Be it for a small start-up or a large franchise, all designers know the importance of a professional logo design. It represents the brand, communicates their story and symbolizes their product identity to the world. Hence, a poorly designed logo can veritably jeopardize the success of the company it personifies.
No matter how great the products or services of your brand are, if your logo fails to make an impact, you are going to have a hard time attracting customers to your business.
This is one of the primary reasons why many businesses today are investing so much time and effort in hiring the best logo designers and brand agencies. However, we all very well know that designing great, distinctive logos is not so easy.
Even the most renowned planners in the industry encounter challenges when it comes to creating highly professional and effective logos for their clients. Graphic designers are fully aware of the important role a captivating logo plays in a company’s brand identity.
A good, practical logo should definitely be attractive visually but the deal just doesn’t end there; it has to communicate its brand’s strategies, ethos, and core message effectively. Even the simplest, smallest logo blueprint can take days, weeks or even months to materialize. After all, a skillful design takes a lot of patience and hard work.
The Role of a Logo Design in Building a Brand
As a marketer, graphic design is perhaps one of the most important things you pay attention to as the success of an online business depends on it to a large extent. Mentioned ahead are a few tips that will help you understand why creating a relevant logo is so important for a rising brand.
- Brand Recognition
Your business is a brand, and it’s crucial for every brand to have a logo.
The collective emblem and overall design of your product are what make your company standout and communicate with your target audience, in a way that is professional, attractive and functional. And a good logo design is capable of doing all these things.
The design services by Ballyhoopro, for example, form an instant connection between the consumers and the products provided to them.
- Company Unity
Building a brand’s identity should begin from the inside.
Webpages, publications, advertising, stationary and more should come together with the design image you pick to represent your brand. There are many professional graphic design services available that can create a business from the ground up, or in case your brand already exists, they will give it a boost, making it stronger.
When it comes to presenting a service to the target market with set expectations, the first impression is usually the most powerful one.
It only takes a fraction of a second for your customer to have a positive or negative perception about your brand. So, a design that looks cheap, hurried or complicated will make potential customers think that your business cannot afford a professional graphic design. Many agencies out there offer reasonable pricing options without sacrificing quality.
Graphic design is not only limited to your logo and website; it also facilitates the development of images and other visual aids that communicate your brand’s vision and ideas. A perfectly designed image can send your customer the important message you want to convey without the need for words. Therefore, using images designed professionally will aid in creating an effective impression.
Since your brand’s logo is not just a ‘fancy portrait’ but an essential element of business reputation management, it should only be handled by expert planners and those with similar expertise. However, hiring a professional designer can turn out to be a costly proposition. This is one reason why crowd sourcing design marketplaces offer a cost-effective alternative to new businesses.
Why Businesses Fail at Designing Logos?
Good logos shouldn’t ever be difficult to figure out and comprehend, or it’s pretty much pointless to have one – unless perhaps your target audience loves solving puzzles. Even then, a label should tell the story of a brand in such a way that it’s vivid, non-patronizing and instant.
Gap’s infamous redesigned logo, which was launched in 2010, was so poorly received that it was hastily scrapped within a week of its launch.
This proves that logo designing is tough and even some of the biggest organizations can get it wrong. Gap’s new logo was reversed in less than a week and more recently, Yahoo! also faced a problematic reception to their rebranding. It is never an exact ‘scientific’ process.
Besides entailing a standard of creativity, a good logo design also involves the knowledge of knowing how to transmit a message using imagery and colour, which means a certain degree of theoretical wisdom, is also needed when creating a logo.
Keeping this in mind, let’s have a look at some of the common mistakes businesses make when designing logos and why they don’t work.
1. Copyright Infringement
From ideas and logo designs to media and intellectual property, copyright and trademark infringement is rife on the internet. One particular excuse that we usually hear from the logo design companies is that the planner is unable to research and develop a unique blueprint. This obviously hints at crowd sourcing companies, where hundreds to thousands of designers compete to ‘win’ the chosen label, with the rest of them not even receiving a dime for their time.
Any professional and serious designer, regardless, will know it is unacceptable to knowingly steal someone else’s work. And crossing your fingers, hoping to get away with it is definitely not the best strategy.
Try putting yourself into the client’s shoes, who has just paid you to create a new logo. If it turns out to be infringing or stolen from another business label, there will be possible legal ramifications which will require you to spend time and money to fix the problem that shouldn’t have come up in the first place.
Some of the brand labels, created for clients, are often blatantly copied from other businesses. For example, one Russian company used Inkbot design’s logo from graphic design portfolio, without altering any of its elements.
A sane person would obviously feel sorry for the company since they had no idea that their own ‘designer’ had stolen it for the client who was also notified about it. According to a few reports, they sent a polite email to the company, removing the label apologetically and getting in touch with their ‘creative genius’ to sort the matter out.
2. Following Gimmicks and Trends
Whether it’s of web, graphic or even fashion, in the design field, the trends are always changing. Take, for instance, the modern trend of flat and minimalistic design. While there are some stunningly captivatingly sites out there dealing with such designs, you have to ask yourself ‘is this a fad or is it going to last?’
Getting a brand new logo is almost like buying an expensive, designer dress. It is an investment that should last you many years.
Skype designed their logo at the peak of the faux-gloss plasticity of the ‘web 2.0’ period. It was white-hot in 2006, rest assured, but has since then aged like a quarterly eaten apple. This is a logo forever anchored to a time in history.
Keeping this in mind, it pays to know how exactly the brand wants to be represented. It is, however, more critical to know what its users and customers want.
3. Too Cliched!
This mistake is way too close to plagiarism, but the only difference is that it does not lead to litigation. The temptation to avoid risk and not stand out from the crowd is wrong: After all, why should any customer come to you if there are dozens of similar offers easily available in the market?
Gap wasn’t really the first company to face severe repercussions from an attempt at re-branding. Tropicana released a new package design for its orange juice in January of 2009. Consumers didn’t like the new label, in fact, they despised it. Sending emails directly to Pepsi Co, the brand that produces Tropicana, and posting on social media, people complained about several aspects of the redesign.
Amongst the complaints, people also felt that it looked like a cliched store brand; one that made it difficult to distinguish the different varieties of Tropicana. Pepsi Co eventually withdrew the packaging and replaced it with the old packaging within a span of just two months.
4. Ill-usage of Typefaces
Being a graphic designer, containing your excitement when working with different fonts can garner benefits as well. After all, a bad pairing of fonts can actually look silly, and picking one that is inappropriate to the brand persona can be fatal.
Designing a logo for a lawyer that uses Comic Sans, for example, appearing too light-hearted and fun, is unlikely to please a client. Therefore, when sketching out an initial blueprint, think carefully about what you want the font to portray, not just in words, but in feeling as well.
The aforementioned, hypothetical lawyer, would then presumably look for something that conveys a certain sense of trust and high-deemed professionalism. Alternatively, a child’s clothing manufacturer might prefer something that seems fun, while also conveying a standard of quality for parents.
When choosing a lettering to utilise, take into account the following:
- The company you’re designing for – what do they do, how formal you should be and what is the primary message you want to send
- How can you use negative space to gain phenomenal results?
- How will the font work with the overall design?
A good example of the second point is the famous FedEx logo, which utilizes negative space in the lettering to create the shape of an arrow, overtly representing speed and direction.
5. Being Over Simplistic
Sometimes, it’s tempting to create a logo design that aptly shows off your skills, but if it gets too complex, your clever design can fall flat on its face. It may not be used in all scenarios, such as web and print, especially when scaled right down as it will lose its details. Simplicity is the key for a lot of reasons including:
- Instant impact: You want the consumer to be able to understand what the logo says in an instant
- High memorability: A logo that can be comprehended straightaway will allow people to remember it more easily
- Easy reproduction: It should have the ability to be reproduced in any size, for any medium, without losing any of its impact
As an example, let’s compare Food and Wine Festival logos: EPCOT vs. Newcastle.
EPCOT tells its story using 2 very different typefaces, 10x colours, and a logo made up of pasta and fork, a set of chopsticks, croissant, plum and a cork screw.
Newcastle, on the other hand, narrates the plot with a single typeface, two colors at max, and combines two visuals (the fork and wine bottles) into a single design form. They didn’t need the entire fork – just the essential bits to make it look like one.
Great logos are often about what’s left over, once you have stripped every other non-crucial element off the page.
Simplicity need not be minimal. However, at the same time, it is a good idea to ensure that all elements work well together and there is not too much going on with font and color.
6. Being Over Literal
As mentioned in the last point, make sure that logos are not instructional drawings or diagrams.
Impactful logos often suggest a theme, but don’t need to literally illustrate it.
For example, The London Symphony Orchestra does not need to draw cellos, kettle drums or violins. Their famous LSO lettering conveys emotion and energy, but also brilliantly hints at a conductor in plight.
The masthead for Families, likewise, does not require to carefully illustrate specific parents and children, or even human faces on its label. Why bother when our brains are naturally designed to deduce human figures?
Hence, try to capture the essence of an object or organization. It is highly important to be original but also to keep it brief, using colors and fonts prudently and avoiding stock images. Anybody can get hold of them, after all.
For many businesses, a strong logo is what consumers associate with your services. Successful logo designs act as recognizable bait for a brand, helping your valued customers identify your products. When it comes to honest and good branding, the right logo design is a quintessential component.
Up to a certain point, design is subjective. But doing your research and knowing exactly who your logo is addressing, makes it less so.
If you’re thoroughly aware of what your target market wants, chances are that you will get it right. That, eventually, leads to a happy, satisfied client; branding that gets consumers and a great portfolio for you as a designer.