Logos: Use Them
As a consumer, you probably recognize many familiar logos: McDonalds, Chuck E. Cheese, the local school’s mascot, and many others. You may ask, “Why do I notice these logos?”
The answer tells you that the logos were designed specifically to speak to various consumers. According to Macnair Wilkins, one type of logo stands out, “One of the most effective strategies in logo design is the use of character design, to specifically bid for an important part in this war: attention” (Wilkins).
Wilkins also defines a character logo, “In the logo design circle, a character logo is a logo design that projects a personality, an entity, or “character” image. This is usually in a form of a character or “mascot” that goes together with the company or product’s logo name” (Wilkins).
Character logos are found everywhere: Frosted Flakes, Honey Nut Cheerios, the St, Louis Rams, Panda Express, Playboy, Scrubbing Bubbles, and the list rolls on. Those logos jump out because they have a character that represents the product. Frosted Flakes displays Tony the Tiger, and animated scrub brushes represent Scrubbing Bubbles.
You may ask how to use a character logo, and there are rules for character logos. Wilkins names the first rule: remember your audience (Wilkins). The audience determines a logo because there are various age groups in the audience: children, young adults, teenagers, middle-aged adults, senior citizens, and babies.
For example, you are publishing a new magazine for elementary school children. Your character logo needs to apply to children between the ages of five and eleven. A cartoon animal becomes an effective logo for children because children react with excitement, and the animal would draw children to read the magazine.
Wilkins states that your business also determines the logo: “Companies or products with entertainment logo, food and beverage logos, automotive logos, and especially sports logos work well with this character strategy and it has been proven time and time again. Other more serious types like financial logos, attorney and legal logos, corporate logos and real estate logos may be better off with another strategy” (Wilkins).
In other words, you employ a character logo effectively when you consider your product, business, and targeted audience. The logo becomes your business’ identity, which is critical because a failing logo turns consumers away, and it needs to be attractive and fit the business and the audience to cause successful marketing.
Wilkins, Macnair. “Character Logos: How to Catch Attention and Use It Effectively.” Weblog post. Squidoo. Squidoo.com 8 Mar. 2009. http://www.squidoo.com/characterlogo.