New stuff that spreads really fast never ceases to amaze me. Remember the viral music video from Norway earlier this year? The What Does the Fox Say video amassed another 200 million views since my post from six weeks ago!
A recent road trip in Texas flagged this roadside sign, depicting a likely famous non-verbal logo, standing all alone:
So, I dug up this little gem from our archives to refresh my memory on what I had said about it before: Which Non-Verbal Logo Doesn’t Belong?
Admittedly, I was skeptical about Starbucks’ move to…
As promised earlier this week, in my post entitled “Without Words, But Not Speechless: More On Non-Verbal Logos That Can Stand Alone,” here is my effort to identify, from a legal perspective, some of the pros and cons of non-verbal logos and other trademark styles.
But, before addressing the legal implications, it is worth noting that a number of our insightful readers and commenters already have helped articulate a variety of pros and cons from a business and marketing perspective, here. By my count, there appears to be consensus on at least two important points: (1) Having an iconic stand-alone non-verbal logo or wordless trademark symbol is highly desirable, especially for truly international brands; but (2) be prepared to spend a lot of time, effort, and significant resources to achieve one.
In addition, at least one designer has written that having a logo without words “can be a big branding pain,” for a variety of reasons. She identifies three basic logo styles: (1) Text logos; (2) symbol logos; and (3) combination logos. Examples of text logos would be the Coca-Cola script, the Yahoo! stylized word, and the Google stylized word, all three illustrated in my earlier post. The highly stylized Ebay logo is another good example of a text logo. On the other hand, the Shell logo, McDonald’s Golden Arches, and the Nike Swoosh, are all good examples of symbol logos. In addition, here is a message board collecting a number of other possible candidates for symbol logos that are capable of standing lone — without words — yet, they still have a lot to say to consumers. Many of them, in fact, were mentioned by commenters to my prior post.
Anyway, the designer referenced above contends that for a variety of reasons, combination logos often make the most sense. According to her, a combination logo “combines both a symbol and the company name. The symbol and text can be integrated together, side by side, or with one located above the other.”
Generally, from a trademark owner and legal perspective, I prefer the combination logo too, but not the “integrated” type, instead the “side by side” type or the “one above the other” type. The Mercedes-Benz combination logo shown below nicely illustrates the “one above the other” type of combination logo:
Why do I generally prefer this type of trademark logo format and style?