Redesigning A Brand Logo Perfect For Product Placement


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Time For A Refresh

A strong logo can have a significant impact on your business—this is true for any brand. Great logos represent your company and can lead to increased brand recognition. Because, of course, you want your brand to be recognizable! Think of Apple—you know exactly what company the logo belongs to without any words or explanation. 

That is what you want when it comes to product placement. If a logo is "bad," messy, or unrecognizable, then what is the point? In this blog, Hollywood Branded discusses important design notes to keep in mind when creating a brand logo that will pop in film and television. 

_Redesigning A Brand Logo Perfect For Product Placement- 9.28.22

Hollywood Branded's Redesign Journey

Have you ever decided to undertake something that you knew was going to be a massive time taker - but until you were neck deep you realized you were deceiving yourself and living in a little bit of denial about how much you DID choose to take on?

I'm not talking about finally clearing out your garage.  Although that's on my to-do list too, with no denial about what a chore it will be. No, instead, that was me this last week when we decided to rip apart our website and completely rebuild it in a week. Or really in a 3-day immersive overhaul because once you start going, you want it just done - and if you are doing a color swap, trying to get everything aligned and perfect all at once is a near impossibility unless you are open to having pages down for days or weeks at a time.

It all started this summer when we hosted the Hollywood unBranded TV Guide and TV Insider celebrity press junket aligned to Comic-Con. As we were diving into the graphic design for the event, I realized that after 15 years, the color scheme of burgundy, black, grey, and white was well... dull and boring. What better way to celebrate a big anniversary than a bit of a facelift - and after years of dark, muted colors being our tried and true colors plastered on everything, including our office walls, it felt ancient and in need of a refresh. So we went to town on a redesign.

Our social team was delighted - bells of joy were ringing as the potential of making our content more exciting and able to jump off the page became part of the goal.

If we had done it all at once, versus spread out over a few months, it would have been impossible. It still feels like a herculean effort as is. 

A logo and color redesign for your company is a momentous, time-consuming, and actually expensive task. It takes man (and woman) hours. So many hours. Most of you are not going to be like me where I am very hands-on and participatory - aka I design alongside my team and have taught myself more than the basics because I have the vision, and it's sometimes easier to just do than explain. Until I break a code and have to get help that is (thank you Angie for your patience and help!)

Some of the task set before us is going to possibly never get accomplished.  Come on now. Do we REALLY care about updating ALL of the 2,500 blogs and podcast graphics to match our new look? No. No, we do not.  My OCD only goes so far.

Some of the makeovers so far has included:

  • New color scheme - we are now black and white with a little bit of "pop" color. Very retro and Andy Warhol in feel with red, pink, orange, purple, blue, green, and highlighter yellow options to the mix. 
  • New logos designed in square and rectangle formats.
  • Revamped agency marketing materials.
  • New digital business cards - yes, even those got a refresh, as will the printed ones.
  • Email footer logos.
  • Revised agency brand story written on the "why" brands work with us. This is a process I'll share more about in a later email. It's been LIFE changing in that we're still the same company, but we have new words to use and have dialed in our core focus and ideal customer as part of the makeover. 
  • New clothing and branded merch for the agency in our new colors and design.
  • Updating our logo across all subscription sites where it is embedded. 
  • So many blogs and podcasts to edit. Maybe. At least going back a month or two, and then whenever we choose to repurpose older content, we'll give it a refresh. 
  • Notecards and labels for the office.
  • And the list goes on.

I'm sure I've forgotten a dozen other things we just have yet to start working on. Like the hyperlinks and colors in this blog.

The first thing I discovered was that we perhaps did not truly need over 100 stand-alone (I'm not talking blog or podcast or case studies) published web pages to explain our agency. The second is that this website makeover is going to take a lot more weeks to truly finalize. We'll be doing a great job if we can get it dialed in completely in the year 2022. At worst, we will have pops of burgundy and grey that will continue to stay along for the ride. 

The website is well on its way and before we actually get it completely locked and done, I'd REALLY appreciate it if you would take a look and shoot me a note about what you like about it and what you think is confusing.

It might even teach you a few things that you didn't know about us in the process - and you may learn about a marketing tactic that would be a great reason to chat about brand planning for 2023.

Check it out here:

Hollywood Branded Website Front Page

What To Keep In Mind For Your Logo Redesign

Thinking about redesigning your logo? If you have an interest in product placement, keep these things in mind.

No-Go On Complicated

A logo that is highly ornate, stylized, or shiny and just doesn't pop on the screen won’t work. No matter the angle it is filmed, the audience at home or in the theater just can't see it. Logos that are super metallic don't work well with set lights, reflecting the light back and distorting the image. Cursive fonts are difficult to read from any sort of distance. And fonts with a lot of detail and imagery added in are cluttered and get lost.

Keep It Simple

Logos that are GREAT for product placement are simple, flat designs. Even better than a name is a brand that has a symbol that easily identifies the brand - like Apple or Nike. Why this matters is that, for one, productions don't really like filling up their content with names of brands. They are selective with whom they choose, and symbols feel a lot more natural to them.

And these POP on screen, versus getting lost on the product or sign.

For an even more important reason, there is the whole TV Network Ad Sales issue. This department that oversees all broadcast TV content are major brand logo haters - unless, of course, you are paying a mint to be on the screen of their content. A brand that has an identifying symbol has a higher probability of getting past the gatekeepers at these networks far more easily than a brand with an alphabetically designed logo. Brands that have both - even better!

Location Matters

One more important thing to keep in mind in regards to a brand’s logo is the placement of the logo. Way back in the day, when I worked with Gateway computers, they had a great logo of a cow pattern. But there was one big problem. When you opened up their laptop, their logo would appear on the screen upside down! All of the computer laptop manufacturers faced this issue, and Apple and Dell were one of the first to address the problem by turning their closed-door facing-you-logo upside down to appear right side up when the laptop was open on the screen. An easier fix than stickering everything with a temporary and also the right branding strategy for real-world laptop usage.

Make It Pop

Just remember - if your logo doesn’t pop out in real life, it’s certainly not going to be on-screen. This means it also doesn’t stand out to consumers on retail shelves or in brand advertising.  And if you haven’t refreshed your logo in years - maybe it’s just time to do so. The biggest brands continue to refresh and re-invent.  Pepsi, Lego, UPS, and AT&T have all re-invented their logos over the years.  New typefaces and fonts and even design techniques have been introduced that just were not even options to consider before. 

Before starting a product placement program, go back to your graphic designers and start a logo redesign. There are great options with crowdsourcing sites like 99 Designs and freelancer sites like Upwork and too.

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Eager To Learn More?

Like what you're learning? Check out these Hollywood Branded blogs to learn more about how you can leverage product placement to work for your brand:

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