WTF? - Identity and Branding

Good call LMO. I did not realize it wasn’t there.

Hudson Bay Company?

The coat of arms has been used, possibly, since their inception. However, their business has changed radically. Today they are a department store in Canada.

Damn, you’re older than I thought!

I know that one comment earlier was proud of the fact that Sherwin-William’s logo didn’t cave to “political correctness”…or something to that affect.

What I wonder though, is where is the line in the sand that you have to look at the fact that your brand identity is simply wasteful? Lea & Perrin’s paper-wrapped bottle is 100% unnecessary. It is a waste of reams of paper each year manufacturing their bottles of juice.

Sherwin-William’s “Cover the Earth” is well meaning. I understand what they’re trying to say. I don’t take it literally. But I can’t help but look at it through the changing social fabric of our society. It is bordering on distasteful in light of issues like the BP oil spill.

Now, I don’t argue that they should change it because of that. But it makes me question where the line is.

Hudson’s Bay Company; 1670 for sure! The four color [colour] bands easily more identifiable than their coat of arms.

The paper wrap on the L&P bottle is wasteful, but the story from the L&P website relates that it was adopted to reduce bottle breakage on the shipment from England. It became so recognizable that it was retained out of tradition.

“Cover the Earth”, again referring to a website (SWP’s), the paint is actually being poured over Cleveland, Ohio (home of SWP). Make you feel better?

Help me out on this, my vocabulary is fading (it happens when one is old enough to remember the early 1800s).

“Cover the Earth” is not a pun. But what is this word/phrase association with a visual image called? “Motto” is not what I’m after.

e.g., we know, practically speaking, that this paint will not, literally, cover the earth, but we buy into the relationship, viz-a-viz, that this paint company sells all over the world.


Which isn’t a bad idea; cover Cleveland with paint, and by paint, I mean concrete.

For me it has always meant that SW should be used to make everything like-new, or to beautify the Earth and that they have capacity to make that happen; a global company.

To further Lew’s point on wrapping bottles in paper for protection (Lea & Perrins’ bottle)…

A crate of Scotch whisky that was trapped in Antarctic ice for a century was finally opened Friday — but the heritage dram won’t be tasted by whisky lovers because it’s being preserved for its historic significance.

The crate was painstakingly opened to reveal 11 bottles of Mackinlay’s Scotch whisky, wrapped in paper and straw to protect them from the rigors of a rough trip to Antarctica for Shackleton’s 1907 Nimrod expedition.


I wonder if that has anything to do with the emotional tension of what the product is… sex or vice + strong emotion + icon = an extra clear impression of the the brand?


Thanks wallflower. I wasn’t familiar with that term. It refers to a sentence added at the end of an advertisement.

i.e. " Ford. Where quality is Job #1" -or- “Budweiser. The King of Beers.” Or “Why do it right, when we can do it over?” (an old company I worked for…) etc.

But a strapline is a series of words, not an image (logo). So what I’m trying to find is the term for a " visual strapline "; if there even is one.

I think it’d be the “Design Language” or “trade dress” for a product… most companies that use design have built a consistent look, and in the best sense its abstract form and details that represents company’s “big idea” of their brand.

Packaging designers usually do this really well…

BTW, another term I’ve heard that’s similar to “strapline” is “tagline”

Wow, the sherwin Williams logo holds a terrifying memory for me. When I was little I used to think it was a Christmas ornament covered in blood. To make things worse, the sign was on the way to Gramma’s house. I never liked gramma’s house.

LMO - Perhaps the word you’re thinking about is ‘slogan’ ?

definition of slogan by the Free Online Dictionary …
A phrase expressing the aims or nature of an enterprise, organization, or candidate; a motto. 2. A phrase used repeatedly, as in advertising or promotion

Any clue when the first “logo-ed” brand name appeared?

  • I was told in school that the 1st registered trademark was the bass red triangle. (might only be refering to Britain though)
    Wiki seems to agree…

Bass was a pioneer in international brand marketing. The Bass Red Triangle was the first trademark to be registered under the UK’s Trade Mark Registration Act 1875, as trade mark number 1.[13] The 1875 Act came into effect on 1 January 1876 and that New Year’s Eve, a Bass employee waited overnight outside the registrar’s office, in order to be the first in the queue to register a trademark the next morning. In fact, Bass, Ratcliff & Gretton Limited received the first two registrations, the first being the Bass Red Triangle for their pale ale, and the second the Bass Red Diamond for their strong ale.[14] The trademarks are now owned by Brandbrew SA, an Interbrew subsidiary based in Luxembourg

"Product branding first emerged in ancient Mesopotamia, the birthplace of cities and writing. So claims David Wengrow, an archaeologist at University College London, who says that bottle stops stamped with symbols some 5000 years ago are evidence of the first branded goods.

Around 8000 years ago, village-dwelling Mesopotamians began making personalised stone seals, which they pressed into the caps and stoppers used to seal food and drink.

Originally these goods would have been traded directly with neighbours and travellers. But when urbanisation began - a little over 5000 years ago - city residents increasingly had to deal with products of uncertain origin.

Wengrow says the symbols in caps and stoppers came to play an important role in telling people about the quality and origins of products such as oils and wine. He has described how the seals might have been used to ensure quality control, to give provenance for goods or to show that they conformed to a standardised system. By looking at the symbol on a wine stopper, says Wengrow, consumers came to know whether or not to trust that bottle "