Experts to Follow: Armin Vit on Logos

We’re big fans of Armin Vit’s logo reviews at Brand New, one of the best blogs on visual branding. Read his critiques (and the spirited the comments) and you’ll get an informal but very practical education on branding and logo design.

Start on familiar ground—the recent Bank of America and iShares brand refreshes. Armin’s critiques and the comment chain reveal what matters in logo design, at least to practitioners:

Category correctness. Is the logo industry-appropriate? Or is it a financial brand that looks like a pharmaceutical company or a spa? To laypeople, logo designers can seem overly sensitive to category correctness. But visuals hugely impact people’s brand perceptions. So designer discomfort is well placed. Pay heed.

Personality. At least category-incorrect logos have personalities. Far too many logos are generic—a bigger sin, for Armin. Stand for something.

Application. How well does the logo adapt to all the various uses logos are put—digital, print, mobile, signage, merchandise—and to different sizes and visual contexts? This is a big one for designers, who often have to live with the results of poorly-thought-out logo designs.

Concept. As with most trained artists, designers really care about the concept behind their work, including logos. For example, Bank of America’s flag icon, as an interpretation of the U.S. flag. For good designers, concept drives everything. No concept, no drive.

Brand equity. You may think of designers as out-there creative types, but the good ones are very conservative when it comes to messing with longstanding visual design. They know what all marketers should know (and what many de facto managers of brands often don’t): brand equity is precious, takes a long time to build, and can be destroyed very quickly. When logo designers talk about brand equity, listen.

You can filter the reviews by industry, including “finance.”

Armin reviews logos of brands around the globe, created by some of the world’s biggest and best branding and design firms (not always the same). They’re excellent mini case studies of the most important branding work happening today.