What Makes a Great Logo, and Why Your Brand’s Identity Matters

Any good designer will be able to tell you there is no single element that makes a logo great. One thing that can sink or float your logo, however, is the conceptual phase. Planning, research and inspiration, coupled with a lot of thought goes into a great logo design.

Designers are trained to find inspiration from many areas – what the brand does, what it hopes to achieve, iconic elements within the industry, and much more. It could even be creating a unique brand mark that’s abstract, but inspired by the brand’s essence or its slogan.

A practical example would be Nike. Their brand mark is a tick, which technically doesn’t have anything to do with fitness. However, it reiterates their tagline, which is, “Just Do It.” The tick reinforces the idea that “it’s done,” with Nike.

Inspire Confidence in Your Brand with an Excellent Logo

It’s because of this, among many other reasons that the research and inspiration phase should enjoy great importance. In many instances, your company’s logo will be the first point of contact you make with a prospective client. A well-designed logo has a professional and unique look which inspires confidence in your brand.

However, it’s not simply about people recognising your brand. It’s also about drawing people in with your brand’s identity. Your brand identity is the first thing people see, and it should make a lasting impression.

It should also make them want to work with you, and select your brand from a sea of competition. A professionally designed and eye-catching logo accomplishes this, and instils in the consumer a sense of value that your company places on professional service, and a high work ethic.

Existing Brands Can Benefit from Expert Logo Design Too

With regards to existing brands, there is great value in refreshing your brand as well. If you’ve been around for a decade, it might be time to take your brand to the next level with a fresh facelift. Your brand may require a simple change, like a new font or colour, or it might be a more comprehensive change.

Whatever the case may be, an updated logo can help your brand adapt to the times, and compete in an ever-changing, evolving and volatile economy. Speak to us to learn more about the value of a fresh, modern and expertly designed logo, and let us help you invest in your brand’s continued relevance.

Pantone Colour of the Year 2018: The Year of Ultra Violet

The Pantone Colour of the Year has grown to become the benchmark for design trends and cultural mood around the world. 2018’s Colour of the Year has been aptly crowned Ultra Violet, which Pantone calls, “dramatically provocative and thoughtful,” in its announcement. Ultra violet “communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us towards the future,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone’s executive director.

Pantone’s 2018 choice follows 2017’s choice of “greenery,” which, according to Pantone at the time, offered the “reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment.” There’s no word of a nod to politics in 2018’s selection, however. If last year necessitated reassurance, 2018’s choice requires forward-thinking and ambition.

Ambitious and Ground Breaking

According to Eiseman, Intuitive Ultra Violet will be used to explore new technologies, and even pave the way to things yet to come. “From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy, to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, Intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.”

Pantone’s Colour of the Year selection doesn’t just come about. Painstaking thought and research go into it, with the selection drawing influences from pop culture like David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix, who both had a penchant for purple hues. It also takes inspiration from nature, Pantone said in the announcement.

“We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination. It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet, a blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own,” Eiseman continued.

Pantone Ultra Violet Making a Splash in Design and Packaging

As the world’s focus on packaging and design goes through its own trends, and becomes even more sophisticated, ultra violet offers the required nuances and complexity that appeals to consumers’ desire for originality in all that they touch. At the same time, ultra violet also resonates in graphic design, through its multi-dimensional feeling.

Shadows of ultra violet are being used in graphic and design more and more, with forward thinking brands in the luxury, beauty and CPG worlds looking to tap into modern culture. This, by extension, lends relevancy to these brands, ensuring they remain tapped into the modern trends moving industries forward. Whatever your feelings about ultra violet, it’s here to stay for the foreseeable future, and will impact trends for years to come.


Lauren Hayley Coetzee, Black Snow Group’s own senior designer, comments on the 2015 that was and the 2016 to come:

The raw, immense and vast creative talent in the South African market never ceases to inspire me, in all artistic footings. From the plethora of artisans to the space availability for creatives to be, well, creative – our local home-grown market is on an international scale far beyond our conception.

2015 brought an explosion of trends which will carry into 2016 without a doubt. Simplicity, geometric symbolism and experimental colours were on the forefront. I’m anticipating, with great hope, that we can continue making use of these basic design tools as they carry much weight and impact without overwhelming the eye.  However, one of the most surprising trends was a continuation of retro “designspiration” from the vintage 50s, 60s and 70s and the more colourful 80s and 90s. The SA market saw an influx of this now non-dated look in all forms of design, from apparel and photography to textiles but, more particularly, within the walls of SA homes. Interior design became the forefront to showcase your need for some colour or artistic celebration and the support of local art was quite extraordinary.  We can all give ourselves a pat on the back for this brave movement.

Personally, I am thrilled at the development of community precincts which allow for the collaboration, expansion and flourishing of small, independent creative companies and creators under one roof. The most notable of these is the ever evolving Maboneng precinct in Johannesburg. Not only are the available spaces for expression unique, but you only need to step into one of the boutiques, galleries or restaurants to know where the current trends are sitting. It’s a molded space where urban rejuvenation and inspired minds are generating extraordinary things.  And all over the country, similar concepts are ensuring that the continuation of artistic manifestation is possible and readily available.  The Watershed & Woodstock Foundry (Cape Town) and the Station Drive Precinct (Durban) are only the beginning roots of more to come. South Africans have a sui generis passion for the arts which will safeguard the progress of such projects.

The expression of art and its beautiful freedom to do so is so unique. SA hosts its own distinctive trends, ahead of those brought in from the ponds abroad. It becomes some-what problematic, in the best way possible, to distinguish which direction the design world, specifically within SA, will take in 2016 due to the surplus of influences and ideas. But isn’t that exciting? We can prepare for an indulgence of the senses and be more than inspired for the year ahead, even if Rose Quartz is one the Pantone colours of the year.