No business has ever survived without putting on its magnifying glasses and focusing on all the elements of branding. Companies that have these magnifying glasses on as of now, understand that all these branding elements are a part of ever going branding activities. Regardless of the different types of branding activities, all of these are directed in a certain direction: communicating to target demographics, mostly, communicating brand image. With logos being one of the foremost elements of branding, companies certainly need to ensure that their logo design matches the objective of branding as well as that it is all in alignment with the brand identity.
In doing so, all the companies come across a path with diverted roads where they need to select the type of logo that fits the best with their brand identity, target customers, and various other factors.
With multiple options on the table, most companies consider that selecting the lettermark logo is the safest way to go in terms of ensuring that the selected logo is unique, scalable, simple, memorable, and helps the customers associate it with the brand effortlessly. In order to give you an idea of the effectiveness of letter logos, I have enlisted a few extraordinary examples of letter logos. Furthermore, to give you a clearer idea of how letter logos have been bringing fruition to the following mentioned brands, in this article, we focus on ‘V letter logos.’
The German automobile company, Volkswagen, has plenty of fascinating stories associated with the same. Partly started as an initiative to fulfill Adolf Hitler’s vision of enabling German families to own their first automobiles, the company was started during World War II. Given its success, it is safe to say that its origins do not affect the company’s success. However, the company is an example that shows how a brand story matters more than we think. In 1938, the brand had a logo with a Nazi Flag in it, which was also highlighted while advertising Volkswagen cars at the time.
However, the logo was changed as it looked like a pedestal fan. Post that, the logo has been redesigned several times. However, what remained the base of the logo was the letters V and W, representing the meaning behind the company’s name where Volks is German for ‘people’ and Wagen is German for ‘car.’
Sony Vaio (Visual Audio Intelligent Organizer), now an independent company, is one of the leading organizations when it comes to products such as laptops and smartphones. While it has been back and forth with its laptop manufacturing, the company never lost touch with the most essential part of its products: trending technologies. After Sony sold its PC business to Japan Industrial Partners, many have been confused regarding the logo rights. Post the selling of a part of Vaio, all the intellectual rights still belong to Sony; and we can say with certainty: the brand did a great job with its logo design. As the brand products are known for the integration of analog and digital technologies, Vaio made sure to represent the same through its logo.
While the letters ‘V’ and ‘A’ are combined to form an analog wave, the letters ‘I’ and ‘O’ represent the digital signal with numbers 1 and 0. Designed by Timothy Hanley, the logo certainly has an outstanding execution given its hidden meaning.
This American company known for its financial services all over the world has managed to stick around with its visual identity for more than 40 years now. Started under the name ‘BankAmericard,’ the company has been consistent with color families and the type of logo. From the year 1958 to this date, the brand’s logo consisted of its name in a clear and simple typeface with blue as its base color throughout the time.
However, the company did make some subtle changes in its logo designs every now and then, to keep up with the changing customers’ preferences, market, and various whatnots. Its initial four logos, from the year 1958 to the year 2006, looked like a rectangular plastic card, with different color palettes with each redesign. By the end of the 20th century, the logo redesigns focused on the smallest of elements such as spacing and slope of the letter V. Even after its success, if a company such as Visa did not shy away from logo redesigning, it clearly says a lot for companies which aspire to follow the similar paths.
Created as a result of one of the largest mergers in the history of the United States of America, this telecommunications company, Verizon, has a rich history associated with the same. With its commercial success as well as multiple well-established subsidiaries, one might think that the brand would require a lot of rebranding efforts. Be that as it may, it is not entirely true with Verizon. After a certain amount of rebranding efforts of Bell Atlantic upon its acquiring of GTE, the company Verizon was initiated in the year 2000.
From thereon, the company was associated with a bold logo that had a slightly italicized font with a gradient, red Z. Even after substantial criticism, the logo remained unchanged for 15 years. However, in the year 2015, the company diminished the size of the checkmark and changed the gradient, red letter Z to black. While it was not received as the best logo redesign, the brand informed the media that it did not mean to create a visual noise at all, and simply redesigned the logo to establish brand identity in a better manner.
Started as a small shoemaking store in California, this shoe manufacturing company by Paul Van Doren stirred the market of skateboarding shoes like no other company. What some of us do not know is that the company was a subtle result of a punishment given by Paul’s mother as a result of him quitting school at the early age of 14 years. Besides its interesting origins, the brand is known for its famous logo which is considered a synonym for anything that is related to skateboarding shoes.
Designed by the son of one of the founders, the first logo had a stretched-out horizontal line rooting from the letter V and quickly became a highlighted feature of Vans’ brand identity. Completing a golden jubilee in the year 2016, the color palette of the logo was changed to red and white which was meant to symbolize passion and energy towards an active lifestyle.
Before we wrap up, I would like to highlight that a logo and other graphics associated with a brand are not what branding means in its entirety. In fact, true branding is where all the efforts are aligned in a manner that conveys brand identity to the people associated with the same, such as target customers, stakeholders, and competitors. Be that as it may, a well-designed logo is the foremost way to ensure that you start branding with the right foot ahead.
PJ has a background in management consulting and software development. At DesignBro, he combines both. Personal favorite brand of PJ is Jeep.