What's In A Logo?

A friend of mine is considering launching a startup and exploring some branding possibilities. As we looked through pages and pages of logos for inspirations, it struck me that so many logos are unimaginative, boring, and flat out terrible.

Generic fonts. Boring art squiggly-things. Random shapes. You know the kind I'm talking about.

The worst offenders used images straight from the hallowed halls of Microsoft ClipArt.

Your logo should be the cornerstone of your branding and convey, at first glance, what your company is about. There are a lot of "safe" options for logos, and many credit unions and banks have them. They are dependable. But are they memorable?

Should a logo be self-explanatory? It is only by association with a product, a service, a business, or a corporation that a logo takes on any real meaning. A logo derives its meaning and usefulness from the quality of that which it symbolizes. If a company is second rate, the logo will eventually be perceived as second rate. It is foolhardy to believe that a logo will do its job immediately, before an audience has been properly conditioned.

- Paul Rand

The credit union playing field is crowded. An exciting, memorable logo can be the edge that your credit union needs to appeal to prospective members.

There are a lot of stale credit union logos floating around out there. Do you have any examples of some new perspectives? Share em in the comment section!