Last month, in his photo quiz in the Neighbourhood News, Owen Vaggers included two pictures of logos that can be found in Topsham Road. If you travel along that road, then you probably will have recognised that one is used for the publicity of St Leonard’s Pre-school and the other is part of the Devon County Council logo. They are part of the corporate identity of those two organisations.
Have you ever stopped to consider how many logos and business symbols you encounter simply by living in the neighbourhood? The cars that you pass in the street are badged with a symbol for the manufacturer, usually in two dimensions, but the Rolls-Royce “Flying Lady” (strictly, she is the “Spirit of Ecstasy”) is a solid object, as were many bonnet ornaments before safety precautions did away with them. (The R-R lady is designed to fold away in the event of an accident.) How many car logos can you recognise? St Leonard’s Church has recently changed its logo; the empty cross of Christ is there, but in a changed layout. The cross is one simple symbol that anyone can draw – but most of us would find it very hard to reproduce other logos from memory. We might be able to describe some of them, even if our word picture was a little shaky. But logos are not there for us to put down on paper for ourselves – they are there to create an eye-catching link in our heads.
Years ago, someone told me that 90% of the information we receive daily comes through our eyes. That was before the internet, smart phones and personal computers. Nowadays, the figure is probably 99% or more. We see and take in information through words, symbols and pictures. Businesses commission designers to prepare logos to make their company stand out from others, to create an association in your mind and mine that this is a “good” enterprise. They are visual cues for our everyday lives. The importance is so large that practically every product or service we buy or use has a logo. Successful ones can be used across languages and continents. Our brains don’t need to store the details of the symbol – just remember it to prompt that cue.
So, here is a little quiz about logos around St Leonard’s: how many can you get right without looking? And when you have done that, stop and take a look at the next few logos you see and think what visual prompting they are giving you.
In Magdalen Road:
- What colour is the word Spar on the shop?
- What is the object in the logo for Lloyds Pharmacy?
- What is the date on the Greene King badge (logo) on the Mount Radford?
- Describe the letter “W” in Weekes.
- What is inside the letter “O” of Zamora?
- Is the Salty Pigeon looking to the left or to the right?
Around the area and at home:
- What colours appear in the logo of the bus company Stagecoach when it is coloured?
- What is special about the Ex on Fed-Ex vans?
- Do the arrows on a recycling symbol go clockwise or anti-clockwise?
- There are four swords in the badge on the wall of Exeter School; what colour are they?
Published in the Neighbourhood News, September-October 2016