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  • From a freelance Project to a Global Icon : The Evolution of Nike's Logo

    Who knew an investment of $35 on a logo design would go on to become a brand worth $35 billion. A mere $35 was invested in designing the Nike logo in 1971 by Co-founder Phill Knight which wasn't even satisfactory for him then and the same logo with minor adjustments went on to build a multi-billion dollar empire and one of the most influential & inspirational brands of the World so much so that now the logo is used without the name of the brand! What it took to create one of the most iconic brand logos of the world? what led to the massive success and continued increase in the brand value of this company? how role does the brand logo play in the overall brand value of a company? Let's deep dive and find out. Understand logo as a movie trailer. A trailer alone can not break the box office collections, can it? But can it build an expectation for the audience? can it build up hype? can it drive people to the theaters? Yes & yes. That's what a logo does. A logo is a sneek-peak into a 'Brand story', it's only an element of the whole concept but probably the most important one. An iconic logo is one which is like a movie trailer which captures the essence of the entire movie without giving the spoilers, a trailer exciting enough but not enough to know it all, simple yet impactful, memorable yet unique. Now imagine a movie trailer that gives you an expectation of a romantic blockbuster only to turn out to be an action thriller. Now even if it was a great action thriller, your audience would feel cheated because they went to the theater expecting some romance. Now imagine a trailer that gives you a correct expectation and then when you see the entire movie, it blows your mind because it wasn't just a great romantic movie but also had a deep story line with emotions & drama & pinch of action in it! Decoding Nike's Swoosh icon evolution 1964 : Birth of Blue Ribbon Sports Nike as a company began life in 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports, headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon. The sportswear firm was founded by Bill Bowerman, a track-and-field coach at the University of Oregon and his former student Phil Knight, who was an accounting major from Portland. Knight, who had previously traveled to Japan and forged a relationship with a sneaker company, negotiated a deal to import their shoes into the United States and thus they started out as Blue Ribbon Sports, a small distributorship for a Japanese sneaker company. 1971 : The world witnessed swoosh icon for the first time In 1971, Blue Ribbon Sports became Nike. A young graphic design student by the name of Carolyn Davidson found herself in a chance encounter with Phil Knight. He approached her to design a logo for his Company that reflected the core values of the Company; speed, motion, a sense of movement. Carolyn took inspiration from the greek goddess of victory, Nike, and went on to design the 'swoosh logo' which was in the shape of wings to convey the feeling of motion & speed. Say the word 'swoosh' out loud. Do you see the magic? Connecting a symbol & a word with a feeling, all in complete harmony! Ask any creator, it's just not easy. 1978 : The swoosh is here to stay, solid. We see the first big update of Nike logo, changing from Nike's first outlined logo to a solid logo. The logo font changes from cursive serif font to Nike Font that is similar to Futura Bold Condensed Oblique Font. The new solid swoosh logo looks more stable. This new mark was much more geometric and imposing, and the edge of the last letter was blended into the swoosh’s tail. 1988 : Just do it The "Just Do It" slogan was coined in 1988 by Dan Wieden, an advertising executive, during a meeting with Nike's founder, Phil Knight. The inspiration for the slogan reportedly came from the final words of Gary Gilmore, a convicted murderer who was executed in Utah in 1977, who said "Let's do it" before his execution. Wieden modified the phrase to "Just Do It" and it became an instant hit, capturing the essence of Nike's brand philosophy which is all about pushing boundaries, taking risks and embracing challenges. 1995 : $35 pays off, a logo that doesn't need the brand name Because the logo captured the essence of the Company in letter, spirit & symbol so well that there was no longer a need to associate the logo with the brand name. That is the biggest achievement for any graphic designer on planet earth. By 1995, Nike's Swoosh was so well known, it could afford to drop the wordmark altogether and just use the symbol logo alone. This also made it easy to embed or embroider it onto Nike shoes and clothing. Why did it workout so well? Converting passion into business & that business into a brand. They wanted to revolutionaries the footwear for athletes and that's exactly what they did. Both the founders were athletes themselves. They knew the pain-points of an athlete, what was required, what would work, what kind of feeling they want to invoke, what they stand for, what is the essence of their business. The majority of nike's success goes to the clarity of their vision. They wanted to invoke a feeling of movement, speed, victory, perseverance and they build each and every element of their brand around it, from their logo to their tagline, from their campaigns to their collaborations with international athletes. Every element states the same story over and over until the entire world relates the brand with that feeling!

  • Why do i need a brand logo?

    Business really is like dating—you’re trying to attract the right customers and make them fall head over heels in love with your brand. So think of your logo as the picture on your dating profile. It’s what’s going to make people take an interest and try to learn more about you (or swipe left). So you want to look your best, right? First impression is the last impression, and in a world with increasingly shrinking attention span i would say first impression is all you have got! So make it count. Logo is your first impression on to the world and the one that you carry everywhere with your business. Think about all the efforts put in to capture that right profile picture; the make-up, lighting, angle and probably some filters! Wouldn't you put the same if not more efforts for your bread & butter? Well the biggest misconception surrounding logos are 'its just an image', it's not. It's purpose is to communicate your brand's personality to the world in a pictorial representation. Just like any hit bollywood movie requires masala, drama, emotions, action & a love story, your logo should have a font theme, a color scheme & a story behind for it to be a blockbuster! Now that you are convinced that it's not 'just' a logo let's explore how you can design one that works for your business & not against it. 1. Understand your brand personality Before you begin designing your logo, it's important to understand your brand's values, mission, and personality. Ask yourself what sets your brand apart from others and how you want to be perceived by your customers. Consider your target audience and what they might find appealing in a logo. But dont just stop there, a great logo is one which not only considers the target audience but gives equal weightage to the brand personality that the founder's imagined when they started the business. 2. Research your competition Take a look at the logos of your competitors and see what they are doing. This will help you to avoid creating a logo that looks too similar to others in your industry. Look for unique ways to differentiate your logo and make it stand out. The entire purpose of this step is to figure out 'how not to design your logo', you have a unique personality so should your business. 3. Choose a design style Are you talkative or a listener, are you a party freak or a one-on-one conversation kind of a guy? We all have personality traits & types. It's absolutely crucial to define what personality should your business wear ? There are several different design styles that convey different personalities. Choose from minimalist, abstract, illustrative, and typographic. Remember to match your style with your industry. An abstract design might be way to out-of-box for a serious Healthcare Company. 4. Choose your colors We don't live in a Black & White world and thank god for that. Colors are our visual flavors, so go on and add some flavor to your brand personality. Just like designs, every color tells a different story and your brand colors depend on the story you want to convey to the world. Colors play a vital role in creating a memorable logo. To add on there is an interesting concept of 'psychology of colors', make sure to understand it before you start painting your canvas. Also don't forget to have fun! 5. Select your typography The typography you choose for your logo can make a significant impact on its overall design. Choose a font that is legible and fits with your brand's personality. Do you want customers to get a feeling of reliability? Or do you want to convey a playful emotion with your audience? Instead of saying out loud what you want to convey, let your fonts speak for you. 6. Write a timeless tagline Remember the first step of defining your vision & mission statements? Take that research and convert it into an attractive, to-the-point tagline which can sum-up your entire brand personality essence in one line. An impactful tagline goes a long way in building a brand identity & brand recall. Last but not the least, we live in the digital era where your social media profiles can make or break your brand, so while brainstorming your logo design try to keep in mind how it would look on various platforms and what color schemes would be social friendly because once your brand guidelines are prepared, you have to use it consistently across the platforms. Consistency is the key.

  • What is unique about Apple stores? India gets its first in Mumbai

    “At the heart of every Apple Store is the desire to educate and inspire the communities we serve,” said Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail. Apple Stores, like their products, are absolutely breath taking. Anyone who has been to an Apple store knows that while others try to sell a product, Apple sells an experience. A mesmerizing one at that. Retail is a big part of Customer experience. Know how this Minimalistic tech giant makes a world of its own in the middle of our busiest cities. Apple has 525 stores in 26 countries and six continents as of today. Every Apple store is made of the same design language across the world but the words might be different, just how we are all humans at the heart but speaking different languages in different parts of the world. So an Apple store in NYC will be similar to the one in India at its core, but with a flavor of that Country. Decoding Apple Stores If you have to brief an architect to build an Apple store, what would be the core points? What is at the heart of every store experience, the minute details which make up the overall experience that thrill us all ? Let's find out. 1. Design Language : Minimalism "Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works." - Steve Jobs. Apple has always believed in the power of 'Minimalistic designs' whether it's in their products, their Stores or their Solutions. Know more about 'Minimalism' and how it is literally what defines Apple. 2. Material used : Glass, Wood & Rock You will find Long glass pane in each & every store, their placement might differ but this element of design is common in all. Most of the spaces are defined with no columns inside massive rooms, simple wooden tables to display the products, very spacious to move around & find what you are looking for, potted plants in wooden or rock pots neatly arranged against the glass facade. How do you recognize the store from far? Look out for the LED Logo in white. That's it, no name no boards nothing, the icon is enough. 3. Feel of the space Clean, uncluttered spaces surrounded with natural aesthetics. The best part of the Apple experience has to be the contrast feel of their store space. Grandeur yet ground to earth. The architecture will make you fly and yet the natural surroundings will bring you back to earth. 4. The Color scheme What creates brand recall is consistency. Consistency in the Colors of the brand. Apple knows their Color book and maintains it through out all touch points of customer experience to ensure reliability & consistency for the customer anywhere in the World. The Color of the store will be a combination of White & shades of grey, and a touch of nature through wood & plants. 5. The takeaway You would either be holding a product in your hand that you just bought or will leave with the desire to buy one the next time you come in. That is the dream outcome of retail, isn't it? That's not it, since Apple believes in selling an experience & not a product, they have unique initiatives like 'The Genius Bar' where customers are provided support by "Geniuses" who are specially trained and certified by Apple. 'Today at Apple’ is one of the ways we’re evolving our experience to better serve local customers and entrepreneurs. We’re creating a modern-day town square, where everyone is welcome in a space where the best of Apple comes together to connect with one another, discover a new passion, or take their skill to the next level. We think it will be a fun and enlightening experience for everyone who joins.", says Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail. India's first Apple store in Mumbai Country's first Apple Store was inaugurated on 18th April, 2023 in Jio World Center, BKC, Mumbai. The second store is set to be inaugurated two days later in Saket, Delhi. The launch of the Apple Store coincides with the brand celebrating 25 years of its existence in India. Along with bringing more stores to India, Apple has started to shift iPhone production to the country as well, helping to decrease its reliance on China and make the iPhone more affordable for customers in India. We had 'Imagine' in India till now which is an Apple Premium Reseller operated by Ample technologies, one of the most preferred technology solutions provider across major cities in India. Ample owns and operates multiple formats of retail across India. What we didn't have was an Apple store and now we have two. The magnificent building features a glass exterior and a ceiling tiled with triangular pieces of timber that stretch past the building’s walls to form a canopy over the store. Apple says each tile is made from 408 pieces of timber and that there are 1,000 tiles in total. There are stone walls which have been sourced from Rajasthan and a unique 14-metre-long stainless steel staircase. The building also has a dedicated solar array, making this particular store “one of the most energy-efficient Apple Store locations in the world.” Additionally, Apple says the location has “zero reliance” on fossil fuels for store operations and runs on “100 percent” renewable energy. Apple is also launching yet another store in Saket, Delhi.

  • Minimalism : Apple's success mantra?

    "Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works." - Steve Jobs. When I choose this legendary brand to be the first case study for my Blog, little did I know that this minimalistic Tech giant, that believes in "less is more", had just "more and more" up its sleeves. I was overwhelmed with every single aspect of their existence. Even in the year 2023, when we have with us AI tools, that can cut through the noice and deliver the content we desire right into our lap, even now it seemed almost like an impossible task to be able to put down in words what this Brand has done for the world & how it has done it and continues to do! If I have to give context, its like the saree of draupadi that unfolded endlessly! For those unable to decode the context, The Draupadi saree incident is a famous episode from the ancient Indian epic, Mahabharata. According to the story, Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, was lost in a game of dice to the Kauravas, their arch-rivals. The Kauravas then attempted to disrobe her in front of the entire court. Draupadi prayed to Lord Krishna for help and miraculously, her saree kept growing longer and longer, preventing the Kauravas from stripping her. The more I unravel, the more there is to unravel. The more I try to make a structure out of my research, the more I realize I am attempting to structure water. So I am going to "go with the flow" here. So this article is solely attributed to what according to me, is the soul of "Apple", its design. 47 years ago, a man decided that he would make the most minimalistic, simple designs to solve the most complex areas of life. And the world could never go back. In a book called "Insanely Simple. The Obsession that derives Apple's success", which was written by Ken Segall, a former creative director at an advertising agency, who worked closely with Steve Jobs and the team at Apple & NeXT for many years, helping to create some of the company's most iconic advertising campaigns, such as the "Think Different" campaign. Ken Segall writes, "The Simple Stick symbolizes a core value within Apple. Sometimes it’s held up as inspiration; other times it’s wielded like a caveman’s club. In all cases, it’s a reminder of what sets Apple apart from other technology companies and what makes Apple stand out in a complicated world: a deep, almost religious belief in the power of Simplicity. Every one of Apple’s revolutions was born of the company’s devotion to Simplicity. Simplicity not only enables Apple to revolutionize—it enables Apple to revolutionize repeatedly. As the world changes, as technology changes, as the company itself adapts to change, the religion of Simplicity is the one constant. It’s the set of values that allows Apple to turn technology into devices that are just too hard to resist." Talking about 'hard to resist', I can recall my own personal experience with Apple. I was so mesmerized with iPhones back in 2015 that I would literally clear all my exams just because the promise of my father was to allow me a set of iPhone if I succeeded. I had my eyes set on iPhone 5 (which by the way is the greatest iPhone of all times) and I would just not rest till I had one. And I did, of course. The sleek grey body, one circular button in the entire screen, the user interface everything made it 'hard to resist'. What we don't realise is 'hard to resist' does not come easy or naturally to anything or anyone. Not even models. We humans are complex creatures with a mind of our own and are naturally attracted to complexity. So simplification is actually swimming opposite the curent of the water. "Simplicity is the most difficult thing to secure in this world; it is the last limit of experience and the last effort of genius." - George Sand. And Steve jobs wasn't shy of beginning from the end. Because he really believed in the power of simplicity, he didnt just use it for his products, he submerged the entire Company in it. As Ken Segall writes, "There’s nothing subtle about Apple’s love affair with Simplicity. It’s everywhere you look. It’s in the company’s products, its ads, its internal organization, its stores, and its customer relationships. Inside Apple, Simplicity is a goal, a work style, and a measuring stick." Today we see the trend of 'Minimalism' everywhere. From fashion designs to way of living as more and more realise the true power of simplicity. He has not just inspired one Industry but a way of thinking and that's what lives on and that's what's so powerful about Steve Jobs. He taught us 'different' need not be 'complex', 'simple' need not be 'dull' because if you see the larger picture of life, you would realise, all innovations, all technology exists for just one and one purpose only, "to make things simpler for the human kind".

  • Building a Brand : It's all Storytelling?

    Non-Marketeers feel so overwhelmed when looking out for a Marketing agency that can magically convert their Business into a Brand. Logos, color scheme, font scheme, content strategy, social media profiles, social media strategy, video editing, illustrations on and on and on. Let me break it down for you. If you ask me to describe the entire process of building a brand from scratch which would include of the above mentioned, I would say the word is 'Storytelling'. Yes I won't deny there are a plethora of concepts that each team looks into and customises to perfection considering your business needs. But essentially what they are doing in all those activities is creating, expressing, executing a Story, a story that gives your business a personality of its own. Starting from a logo or color scheme what they are working on is finding that color or design which can speak to your customers that this business stands for this emotion or it belongs to this Industry. Your tagline is the shortest story we want to convey. It describes your purpose and what you have to offer. Your website is your pitch to your customers. If they understand and are impressed with what you have to offer, your lead is converted into a paying customer. All social media strategies are centered in story pieces that reflect your business. Some businesses stand for spreading educating content about their 'Industry' over mundane product related content, and that's the story they are telling when their social posts are all educational. Some might just want to use the platforms to educate the customers about their 'Products'. The beauty of what we do is, we might be creating a thousand stories for you in hundred different forms, but we ensure the soul of the stories are same. We ensure that like a magnet they all attract the same meaning ultimately. The creative process is exhilarating. The poet Muriel Rukeyser once wrote, “The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” And so does your brand, let the stories be real, wild & inspiring.

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