I stumbled upon an interesting article over at MinimallyMinimal the other day that made me stop and think. The article is about the problem with logos and how they make a difference on devices. If you are not sure what I am talking about, I’ll explain with a picture.
Basically, the problem with the Nokia Lumia 900 is the amount of logos. There are three of them, and they are pretty much right in your face. If you look at the front, you find the Nokia logo in the top left corner. That is perfectly fine with me because it is Nokia’s phone so they should be allowed one logo. The issue is the next logo on the top: AT&T. For one, their logo is horrendous; I simply cannot stand the mix of ugly text and the stupid sphere. (I prefer minimal, simple and usually monochromatic). Anyways, AT&T really has no right to put their logo right there on the front. If anywhere, stick it on the back as small as possible. I mean, we don’t need that advertisement if we already are subscribed to their service. I am really glad Steve Jobs put his foot down and did not let AT&T do this to the iPhone (I am assuming he was the one who made the executive decision). If two logos were not enough, we also have the Windows logo down at the bottom. I actually think their logo is decent, four simple shapes making up a larger one, but I don’t think it belongs as the home button. Part of the reason the iPhone looks so great is because of the home button; it is an iconic rounded square that represents all of the apps, yet it is simple, subtle, and does not take away from the overall beauty.
Just take a look at the iPhone. It practically screams minimalism. Not a single logo on the front and only Apples gorgeous logo on the back. It is everything that a phone should be and nothing it shouldn’t. You can tell that the main focus of the iPhone is the amazing Retina Display.
But wait, the overpopulation of logos does not stop with Windows Phone. No matter the carrier or manufacturer you will find that logos are not used sparingly. There is absolutely no reason to advertise that you are using a BlackBerry phone on Sprint or a Samsung phone using AT&T. Just look at these three. The first one has a giant Verizon logo, not even the manufacturer’s emblem. This phone would have been just fine without the check mark and Big Red’s text. The second device is pretty much the same, carrier logo taking priority near the earpiece. BlackBerry is the worst of them all. On top, we find the BlackBerry logo; it’s alright but not one of my favorites. Moving downward, we have half of the BlackBerry logo–seriously, once is plenty. To top it off, Sprint just had to put their logo down at the bottom. The phone, with its keyboard and huge bevel, just comes off across as cluttered and ugly. (Sorry Cam, I know you have a place in your heart for BlackBerry phones).
To put this on a broader scale, imagine if dealers put their logos on the front of cars. How awful would that be? The front of a phone is just like that of a car and putting a logo on a designer’s beautiful creation is just wrong. It would also be like me placing the TiP logo over all of our content.
Maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad if carrier logos here in the US were not so ugly. Come on, look at them. T-Mobile and its squares just disgust me. Sprint would be cool without the actual text, but I’m not so sure about the color. Verizon is beyond repair; I cannot stand their use of blur not once, but three times.
This is the reason that the iPad sells so well compared to say the Galaxy Tab. I mean, this thing is practically criminal. Verizon and Samsung both put gigantic logos on the front in the most contrasting way possible. Then on the back, they each put an even bigger one, plus we have the addition of the 4G LTE logo. For those of you keeping track at home, the Tab has 5! The iPad on the other hand, only has two if you count “iPad” down at the bottom.
The general rule is this. You should only see one logo at a time when using a product. If you must, you can have two, but they better be completely different and not gigantic. I know that when I am looking at products, I look at logos when factoring in overall aesthetics. It is part of the reason that I keep coming back to Apple. A product should speak for itself; it shouldn’t have to have logos all over it to be recognizable.
What do you think? Do the logos make a difference for you? Leave your response in the comments below, or hit me up twitter. Also be sure to follow me: @TiP_Bryce.