Logo Love: Smile

Recently I've been going through my piles and piles of books deciding what to keep and what should go to the charity shop or garbage bin. Some things are obvious decisions and others not so much. I have a touch of pack-rat flair to me so I have a hard time letting go of sentimental things.

One thing I discovered on the shelf was an old notebook. It was my logo journal. When I was in design school a wise professor suggested we start collecting logos and paste them into a notebook for reference. No real organization required, but try to find ones you like, cut them out and paste them in. I have a whole notebook full of them and it is really interesting to look through. Even though I went to college less than ten years ago, in some cases the logos have dramatically changed.

Here's a great image showing the evolution of the Shell logo:

Logo evolution is important because companies grow and evolve. Their logo should let them appear as if they are staying with the times and have evolved like their customer. In some cases a logo should say "tradition" while in other cases it should say anything but that.

I wanted to call attention to the Smile.co.uk logo, which is designed to be used in some cases with different smiles in the pink box. Marilyn Monroe's smile, Mona Lisa's smile, Little Miss Happy, etc. But here is the basic logo:

Even if it isn't animated, the simplicity of the logo literally makes me smile. I find it one of those logos that is deceptive because it looks so simple and cute, you'd think it's forgettable. But if you saw this logo often enough, if it became branded to that level, I think it could reach a point where you think of this banking website simply be seeing a smile of any kind. The logo was designed by a firm in the UK The Chase.
It is interesting that it is both an image that can been seen as an image or artwork, as well as it can be read. Much like the Nike "swoosh", the "smile" as a logo is a very universal idea. It also breaks away from the concept of what a bank logo should look like in a dramatic way, which is the brand identity that Smile.co.uk is clearly trying to express. They aren't like other banks, and their brand identity makes that clear.

I like it, it makes me smile. That's a good start with any logo or brand program, right?

Speaking of smiling, logos can be wildly unsuccessful and sometimes it has hilarious results. Want to see some funny logo misfires? Click here.

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