Back to blog

Company branding & logo design

Lessons from two great businessmen and design thinkers

So, first who are these great thinkers?

Steve Jobs and Paul Rand, an American graphic designer who came to prominence in the USA in the 1950’s and is credited with changing the way companies approached branding.

And, second what can we learn from them?

In 1993, Steve Jobs was interviewed about Paul Rand’s work on creating the logo and brand identity for NEXT, the computer company Jobs founded after he was fired by Apple in 1985. And here’s what he came away with from the experience.

You can’t expect a logo or brand design to make your company or product better

It’s important to invest in it, put serious thought into it and for it to feel right, but a logo is only as good as the company it represents. In Rand’s words – “A logo derives meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around.”

Logo and brand design is about problem-solving, it is not about producing a piece of art

Rand prioritised the importance of aesthetics and clear communication. He was clear that brand design is about communicating a company’s character, vision and promise as simply and authentically as possible. The only imperatives “in logo design is that they be distinctive, memorable, and clear.”

A strong brand design underpins a good business but it doesn’t guarantee its success

Next eventually failed but that doesn’t change Steve Jobs idea that brand and logo design is an important part of a company’s business plan. “Design is not something you add on but is part and parcel of your business. It’s good for business. And that it’s not just window dressing.”

A good brand designer is a specialist who should be trusted.

Steve Jobs apparently asked Rand to design a few options for the Next logo but Rand refused to say, “Don’t ask for options. You’re hiring someone who knows how to solve these problems better than you–just like you’d hire an accountant or a marketing specialist.”


Get in touch with us at Tangelo Creative to let us know what you think!


By Tangelo Creative on March 9, 2018 

Tags: ,

Contact us

15 Phillimore Street
Fremantle WA 6160

T +61 08 9430 4166

Subscribe to our newsletter

Tell us about your project