A logo is often the first experience that the market has of your company and can create perceptions, influence purchase decisions and overall attitude towards you.
Good logo designers are rare creatures and Sherpa always has a great, qualified logo designer in-house logo designer to help with a company’s facelift or make sure that its first exposure to the world creates a memorable impression and remains so.
What goes into a great logo design?
The logo designer should aim for something which is different from anything in the market.
Given today’s online world where everything is so accessible, creating something truly unique is never easy but you should at least start with this goal in mind.
The logo designer cannot just be ‘creative’. The designer needs to understand what it is that makes up the brand. The ideology. The values. The personality. The positioning. The audience. The logo designer understands that the logo is more than a “name-in-font” or “font-on-signage”. It is in fact and entire system of both tangible and intangible elements.
The logo designer needs advanced understanding to capture this.
The logo designer will be considering the brand personality when arriving at a colour. What is the brand personality? Bright, bold? Understated, sophisticated? With a slip of the brush, you could create dissonance between what you actually are and what you are presenting yourself as.
Important to note that good logo designers are completely objective – their favourite colour is what best presents the brand.
Is the name generic or different? If the name is different, the logo designer can consider using a logotype. If your name is generic, you’ll probably need to add a logo mark or symbol to differentiate you.
Logo design is not playtime – there is a lot involved.
For example, take Sherpa’s logo. Take our strapline is ‘Stand out. Be Found’. Firstly, the logo had to be bold and confident. Within the logo, you’ll notice that the A is a symbol of sorts.
Great logo designers will baulk at using gimmicky logo options – what the client thinks of as ‘cool’ is more often than not just plain gimmicky.
And you know that what is cool today is no longer cool tomorrow.
There is a big difference between ‘interesting’ and ‘gimmicky’. As a client, don’t get caught out trying too hard to find deeper meaning in your logo.
There are some iconic logos which do have an interesting twist (e.g. FedEx) but most people don’t know what it is. It still however works well on its own and when people find out the meaning, a new aura is created.
In this digital age where logos have to work across multi-platforms, logo designers are increasingly looking for simplicity in a logo.
Don’t be discouraged or surprised if your logo does not become iconic overnight. It will take time. Often, the logo may become iconic in certain suburbs or industry sectors unlike Apple and Nike which is iconic globally. Frankly, if your business trades mostly in a certain geographic area and within a certain sector, that’s where it needs to be iconic.
Apart from your brand, the logo designer needs to understand your competition and where you operate.
Once your logo designer has a clear understanding of what job the logo needs to do, he or she does not stare at the ceiling waiting for a moment of creative genius to pop. It just doesn’t work like that. The logo designer is not some ethereal, wishy-washy creature crunching purple biscuits.
For one, a good logo designer is not only creative but very technical. They’re looking for perfect balance. There are rules to logo design.
They’re also ‘scamping’ – hundreds of rough and not-so-rough sketches to get to or refine an idea.
It is hard work but rewarding when perfection emerges.
It is hopefully clear that the logo designer is much more than just ‘creative’. Pressure is often created by the clients’ budget which obviously determines the amount of time that the logo designer has to create a logo of relevance. If she had more time – like another day or an additional R 6 000 or so – could it have produced something iconic?
Maximising available client budget is a good reason why the logo designer needs to be very clear on what the brand represents, the target audience etc. Too often, budget is wasted because the client is unclear about key brand issues and the design process becomes a costly hit-and-miss process.
Aim for something special.