, it's, it's bringing it out into brand form and building a much. Bigger brand. Mm-hmm. Based on the individual units. Right, right. Like again, this old school way of thinking that the logo is sacred and it's a lockup and it can never be touched.

Massimo: Right. That's out the window, dude. Yeah, that's, that doesn't exist anymore. It doesn't exist and it can't exist. Logos have to be adaptive now. They have to be, you know, responsive and they have to continually just kind of grown, grown, grow, because again, otherwise, How is, how's your brand gonna transform across all these different mediums?

Massimo: Yeah. You would often see back in the day, and what I mean, back in the day, a few years back of course, [00:22:00] but it's like your brand rollout was a campaign. Yes. It was treated like a campaign. Yeah. Where that's not necessarily the right way to approach this. If it's kind of comes and goes, comes and goes, as you know, like as, as trends do and fads do.

Massimo: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Like, you know, your brand is, is critical. It's speaker. Than just the logo alone. Yeah. Right. And again, you need the brand identity and how you roll it out goes hand in hand with the product, with the way people feel. Mm-hmm. And ideally, if it's all working together, they're gonna see it.

Massimo: They're gonna get with these warm fuzzies. Yes, exactly. You know, but again, you people need to be a little bit more. Flexible. Yeah. With this kind of stuff. Yep. You know, and then again, by doing that, it's better for the brand. Mm-hmm. Okay. It's better for the company itself and it's better for the budget for the designer.

Massimo: Yeah. Because then the designer gets Right. We get to do a lot more and this is, this is how. Logos go from being a $50 or a hundred dollars fiber job Yep. To like a hundred thousand, 500,000 million dollar job done by pentagram. Yeah. Right. They're not just getting this money for one mark. Right. [00:23:00] They're getting those big budgets for the rollout.

Massimo: Yes. For, for everything else that comes thereafter. Yeah. And you need to do that with, with, you know, with the logo mark in mind, in my opinion. With the brand mark in, in my opinion. Totally. 

Shawn: I think, yeah, you're right cuz this kind of stuff, it's not just done. As the brand mark and then, yeah, exactly. That's it.

Shawn: I don't think anybody does that anymore. I think everybody's thinking five, six steps ahead kind of thing. Right. Dude, 

Massimo: even the last, okay, so the last, we did a small job recently, and it was for a company and they needed a logo. Mm-hmm. And that's fine. And they had a small budget, but because it was a repeat customer, Fine, not a problem.

Massimo: Right. Okay. So we charged them price A for the logo, but I was like, listen, but this, you know, you're gonna take this and you're just gonna do what with it? Yeah. Slap it on some things and be like, this is our brand. Yeah. Number two, let me show you how we can implement this. We took that logo, right. Then we created how it's represented on digital form, how it's representative across social media.

Massimo: Right. We took their look. We took their mark. Yeah. Right. Not the logo. We took their mark and then we, [00:24:00] you know, built around the campaign and how to take that and cement it into people's minds over and over and over. Right. So ultimately we created for them the mark. Yep. Right. We helped them with the tagline, of course, but then we created their social slicks that they could then, Customize themselves thereafter.

Massimo: Oh, okay. Okay. We created the PowerPoints cuz they were gonna use for their presentations. Right, okay. Based on that, their material for their website. Mm-hmm. Okay. And we didn't build the website. Yeah. He didn't even like a fraction design it. We just made anything visual embrace this whole brand package that we built out based on the market itself.

Massimo: Right. And the budget went from like one to like. Three times what it was. Right. And it wasn't for that much more work. Yeah. It was just for the overall execution, cuz we were able to show them and then of course we built the the brand book to go along with it. Right, right. Yeah. And literally we tripled the budget.

Massimo: Yeah. But it wasn't triple the work. Right. It was just like, look dude, if you're gonna execute on this Yeah. Do it this way. Yes, exactly. And we'll give you the tools that you can [00:25:00] keep doing this on your own. Yes. So, and they were extremely happy with that. Yeah. Because now it's like it was worth the extra money for them.

Massimo: Yeah. Because the brand was now that much more solidified. It was solid. There's a clear direction and it's not gonna be bastardized. I was just gonna 

Shawn: say, it's the big, it's not going to the CEO's nephew to. Fuck it. All right. 

Massimo: Word. Like what good is spending 10 grand on the logo? This is exactly after two weeks, people are, are shrinking it, stretching it.

Massimo: Pinching it. Yes. And, you know, putting it in presentations, changing the color. Yes. Adding a fucking duck beside it. Right. Like what good is it? Yeah. In that case that, that's money. Just, just, yeah. That's just gone. Yeah. Yeah. So it is, it's, I genuinely believe that the future. I think is obviously responsive, which we talked about this responsive dynamic logos.

Massimo: Yeah, absolutely. A must. Yeah. But I do think that the brand Mark, personally, just seeing what I'm seeing, it all starts with the brand mark in the future. Yeah. And only because I love the letter marks out there and I love the type marks that, you [00:26:00] know, we all know and love. Yeah. But. If they're not willing to bend on them, right?

Massimo: Mm-hmm. They're failing. 

Shawn: Yeah. Yeah. You're really doing yourself a disservice by, by not being flexible on that and shame on Coke and b m for, not for, for not having the sense, the good sense. Sense the sense. Right. Coke. Could have just a sea, could they 

Massimo: not? I would think that the sea would be just enough call of Disney and just, and you know what's funny?

Massimo: Koch came up with a campaign like a year or two ago. Mm-hmm. And they did fuck around with their logo. Oh, I don't know if you saw this campaign. It was called like the Coca-Cola Hug campaign. Oh. And what they did is they took the logo. Mm-hmm. And then they've started putting it around things, uh, you know, when you look at a can.

Massimo: Yeah. And it's skewed, right? Oh, so it looks like it's wrapping around. Yes. They took the letter form like that. Yes. And they started putting it around people. Mm-hmm. And, you know, environments. And it showed people drinking coke and then the, it's like the logo would hug them, wrap around and it's just like, well dude.

Massimo: That's cool. That's great. Yeah. But if you're gonna fuck around in that [00:27:00] sense you, why don't you then look for a way to actually execute on this? Yes. So you're doing it right everywhere. Yes, exactly. Because you know, it's questionable if people would recognize the Coca-Cola seat. Cuz even now, if I close my eyes personally, if you close your eyes, could you draw it?

Massimo: Yeah. Uh, 

Shawn: kind of Can you Well, think about it. Yeah. No, maybe not. 

Massimo: I close your eyes. I know what it looks like together. I, I drink Pepsi. 

Shawn: That's my excuse. He's the only person in the world who does, so. That's right. But no, I mean, it's fucking coke. Everybody, everybody knows that, so, you know, to recognize 

Massimo: it. I guess I, I guess like, but the funny thing is, you know, so knowing it, close your eyes.

Massimo: Know what to recognize it. Okay. Yeah. But close your eyes. Could you sketch out the Twitter logo? Oh yes. Are obviously Target. Duh. Target Apple. Apple, yes. Right. Like Nike. Like all these Nike. Okay. And granted, I get it, you're right. They're really ingrained in us, these, these billion dollar brands. But think of anybody locally.

Massimo: Yeah. Think of like some of the small shops that just have a good little, you know, Kechi icon. Yeah. A lot [00:28:00] easier to remember. So, you know, again, they, they will fold up if they can't, if. Well, they won't fold up, but yeah. It's critical to a brand. Yeah. You know, to make their logo responsive. But if they don't wanna make a letter form or a type mark logo responsive.

Massimo: Yeah. Fine. Then go the other way. Yes. Make it a brand mark. Yeah. Yes. So everybody's got process. What's interesting with Alan's process. Mm-hmm. Right. He told us his process, and again, it's, it's huge. It's iterative. That dude creates a lot. Who of logos. That is 

Shawn: insane. Right. 

Massimo: My God. And again, I appreciated that he shared that with us.

Massimo: And again, it's amazing. And he's, you know, um, that's his process. Mm-hmm. And he didn't get tuned in detail with us. You know, he did quite a bit in our podcast episode, but, you know, wait till the book comes out. Yes. It's gonna literally give us his, you know, blueprint, as he said. Right. He's gonna do it. So good on him.

Massimo: Yeah. I'm gonna share how we do it here. Mm-hmm. And this is what works for us. Yes. Okay. So, you know, we don't do hundreds of concepts for Alan, like Alan, but we don't give 1, [00:29:00] 2, 3 concepts either. No. Right. That's true. And this has worked for us for years. Yeah. So more times than not mm-hmm. We do pitch a brand, mark.

Massimo: Right. And for the same reasons we're, we're always saying, let's focus and build on an initial mark. Mm-hmm. That represents your brand. That can be used everybody everywhere and people will know and recognize. Right? Yeah. So the first thing that we always do, our process to factor process for creating. A brand market.

Massimo: So number one, obviously, and I think this goes across the board, it always starts with discovery research. Yep. Always, right? Yep. We always have a meeting with the client. We talk about their business, we talk about their industry, their values. We talk about their competitors. Mm-hmm. We talk about their customers, their audience, and then of course, if it's an existing business, we talk about their brand.

Massimo: Yes. Right. We get all this information with their brand value, their personality, you know, but. But also really, really, really important is their target audience. Okay. Yes. Yeah. So discovery session first and foremost. Yep. We take that shit back. Right. And then we start internally on the creative [00:30:00] concepts.

Massimo: Right? Right. And the creative concepts. You know, we focus always on the brand mark first. Right. And we tell customers that we f. First want to pitch on a mark that they feel resonates with their brand. Right. With their soul, with who they are as a company. Yeah. Okay. And that's what we try to identify, right?

Massimo: Yeah. And this is a collaborative process, which is, which works well for our customers. Yes. It's worked well. People love getting involved and the feedback. Often we don't go through crazy runs of feedback because people are involved at. Every step of the way. Yeah. And they appreciate it and they love it and they recommended it.

Massimo: Mm-hmm. Moving forward, right? Yes. Yeah. So we start, then we go into the creative concepts, right? Yeah. We use the information, it helps guide us to creating some sort of visual system or symbol or icon that, you know, communicates what the brand stands for, what their flavors, what their personality is. We try to make sure that we differentiate it from customers and their comp, sorry, from the competitors, and make it that it's identifiable.

Massimo: And then of course we then, Make sure we let the customers know that, [00:31:00] you know, these concepts that we're creating we're only creating in black and white. Right? Absolutely. 100%. We create all of our brand marks first and foremost, in black and white only. Right? And we do that because color distracts. Yep.

Massimo: Big time font. Distract. Yep. Right. We don't want people to think about anything else except for this one beacon that's gonna represent their brand. And you know what? They're always okay with it. Yeah. They have never challenged us on it because the reasoning is sound. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Focus on just the design of the mark first and foremost.

Massimo: Everything else just, you know, accentuates that, right? Yeah. Yep. So then we then always create and present nine. Okay. Nine. Nine marks. Okay. And on and for nothing, no more reason than nine fits nicely up on the screen. On the page. Right. It's an odd number, which is pleasing. Nice. Right? Nice. And it's 3, 3, 3.

Massimo: So actually it's easy to talk through, right? Yeah, yeah. So then we, what we do is we tell them that we're gonna show them [00:32:00] nine. Marks. Yeah. Okay. They're not allowed to talk. Okay. We flash them up on the screen. Yeah. For 10 seconds. A single? A single mark? No. Oh, all nine. All nine. Okay. So, oh, yeah, dude. Oh dude.

Massimo: You should see, I mean, you haven't seen me pitch this, but it's like a whole song dance routine, right? Ah. I'm like, listen. Shit, nobody's allowed to talk. Yeah. I am gonna flash nine marks up on the screen. Yeah. 3, 3, 3. Yeah. Okay. You're supposed to stay quiet. Yeah. Okay. Take a look at all these. Okay. Yeah.

Massimo: Think about what you see, what catches your eye. Mm-hmm. What resonates, what connects. Mm-hmm. Right? Mm-hmm. And I always remind them. Focus on your initial reaction. The reason why I give them only 10 seconds is it forces them to just quickly scan through them. Yep. And see what, cause they're like, holy shit, I'm under time.

Massimo: What is this? What am I looking at? Oh, that's cool. Oh, that's great. And, and then they will remember a couple things, right? Yeah. And that's what it is. Because what we're trying to do is really, really, really need them to focus in on their initial reaction because [00:33:00] your customers. Will not give you more than that initial response to your logo.

Massimo: Yeah. They're not gonna analyze your logo. They're not gonna stop, pull over at the side of the road and stare at your logo on a billboard and start critiquing it. They won't, they'll look at it, they'll give it about the same amount of time. Yeah. You know that two, three seconds for your logo and they'll either like it or they won't and they'll move on.

Massimo: Yep. So again, you ask somebody, they're paying for something, they're gonna analyze the fuck out of it, but you need them to pull back Yes. And, and just focus on that. Right. Right. So then what we do is, We, we show them 10 seconds goes by them. Then we go to a black screen and it says, now pause and think that's it.

Massimo: Right? And I give it another five seconds. I just let 'em think. Yeah. And then I'm like, okay. All right. Let me know what you think. Who's first, what stood out? What do you remember? Yeah. You know, and was there anything you'd liked? Was there anything you hated? And, 

Shawn: and the, and the logos aren't on the, 

Massimo: no. Now on the screen.

Massimo: This is all by memory. This is all by memory. People are like, I remember seeing this one that looked like this. This is cool. Yeah, I remember. Not once. Did we ever have anybody [00:34:00] to say that they, they saw something they hated? Yeah. Because everybody was focusing in on what was the initial react, the stuff that they liked.

Massimo: They did the high end stuff, dude. And it was, and again, I had to focus on and keep telling them, don't analyze. Yeah. Just feel, yeah. Okay. So nice. Or like Bruce Lee says, don't think, just feel right. And it's true. Right? And because, cause honestly, customers won't give you more than that. Okay? Mm-hmm. So then what happens is we discuss what we saw, right?

Massimo: I'll bring it then back, and then we'll talk in a bigger group. We will give them, now we'll bring back all nine. Yeah. And then we can, oh, yes. And then they, oh, now I see that. Right. And then the conversation starts, you know, talking. But ideally, you know, The consensus is if they have a, a legitimate company, a brand, and everybody's working together Yep.

Massimo: They generally kind of focus in on the same ideas. Yes. Okay. So that's what we do. Then we take that back, we narrow it down to three concepts. Mm-hmm. Okay. So that's, that's our goal is we try to narrow down to three. Yeah. And then we flush those out even more. We fix this, we [00:35:00] fix that. We spend a little bit more time.

Massimo: So they're initially, Rougher. Yes. When we present, they still look great. Yep. But they're rough. But then when we take 'em back, then it's like, let's perfect these fuckers. Right, right. Yeah. So then we take 'em back. Right. We flush them out. This is when we, you know, based on the feedback, you know, we, we make some tweaks if we need to, and we will introduce fonts at that stage.

Massimo: Okay. Okay. So this is when they start, you know, we show them lockups as well as just local, but still, right. No color. Yep. Nothing else. Black and white. With fonts. Sometimes we use custom fonts, sometimes we use whatever. But again, the idea is to flush it out. Okay. Yeah. Then once we have them down to our final two mm-hmm.

Massimo: Is the goal, then we take those last two. Mm-hmm. That's when we take 'em back. We apply color. Yes. Okay. We then do mockups. And put them on material, on merchandise, on vehicles. This is the rollout. This is what it could look like. This is how it could look like an assured on the billboard, on, you know, at a trade show on the side of a vehicle, what you're ve and then they, this is [00:36:00] when they get blown away, right?

Massimo: Because they have been part of this whole process. The entire, you know, the entire way. Yeah. So it's like when they get to this stage, they're like, holy shit, I designed that. They help. Do this. Right. And that's a difference, right? Yes. We're including them in the process. Yeah. Which works for us. So it works so well for us, right?

Massimo: Yes. And they love the mockup stage because now it makes sense. Yeah. Where sometimes people rush that. Yeah. They do that right from the beginning. They're like, here, I'm gonna show you a logo and I'm gonna put it in all these. Sometimes it looks great. Yeah. But if they miss that mark right from the start.

Massimo: Yeah. It doesn't matter what you show them thereafter, they're not gonna like it. Yeah, exactly. We've included them. We've gone through, we don't have crazy rounds of our visions. Yep. Generally this ends up being three steps. Yeah. By the time we finished at the end, it's done. It's locked up. Yeah. So it's actually a pretty fool for us.

Massimo: It's a very foolproof 

Shawn: program. Yeah, totally. So I don't think it's gone. Horribly 

Massimo: arrived. She's never gone wrong. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Which is, which is, we've had, we've had a couple instances, not our fault. Mm-hmm. Customers have an idea in their minds. Oh, right. And like I always say, if somebody has an [00:37:00] idea, you've gotta flush that out.

Massimo: Yep. Otherwise, no matter what you show them, it's never gonna work. It's never gonna go. And I had that, right. Yeah. We came up, we did our marks, we did our process. Mm-hmm. Guy's, like, I really like this concept, but I was thinking something like 

Shawn: this. This is what I really wanted. 

Massimo: Yeah. And it's like, so it's like, oh shit.

Massimo: Why didn't you tell me initially? No problem. So what we did is we worked side by side. We we kept on refining. Our concept. Yep. And we kept on flushing out his concept. Right. And we would always return with ours on the right. His on the left. And he's like, oh, you're right. 

Shawn: Yeah. Look 

Massimo: at how shitty. And we would, we would genuinely try to make his idea look okay.

Massimo: If it could work, it could work. Yes. It just couldn't, 

Shawn: this is the thing so bad. This is the thing you would never ever say, would never, ever poo poo with clients idea. If it was, if it's a great idea and the execution is fine, we will give it a try. 

Massimo: Right. Absolutely. You have to, right? Yes. Because they won't accept anything else and Exactly.

Massimo: And in the end, Yeah. He was like, you know what, I get it. Mine will not work. Yes, thank you for going through this. Yes. I love what you created. Yes. And then he kept on, [00:38:00] he saw me at an event about a year later came up and it's like, oh, I finally get to meet you in person. Do you remember me? Yeah. You helped me get this.

Massimo: I love our logo. Everybody loves our logo and he's going on and going on and then and again, dropped so much money in, in, in like the campaign thereafter and this and that because, but we helped him get there. Yes. Right. So definitely the process. Yeah. But I definitely think it's the brand Mark that, you know, it solidifies the brand.

Massimo: And again, there's beautiful, you know, tight marks out there. And letter I again, I, I, I, I applaud those. Yep. I just don't know if that's the future, because again, if something like i b m mm-hmm. Right. Again, point and Case. Yep. When I went on their social media, they used the bee. Yes. So they used a mark. Yep.

Massimo: Not their type mark. Right? Yeah. Yes. Coca-Cola. Yep. They're being stubborn. Yep. Right. They're not changing anything. Yep. Disney did. And Disney Good for Disney. And you know, you have to embrace that willingness. Yeah. To take your, you know, your type mark, your letter mark to that face. Otherwise, just make your life easier and just go with the brand.

Massimo: Mark. Weird, right? Yes. [00:39:00] I dunno, this all happened cause of the Pepsi conversation. Yeah, totally. Because I think the Pepsi logo would be better without the Pepsi word in the 

Shawn: middle. I, you know, that is absolutely, I can see that and I, I think that would be fucking awesome. Mm-hmm. Like it's really, it would really be cool cuz it's, it's closer to where they're coming from.

Massimo: Yeah. You know what I mean? Like it's, and you're right, it, it's almost like a better evolution. Yes. From where that shitty ass thing, what they had. Yes. Because there's such a drastic difference between the outgoing logo and this new one. Yeah. It's like there's a million dollars wasted and a billion dollars worth of rollout dollars.

Massimo: Yep. Wasted. Yes. And there goes the brand recognition. Yep. Exactly. They will something from 50 years ago. Yeah. Where if they would've just carried it over, brought back the old school waves. Mm-hmm. It would've just felt like, ah, this was the right way to go. Right. Instead of completely throwing back to a retro look, which I do like, but I think getting rid of that Pepsi word and just focusing on the mark would've done them so much more justice.

Massimo: I think we showed that, you [00:40:00] know, our, uh, you know, we did a Pepsi review, our 20 minute little dope or no doper note, Pepsi, check it out on on Instagram and on YouTube and Woohoo. And again, it's, it shows you, I think we took it, we, we removed it, we squished it down a little bit. Yep. Looks so much better. So much better.

Massimo: Yeah, yeah, yeah, 

Shawn: yeah, exactly. You're right. And that you would've saved a shit ton of money cuz what are you spending money on? You're spending a money on that shitty font. Right, right, right. That's the only thing that that didn't 

Massimo: exist before. That's right. Oh my God. I never thought of it like this, Sean. 

Shawn: I know.

Shawn: Fucking in-house guys could have done that. Right? 

Massimo: Oh, damn. All right. Well, I hope you guys like what you heard today. Yeah. I mean, again, feel free to agree, disagree. Drop us a line on our, you know, Instagram, on our website, on anything you want right now. You know, we're. We're totally having conversations about this kind of stuff and it's kind of, it's fun actually to talk about exactly what's going on in the local world right now.

Massimo: Yeah, man. Is that happening fast? Yeah. Hit us up on Instagram. We've got a great community there. Um, we've [00:41:00] also, you know, we're getting more and more active on YouTube and we're putting out some more stuff, so please dor No doper nos. So hit us up on there and join the conversation. And, and please by all means, share us with people you love.

Massimo: And hate Let us, let us torture the people you don't like for you. You don't have to torture them. We'll do it. That's our job. Especially, especially if it's those like really pretentious, you know? You know upper glass designers who think that their shit doesn't stink. Send us to them. They're gonna love us.

Massimo: Send us that episode. Send that episode.

Shawn: Oh, that's awesome. All right, buddy. Yeah. Good job. That was 

Massimo: really cool. All right, well, with that being said then, um, this is a short week, so I think we gotta get outta here. 

Shawn: All right. All right. We got, uh, Easter eggs to hide, to find and to hide. Had to hide. My name's Mossy Mo. My name's Sean. Stay creative.

Massimo: Stay angry.[00:42:00]

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