music biz

What You See Is What You Get

A blog platform I subscribe to recently changed its logo and got me thinking about the impact of images and slogans. Medium tried on a number of different hats before settling on their present one,

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 12.29.27 PM

while I actually prefer one they rejected:

M&M

which communicates the inclusive attributes towards which the site strives, a bit like a Celtic knot:

Screen Shot 2015-12-26 at 1.55.54 PM

Now, not every slogan or logo belongs in the

Advertising Slogan Hall of Fame

though some do – they’ve stood the test of time. But it can take a bit of time and effort to arrive at the logo or catchphrase that truly reflects your intentions. Like many new businesses, we copied our predecessors when starting out; Mark and I had met while working at Com/track in Chicago –

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 1.59.32 AM

so even though our first company logo was a bit “lawyerish”-looking, it was what we were comfortable with at the time:

orig.H:W

“just the facts, ma’am….”

The next year Mark had an idea: we had searched for a fresher identity and settled on the slogan, “The New American Jingle Classic” coupled with Grant Woods’ American Gothic –

H:WCard

HWPoster

to convey that while our company was new to the advertising community, we did have (midwestern) history and were experienced, (with good ol’ fashioned production values they could trust!  Just like these fellas here!!)

When we moved, we incorporated the American Gothic image into our new letterhead and business cards for a while:

A.G.HouseLogo

the typeface still says “lawyer” but there’s this HOUSE above it, see….

but it wasn’t very exciting to us, so when we moved back to Chicago in 1987, we looked for a new image

1987H:Wlogo

this one was okay, UNTIL….

H:W in jail

we saw what it looked like without color…. Gee! The treble clef is in JAIL!!!  Wonder what it was guilty of???

finally settling on our current one:

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 11.38.39 AM

UPBEAT!! On the RISE!!  (and no treble clefs were imprisoned or harmed in the creation of this logo!)

 

Contrary to Marshall McLuhan’s assertion, while the medium may be PART of the message, it doesn’t tell the whole story, IMHO. It can help create an identity, however. My cap is off to graphic artists everywhere!

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