The golden arches. The target. The swoosh. Mouse ears.
Without having to even show you I am able to make you think of the logo to which these descriptions pertain and the companies the logos represent. A good logo – as part of a greater identity system – will do just that.
Conversely, if I say “Starbucks” you may think of the cute barista at the nearest location to you or that funky, new song you like which you heard there first. But what you will definitely think of is a crown-wearing mermaid thing in a green circle or, in the most extreme of cases, a venti mocha (1% milk, no whipped cream) in a white cup with a crown-wearing mermaid thing in a green circle printed on its side. A good logo – as part of a greater identity system – will do just that, too.
A logo triggers memories of experiences you have had with its respective company – good and bad – and serves as somewhat of an unglorified public relations specialist between the company and the public. Brand New is a blog committed to chronicling the branding and logo changes with commentary that pulls no punches. Take a look at their Best and Worst lists of 2011 and you will get a better understanding of the relationship that is formed between consumer/critic and a mark.