Logos – You Get What You Pay For

Posted: February 6, 2012 in Graphic Design
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 12:  The  'Swoosh' logo...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Logo design is rapidly becoming an underrated process. We live in a very entrepreneurial age and it seems that everyone you meet is starting his or her own business. All of these business owners know they need a logo and very few of them can afford one.

Enter the quick fix. All one has to do is run a Google Search and become overrun with options for logo design services. Fifty bucks for a logo! Twenty-four hour turn around time! It’s a smorgasbord of symbols. How’s a new business to go wrong among such abundance?

It’s easy to assume that we’re looking at a buyer’s market here and that one logo design company is as good as the next. It doesn’t help that many new business owners (and many established business owners, for that matter) just don’t fully understand the design process. It’s all just pretty pictures, right? Well, yes and no.

We buy paintings for their aesthetic value, but graphic design has so much more work to do than just look good. Graphic design is about communication. It’s about conveying a message to your clients. And this communication all begins with your company’s logo. A logo just isn’t something you slap on your business card and call it good. Used properly, your logo is the very heart of your company’s identity. This one little graphic carries the weight of your brand and connects you and your products to your customers. It’s a big job and, frankly, some quick $50.00 piece of clip art just isn’t up to the task. This is something these quick-fix logo design shops will never understand.

Some companies approach the development of their logo with the same mindset they take in looking for a long-distance service. It’s a necessary evil, so might as well find the cheapest option available and get it over with quick. It really doesn’t help that many of these quick designs are substandard and wholly ineffective. This only reinforces the notion that logos aren’t really deserving of all the hype. Logos wind up losing their value through misuse or poor design.

On the other end of the scale are businesses that see a highly successful brand, such as Nike, and want that for their business. They become jaded when their logo doesn’t generate the same instant recognition as Nike’s swoosh, little realizing all of the millions of dollars Nike has spent to make sure you recognize their logo.

Caught in the middle is the design agency that suffers from either a lack of expectation or over-inflated expectations. So let’s clear one thing up about the process: No ad agency in the world can promise to design the equivalent of a Nike Swoosh for your business. If one does make this claim to you, put on your Nikes and run. Fast. The best we can do is work to come up with a design that reflects the personality of your business, a design that is a solid foundation around which to build your brand. This isn’t a process that can be done overnight. It isn’t a process that can be done dirt-cheap. And this isn’t a process that should be tackled by anyone less than a professional.

When it comes to the marketing of your business, your logo is the most important investment you will make. Properly conceived and executed, it will serve as the anchor that makes everything from your business cards to your advertisements coherent, consistent, easier and, most importantly, effective. A good logo design and its effective use isn’t going to be cheap, but it doesn’t have to break your bank, either. Many companies will still insist on going the quick fix route. I don’t begrudge them. I only wish them the best of luck and offer the best piece of advice I know in such a situation: You get what you pay for.

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  1. […] Logos – You Get What You Pay For (richardhoffkins.wordpress.com) […]

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