As I work with a particular NGO, one of the interesting questions which has come up in discussions is whither or not the NGO should put their logo on their web page with instructions for proper use. There were two main questions asked:
- Is this something which needs to be on the web publicly (as apposed to privately on an intranet)?
- Is this even a common practice?
I am listing a few use cases here to show some of the variety and breadth of the kinds of people who are sharing their logos and providing display and license guidelines to potential users of their logos.
I think there are two primary reasons for organizations to provide access to branding information in a public venue:
- Help partners accurately visually display the offering organization’s brand.
- Help staff have a visible, consistent and authoritative reference point when communicating with partners. Because this conversation with partners is about the partners displaying their affiliation with the NGO it is something which can be facilitated publicly.
I go through some of the use cases in the video below. The blog post in that video about teaching in Malaysia can be read here.
However, the IBM logo is text based and does not meet the threshold for copyright originalityThis information is what is provided on Wikipedia about the IBM icon used here.. However it is still a logo and covered under registered trade mark rules.
Another organization with a rather popular logo among internal and external users is U.S. military. This would include logos like that of the U.S. Air Force. They also have specific guidelines posted for different uses of their logo. As well as a page explaining the symbology of the logo.
Apple is another popular company with several programs and logos specifically designed for use by business partners. One of the things which is required in these kinds of relationships is for the organization granting the logo’s use to be firm in their organizational identity. This means: defining the relationship – who is the NGO and who is not the NGO. For some organizations it means defining what items are trademarks, products and logos.
The next three brands have a particularly visual representation and presentation of their branding guidelines.
WordPress logos are made freely available under their about section.
http://wordpress.org/about/logos While WordPress is an opensource product, it is also a community. About a year and a half ago one there was quite a stir made by Automatic about proper logo usage. The community had some who were less than thrilled with the emphasis Automatic brought on branding an open source project, but in the end even the controversy made the brand stronger. The consistent iconization of the product also made the brand more recognizable. Today the WordPress project has a lot of logo options which conform to established branding guidelines. This gives the community flexibility and continuity at the same time.
Adobe is a company whose name is almost synonymous with the term digital art. It is well known for products like Photoshop and for files like PDFs. When we think of PDFs we often think of the Acrobat Logo on the image of a file.Part of this visibility is due to Adobe Icons and Logos which it has made available.
Perhaps my favorite logo explanation is the simple (yet detailed) approach that Twitter has taken on its page
Twitter.com/logo. Here are some screen shots.