Your Logo Says A Lot About Your Station….and It May Not Be All Good | radioinfo

Your Logo Says A Lot About Your Station….and It May Not Be All Good

Monday 26 October, 2020

Content from BPR

Australia (the country) has a new logo and the reviews by the public and marketers alike have been SCATHING. The logo forms part of a larger project underway to rebrand Australia and promote the nation overseas.

The project was led by Australia’s Nation Brand Advisory Council; according to the Federal government, this is a group comprised of “some of Australia’s brightest business minds” from the private and public sectors.

At a cost to the Australian taxpayer of AUD $10 million the logo is made up of a symbolic gold representation of a wattle with the letters ‘AU’ in the centre…..the problem is it looks likes a graphical representation of the COVID-19 virus!

Yes…timing is everything.

In radio terms, a great logo grabs the audience’s attention, makes a strong first impression to a new listener, encapsulates your brand identity, is memorable and importantly, separates you from the competition.

Look we all know that listeners don’t tune into a station JUST because it has a great logo……. but the logo MUST support the brand proposition; if you’re trying to be the cool station in town……your logo better look cool.

Radio programmers and marketers understand the importance of creating a unified brand to manage perception, demonstrate values and build reputation. Simultaneously we understand the challenges of creating a logo and brand identity that is not only appealing to the audience but says something positive to them….and reflects your brand image.

Given the impact of COVID-19, focus groups won’t be with us for the foreseeable future. But online is a great way to test the appeal of various potential logos for your station.

Don’t just get the opinion of a few key executives at your radio station for your new logo……ask the people you’re trying to impress……your listeners.


David Kidd






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Anthony The Koala
26 October 2020 - 7:20am
A couple of discrete points on logos. The emphasis is that the logo must be simple and any additional graphic elements must have a nexus with the products and/or services.

First, when it comes to trademarks, seek legal advice from a legal practitioner on registering the logo with IPAustralia as a wordmark and/or logo.

Resemblence of logos used by different entities.
Some logos for different entities may sometimes bear a resemblance to each other. One of my physics lecturers at Macquarie University in the late 1980s was a physicist in the radio-physics division of the CSIRO. At the time in the late 1980s, my lecturer remarked that the CSIRO logo resembled the Coles logo rotated 75 degrees.
Example of Coles logo in the late 1980s
Example of the CSIRO logo in 1989,

Today, Coles' logo as displayed on its websites and grocery stores is not a wordmark, but a a 'fancy' stylized trademark devoid of any additional graphics, . For those pedants, Coles has other registered trademarks.

The CSIRO has wordmarks and trademarks for various classes of goods and services. The most commonly seen logo consists of "ENDLESS-BELTS & DOT FORM MAP,AUSTRALIA,STYLISED IN DISC" reference

For most people, Coles has brand recognition without any additional graphical features.

In a similar vein, the currently-registered logo for 2CH is very similar to 2SM's (and other related stations eg 3XY) logo of the late 1970s with the vinyl disc enclosed in denim with an open zipper revealing a vinyl disk.

2CH's currently registered trademark

2SM's (similarly 3XY's) logo,

The particular registered logo for 2CH has not been seen on its website. It certainly reflects the "hits and memories"/"classic hits" format. The currently used logo's diagonal ribbon does not tell me about the format.

In contrast, the last registered logo TM NUMBER 586383 incorporated the Harbour Bridge in the "H". During broadcasts, it would say "Classic Hits" as if 2CH's callsign stood for "classic hits" when it originally stood for CHurch.

Nevertheless, in an earlier era, during the 1970s and 1980s, 2CH's logo depicted the Harbour Bridge in the H of 2CH. At that time they would announce CH as the ";...beautiful City on the Harbour....:". Again CH stood for CHurch.

Thus the logo's H turned into the Harbour Bridge, the beautiful city on the harbour was a nexus to its beautiful music format.

Now its currently-registered 'denim covered vinyl record' logo which is not used is certainly apt for a classic hits format, the music of the 1970s, 1980s and occasionally the 1960s whose music was recorded, pressed and played from vinyl instead of CD or other digital formats. Great association of the logo with music, but will the targeted audience remember the 2SM logo and associate this logo with 2SM?

On the Australian made logo and it's use on goods made and grown in Australia, the logo must link with the product or service. The yellow-coloured line-drawing of the kangaroo certainly identifies goods made or grown in Australia. The kangaroo is Australian and its association is about Australian goods and/or services.

Unfortunately the graphic display of the new AU logo looks disorganized. Unless one is a botanist looking at a wattle flower under a microscope, the ordinary person without a micrscope would not associate disorganisation with the underlying products or services.

AU is a graphical pun on the chemical symbol for gold, Au and the gold-coloured dots. A reasonable person would not identify the AU logo with Australian goods. That is, the logo does not say it's Australian.

The NBN logo has radiating series of dots in the shape of Australia. It says Australia's telecommunications is being covered by a broadband network.

Returning to radio stations, this time the MMM trademark. The currently registered logo originated since the start of MMM. The winged person playing a guitar connotes images of Kiss (ok the members of Kiss were not dressed with wings) and other rockgroups with extravagant costumes. The MMM callsign is described as "INVERTED V & OBLIQUE STRIPES IS MMM" in the IPAustralia database.

While the abovementioned registered logo is not used, the formerly described MMM as "INVERTED V & OBLIQUE STRIPES IS MMM" " is now more accurately described as "STRIPE,ZIG-ZAG,EXTENDED IS 3 LTR M'S,INTERLOCKING". That is the MMM callsign is described now as three interlocking letter Ms (plural, not M's which is possessive).

In this situation, the currently used logo may not be a wordmark, but does not have any additional graphics such as a winged person playing the guitar. The MMM is self explanatory.

Conclusion, logos don't have to be fancy as demonstrated by the Coles name. The logos should not resemble other entities even if the entities don't belong to the same class of goods and services. The similarity between the Coles/CSIRO logos of the late 1980s did not endure.

Nevertheless, if a business has to use additional graphics other than the name of the name of the business must have a nexus between the graphic elements and the business.

2CH managed that with the 'H' made into the Harbour Bridge and identifying it with Sydney, the beautiful harbour, beautiful music format and its 'easy listening' format. A diagonal ribbon does not identify the format. Yet its 2SM-style logo is apt for the era of the 1960s to 1980s. BUT it's not being used now even for its DAB+ station.

The MMM logo with its winged person playing the guitar identified the kind of music played by rock bands. OK Kiss were not dressed like the person depicted in the logo. Today the remnant of its 1980s logo is the style of the "INVERTED V & OBLIQUE STRIPES IS MMM". It is simple.

In sum, a simple form of logo will identify the business. Any additional graphics must link with the products and/or services.

Thank you,
Anthony of exciting Belfield
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