It is profoundly sad to learn that the logo of our revived national airline – Nigeria Air had to take flight to be conceptualized, designed and developed by a marketing agency in Bahrain. On top of this, it was unveiled in London. Please let us give a minute silence to the death of confidence in our home grown professionals and trust that a Nigerian design agency can carry the full weight of making and unveiling the corporate identity.
The purpose of this article is to reveal the real cost many of us may not have seen. However I’d quickly tell you that whatever you may have also heard about the amount of money it cost to finish the project isn’t what you really should be upset about – just in case you’re one of the many that are. Can the amount be justified? The answer is yes! However ridiculous you think or feel it is. I’d reveal how and why.
1. It is the kind of work that requires lots of man-hours on research, information gathering, brainstorming and hacking of a witty, yet simple creative approach. We’re talking about making a logo that fulfills national pride here and indeed a National intellectual property.
2. The font (text of Nigeria Air) that would be associated with the logo’s icon and entire corporate identity must be a licensed font. At this level of corporate requirement; security, et al, you can’t use any font off a computer let alone edit for custom use. Licensed fonts (globally acceptable legal property) for this kind of requirement will safely be made for around $100k.
3. The color scheme must be meticulously chosen. Don’t think it is just green and white much as our National colors is green and white. (A technical explanation is required).
4. It is a lot of work articulating (immediate and future), deciding and designing ways to adapt the logo into the many hard and soft collaterals that must carry the corporate identity.
5. Crafting of the corporate slogan/tagline that will support the logo as its vocal associate can take days and weeks owing to the need to achieve an emotionally driven creatively coined statement. By the way, the current slogan for Nigeria Air is lame. I’m so disappointed. It fails on even the principle of creating a powerful one. (I needed to mention).
That said, the real cost is the fact that it denies you “my country people” the opportunity of an experience.
In our national quest to develop and become a true giant of Africa, the impact of a successful “entrepreneurial economy” similar to the US/China/Europe can only happen when experience becomes the best teacher. A successful entrepreneurial economy refers to the transition from a business to a brand – when a startup/small Nigerian business can rise from obscurity to global or regional brand status. And as many that can achieve this, the better. Only then can we come to the fullness of development as a Nation. However, the reality on ground is that knowledge gap is one of the mitigating factors to the actualization of this ideal.
For example, when China hosted the G20 Hangzhou summit in 2016, the people of China were made to experience the power and value of corporate identity. Every opportunity for mass awareness and education, from media frenzy to the back story of the making, the meaning, the inspiration, etc was deployed by the Chinese. Obama and Putin were not left out from relishing this experience as well.
As such for emphasis sake, with the logo of the G20 Hangzhou summit conceptualized, designed and developed by an indigenous design agency in China – it indeed was a shared experience. The kind that; enlightens, engenders appreciation and brings value to the business, corporate, social, economic and even neo-cultural power of a logo and corporate identity. Thus becoming one of the veritable knowledge that powers the potential of brand building, with results already showing.
In contrast, the Nigerian narrative is that of a “commonization” or view/perception/knowledge/idea that a logo is as an ordinary work of graphic design. The only value been just something you slap on a business card for instance and this is most prevalent amongst SMEs. When SMEs are actually the future of economic development but for knowledge gap. Therefore, without the kind of experience, similar to the Chinese, failure to fill the knowledge gap in the Nigerian case would not help in changing our narrative as a should-be rising economy of brands for a long time. I have the Nigerian Government to blame for this as it is failing to practice what it preaches. Making the failure to use the opportunity of the logo of Nigeria Air more painful.
Taken personal? Yes!
It is my conscious desire and one incorporated into the corporate behavior of Dayo Abiola – Nigeria’s Foremost Logo Making Company to deliver to every single one of our clients the experience that fills this knowledge gap. And the result has been the ability to stand out from the crowd, capacity to act on building a brand and pride of ownership of a symbol of success.
Written by Dayo Abiola – Chief Design Officer of Dayo Abiola – Nigeria’s foremost logo making company.