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How is Your Brand Mark Functioning?

As a part of an ongoing series on why and how brand marks change, we first cover one of the oldest reasons for a redesign. Functional changes.

Perhaps the most rare reason now, because most brands have been improved to function better in digital environments. Yet, there are still plenty of marks that have been designed or redesigned improperly and currently symbolize dysfunction and frustration.

In the case of historic marks, time often brings variables that cause the mark to function improperly. Take the iconic mark of Red Wing Shoes, originally designed to be carved out of wood. Which, in this era, seems authentic to the handcrafted quality of a Red Wing Shoes product. Yet, because no art existed behind the type and wing, it couldn’t be transferred to the side of boots. It was a logomark offering limited use and needed a rebuild. The refeathering we enacted also needed to retain the mark’s original shape in order to keep with an agreement between this iconic brand and the Detroit Red Wings hockey franchise.

The resulting changes are hard to find, but once discovered, equally challenging to unsee.

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Functional changes can make a world of difference and open up the possibilities of where a logo mark appears in the overall product experience. In the case of Red Wing Shoes, the team was now able to appropriately brand their retail experience and place it in more varied and subtle places on boots, leather goods and accessories.

The previous mark looked like a box of pork chops when the type was pulled away from the wing. The typography faced challenges like the “G” was being filled in enough in a leather stamping as not to look like Red “Wino” Shoes. And, if you look closely, the distance between the “S” and “h” communicated more of a “S Hoes” message versus the intended nod to footwear. The resulting redesign was a more prominent logomark representing this brand in the marketplace and serving as a symbol to the individual buying this international brand.

After a mark redesign like this one, the next challenge becomes the consistent use across multiple mediums. This started with compiling a proper toolkit of symbols all pointing back to the original mark and forming a new visual language for the brand to build upon.

The social friction required to give you a proper mention on social keeps people from showing their love for your brand. If you’re like many brands facing the challenges of social media icons and the art that is needed to fit into these new mediums, this is a worthy conversation to have.

If you think social media is going away, that’s a whole other conversation you should have with the marketing department.

Reach out if you're facing functional challenges, for a conversation on the best potential fixes for your situation.

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Categories Business & Marketing, Branding

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