Something weird happens when it comes to designing a logo. Designers feel the urge to be different or ape the latest fads in the award books. Clients tend to over-analyze and become stricken with indecision. I can provide professional well designed corporate identities that work across all media, and obey the 7 rules of logo design.
It's got to work at all sizes, in colour and mono, and still be legible. Of course it's going to look great in a slick PowerPoint presentation - but will it still communicate at the quarter of the size of a postage stamp?
With the shift of so much collateral online, it's easy to be wooed by designs that look great on-screen. But if it only works in full colour, the costs are going to mount up over the years every time you go to print. First get a logo that looks good in black and white, then start looking at colour options. It's a little thing that a designer may not consider, but could cost you a lot of money in the long term.
In design, this week's hot styles are as fleeting as the clothes rails at Top Shop. I've seen many big companies waste millions of pounds on logos that look out of date within a couple of years. Abbey National is prime example:
Their logo had a typeface and illustration of a couple with a roof umbrella which, let us say, was of the moment - the late 1970s. It needed to be updated. Some design agency charged a few hundred grand to come up with a multi coloured airbrush style logo, with all the inch thick reports, and rationale to back it up. Where did common sense go in this process? Can you imagine how many millions it must have cost to have all their print in full colour, to have all those fascias refitted across hundreds of branches? I said at the time it won't last - and it didn't - within 18 months they had a re-design. Classic type, timeless icon, one colour and it's clean, simple and recognizable - it works. When they got taken over by Santander, all they did was change the name. Don't get me wrong, it's doesn't look great, but at least it works.
You can spot always spot a logo that has been designed by a committee - the result of dozens of people having an input, endless reports, box ticking and focus groups. How else do you think the UK Government manages to consistently spend hundreds of thousands of pounds for such publicly ridiculed results? When you're looking at a design proposal, just remember the acronym of Kelly Johnson, who was a lead engineer at Lockheed Aircraft: KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid.
It's not rocket science designing a logo. Once you start applying rules 1 to 4 the field of focus has narrowed considerably. But briefing a designer can be tricky, and they will need more of a steer, than "I'll know it, when I see it." So just sling a load of words together in a great big list. Are you modern or traditional? Personal or corporate? Technical or earthy? Do you want it to be arresting, or reassuring? Any designer worth their salt should be able to do this for you, but it's important at the outset to set the goals, so you can evaluate the results.
When I started out in the business, we had people employed as typographers. Highly skilled and talented people whose sole functions was to choose the right cut of font that reflected the client's identity. To the layman, obviously it's subliminal. But to the craftsman, the choice of font is pivotal to the brand. A crude rule on thumb is that any typeface that has been around for 80 years and still being used today isn't going to look old tomorrow.
There is nothing unique in design, it is a constant process of inspiration and evolution - picking the best and adapting it. The brands we perceive as iconic have gained their status with massive marketing budgets and by being consistent over so many years, rather than the brilliance of their logo design - just think of Coca Cola, Nike, McDonald's, Channel or BMW. These logos aren't strokes of genius, but they do follow a few simple rules.
If you want a logo that positions you brand and just works, well, you know who to call.
Creating or modifying a logo design doesn't have to be a painful or drawn out process.
For help, advice, or a competitve quote - just give me a call.