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Face Off: Communicating authenticity, authority and heritage

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We often hear about faceless brands and corporations, but in Australia it’s quite the opposite - there seem to be faces everywhere! As you can see below, there is certainly a trend Down Under for brands to include the visages of brand founders in the logo. But why?

Many brand logo's in Australia feature the face of the founder.

Many brand logo's in Australia feature the face of the founder.[/caption] Australia may have its roots planted in Western culture, yet on several levels, it's completely different and unique. European or American brands will run into trouble if they think they can simply transfer to the Australian market and expect commercial success. Australia is a land distanced by distance and it has a strong affinity to its own. The founding faces that adorn such a multitude of Australian brand logos are a clear demonstration of this. They directly and clearly communicate the Aussie authenticity, authority and origin that consumers Down Under seek. However, there are other, more considered ways that brands from Australia and beyond can communicate their authenticity, authority and origin.

Signed or handwritten 
The same end can be met in a more stylish and understated manner with a signature. Walt Disney's is probably the most famous example of this.

Walt Disney


Handwriting provides a personal touch and confirms authenticity. It says that the author approves this work. In this way, it showcases pride - this brand has put their name to it, and in a name is a promise. Even if it's not a person's signature, a handwritten logo can have the same effect.

Handwritten brand logos

Date Established
Many brands feature the date they were established somewhere on pack but bringing it to the forefront of their logo clearly spells out authority and experience as well as heritage.

 

 

Lindt logo Colman's Mustard
 

Storytelling
Motifs that are thoughtful developed can tell a brand's heritage story. It can become an iconic device that brings personality and character to a brand that can truly resonate with consumers. Warner Edwards range
Warner Edwards gin is named after its founders (Tom Warner who is English and Sion Edwards who's Welsh) and features them, only not in human form. The weather vane represents several aspects of the brand story as it points west to east, from Wales to England, and from Warner to Edwards. Atop the vane, the Welsh dragon shares a glass with the English lion.

Levis logo

The famous scene on Levi Strauss & Co's logo depicts a pair of horses to pulling in opposite directions, trying in vain to tear a pair of Levi's jeans apart. The image was created in 1886 to give illiterate consumers a way to recognise and describe the brand. The success of the logo was such that the brand actually became known as the "Two Horse Brand" 'til 1928 when the company adopted its Levi's trademark. While literacy levels amongst Levi's customers have risen sharply since, the scene remains. A powerful reminder of the brand's heritage and the quality of its products.

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