The words “shipping industry” don’t sound attractive or elegant or glamorous or exciting. But who doesn’t enjoy getting a package? Even if the package is work-related, opening the box can feel a bit like opening a gift.
So, how do shipping giants, like UPS and FedEx, use their logos to brand themselves to get their target audience of shippers and receivers to use them? In a side-by-side comparison of their logos, it’s pretty obvious that they are visually very different. But, they also have some important similarities.
The message behind colors
FedEx logo, source: www.fedex.com
Colours play a significant role in FedEx branding. The combination of purple and grey on their main logo is a variation of the logo shown on their boxes and trucks, which includes a brighter combination a bright color such as orange, green, blue red and yellow. It’s interesting that FedEx has chosen secondary colors (colors that are created from blending primary colors that include red, yellow and blue) and not primary colors. This shows that their is a mix of things involved in the purpose of FedEx, and since they delivery everything from payroll checks to dog food, this is consistent. Purple is typically associated with royalty. This can include feelings of luxury, power and success. Orange is typically associated with action and can bring about feelings of warmth, excitement and confidence. Grey is a neutral color, which is associated with calm and balance. By keeping purple as the consistent color in its different logos, we see that royalty, including luxury, power and success, is the message it wants to communicate in every association. The addition of the grey on their official logo and the added orange on trucks and packages can give viewers both a feeling of calm about the company and the opposite feeling of excitement that a package has arrived. The purple and orange is not the only variation. FedEx uses different color combinations for each of their services which can be seen on the pictures below.
FedEx logo variations, source: www.fedex.com
The other shipping company logo – UPS includes brown and gold. UPS logo uses brown as its primary color, not only in its logo, but also on its trucks, driver’s uniforms and shipping labels. With the gold accent, these colors combine to invoke earthiness, reliability and stability with a mix of elegance, royalty and richness.
UPS logo, source: www.ups.com
Fonts, shapes and details
The fonts used in both logos are simple, solid and clean and don’t include flourishes. The closeness of the letters in both also shows stability, like a solid wall. The shield shape of the UPS logo shows reliability, safety and gives an official look, with a nod toward an association with a uniform that someone in a position of authority might wear. The solid, consistent shape of the letters that make up the FedEx logo also convey safety, security and a firm foundation. The UPS logo looks like it has a spotlight, or shine, to it that gives it added dimension and the appearance of motion. There is a subtle arrow included in the FedEx logo. Can you find it?
FedEx vs. UPS logo on vehicles
Both of these logos show reliability and royalty, but through distinct “logo personalities”. Both companies carry the look and feel reflected in their logo throughout their packaging, trucks, websites, advertising and communication.
When considering freelanced logo design options keep consistency in mind and let your company’s personality and unique message show your customers and potential customers what you offer in a way that communicates your standards and also differentiates you from your competitors.
Guest Blog Post by Larisa Lambert Mills