Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Why so many logos are female

For all marketing and PR professionals, logos are important. They are not only the face of a company, but also reflect its character. A logo should give you a “good feeling”. But what makes a logo effective?

A good logo is one that people remember. There is a simple acid test to check how effective a logo is. Show it to somebody not related to the company or industry and ask that person one day later to describe or reproduce it from memory. Exactly, they will remember the shape and the color. What shapes do people remember most? Soft and fluent lines. The famous swoosh of Nike is a perfect example, but also the letters in the Coca Cola logo.
Why are these female shapes and contours so pleasant? Biological reasons. Men are attracted to female forms, hence there eternal love affaire with automobiles. The females of our species also prefer objects with round shapes – just check out cosmetics packaging, perfume bottles or the shape of fashion and jewelry. This general preference is also reflected in the use of animals in logos. Greyhound and Puma use sleek animals to promote their products, aimed at a wide demographic.
When companies use a (family) name or word as their logo, they opt for a “soft” script. Microsoft uses italics in its logo to make it more fluent. When Heineken started marketing its beer, it decided to tilt the “e” three times in the logo thus softening the “harsh” word image.
Of course there are companies that purposely and effectively use strong, angular shapes in their logos, such as Bobcat. In short, when choosing or developing a company logo, keep in mind, unless you want to project a purely masculine image, go “female”.

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