For as long as we’ve told stories, we’ve used signs and symbols to help us.

We’ve seen them over time and we continue to see them to this day. In public, on billboards and posters and in private on our devices and screens. As much as they’re designed to communicate meaning about a brand or product (something else, out there), they actually reveal more about ourselves. Precisely because we privately explore them in more depth. Our hopes, our fears, our desires – those big universal themes. Knowing this relationship helps us better understand what kind of symbols need to be within the brand stories we wish to design and tell.

No symbol can be more powerful than the logo. It communicates what a brand is and what it stands for: the universal qualities which we wish to emulate ourselves, privately and in public. So the logo has to be well-considered. It has to be faithful to the brand. It needs to have a shape – but what shape? What does that shape signify? Does it have colour? Are there other symbols that belong within this shape? And what does that all say? More importantly, what should it say? These are the questions that become the foundation of a brand’s visual story.

There may be other devices that help tell the story as well. A seal could help describe heritage or rich history. A graphic or design device could carry information; it could also offer a moment of pause. Some brand stories are loud, so a little silence could be nice…

These are the signs. These are the symbols. And they’re all around us.

We need to see them and see how best to use them to help design and tell a brand’s story.

What story would you like your logo to tell?