Raul Gutierrez has the distinction of having created the logo for Dell Computers, four equal letters with the E tilted forward. “Michael Dell started the mail order computer business,” says Gutierrez, “and he had the vision of turning the industry on its ear. That was the rationale for the E tilting.”
Later on, in the dotcom boom, the E had another layer of meaning, because E-commerce took over. Gutierrez, who is married to a laboratory research assistant at Princeton University and has a teenaged son, has just opened his own consulting practice, at 10 Barlow Court in Plainsboro (609-477-9033, E-mail: Raul_Gutierrez@ comcast.com)
He provides logo design, brand identity systems, marketing collateral design, environmental graphics, package design, trade show booth design, and signage systems. Currently he is working with a New York-based structural engineering firm on the recent launch of its new brand identity program.
The son of a retired army colonel, Gutierrez grew up, one of 12 children, in Manila, Philippines. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of St. Thomas, Class of 1980, and has his master’s degree in communications design from Pratt Institute. He worked in New York for Landor Associates and Siegel and Gale.
It was at Siegel and Gale that Guiterrez did the Dell logo, and he is accustomed to working with Fortune 100 accounts. “On my own, I understand it is going to be a little different, but I can bring that experience to my clients,” he says.
He offers these tips for “do-it-yourself” logo-creation efforts:
Get inside the head of the business owner. Talk not only to the CEO but to members of the rank and file, and make a positioning document that clearly states the company’s business objectives. Create clear, simple, effective communications around these objectives.
Come up with graphics that embody the company’s point of view. Nike, for instance, is the goddess of victory, and the swoosh is the abstract treatment of winged victory. Abstracted, the swoosh is about energy and being proactive and being a winner — which are Nike values.
Be sure the brand identity is memorable and will stand the test of time. Though IBM kept its stolid three letters, it removes the horizontal lines that run through the letters for some of its advertising.
Be sure it can be reproduced in different ways The Dell logo can be used for stamping, product marking, print, and TV ads.
For the Girl Scouts, Gutierrez helped with repositioning the brand of the cookie box, and the tagline that his company concocted served to infuse the entire Girl Scout organization with new energy. The line: “Where girls grow strong.”