If you find yourself on the journey towards a logo design, there’s a good chance you’ve done some research and gathered some logos you already like. And once you find your designer, it can feel like the finish line is rapidly coming into view. But there’s usually one main element that will prolong the length of a logo project, or worse, result in a less-than-stellar logo. It’s you. Well, not specifically you, and you could quite possibly avoid being the issue. But many times, it’s the client that can cause some road bumps in a logo design process. The reason is that most people have a few mindsets about logos that get in the way. So this article is going to address them directly, and hopefully prevent you from hindering your company’s new logo design.
1. A logo does not need to SHOW what you do or what you sell.
A prevalent mindset about logos is that they need to say a lot. We tend to think that a logo’s job is to tell people WHAT a company does. It doesn’t. A logo’s job is to identify, not communicate. Hopefully, a designer can find a perfect balance within a logo of sneaking in something deeper about the company or it’s brand position. But the best logos don’t scream what the company does or sells.
Some popular examples is Nike, Starbucks, and Apple. None of these logos visually describe the company, but rather are memorable marks that make it easy to identify.
2. A logo can never be too simple.
As the old saying goes, “keep it simple, stupid.” That is the top rule of logo design. If you think simple logos are for the birds, then go to your local Target and look around. They have the simplest logo, yet it’s iconic and recognizable to everyone.
A logo HAS to be simple, because yet again, it’s only job is to identify. And with our short attention spans, we need things to be simple to remember them. A logo will also be in all sorts of places at all sorts of sizes, so it requires simplicity to maintain it’s image everywhere it will be used.
3. A logo does not need to reinvent the wheel.
Most people approach a logo design thinking it has to be the newest, most unique thing ever created. In reality, that’s rather unlikely. You should never accept stolen or plagiarized work, but basic concepts can and have been reused and reworked. Logos as well-known as AirBnB or Beats weren’t new creations, but rather repurposed ones. The Nike swoosh is a glorified checkmark. Apple’s apple is, well, an apple. Logos become “unique” and iconic because they are marks used in a way that haven’t been done before, but it you are expecting a new shape or color to be made, you might be in for a letdown.
4. A logo doesn’t have to be eye-catching.
For most people, “eye-catching” in this statement means “loud, busy, and colorful.” That doesn’t work well for most companies. A logo doesn’t have to grab your attention, but rather properly let people know that whatever the logo is on belongs to your company. A good logo will not detract from a product or company, but will enhance it. If your logo is overflowing with bright colors or intricate details, but your product is a luxury item, then your logo and brand position won’t align and your logo will actually be hurting your company.
5. A logo is NOT a brand.
A brand is a feeling or promise associated with a company. A logo is a visual element that identifies one company from another. Many people think that if they have a good logo, then they’ll immediately become a “branded” item. Establishing a good brand takes time and marketing, not just a quality logo. And if your logo doesn’t adhere to your desired brand, then you’ll be working against yourself! Check out this article to get a better understanding of branding and how it works with a company’s marketing.
If you find yourself changing your mindset on logos, then you’re well on your way to letting your logo work for your company instead of against it. For more on logos and branding, take a look at these articles.