The VAST majority of corporate identities have a larger symbol than name. Not in every case certainly, but mostly (and depends on how the word-mark and symbol are positioned) but in any design school worth its salt, you study this ratio for you’re entire second year. So, we’ve been tought: symbol will be larger... because if UNITED and the Square were the same X height there would be no focus or balance. I can assure you that the finest designers would most often take this approach: which is why I almost dropped dead when Pentagram made the tulip & UNITED the same X height. Large it looked ok, on small apps the tulip looked like 4 angled bars in front of UNITED.
Look at bp and the Helios (green sun) relationship for instance. One of the most successful corporate identities ever done.
You've said this before re BP and I just don't get it. I still think of their shield logo when I think of BP. The "helios" has always looked like fluffy marketing pap to cover up the fact that BP is a massive oil company with some a heinous environmental track record - Deepwater etc.
I do prefer the addition of "Airlines" to the logo for United and it'll be interesting to see the application of the globe beyond the livery, ie. boxed or not. The new, chunkier iterations of the globe though look like a real step backwards.
And I still don't get the hate for the gold - it's used sparingly and accentuates and complements surrounding colours. It also distinguishes UA against the other liveries out there. Another blue/white livery, but with milky purple highlight.... seriously?
Well, for bp, the Helios Identity predated the Gulf of Mexico MEGA disaster by many years. When it launched one could say at the time that bp was a lightyear ahead of any other petroleum company, as no others were doing anything. The advertising at that time actually said “No, the petrochemical industry will never be a good thing for the environment- but that doesn’t mean you do nothing”
At that time they were being far, far more proactive by investing in clean energy, and working with (not against) the largest and most credible environmental protection organizations to find solutions big and small. They knew all too well (especially being British) the cynical skepticism storm they faced. Thier slogan was “It’s a start”- and when attacked for a white washing of their practices, they were armed with everything they were doing.
After the Gulf of Mexico disaster, many said “they are toast and will never recover!” But, they did. And actually in all studies that were done after the mega disaster- it came out clearly that the brand positioning (which also became the butt of late night comedy) actually helped them as they had formed such a remarkable reputation before it. So, it wasn’t PR BS. As for the bp shield, in 20-30 years the vast majority of Earth’s population won’t recall it. Same as the United Tulip.
Big companies need a BIG, EYE OPENING DISASTER (hopefully ones that don’t cost lives) even Kirby of UA admitted that the Dr Dao shocking disaster woke up UA senior management like nothing before. The screws that Wall St put on companies makes them all lose sight of the bigger picture in the quest for growth (money, root of all evil)
In my industry (branding) the hardest part is execution, (which absolutely includes design) but often left for last after strategy, because it’s where the prestige is. The finest brand marketers know this, because they know a great idea is not worth the paper it’s printed on if it is not executed flawlessly. Or, design without a great idea (strategy) driving it is just as bad. Just look at Tropicana!