What does Seth Godin say about logos?

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I read a interesting post on Seth Godin’s blog on logos. Seth compares the 3 most popular logos of all time – Nike, Star Bucks and Apple and how much the companies paid to get those logo developed, to the ridiculous amount that went into developing the London 2012 disaster logo.

Seth says that if you are picking out a logo then you should look “an abstract image that is clean and simple and carries very meaning–until your brand adds that meaning”. I agree to a certain extent. But if you look at the average small business owner who is just getting started, spending time on developing a “brand” might be the toughest thing they can do. If they start out with a logo that is too abstract or too simple without any clear meaning or message then it becomes that much more difficult to start creating an impact with the target audience.

Take the case of Jason, one of our clients, who is launching a new “coffee roasting” business in Hamilton, Missouri. All Nite Roasters would be an interned based Coffee Roasting Company dedicated to absolute quality and service above all other things. They are seeking a very unique and strong image to distinguish their company from their competition. Being internet based their only retail presence will be their website. It must be strong, professional, well executed. Even though they are not a million dollar company there is no reason not to put forth the best image that they can afford.

For All Nite Roasters, the logo would play an important part in communicating not only what they do but more importantly to stand out from other coffee roasting companies that are more “brick and mortar” and less of “100% online based”. All Nite Roasters is entering a niche market. If we started out with an abstract image in their logo that does not convey what they do – roast coffee – would mean that Jason would have to invest more time and money into trying to convey this message. Of course, it could be argued that the company names explain what they do. But I am talking about broadcasting the logo on coffee bags for example.

We came up with this memorable logo with a coffee bean comet in a cup to instantly convey the meaning of “roasting”. The background night sky supports the name. Jason wanted to be different from the rest of the coffee roasting market. He chose a name that is definitely different and we created a logo that would definitely stand out. Here is another logo example of another company that actually sells coffee to the consumer.

Of course a company logo design also has to evelove and mature over time. Take the case of how Canon’s logo developed into it’s current form or how Visa overhauled their company logo.