Circles, Everywhere Circles
As the end of the millennium spirals to a close, there emerges
a new trend in logo design; the elliptical logo element. Although
clean-looking and curvaceous, the ellipse isn't necessarily the
best look for just any company. Try telling that to the hundreds
of companies with meaningless ellipses stoically embedded into
their corporate icons. We'll explore the reasons why this elliptical
explosion can be a bad thing, but first let's investigate the
motives for it's recent baby-boomer-esque overpopulation:
#1 - The Cosmic Odometer Flip
Could this logo design trend spawn from the cyclic renewal offered
by the millenniums' close, a graphic representation of the great
cosmic odometer flip? A chance to reassure techno-ludites and
Y2K-phobics alike that the company will be the same trusted institution
it has always been, January 1, 2000 and beyond? Don't bother.
Unless your company is in the financial industry or manufactures
bomb shelters, chances are you're not on the forefront of the
average persons' Y2K concerns, so you're thinking too hard about
it. Besides, it will all be over on Jan. 1st...one way or another.
#2 - Technological Wheel of Samsara
so many companies replacing obsolete business practices and manufacturing
capabilities with new technologies such as internet commerce,
computer-operated production and the like, the elliptical logo
element could be serving as a technological Wheel of Samsara,
the Hindu cycle of death and rebirth. After all, replacing old
technology with new (assuming, of course, it really works) is
just good business, so what better subliminal message could a
business relate to it's customers than that of technological
advancement and improvement? A little too subliminal you think?
Me too. I hope these infringers reincarnate as an Abacus manufacturing
#3 - Goober Just Went Global
Thanks to the internet, small companies with a regional client
base are going multinational at blazing speeds. This kind of
transition used to take even the most successful and efficient
corporations years, even decades to achieve. Ultimately, it comes
down to providing (and maintaining) a high level of service,
and it's my opinion that many companies have failed miserably.
So with this in mind, I propose that the elliptical logo element
could also be a way to position the company as orbital ring,
circling the planet with it's global web presence.
this is all a corporate pissing match, a rush to promote the
news that 'hey, we've gone global, we're ready to service the
world whether we're big enough, ready, or not.'
Where's the Harm?
In any case, the problem with this widespread epidemic of elliptical
logos whose number far surpasses that of ebola, ecoli and bad
fashion sense combined is that a company who fails to create
a logo graphically imbued with their corporate identity will
loose out on what may be their only chance to make a first impression.
In addition, these virtually meaningless logos take away from
the impact of companies who do have elliptical logo elements
that relate to their product or service.
companies who have racked up generations of image mind-share
with their time-tested classic logos have succumbed to the incorporation
of the circular swish. One can only hope this trend goes the
way of New Coke, Pepsi Clear and Zima.
short, if your company is Smith Tire Co., Jones Hula Hoop Mfg.
or Pokemon Pogs, Inc., you have my blessing to use an elliptical
logo. If however, you're business bears no direct or implied
likeness to anything remotely non-linear, please, for the rest
of us, give it some more thought before you jump on this bandwagon(wheel).
TO THE RULE:
Meaningful Uses of Elliptical Logo Elements