Your logo doesn’t have to say what your business does
Often when you’re bringing on a logo designer, or if you’re attempting one yourself, it’s tempting to want your logo to do ALL the things, but that’s a mistake. It doesn’t need to. Here’s why.
Before I tell you why, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a logo that gives a feel for what you do, but a hint of what you do is often enough. What often happens is we try and combine one small element that gives a hint, with another small element, that then ends up looking so busy and mismatched that you’re left with something that at best, looks ‘off’ and at worst looks ugly and unprofessional.
When you try and make a logo do too much, it can look unprofessional.
Often you’ll want your logo to be instantly recognisable as someone who does X, or a brand that offers X. The trouble with that, is that you often have to be so overt in what you do that you then border on being cheesy and cliche. Less is more here.
Now of course, you want someone to get sense of what you do right away, but it’s not often that we see logos in isolation now, and so the rest of your branding will also support that.
The rest of your branding should support your logo.
We often put too much weight on a logo, and think that the rest of our branding is not as important, so this handy triangle diagram is a good way to remember that it’s actually the foundations of our brand that are the most important with your logo as the visual reminder for who you are as a brand.
It shouldn’t rely on your logo alone to tell the story. Colour, imagery, font choices, use of white space, tone of voice, taglines, you name it, there is so much that makes up your brand, that you don’t NEED to make your logo do so much, and then risk it looking like a mishmash of ideas.
These successful logos show it.
Now of course you have things like ‘Pizza Hut’ or ‘Jaguar’ or ‘Apple’ which DO show the name clearly as an item, but it’s worth bearing in mind that even then, unless you know what they do, the latter two, the names don’t tell you what they do, so they still don’t explicitly show it.
Mercedes > Not a car or motor
Baskin Robbins > Is not an ice cream
IKEA > Doesn’t show flat packed furniture
FedEx > It’s not an envelope
Zara > doesn’t show clothing
Marie Forleo > doesn’t show that she’s a coach/author/speaker
BUT for all of them, you have clues and hints which tell you what they do, and who they are.
They are strong, unique and become recognisable.
And they have an IDENTITY that is made up of more than just their logo.
That’s what you need too.
Your logo should say ‘hey, remember me later’ and in a good way. Not bad.