A long time ago I sat in a conference room with a brilliant branding consultant and the CEO of a major company. The consultant was pitching to the CEO and had shown him some fantastic case studies and made some excellent suggestions as to how his agency could help bring his company to the next level. I had not been in the business long at this point, and I remember being absolutely mesmerised. I have always loved the branding aspect of business and this session only made my love stronger.
After about an hour’s pitch the CEO looked at the consultant and said: “So, you want to change our logo?” My face dropped. I could not believe what I was hearing. The fact that a CEO of a major company distilled the whole subject of branding down to changing the logo not only shocked me, but also frightened me. If the big boys don’t know what branding is all about, what hope is there for small and medium businesses?
Fortunately, not everyone is like that CEO. I am happy to say that more and more people realise what branding is all about, and that the whole concept is about so much more than a logo. Check out my resource page on branding if you want to know more. In this post, however, I do want to talk about the logo. Because although a logo is not the same as a brand, it is an important part of it. You could say that your logo is the face of your brand. It is often the first thing, and often for a long time the only thing, people see of your brand and it is therefore extremely important.
A logo is not really a simple thing
Your logo is the face of your company, your product or your service. Your logo has to convey the right message. It has to be “on brand”. This, often very small icon or image, has to convey your brand in a simple way, often just logotype, i.e. just letters, or just a simple image. It has to differentiate you in the market. It has to be easily identifiable and recognisable.
A logo has to adapt to a variety of situations. It will be used on paper, electronically, on a web site, in black and white, inverted, in full color, with other logos, it can be used absolutely huge, like on a building, or incredibly tiny on a mobile website or in an app.
Given its importance, and the complicated world in which it is used, you need to make sure that you do this whole logo thing properly. This is way too important to hand it over to someone who happens to be good at drawing or using Photoshop. Even if someone is an artist or a website designer or great at computer animation, that does not make that person the right person to do your logo. You need to get a good graphic designer for the task. Someone who knows what they are doing and in this respect also keep in mind that not all graphic designers are created equal. Not all of them are experienced and have the knowledge to create good logos. Find someone who has experience in creating logos and have good look at what they’ve done. Are they experienced? Do you like their previous work?
Do you want the same face as someone else?
A logo needs to be absolutely custom made for your brand. Don’t go online and go to some sort of logo bank or stock vector site or something to buy a logo. Don’t use a logo that somebody somewhere else can buy as well. It has to be unique. Would you like to walk around with the same face as someone else? Now, that’s not to say that services that offer logo design online are necessarily bad, as long as the logo will be custom made for you. And also, if you choose to get your logo that way, it places even more emphasis on you briefing the designer well because you will probably never be meeting them face to face, or even having a proper conversation with them. You have to give them all the necessary information and make sure that they understand what you brand is about, what you want, what you like, what you don’t like. How else can they design the right face for it?
I hope this has made you aware that your logo is very very important. Please take care when creating it or if you feel it needs a facelift. Spend money on it. It’s worth it. Get someone really really good to do it because this logo is going to be your face for a very very long time.