Icon and web designer Jon Hicks from Hicksdesign.
I will use his MailChimp logo to explain a crucial point in logo visual brand identity over the years that I’m often faced with my students and in work too.
As you can see in the MailChimp logo, the symbol part is very illustrative and you rarely see this treatment in an institutional logo. Why? Because it’s too complex to decline in all the possible, small, variations and that’s why the symbol turns to a “head only” chimpanzee version when it runs out of space. Should Hicks went for a more Swiss-graphic-orthodox version?
Here’s the point, MailChimp has to thank their successful brand identity primarly to the well executed particularized chimp. Plus as you can see on their website, if you need a more formal version of the logo, you can go with the logotype only version, if it’s capable enough to stand-alone.
This leads us to identify better our customers. A web focused company, app studio, etc., which display their logos on a specific hardware and software most of the time, take more advantage off well executed pictogram than a well declinable logo.
There is of course the classic illustrated version of an institutional logo, but I like how icon designers can push it to the main logo directly.
By the way, Jon Hicks is a remarkable web designer too, his website was one of the first good responsive ones and he’s very precise in coding as well.4 hearts