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Logo Design Myths Busted – Part I

By Mash Bonigala

Online logo design has become a mainstream business now. Like any other business, you find the honest and the not-so-honest participants in the online logo design industry. With so many suppliers out there, it becomes difficult for customers to understand the nature of this service works and what is real and what is not.

I have therefore decided to list a few of the myths related to this industry and then give my opinion on the pros and cons of each of them in a series of posts. So here goes.

Myth #1: Logos can be created in a matter of hours.

This is a very common issue that you see on a lot of the online logo design companies who offer to design logos in hours and some even under an hour. Now if you think about it, a logo design is essentially a company’s face to the world. It tries to form an impression on the target audience. It also tries to explain what the company is about. To be able to this effect a logo design has to communicate very clear and distinct messages about the company. Of course, the company should have a clear message to communicate to start with.

Communicating a clear message about a company can be the most difficult thing to do. In fact, it is even more so if you are trying to do that with simple graphics. Because every market is so saturated with brands, it is essential that the message is communicated effectively, clearly and with impact.

So how can a designer create concepts that do this job effectively in a few hours? How about under an hour? Yes, granted that there might be geniuses out there that get creative ideas spontaneously and within seconds. But how can they offer their service for so low rates?

Myth #2: Logos are about great graphics.

Most customers and lot of designers believe that logo design is just about great looking graphics. I must disagree with that opinion and so would those who understand how branding works.

How about research? How about understanding the client’s target market? How about talking to the client? If a designer does not understand what the target market is and what kind of message the company is trying to communicate then the resulting logo design will be ineffective. When customers or prospective clients see the company’s logo, they are not motivated to do business with them.

It is not simply about creating great graphics. It is not about using clipart for logos. It is about using graphics to tell the company’s story. Sometimes we see multinational corporations using very simple logos. They have the money and the resources to come up with mind-blowing graphics but they don’t. Why? Because they are more interested in connecting with their target audience than having dazzling graphics.

Myth #3: The more illustrative a logo, the better.

Since we are in the market of small to medium sized businesses wanting logo designs, I can safely say that most of the customers feel the more illustrative a logo, the better it is. Granted, some markets require really illustrative logos and sometimes the customer is right about this direction. However, the decision to use or not use illustration in a logo should be based on thorough market research and not simply assumptions by the client or the designer.

The other day I was talking to a client who wanted fantastic graphics, brilliant colors and other effects such as 3D logo style, shadows etc. The theme the client was that of a Texas countryside. He was suggesting something like a fence, a gate with the company’s name on it, a couple of trees in the background, a cowboy hat somewhere etc.  The company sells medical uniforms specially targeted at the female staff in large hospitals. I may be wrong but I believe the target market (females in the 20-40 age group) working in large hospital logo might not be comfortable with a brash and loud image.

We researched this a little bit and came up with a very simple and elegant iconic treatment.

On another occasion, we actually recommended a highly illustrative treatment for a highlands real estate logo design.