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Logos: Capturing the Essence of Malaysia (Part 1)


Malaysia_Airlines-logo

A logo speaks a thousand words and is meant to holistically encapsulate the core, essential virtues that a brand strives to achieve. It is a marking flag that holds at heart the company’s purpose and vision to be displayed proudly for onlookers to view and digest. In the fast-paced world of competitive branding, the logo stands still, setting the body it represents apart from the herd of goods and services providers.

The best logos effortlessly capture a brand’s intention. It is a visual confluence of ideas that represent the company’s values.

From a more national perspective however, logos help to shape the image of a country by both emphasising and adding to its cultural identity.

Malaysia has had its share of outstanding brands that have stood the test of time and are a nostalgic reminder of the ingenuity of local businesses and institutions.

We’ve decided to take some time and dive into some of the local brand logos that have left fond impressions in our minds and helped foster our sense of national pride and identity.

1.    BSN

LOGO-bsn

Bank Simpanan Nasional official symbol of the money tree is perhaps one of the best local examples of the use of a simple yet meaningful image which relays just the right message to onlookers. Dating back to 1974, the Money Tree or Pohon Pitis symbol represents growth as well as wealth and has been largely unchanged save for a modern graphical treatment facelift. Originally displaying 13 coins, the tree now displays 14 to represent all of Malaysia’s states and federal territories, expressing the idea that BSN serves every state and territory without exception and that everyone in the nation has equal and easy access to the bank’s solutions.

  2. KTM

800px-Ktmb_logo.svg

The Keretapi Tanah Melayu’s logo has gone through a total of three iterations since 1948, back when it was simply known as Malaysian Railways. The image that most Malaysians have grown accustomed to is the blue and yellow tangent beginning on the left of the KTM wording and streaking across to the right of it. The colours are derived from the Malaysian flag whereby yellow represents the Islamic royal heritage while blue symbolizes the unity of the people. The yellow and blue tracks are also purposefully placed with a clear beginning point moving in a designated direction, a representation of the deliberate and well-organized nature of our local railway planning authority.

3. Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia-airlines-logo-1987

Originally crafted as an image of a winged tiger in the earliest days of its existence, the logo for our primary airline carrier eventually evolved by 1987 into an intricate horizontal Wau Bulan (Moon Kite), a traditional recreation item of native Malays. The red and blue of the kite were drawn from the Malaysian flag and the splitting of the two colours at the centre of the kite denotes equilibrium. The airline adopted the reference of MAS (Malaysian Airline System) choosing that acronym because the word emas in Malay means gold, which was meant to represent the superior quality of the airline service. The type style for “Malaysia” was also later italicized and slanted to accentuate speed and direction.

These are a few examples of iconic Malaysian logos that were able to capture the true essence of the country’s identity.

We do have a few more examples to share with you next week.

Can you guess what other brands are representing Malaysia through their logos? Let us know!
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