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A terrible lesson from car emblem designers: If you can’t make it good, make it big.
General Motors has done an amazing job with the redesign of their car line, making sleek and sophisticated what was once boxy and outdated. But it seems to me that their logo has not fallen suit. Is it me or does the gold, cross-like Chevy logo scream tacky and outdated? It lacks style and cool factor. That gold nasty logo takes all the pleasure of the lines of the car and stops my eyeballs.
In an article published last fall in Direct Marketing News, Chevy acknowledged that the key to connecting with consumers lies in knowing and delivering on what their customers want. In the article, Chris Perry, VP of global marketing and strategy for General Motors Corp.'s Chevrolet, said, “It's about survival. We had to change. It's about our product, just as a magazine is about content. But it's also about how you engage with your consumers on their terms.” Perry knows what Chevy needs to do to survive, but their logo still suggests otherwise.
It’s not just GM who seems to be struggling with the art of the car emblem. Take a glance at your fellow motorist’s vehicles and you’ll notice a number of other sore thumbs. You can probably even think of a few car companies right now who launched their brands years ago using the philosophy of bigger emblems are better emblems – and sales are still affected by that decision today.
Car logo failures seem like an attempt on the part of these companies to remain big and bold and in the public’s eye in favor of listening to what their consumers want. Of course GM wants their cars to be seen and identified at a great distance, but their tacky, large gold logo comes at the expense of a more modern style.
Branding, whether it’s a car emblem or a company’s logo, isn’t a task that should be taken lightly. The decisions you make will become your company’s first impression. After all, it’s the logo you see on the outside before you get in to experience the lush upholstery and handle the drive.
Agency creative can sometimes be the same way. Of course an agency wants their work to get noticed, and to stand out, but it might not always be what the client wants, and that fact can and should make all the difference.
Photo credit: grimescene