Logos with hidden elements

Just for fun, are you aware that images-1some logos contain a hidden element? While most of the time these hidden elements go undetected, at least consciously, it’s always fun when you discover them!

So, for the first post in this series, you might have noticed the Matterhorn in the Toblerone logo, but did you also see the bear on the mountain? The city of Bern, Switzerland is the birthplace of Toblerone, and the city’s symbol is a bear.

Sometimes the hidden element relates to what the company is about, and sometimes it’s there just because…why not?

Great logo design isn’t a fluke–a lot of careful strategy and planning go into a deceptively simple logo. The final result that you see is just the tip of the iceberg! Check out www.icebergstrategic.com to learn about how there’s more to great design than what you see at first glance.

Branding: use it wisely!

Art Direction: Gale Peck. Client: PacBell.

Art Direction: Gale Peck. Client: PacBell.

Good branding is all about differentiating your business from your competitors in a meaningful way. Iceberg Strategic Creative has the experience and know-how that makes us brand experts.

But the misuse of branding can definitely be a turn-off. Have you ever been watching an exciting program when the TV  channel logo suddenly appears on the screen, blocking out whatever it is you wanted to see? How maddening is that?

Branding is a powerful marketing tool, but only when it’s used appropriately. Make sure your brand is used thoughtfully; after all, what you want to provide is a positive experience!

Advertising: keep it simple

F.-Scott-Fitzgerald-An-American-Icon-5Many regard “The Great Gatsby” as the great American novel.

What you may not know is that F. Scott Fitzgerald made his living as an advertising man in the 1930’s. For the grand sum of $35.00 a week.

He was given a raise for writing this deathless prose for a steam laundry in Muscatine, Iowa: “We keep you clean in Muscatine”.

For any copywriter, reducing an entire concept to just a few well-chosen words is always a challenge. A great advertising concept, whether it is a slogan or a logo, gets the point across simply and directly.

Or in the words of Blaise Pascal:  “I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it short.”

When creating great advertising, what you leave out is as important as what you leave in.

A child could do it?

illustrator: Gale Peck. Sketch for fashion layout.

Illustrator: Gale Peck. Sketch for fashion layout.

In a television ad, a little girl was shown making photocopies on a Xerox copier to illustrate how easy it was to operate. This was at a time when the product was relatively new, so some viewers questioned if the little girl making copies wasn’t misleading advertising. Even the Federal Trade Commission intervened.

In rebuttal, the director, George Lois, created a new commercial. Only this time instead of a little girl, he demonstrated the same process using a chimpanzee. The photocopying chimpanzee was an instant hit, and sales for Xerox soared. In fact, their original ten-year sales objective was achieved in just six months.

Which underscores one of the basic tenets of good advertising. A simple, impactful message beats a lot of overworked hodgepodge every time. Keep it simple!



Logo Design and Tagline: Gale Peck

We’ve all heard this acronym for  “Keep It Simple, Stupid”.

A variation on this from the Bill Clinton’s 1993 run for US President: was “It’s About the Economy, Stupid”. It helped the campaign stay on topic.

Brevity is the very soul of great logo design. You have just a second to attract the attention of your target audience, so every element of a logo needs to work hard to convey your message.

The logo above needed to convey this message:  “Help take care of our military veterans in need this winter by donating a sleeping bag or blanket. It’s time to give back to those who’ve done so much for you.”  Everything about this logo, from the color to the bold urgency of the tagline helps to get this point across quickly and succinctly.

Benefits vs. features


Design and photo direction: Gale Peck. Client: PacBell

Design and photo direction: Gale Peck. Client: PacBell

Often when we talk about our businesses, we tend to describe its features. It’s often the first thing that comes to mind: our brand new equipment, our capacity to fill large orders, how many people are employed.

The tipping point for converting viewers into customers is really the benefits. What problem are you solving for them? How is having this product going to improve the quality of their lives? Will it make them more confident, feel more attractive, wake up in a better mood?

The photo here is one I directed for a telecommunications catalog. Instead of focusing on the actual phone equipment, the benefit of a father and daughter enjoying some uninterrupted time together is highlighted. Much more engaging!

Advertising: less is more

Ad Design and Photo Direction: Gale Peck, Client: Eddie Bauer

Ad Design and Photo Direction: Gale Peck, Client: Eddie Bauer

One of the most successful advertising slogans ever written is “Got Milk?”

Just two words. And not even proper grammar. But effective! That campaign evoked a strong emotional response and I always made a mental note to have some milk in the fridge. You never know when you’ll encounter a batch of freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies!

As a general rule in advertising, the less there is to get your head around, the greater the impact. After all,  when’ s the last time you did a grocery store run because you were afraid you might be getting low on calcium, magnesium and riboflavin?

Typographical trivia

Designer: Gale Peck, Client: Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Designer: Gale Peck, Client: Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Almost everyone misuses the term “font” when referring to type. We tend to use it to mean “typeface”. So to be precise, “Helvetica” and “Times Roman” are different type families, not different fonts.

Font actually refers to the difference in size and weight of type within the same type family. Helvetica Bold 12 pt. is a different font from Helvetica Light 8 pt.

The logo design shown above uses only one typeface, but three different fonts.

File this under obscure trivia you may never be able to work into a normal conversation.

A bird in the hand

Photo Direction: Gale Peck, Client: Hallmark Gold Crown

Photo Direction: Gale Peck, Client: Hallmark Gold Crown

It’s said that it’s five to ten times more expensive to gain a new customer than it is to retain an existing one.

Advertising to prospects is not the same as advertising to current customers. You may be offering the same product to each one, but their needs and desires can be very different.  A little extra effort to address each one specifically can pay off in big dividends.

It wasn't on the list, but…

Art Direction: Gale Peck, Client: Greenbank Farms

Art Direction: Gale Peck, Client: Greenbank Farms

Did you know that over 70% of our purchase decisions are made while we’re in a grocery store? And package design has a lot to do with those decisions.

Package design is such a powerful influencer that a redesign for the wrapper of one popular brand of chewing gum recently involved the work of 12 designers, working simultaneously at a top design agency to come up with the one final design.