Poor Hillary Clinton. She’s barely out of the starting blocks in her bid to become American’s first female president and already she’s alienated a section of the electorate: graphic designers the world over are in a right old Twitter to-do about her campaign logo. A big blue capital H with a red arrow pointing through the middle (and to the right, no less!), I can see that whoever designed it was hoping to deliver something solid that would reassure, while denoting dynamic movement forwards. But if you believe Hillary’s naysayers, the rebrand is proving to be none of those things.
A brand refresh may feel off-putting because of perceived budget constraints, but consider this: Twitter reportedly only paid $15 for its logo and Nike only $35 for its iconic swoosh. Apple was almost bankrupt before it rebranded. Compare those figures to the 2012 London Olympics logo, one of the most expensive in the world coming in at £400,000, which didn’t got down well to say the least. There have been various guesses at how much the would-be Democratic nominee has spent on her branding, but cost aside it’s come in for more criticism than that. And, actually, some of the gripes levelled at it are worth bearing in mind if you are looking to your own brand.
A lot can be gleaned from a logo
Here are three top reasons why your brand may be working against you not for you:
You don’t want your high-quality products and services to be undersold by an unfashionable and outmoded brand logo. Fashions come and go in graphic design just like they do on the catwalk. A brand should be a living, breathing thing not stuck in the past.
One of the criticisms levelled at Hillary is that her logo is too similar to other companies’. If your logo can be mistaken for any number of other brands, how will you stand out and successfully target your audience?
As a business grows, its objectives broaden, often becoming less targeted. If your business goals are non-specific, you need to refine and reset your focus, and have a brand that illustrates that focus.
It doesn’t leave an impression
Does your brand make an impact? Does it translate your business message clearly and instantly? Making a good first impression with consumers is vital in a marketplace inundated with brands.
When it comes to company branding, the public makes snap judgements, subconsciously or otherwise (the Twitter hate for Hillary’s capital H is ongoing as I write). A lot can be gleaned from a logo and the typeface you use on your website: is your business professional, reliable and reputable, or is it cheap, amateurish and unethical?
An ill-considered brand can affect how you communicate with your target audience. Don’t let yours let you down.