Logos in the Valley
This week on Silicon Valley, captain of the dunces—Erlich—sets out on getting the boys a new, "raw" logo for the company.
Now of course as a practitioner of branding, it's a bit insulting to think that a quick doodle is as good as a well-crafted, well-drawn logo. (Quick sidebar: the double Ps is a rip on the PayPal logo and I must say oddly prescient of PayPal's new logo it just unveiled this week.) And a "raw" logo isn't always the only, or even the right, way to make a brand cool.
But I must agree with the rest of the points. Do many logos from new tech brands, particularly West Coast ones, look similar or rely on similar techniques? Yes. Lowercase letters, funny mixes of caps and lowers, humanist-meets-helvetica typographic treatments. And now of course the trend toward uber-clean lines and personality-free logos like eBay and Yahoo.
Of course, many of the names are similar too. While I don't love the name Pied Piper, I actually admire it for not representing merely one product. That's the challenge with names like Facebook and Twitter. They're almost so descriptive of the many event, who wants to see more?
And there's the rub. Decent names and logos can be called effective, but that's all. The better names and logos out there don't always convince us to choose one product or another, but they hint at a larger story that might interest us. And one the company should quickly tell.