Today this interesting Econsultancy article showed the Tate Modern Art Gallery as an exemplar in great online content marketing. Having been able to devote a lot of resources to facilitating interaction and learning through the website, it goes beyond simply showcasing art and manages to create impressive engagement with online visitors. The article is definitely worth a read and there are things even smaller businesses can takeaway from their online strategy.

I had already picked up upon the marketing brilliance of the Tate Modern when we printed their staff t-shirts earlier this year. I was particularly enthusiastic by the unusual logo they had on the back of the t-shirts.

Tate Logo Design Wolf Olins

One of the Tate Logos

Designed by Wolff Olins, the logo caused a degree of controversy, primarily because of its apparent disregard of logo design conventions.

  • Firstly, they designed not one, but a range of different logos. Controversial because common design ‘rules’ state that a recurring image is the only way to build strong brand recognition. The idea was that the logo’s range from differing levels of focus to resemble the dynamic nature of the Tate – ‘always changing but always recognisable’. So, despite the number of variations they still create a strong brand message – a message that says the Tate is fresh and fluid but with an underlying consistency.
Tate Logo Wolff Olins controversial design

Another in the Tate Logo Range

  • Secondly they proved that a logo doesn’t have to have sharp defined edges. I think the blurred, faded and half-toned versions actually cause the logo to be more memorable. In a similar way to the Olympic Logo (also designed by Wolf Olins) the Tate logo brings about a new thinking in logo design. That a logo is much more than a static stamp on a piece of paper. Designers like Wolf Olins argue that it is very much ingrained in a larger part of marketing effort; the logo is the basis for a complete graphic system and can be altered as appropriate.

Is the Tate logo a case to show that logo conventions should be broken or is this just a very special case? Let us know what you think.

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.