While around town, the country or abroad, icons that cross generations dominate the landscape. Outdoor can be especially impactful, given its size and presence. I remember my first visit to Chicago and absolutely loving the city. One of the first things that comes to mind when I think about that particular trip is the volume of the billboards along the freeway and how they increased in frequency as we approached city center. For many cities across America, signage and displays become geographic representations. When thinking of Chicago, displays such as the massive Wrigley Field signage are just that. Having a passion for media, I pay a great deal of attention to these symbols as well as what advertisers communicate with space in the marketplace.
Upon seeing a giant Coca Cola board while on recent travels to San Francisco, I harkened back to the feeling I had when first visiting Chicago. Just the brand logo in this large visual format was able to spark a variety of memories. Logos themselves are a unique art form in that they can express a volume of meaning for a brand, or represent a specific piece of heritage. In the instance of the Coca Cola script, Frank M. Robinson seemingly proposed the name Coca-Cola, believing the “‘the two Cs would look well in advertising,” according to http://www.coca-cola.co.uk. To design a unique representation to accompany the name, he “experimented writing the company’s name in elaborate Spencerian script, a form of penmanship characteristic of the time.”
When wondering about the pervasiveness of advertising via company logos, one must only look around them. What do you see? If you are working on a computer, you can most likely see the manufacturer’s logo. If you are drinking a cup of coffee – or water – another logo, maybe more than one. Open a pantry or cupboard and it is most likely filled with branded packaging. Today, we are surrounded by logos that represent brands; some more well-thought out than others, some more well-crafted with deeper thought to their nature, some with immense meaning. The filter for these constantly increases with each generation as a bombardment of information and a continually faster pace persist. Estimates from market research firm Yankelovich note that someone living in a city 30 years ago may have seen upwards of 2,000 ad messages per day in comparison to 5,000 today. These visual images can be artful, witty, smart, beautiful and transcend time, or potentially be ignored. If you are building a business, it is important to think about your logo and the message you want to convey. Don’t let the opportunity to send that message in a passive – or overt – way pass you by.