Monday, March 16, 2009

There are (logo) design principles, after all!

Yesterday I read an interesting post discussing on how much are designers willing to go against the very basic design principles (yes, there is such term) in order to make their customer happy. There were noted some funny (but true, I'm afraid) situations when a customer comes and asks the designer to make something totally stupid in sense of design, even making him/her feel embarrassed of his creation. Well, the customer is always right, isn't (s)he ?
In general, yes, I also think that one should do what his "employer" tells him / her to do, because of a simple reason: it is designer's financial source. Someone said that if it is a good designer we are talking about, the portfolio should be thick already, so hiding some artistic (mis)work would not affect the overall reputation. I agree.
On the other hand, guys, think about it. You are no expert's in design! Come on. That is why you hire a designer to make something for you in first place. I have been in similar situation, and it's a terrible feeling indeed. I am not going to list the design principles here, but I am going to give some tips to `business guys who want their logo designed`:
  • In addition to my previous post: Try to let designers do their job... do not just interfere with silly suggestions
  • If a designer trully advices you not to do add / remove something within the logo... think about it for a moment. Maybe (s)he is right ?
  • Something very specific: Do not ask them to add Clipart images. They look... ugly, and associate on amateurs
  • Something very general: KIS(S) - Keep It Simple, (Stupid). Do not ask designers to make higly-detailed logos. The logo is not supposed to show everything you can do. Thus, the more details there are, the harder to remember.
  • Do not ask for colourful logos. Stick to 2 or 3 colors, not more. Colorful logos might look fancier, but the sad thing is, they are not so attractive from buyer's perspective.. So do not enforce your designer to use all colors from the palette
  • Especially, don't ask the designers to make logo that is similar to your competitions'. Trust me, you will not gain part of their popularity that way.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Leave the Design of Logos to Professional Designers

Logos should be very simple, right ? Right. Then it must be very simple for one to make one, right ? Wrong! Though logos are supposed to be extremely low in details, thus using very few colors, the process of their creation can be very difficult. So it is OK to have some sort of idea of how you want the logo of your brand / company / product / service / whatever to look like, but it is not good to do it on your own. Why, you may ask ? Because there are people who earn their living from that. Those are called Designers. It is their experience, education,creativity, patience and efficiency that we are talking about. So cases when a person that works in a totally unrelated field or has never had a clue about art at all, but still has designed his own logo and now it is a successful, well-recognized brand are extremely rare. (Still, congrats to the honorable exceptions).

One more thing I would like to point out, don't be afraid to pay money for a good logo! Remember that customers are going to recognize your logo to identify and relate it with your brand! But there is one other thing here, too. Make sure you have a very well established business idea before you decide that you want a logo. Nobody wants to be recognized as a miserable failure of business. Having your thoughts cleared, it will help the logo designers to quickly determine how do you want it to look like, in case you have no idea about that. (Unfortunately, this is often the case... Even worse, people know what they don't like, but they can hardly describe what do they like until they see it). Designers often write design briefs before they start shaping your logo. So it will be good for both sides if everything is planned before it is implemented. Do not look on that part of the process as delay, but try to look at it like refining the details instead.

Oh, yeah, in case you are not able to answer crucial questions that your designer may ask you while he/she is writing the design brief, such as "How is your product different from the others?", you probably are not serious enough or your business idea is not good in first place. It is warmly recommended that you cut your losses and do not even hire the designer nor anyone else in such cases. You may want to reconsider your business plan or read some guidelines about writing one.

5 Reasons Why You Need a Logo

1. Easy Recognition - towards Uniqueness

The most obvious purpose of the logos, according to me, is to - establish identity (We are facing terrible problems these days with this word). Having thousands of companies and brands out there, it is a really difficult task to "stand out" of the crowd. Requiring simple, easy-to-remember logo, with one or two colors, and the most important - uniqueness is really, really difficult thing to do these days.
But hey, look on the bright side: you have to make only one logo per company, or per product! So once you fullfil all your requirements, you are done with it - and don't think of it ever again. Again, remember, it must be unique.

2. Increases the "Popularity" of Your Product

This one is closely related to marketing and promotion of your products or services, but don't you think that people love familiar things ? They feel good about themselves when they recognize your logo! "Hey, I know this one! This is the ...". Just for an example, lets take the superbrand Coca-Cola. They are known everywhere in the world, and in my opinion, people sometimes buy it just because it is famous.

3. An Image is worth 1000 words

Yeah, I know it is a well-known cliche`, but I really find this one to be true. Logos can describe your company, your product or service in a simple manner, so simple that no other way can achieve the same effect. That is why you should devote enough time to create a concept of your logo. However, one should make sure that his / her logo is simple enough, decrease the detail level (remember that logos should not represent your whole business process or every service you provide!), and of course, it has to be recognizable when is printed out in different sizes. (So this is why it is important to have low details on it, otherwise it will look poorly because details will not be visible in some situations, which will directly challenge consistency, as it is a very important aspect of branding)

4. Easy Marketing and Promotion

So this is where "Return of Investment" comes into play! The time you spent in creating a successful logo is paid off! Logos can aid intensive marketing campaigns, affecting the 'popularity' of your brand and it's recognition. Chances are that people will buy your product more often when they recognize something. I'm really no expert on marketing, but I am sure you will find tons of tips how to launch a successful marketing campaign

5. Established, professional look - increases trust

Having a professional logo gains the trust of the buyers. They feel comfortable when they decide to buy your product. This is especially true if you have combined it with a long-term marketing strategy. Some companies use the "Established XXXX year" or "Since YYYY year" near their logos to give their brands stability and emphasize their professionalism. Keep an eye on that when you will be thinking of your brand

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Very Beginning

Greetings to everyone!
This is my first post. I intend to make this blog the home of posts about logos. Hopefully, I will get an interesting audience that will enjoy reading my posts. There is plenty to discuss about this topic. So, logo designers, brand owners, or future followers, I wish you warm welcome to this blog.