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Innovation Versus Conformity In Logo Design

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James I. BOWIE


"As design and branding have taken on new importance in business in recent years, logo design has almost paradoxically been studied less often. This paper addresses the topic using a quantitative approach to call into question the traditional belief that logos serve only to differentiate. It is asserted that another critical function of logos is to provide legitimacy by
conforming to design norms within industries. Similarity of logos within industries is examined using analysis of trademark registration data from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Logos of Apple Computer and Lucent Technologies are discussed as examples of ineffective and effective innovative, or “deviant,” logos. Further analysis of USPTO data addresses the question of whether innovation or conformity is a better strategy in adopting a logo design."

PUBLISHED: Proceedings from the The 18th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference, 2012


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