Mar 25

Spokesmen and how to use them efficiently!

Posted by Wallentin in Uncategorized

Those of you who have read my books or the articles on know that I prefer both icons (e.g. spokesmen) and design style (identifying a brand) to a logotype, as they are more emotional.

Today, I’d like to give some advice on how to use the brand spokesman in the most efficient manner on packaging, POS or advertising.

If I start with the style or type of spokesman, it can express many different positionings of the brand:

  • –       cheap (inexpensive) or luxury
  • –       basic or special
  • –       friendly or distant
  • –       fun or serious
  • –       childish or adult
  • –       human or animal
  • –       hyper realistic or stylised
  • –       agricultural or industrial
  • –       specialist or layman
  • –       traditional or contemporary, etc.

The illustrations to this article show some of the above characteristics.

Once the spokesman (or icon) has been decided upon (its expression of the brand), the next decision to take is its position on the pack and other media, i.e. attached or non determined position. It’s here many design manuals make the mistake to determine a precise position and fix the size.

As the spokesman is more attractive than the brand, my opinion is to not decide too early upon how to use it, as it is impossible to foresee all the situations that will come up.

It is useful to fix the spokesman’s position next to or attached to the brand logotype when you register it, as it then strengthens the registration, but once this is done, let the spokesman take the best spot on the pack, POS or advertising. Now and then, you have a portrait format and thus the spokesman will most likely appear above or below the logotype. On other occasions, you might have a landscape format and then the spokesman may be to the left or to the right. It all depends on how big you wish the brand logotype to be in relation to the spokesman.

My experience is that, if your spokesman is photographic or a hyper realistic drawing, it is useful to also have a simplified, stylised version, depending on the printing technique, the material, the background, etc.

The following points have also to be taken into consideration:

  • a)    The background: a face looks different against a white background compared to a photographic one. You may decide to frame it which I would advise against, as it limits its use.
  • b)   If it is a person, should you allow it to have diffferent expressions and/or positions? I would be for it, as my experience with the Nesquik Bunny is a good example. Don’t forget that, on a pack, you have a back panel where you can amplify your spokesman (Sardines Lou Ferrignade).

Last, but not least, always allow your spokesman to overlap your brand if you have limited space!


LW/November 2017

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