My family vacation and road trip through the heartland this past week has yielded a few photos for discussion. For example, here is a captured pair of non-verbal logos that can stand alone, without the need for any words.

As you may recall, one of my previous blog posts (April 9, 2009) discussed non-verbal logos

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A picture can say a thousand words; so does a face. The same is probably true of non-verbal logos, including the several federally-registered “Chief Wahoo” logos, shown above (all apparently still in use by the “Cleveland Indians” professional baseball team, according to their latest trademark filings).

So, what do they say to you?

My take? I can think of quite a few words to describe them, but none includes the word “honor,” as is often the claim made by those in favor of keeping Native American mascots.

From my perspective, “Chief Wahoo” is the non-verbal equivalent of the Redskins racial slur that I blogged about last week.

Last month I blogged about Non-Verbal Logos That Can Stand Alone, and while “Wahoo” certainly can “stand alone” as a non-verbal logo, unlike the famous Nike Swoosh and McDonalds Golden Arches, “Wahoo” should simply “stand alone” in the corner of a dark closet with the door shut and locked.

Continue Reading “Chief Wahoo” Re-Branding Underway? A Painful Lesson on Saving Face

Even young children understand the power of brands and trademark symbols before they can read.

Years ago, when my children were at the ripe young age of wondering (and maybe caring) what my job was, I’d try to explain the kinds of things a trademark attorney might do. Of course, I didn’t tell them some view trademark types as “the most basic figure.”

It took a while to find a message that stuck with them. What finally got through was when I posed a hypothetical question, asking whether they liked eating at the Golden Arches, and what they would think if they couldn’t get a Happy Meal there because it wasn’t McDonalds after all, but some other restaurant using the Golden Arches too. They were outraged this could ever happen.

So, the Golden Arches can probably stand alone.

Here is another non-verbal logo that can truly stand alone:

Yes, it functions as an exceedingly strong and probably famous brand and trademark with no further explanation or word mark to support it (and to not undermine my point, I’ll refrain from uttering the four letter brand name firmly linked to it in our minds).

What do you think about this one?

(As you may recall, Dan previously posted on a different topic related to this logo here).

I’d respectfully suggest that when the hang-tag attached to the luggage item bearing this logo is closely supported by a lot of words like SWISSGEAR, WENGER, and FROM THE MAKER OF THE GENUINE SWISS ARMY KNIFE, the logo is having a tough time standing alone and probably needs a trademark support group.

By the way, anyone notice the resemblance to the flag of Switzerland?

How about the International or American Red Cross?

Last thought, for now, concerning non-verbal logos, really:

Continue Reading Non-Verbal Logos That Can Stand Alone, And One That Can’t