Going Loco Trying to Choose a Logo!
In my previous blog – 7 Tips on how to choose a font to be a part of your brand – I discussed the first part of your journey to building a successful brand identity.
In this article I will take you through the issues involved with the second step, choosing a logo. What does a logo actually mean? What can a logo represent to the people looking at your organisation? And, the horror of brand dilution – which must be avoided at all cost.
Aside from the title of this piece possibly placing an earworm in your head, logos are an absolutely essential component to your company’s brand identity. You can read more about logos here, but in this blog I want to provide an example of what can eventually occur, even to a large corporation, to start the disastrous roller coaster of brand dilution.
Ok, you have a logo; it has text and an icon that is specifically placed and spaced – it has taken time to work out the correct amount of spacing to use, and you even have a set of brand guidelines explaining how and more importantly, how not to use the logo.
Suddenly, a new project now requires the logo to change. Maybe you are creating a promotional item that requires the logo, but it doesn’t properly fit or work in the format it has been originally created. You may need to resize the icon to align with the text, or even consider dropping the company name altogether, as you really think only the icon and not the wording will work. These are the tough decisions you have to look at and work through.
If you have gone to the trouble of hiring a designer for your logo, talk to them and see if there are options that still work within the brand constraints. However, if it compromises the essential elements and the brand – be strong and say no. Look for a different solution.
Maybe the icon will not work without the text, or the logo is the wrong shape; what do you do – create a new logo? No, this is a form of dilution you must avoid. Considering the change as a ‘one-off’, purely for this particular promotional item, is a slippery slope. This will allow every future alternative to be allowed because you let this ‘one-off’ occur.
If you have exhausted ALL options and the logo still doesn’t work … it’s now time to rethink the project, the promotional idea, the product or forget the project altogether. Because years down the line, no one will remember this individual project. Also, they will not be able to remember your brand as there are now so many versions it has given the impression your brand had an identity crisis and is no longer taken seriously.
As a designer, I see this often. I receive requests every day to create new versions of a logo; to make it fit here, or make a change there, so it can be crowbarred onto a promotional product. It is my duty to help you stay on the straight and narrow ‘brand’ path and preserve the sacredness of your brand. After all, you may have invested time and money to obtain the logo in the first place.
Be proud of your identity; guard it with your life, dig your heels in and stand by it, no matter the temptation. In five years time, you will have only the original versions and not 50 or 60 unrecognisable adaptions that your company could now be considered as two!