Logo Development: What’s Really at Stake and What to Look For

November 15, 2016 - 4 minutes read
Logo Development - Bagel Logo and Jerky Logo

Two brands that started out looking great and never looked back. Both Jersey Bagel and All Things Jerky (http://www.allthingsjerky.com) put considerable thought into their branding. As result we were able to help them launch locally with the look of an established, “nation-wide” brand.

Logo Development is a Process

The process of logo development is much more than adding a decoration. The success of your brand depends on:

  1. Reaching your intended customers; and
  2. Communicating the right message.

And if done right, you will be presenting the world with something you are proud of.

It Will Cost You More to Fix It Later

In the previous article in this series I listed a few things you should demand in the area of “after the sale” support. These include access to your logo files in multiple formats, technical help in getting your materials printed, and updates or revisions. In short, long-term communication with your designer.

I am occasionally asked to do “logo repair,” where a logo needs to be updated. In many cases, not only is the original designer unavailable, but the customer rarely has access to any of the original files. The customer ends up paying extra for a rebuild of the same logo they already paid for once. Printers, designers, and anyone who’s ever helped to assemble a yearbook or an event program can recognize this scenario: “All we have is our business card….Can’t you just get the logo off our website or our truck?”

Dissatisfaction with Your Own Branding

Many have come to me after already spending a lot on a logo they don’t like. They have actually been apologizing for the way their brand looks. If the owners themselves have doubts or complaints about their company’s materials, how can they present a clear message to the right people? That clear message, as we have seen in these articles, is the PURPOSE and ESSENCE of a brand.

Starting out with solid market research, communication with your designer, and plenty of sketching, we can get it right the first time. Our goal is to create a logo that you are proud to display. We want to start you out looking like an established, “national” brand, not a small local startup.

Potential Copyright Problem

Be determined from the very start to create something new and original. Research shows us what’s already out there, and saves us the possibility of having to fix a copyright problem. It is the lack of research (and integrity) by $5 Logo scammers that leads to this crisis. Remember, they have sold your logo as many times as possible!

Ambiguity is a Mistake, Not a Clever Gimmick

Get those “extra sets of eyes” working on your logo. How does it look upside-down? At very small sizes? On a black vs. a white background? The unintended “double-meaning” in some hastily-launched logos makes for very funny internet reading, but a redesign prompted by humiliation can’t be good for business, or the marketing budget. No such thing as bad publicity? Maybe for celebrities, but not businesses.

Not Communicating with Your Intended Customers

If a successful brand is one that catches the attention of the right people with a clear message, then a “fail” would be one that:

  • Has no clear message: it’s too generic or abstract.
  • Sends the wrong message: it doesn’t represent YOU.
  • Fails to connect with your target audience by looking too feminine, masculine, young, old, technical,…
  • Doesn’t differentiate you from the competition, as we saw in part 2 of our discussion.
  • Fails to catch anyone’s attention — it’s boring!
  • Is easily forgotten.

These are problems that cause you to miss, rather than attract customers, and they are symptoms that a re-design is in order.

The whole point of developing a logo is to clearly express your brand to your market. Careful thought, research and analysis must go into the design. Any quick-fix “solution” that leaves out these essentials will eventually cost more.

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