To LOGO or Not to LOGO

famous-logosMany wonder when, where, or whether an identifying “logo” should appear on visual content. Some contend that after a few slides, the logo is no longer noticed, prompting others to argue “then why is it there?”

In essence, any graphic element that takes up visual real estate ideally should add value to the content in some way. In that respect, the logo is usually self-serving, offering less utility and sometimes added distraction.

However, the logo serves a greater purpose regarding identity of ownership, which is necessary if the media is tangible property that can be shared or used by others.

The rule is simple. If the public can physically touch it, take it, move it, copy it, or reproduce it in some other form, then you should label it.

One approach to this rule is to decide if your visual content is “hard” (overheads, print materials, flip charts) or “soft” (electronic images, videotapes, software applications). If it’s “hard”, put the logo on each component that can be separated from another component, such as each page of a multi-page handout. If the content is “soft” then the logo makes sense on the first visual or at the very beginning of the electronic event.

Thus, in a PowerPoint presentation (electronic images) there is no need to identify every slide with a logo since the images themselves are not tangible, making the media a “soft” format. The audience cannot extract or take the slides, unless they are provided in some other format (hard copy) or made available electronically. So, if you plan to upload your PowerPoint presentation to the web, you should put the logo on every slide, since each screen can be captured (taken) and therefore, reproduced.

Thus, “soft” formats can be repurposed. For example, a TV show is a “soft” format that bears the identifying logo of the broadcasting network because TV signals can be copied or reproduced, making the visual content “hard”. YouTube is a perfect example of video content that is labeled with a YouTube logo, displayed in what seems to be a non-tangible format, but able to be copied, downloaded, shared or reproduced.

Of course, if you still insist on using a logo on every slide during a live presentation, then don’t stop there. Be consistent. Why not wear the logo on your clothing and verbally say the logo every so often as you speak? After all, your body and voice are part of the presentation, just as visibly as the content. 

In fact, based on the commercialization of our society, perhaps it won’t be long before we present dressed like race car drivers, sporting huge logo patches while narrating commercial messages in-between our changing slides!

The very thought borders on the ridiculous!

And now — a word from our sponsor…

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