How important is a logo? VERY IMPORTANT! Brand recognition depends upon it. A logo is personal and exemplifies mission and personality.

Take for instance Starbucks.  They changed their original logo from the brown color for coffee, when Howard Schultz decided to cover up the breasts of mermaids with flowing hair, and change the color to green, signifying growth.  The logo changed again a few years ago when their goal was to become a global entity. The mission was brand recognition worldwide, without  the name. It works!

Southwest Airlines unveiled their new logo this year, and  update their aircraft design too. The timing of the change reflects the success since 2010 in modernizing the fleet, and starting international flights.  Next month  one can fly anywhere in the US non-stop from its main base in Dallas, Love Field…thus the heart!  New banner logo is on the website now.

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Remembering Absolut Vodka and the Warhol ads from the 1980’s, their 2014 holiday ads this season will include Andy Warhol limited edition special bottles.

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 2.06.40 PMThe Absolut logo is changing as well, eliminating the words ‘Vodka’ and ‘Country of Sweden’. The top dark blue design, with the period is the newest version.

CVS made a big statement not selling tobacco products, and changed their logo to reflect their commitment to heath, and caring about the wellness of their customers. They added the heart too!

And this brings me to the reason I am commenting on logos.  We hope to open a specialty food store with quality oil and vinegars from around the world in early spring.  A friend suggested we go to 99Designs to create our logo. Morry, CJ and I tackled this as a family project and had a blast.  For $299 we had 30 designers from throughout the world submit 217 designs.  We were able to describe the personality of the store, send pictures of colors and images we liked.  After a few days we narrowed the choices to 6 designers, and worked with them to choose 8 designs as finalists. We sent these designs to our friends to rate their favorites.  In 6 polls it was interesting to see what friends and family in different age groups chose.  The first place was the hands down winner and this designer was from West Bengal, India.  She received  a prize of $200 and a higher design rating for future contests.  We chose a second place winner too, and she was from Beograd, Serbia. It was an amazing experience!  Next steps are to choose a packaging designer and we probably will use someone locally.  We own the designs.  99Designs was wonderful to work with, patient with my naive questions.  I recommend them highly for design on a budget.  We can always call on the other designers we did not choose and buy their designs in the future if we change our mind.  This process created good conversations amongst us as to our vision.

Thank you to all that contributed to help us…will keep you informed as to next steps.  I thought this was a fabulous way for  99Designs to give opportunity to designers to work in a global arena.