Why are most of the famous design agency logos simply typeset?

almost 7 years ago from Ram ., Visual Designer at whitenoise

  • Fran RosaFran Rosa, almost 7 years ago

    Main reason is its use, but also for practical reasons.

    In which context are agency logos used? To identify their works: on proposals, contest and awards submissions, etc. So brand necessarily has to contain the name of the agency or its acronym.

    Why don't they include also a symbol? These brands regularly have to coexist next to other brands, and in those cases, client brands have to be more important. So including a graphic symbol would only add graphic elements to compete with works — e.g. when the agency logo is shown as a signature on a client's campaign.

    And because of that those brands usually are sober, work well on black and white and try to avoid graphic elements that could add clutter.

    On top of that, those agency brands are unlikely to be trendy, both to avoid competition with clients' brands and to avoid looking outdated without the need to constantly evolve their own brand.

    31 points
    • Cory MalnarickCory Malnarick, almost 7 years ago

      Great answer! You clearly explain why – to keep the brand unassuming against "louder" client brands, and stay relevant across time.

      2 points
    • Ram .Ram ., almost 7 years ago

      Thanks For the answer Fran :)

      0 points
    • Tim SilvaTim Silva, almost 7 years ago

      What an insightful answer to a broad question I have wondered about over the years. As obvious as how the mark/symbol competing with the client's logo sounds now, I truly didn't consider it. Cheers for the good points!

      Although as a counter-argument, couldn't agency marks/symbols live only on some pages within deliverables? Perhaps the final pages? I wonder if keeping them separate would resolve any potential dissonance with the client's visuals.

      1 point
    • Andy StoneAndy Stone, almost 7 years ago

      It's also because we need to work well in all situations with all types of clients. Our agency is named Emerson Stone (the founders' last names) and with a very traditional typeset logo.

      We need to be approachable for all clients, whether they run breweries or Fortune 100s. A typeset logo fits into the context of any conversation.

      1 point