Regarding Your Logo

It’s no secret that I appreciate a really well-made logo and so, having designed a few myself, I think I am adequately qualified to adress the topic with some authority. Before I get too far, I want to say that I’ve outsourced many of these ideas to other thinkers who are smarter than myself and that you should read their articles entirely if you want to get the full value of this message.

To all of you who think your logo really matters, I want to tell you up front: your logo doesn’t matter. According to Mark Bixby,

“Your logo is only one very small part of building a successful brand. Its design is minimal in making your promise match your customers’ experience (read: branding). Design is an invaluable tool in communicating who you are, what you do, and why it matters. But if you can’t articulate these things yourself, design cannot do it for you.”

Going further on branding, Seth Godin reiterates that your logo is not your brand, concluding

“Take the time and money and effort you’d put into an expensive logo and put them into creating a product and experience and story that people remember instead.”

Now, that isn’t to say that you should go looking for the least expensive logo you can find. Far from it! In fact, that’s exactly how NOT to design a logo. Seeking out services that encourage design competition and crowd sourcing only hurt your business and the design industry. In fact, there have been entire campaigns created around abolishing speculative work like this. Furthermore, if you think “I’ll know it when I see it”, I just want to be the second to let you know, you’re wrong.

If you’re at all serious about your business, at all interested in improving the lives of your clients/customers (as you should be, that’s the only reason to be IN business), then do yourselves both a service and do things right.

Understand what it is that you do (or want to do) and place the interests of others before your own. Only work with a credible designer who is going to work alongside you to understand why your business exists and why anyone else should care. If they’re good at what they do they’ll have a top secret process they follow in order to produce quality work and fulfill your needs.

To summarize: your logo should only speak for you when you’re not there to speak for yourself. The brand that you’re working so hard to build can only be built on fulfilled promises and expectations, not outstanding design. So, let your business speak for itself and only use your logo as a small identifier from whom the message is sent.

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