If you start back to my high school newspaper days doing paste-ups with Linotype output in the early 80s, I have been in this business, in one form or another, long enough to have witnessed not one but many evolutions in the nature of communications. This has trained me to expect the world to change in some fundamental way with some frequency.
Today, I was in a situation that seems to demonstrate this fact: a client requested we hand over production files for a new logo we had developed. I asked our newest Junior Designer to take care of preparing the files. When she looked at the source materials in the project folder she immediately realized that the final approved logos existed only as part of our web designs.
She was incredulous. “What do you mean there are no illustrator files?” This obviously went against what she had been taught in school.
I had to explain that, to my view, the world had changed, again, and what she had been taught was probably already outdated. This is web-centric branding. For many businesses like this client, their website has become the keynote brand messaging platform. It is not an afterthought. It is the main thought.
If the logo can’t work well with—and in support of—the brand presentation on the web, it cannot be said to work well for the brand and thus affects overall brand health. This is now a first-order requirement. In many cases, corporate logo iterations for real-world use must now follow the lead and meet the requirement first set by their online life.
No longer is it the other way around.