What not to do: Logo design
Many consumers can identify their favorite brands just by the logo. People know that a man swinging a club atop a horse is Ralph Lauren’s symbol, others can identify the classic “swoosh” as the Nike motif, while still more recognize Facebook’s symbolic lowercase blue “f.” All of these symbols have a few things in common – they’re unique, memorable and simple.
However, businesses just beginning to create their logo design may learn more about things to consider by looking at stories of symbol failure. This can provide a clear indication of right and wrong when it comes to branding and show creators what tactics they should consider staying away from.
A company’s logo is a symbol tied to that brand both in the minds of consumers and in legal forums. Changing the design is often difficult, so it is imperative that businesses get it right the first time.
With so many firms out there already using a logo, it can be easy to create a similar one by mistake. As such, it is important that designers try to be as unique as possible without stepping over the line of being ridiculous. It is also worth it to do a little research into designs already being used – which occurred in the case of Google, whose first logo was very similar to Yahoo’s, explained Entrepreneur Magazine.
“Using a design that is just a little too similar to one already in use can serve to confuse customers or remind them of other companies, which could be a big problem if the similar logo belongs to a competitor or someone they’ve had a bad experience with,” noted Cono Fusco, the creative director of LogoMojo. “Moreover, that could land the small company in hot water, legally, with the other corporation.”
Just Creative explained that to be memorable, the logo has to have something unique about it, but there is a fine line between being memorable and being over the top. The source said relative simplicity can make a symbol stick in an individual’s mind, and has the added benefit of being more versatile – it would fit on a billboard as well as a postage stamp.
Entrepreneur explained Steve Jobs had the tough decision of throwing away Apple’s original design in 1976. The previous symbol featured a detailed picture of Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree, which, the magazine reported, Jobs deemed to be too intricate to be placed on products.
Central to one region
Because growth is one of the major goals of many small businesses, the logo of a startup should be able to be relevant in all geographical areas. For instance, a company starting in a small town may not want to use the symbol of a statue seen on the town green.
Something to this effect occurred when communications provider Nokia first created their symbol. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, the original logo was of a fish central to the Nokianvirta River in southern Finland, where the company began. The symbol was later changed to the name of the company, so it could be recognized everywhere.
A similar situation occurred before Starbucks changed their design in 1992. The magazine said before that, the iconic mermaid was actually a topless siren, which people in other parts of the country may not have taken to, so executives changed to logo to just include her head, with hair cascading down.
The lettered logo has worked for many companies – Facebook, IBM, HP and many other businesses. However, because they are relatively unknown when just starting out, smaller companies should usually stay away from this tactic. Not only can it cause the firm to be confused with other businesses, but it also fails to convey any sort of message. However, Just Creative noted that is can work for some companies, but to stay on the safe side, that should not be the first option.This entry was posted in Logo Design and Branding. Bookmark the permalink.