Pentagram, Landor, Meta, Vignelli, saffron, siegel+gale, wolff olins or is it just that I am seeing things that way?
Main reason is its use, but also for practical reasons.
In which context are agency logos used? To identify their works: on proposals, contest and awards submissions, etc. So brand necessarily has to contain the name of the agency or its acronym.
Why don't they include also a symbol? These brands regularly have to coexist next to other brands, and in those cases, client brands have to be more important. So including a graphic symbol would only add graphic elements to compete with works — e.g. when the agency logo is shown as a signature on a client's campaign.
And because of that those brands usually are sober, work well on black and white and try to avoid graphic elements that could add clutter.
On top of that, those agency brands are unlikely to be trendy, both to avoid competition with clients' brands and to avoid looking outdated without the need to constantly evolve their own brand.
Great answer! You clearly explain why – to keep the brand unassuming against "louder" client brands, and stay relevant across time.
Thanks For the answer Fran :)
What an insightful answer to a broad question I have wondered about over the years. As obvious as how the mark/symbol competing with the client's logo sounds now, I truly didn't consider it. Cheers for the good points!
Although as a counter-argument, couldn't agency marks/symbols live only on some pages within deliverables? Perhaps the final pages? I wonder if keeping them separate would resolve any potential dissonance with the client's visuals.
It's also because we need to work well in all situations with all types of clients. Our agency is named Emerson Stone (the founders' last names) and with a very traditional typeset logo.
We need to be approachable for all clients, whether they run breweries or Fortune 100s. A typeset logo fits into the context of any conversation.
To get a better sense why I suggest you watch episode 6 of Netflix's new series Abstract the art of design. Most of your answer will be included in that episode.
cant WAIT to dive into this show! By the way, have you seen Invision's "Design Desruptors?" I am curious how the Netflix series measures against DD.
Design Disruptors is a more of a "Rah rah UX Designers are cool and changing the world!" It's a nice film, but lacks depth. Haven't seen Abstract yet.
Abstract is fantastic, but yes, definitely branches out beyond UX design. I found it incredibly engaging when I expected it to be a bit dull. Design Disruptors is an inspirational look at UX designers in large companies, but not super informational.
couldnt agree more. It was an investment by invision into the industry to attract more folks into the UX field, and in turn, attract more people to use invision.
Hahaha. Oh man, I'm glad that someone else felt the same way. I watched it at a screening with about 100 other designers and I was the only one who walked away wondering "who was this actually made for?"
Abstract features interviews with different designers; Design Disruptors mainly focuses on product designers in Silicon Valley.
I think it's because that's all that's necessary for an agency to succeed. It's like asking why agencies often use their personal last names as the agency name. An agency isn't judged by how creative its logo or name is, it's judged by their portfolio of work for other companies.
I also think agencies want to present themselves as the intermediary to their clients and the client's customers. They stick to typeset because it shows they have a neutral position on a style. They are not for or against a specific form, but can adapt based on client needs.
Popular design agencies have found a niche in the "spirit of the times." The zeitgeist. The best logomark for these companies is a modern typeface.