Van Ride, Troy, Michigan, USA; Alltell Wireless Communications, Little Rock, Arkansas; Arketi Group, Technology PR & Digital Marketing, Atlanta, GA; EDS (Electronic Data Systems), now part of HP; New York City’s MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority); Manitowoc Industrial Group, Canada; M2 Optics, North Carolina, USA; Merrell, Hiking Boots and Active Footwear, USA; Global Advertising Strategies, a Multicultural Advertising Agency, NYC, USA; First Financial Group (member of Mass Mutual Financial Group), Philadelphia, PA, USA; Exodus International, USA; Zurich Insurance Group, Switzerland; Lazboy, Sofas and Furniture, USA; MerseyTravel, Transit & Transportation, Liverpool, UK; New York eHealth Collaborative, a not-for-profit organization, working to improve healthcare for all New Yorkers through health information technology; Y Lighting, Lighting Retailer, USA; Eye Candy Sound Lounge & Bar, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cardinal Accounting & Tax Firm, Luck, WI, USA; Mike Karlin Law Office, Tustin, CA, USA; U Suite (Utopia Suite), a project by artist and filmmaker Clive Holden, USA; Bluedot Productions, Documentary Film Co., Yachats, OR, USA; Eurasia, Business Consulting Co. to assist international investors in doing business in Turkey, Istanbul; Advantech Advanced Microwave Technologies Inc. (“Advantech Wireless Broadband“), a Quebec-based corporation, Canada; Studio Hinrichs Brand Design, San Francisco, CA, USA; Aisle One, a blog on graphic design, typography, grid systems, minimalism and modernism; Toronto, Canada-based MaRS, bringing new and innovative ideas to the Canadian marketplace; Walgreen’s chain of drug stores, USA; Project H Design, a Non-For-Profit Organization that promotes Design-based Youth Activities, San Rafael, CA, USA. Wiley-Blackwell, a learned society publisher based in Oxford, UK. It is a division of US-based publishing company John Wiley & Sons, formed by the merger of John Wiley’s Global Scientific, Technical, and Medical business with Blackwell Publishing, after Wiley took over Blackwell Publishing in 2007. Keith Interior Design and M2K Architecture Firm, Capetown, South Africa.
The art of capturing an entire company’s ideas, ethos, knowledge and the future in one logo and corporate identity is an integral part of visual branding. Of course there’s more to branding than meets the eye!
Most of today’s organizations are well-versed in this most fundamental of branding-building exercises. Some are still struggling to design an identity that best represents their values and positive traits, while others come up with eerily similar-looking looking designs, albeit representing vastly different organizations, across a multitude of industries and countries.
I consider myself as a visual creature, and the past few years i’ve been on a personal mission to identify suspiciously similar looking Logos and Corporate Identities. Allow me to add a footnote, however, as I’ve learned from past experience; the opinions on the similarities are subjective, representing my views. And my sole intention is simply to demonstrate that we are all inspired by the same things. Now more than ever, thanks to the internet.
To date I’ve come across myriad doppelgängers, look-alikes, wannabes, copies, or plain plagiarism. Sheer coincidence? Or copycats?
Realistically of course, I’m not discounting the simple fact that some may have been inspired by the same ideas. Nevertheless, it’s an ever changing, ever amassing encyclopedia of visual identity that’s just a click away. Here’s a look at some.
There’s an old French proverb: “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose,” first coined by French columnist and novelist Alphonse Karr (1808-1890), which loosely translates to: “The more we change, the more we stay the same.”
Before the internet, we all operated in virtual seclusion and isolation, as individuals in our world. Collaboration only occurred in Multinational Corporations that operated across different countries and cultures. In the business world, ideas and innovation spread in limitation, only to organizations that had the resources and means to communicate
Facebook, Twitter, Linked-IN, Groupon, and Crowdsourcing are becoming a common part of our vocabulary and lifestyle… through which mediums we are connected through our work, and the objects that inspire us.
And for all digital natives (those born after 1980s when internet and digital revolution was in full swing), life without it is simply unfathomable.
It turns out that being a true original is increasingly difficult, if not virtually impossible.
Inspiration: The Financial Brand