Does a Culture Conscious, Global Logo Demand Multiple Designs?
Designing the logo of a multinational company/brand/event is a challenging taskbecause not only must your design appeal to a global audience, but do it without hurting cultures. For instance, let us assume your client has offices in the Middle East and USA, and you use a “thumbs up” sign for his logo design. While consumers in the US would be okay with it, people in the Middle East would not because the “thumbs up” is considered vulgar there.
It is important therefore to study the meaning of common symbols in different countries so you don’t end up fueling controversies on racism or hurting cultural sensibilities. Even if a single country reads a wrong message in your insignia, it can damage your brand value immensely, your reputation as a logo designer notwithstanding.
Does that mean a multinational brand needs to create multiple logos?
Not at all. Since a logo represents a company/brand/event, you can’t have multiple representations of the same. That could invariably end up confusing consumers.
So, what do you do?
The key to success is creating a design that sends a positive message to people anywhere in the world. For instance, while designing for an international sports event, such as the Olympics or Commonwealth Games, etc., you must afford highest priority to the hosting country’s culture. By upholding the culture and legacy of the host country in your design, you can not only attract its people, but earn respect as well for your knowledge and sensitivity.
Let us take the example of an already created logo to understand better…
The FIFA World Cup 2014 will be hosted by Brazil. Notice how it’s made up of three hands in yellow and green, forming the shape of a football, while the colors match Brazil’s national flag. Green also represents the tropical forests of Brazil, and yellow,its golden beaches. So, the logo does not only talk about Brazil’s football legacy, but also pays respect to its flag and natural features.
Point in conclusion…
The culture and tradition of different countries will determine your design. Make sure your attitude is respectful because it will reflect in what you create.