Coffee Time: The problem with logos.

I keep getting asked by people on what I think about Windows Phone. I think it's aesthetically brilliant. It's so refreshing to see something that is truly different and "purely digital." I still can't get myself to switch for various reasons, ranging from lack of polish to the admittedly lacking ecosystem. The Nokia N9 instantly captured my heart the second I saw it. However, it was clear that MeeGo wasn't a platform with a future. I hoped that the Lumia 900 would be the phone I have been dreaming about. Then disaster struck. Aside from the issue of its size, it had 3 logos on its face. 3 is 3 too many. The problem with Windows Phone is with its inherent logo pollution. Nokia puts on a logo to say it's their phone. Then at&t slaps one on. Then we also get a horrendous Windows logo. I really wish Microsoft didn't insist on going with a Windows logo. It completely puts me off. 



Compare it with an iPhone. There is nothing to take away from the design. Everything indicates that the user lives in the screen. 




The problem of logo infestation doesn't just apply to Windows Phone though. It's universal regardless of carrier and manufacturer. I simply do not see a rational reason to yell that you're a Samsung phone on at&t. Some people may argue that this happens because of the carrier. But take a look at the Samsung and BlackBerry logos. They would have been there regardless.




If you think I'm being unfair, imagine if car dealers slapped on their logo on the front of a car. People would be outraged. The face of the phone is just like the face of a car. It's insulting to the designer and even more to the consumer. You paid for the phone, you shouldn't be advertised about it everyday.



And the fact that the US carries, particularly T Mobile and Verizon have ugly logos doesn't help. If the iPhone wasn't an option, I would literally go with the carrier with the least offensive logo. A difficult choice.




Here is another example. Can you believe this? This is criminal. The Galaxy tab has 2 logos on the front and 3 GIANT logos on the back. People should go out and riot about this device. What is this, an F1 car? Verizon and Samsung should have to pay people to use this.




There is a simple rule I use for logos. You should only see one logo at a time when using a product. Two logos can be fine if they are different but ideally, it's one. The MacBook Pro does this perfectly. I almost feel that this is a reason Apple switched from the "Apple" key to a "command" key.



Nintendo takes this even further with the DS. It doesn't even have a Nintendo logo that is visible from normal angles. It just has a discrete logo on the lid that symbolizes that it has two screens. Brilliant. If the product is iconic, friendly and innovative enough, it doesn't need to tell the user what it is; the user already knows. You can see a DS from a mile away and you immediately know what it is. 


I think it's a fairly good metric to count the logos on a product to see its value. If it isn't yelling at you, there's a pretty good chance that it's confident it's a good product. 

*Here is a follow up.