Branding Across Languages

3 min read
in Blog, Design, Marketing
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What is the definition of a logo?

A logo is a design that stands for a company, product, person, or idea. This definition implies that the shape of the mark doesn’t matter…Its impact is fully dependent on how the logo is marketed and recognized.

I was reminded of this fact this past weekend when I attended Star Wars Celebration in Chicago. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I’m a fan of Star Wars and Disney. So when I discovered there would be a panel about Galaxy’s Edge–the new Star Wars-themed land at Disney World and Disneyland–I just knew I had to attend. At one point during the panel, we were shown a video with a familiar-looking logo:

Coca-Cola logo in Aurebesh, the written language of Star Wars

Everybody knew exactly what company the logo represented, but seeing the world-famous Coca-Cola logo stylized in the unique Aurebesh script from Star Wars was a jaw-dropping moment for everybody in the room. Aurebesh was created as a fictitious script, but now it was being applied to a new design.

Coca-Cola rebranded for Disney's Star Wars Galaxy's Edge

How do logos work in other languages?

For years, the Coca-Cola company and other well-known brands have adapted their logos for other languages. With a well-designed logo, it’s easy to do.

The FedEx logo in Arabic:

Arabic version of the FedEx logo

And it’s probably not too difficult to figure out what you can get at this shop in Russia:

Russian version of the Subway logo

Artist Matt Wiley created his own script, “Tetraglyphs,” as part of the design for a webcomic. As you can see in his examples, solid logos worked really well and are easily recognizable.

Matt Wiley tetraglyph Blockbuster
Matt Wiley tetraglyph Pepsi
Matt Wiley tetraglyph Pringles
(You can learn more about Matt’s process here. You can learn more about Matt’s webcomic, Light Witches, here.)

A Name By Any Other Name…Can Still Be a Good Logo

The first function of a logo is to be recognizable. This is the case with any brand. More often than not, people want their new logo to be a visual representation of their product or service, but in reality it doesn’t need to be. It just needs to be recognizable. And if it’s recognizable in multiple languages and scripts, it will be recognizable to your primary audience.

The FedEx logo isn’t a picture of a delivery being made. The Subway logo isn’t a sandwich. The Coca-Cola logo isn’t a picture of a drink. But the general public understands these labels every time and without fail, no matter who they are or where they are.

They’re even recognizable in a galaxy far, far away.

Meet the Author

Jason is a co-founder of ThirdSide. When he’s not building websites, making graphics, or meeting clients, he’s hanging out with his family doing family things or hanging out with performers doing performer things.

He has a Star Wars obsession that some consider to be…unnatural.

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