There are definitely going to be challenges with The Ephraim Baird Entomological Society as my next client. If you haven’t noticed it’s a ridiculously long name. One of the prime strategies when developing a visual brand for a client is determining the form the logo will take. Is it a pictorial logo? Is it a logotype? Is it a combination? Is it an acronym? Is it an acronym and a version of the acronym spelled out? Does a pictorial mark interconnect with any typography, or can they be used separately?
These questions can sometimes be solved with a little common sense: ACS is a lot more cryptic and invisible than the American Cancer Society. In that case, you would be a lot less receptive to an acronym of the organization than a logo that spells out its name. However, sometimes it is fashionable to force an acronym into the branding, such as FCUK, or DKNY. I had no idea what DKNY was until I was something like 22 years old, not because I didn’t recognize it or understand it as an important apparel brand, but because the company decided to mask the rather long company name in favor of a more succinct and mysterious presentation.
Furthermore, Donna Karan New York was probably a lot more difficult to stitch onto clothing tags. It’s important to remember the application of the logo, where it will go, how long a person will have to assimilate it, the smallest and largest of its forms, whether color can be involved, etc. If you notice, of course, DKNY has a version that incorporates an expounded title, allowing for a single typographic logotype to expand into full disclosure when appropriate, such as at the top of their website.
For the Ephraim Baird Entomological Society, I’m met with a similar challenge. First I have to determine when and where this logo will be seen most. The answer to that is on their quarterly journal, on the signage of their gallery, and probably on business cards and letterhead. They wouldn’t mind waving a collapsed version of their name, like EBES, but as discussed, it doesn’t immediately communicate who they are or what they do. The question is, is that important for this client?
Unfortunately I don’t believe it is as important as, say, DKNY. They won’t be doing large murals on Houston st or printing the logo on silk tags on a million blouses this year. But more importantly, mystery isn’t something that is important to the brand. They are aiming to be a little more exclusive than mysterious. Obviously though, mystery doesn’t have to be primary purpose for shortening a business down to its initials. Is there anything mysterious about HP or SAAB? In the end, those companies just had cumbersome names like Hewlett-Packard and Svenska Aeroplan AktieBolaget, particularly for English speaking clients.
Sometimes, you just have a lot of letters in a logo. But there can be simple and interesting solutions even in a mire of words. That’s one of the things I am hoping to tackle this month. Just answering the question of whether it should be The Ephraim Baird Entomological Society, or EBES will be a success. Regardless, I’m here to play with visual forms too, and insects provide a ton of inspiration for me. Here then is an inspiration board with forms, colors, concepts, patterns and mood to get the juices flowing.