Your Logo Isn't Your End All Be All

  • A logo helps customers visually identify and remember your brand.
  • Insisting on a big logo takes away valuable white space that can instead be used to enhance and give a more premium feel to your brand.
  • You can make a great logo with a superb design but it’s up to you and your team to ensure that your customers come to associate that logo with excellent products and services.

What is a logo’s purpose?

Your logo is the visual element that helps your team, your clients, and all your potential customers identify your company. Whether it’s online promotional content or a line of products, it’s your logo that helps their brain instantly associate it with your brand. The best, most effective logos are able to communicate a brand’s story and its purpose. For example, when you spot the “golden arches”, there’s just one fast food restaurant that instantly comes to mind, regardless of whether or not you prefer to eat there.

A good logo represents the person, product, business, or service that it’s designed for. And it should continue to do so regardless of how many tools, techniques, and trends are incorporated in the brand.

The distinction between your logo and your brand

Although it is completely normal that the two are linked, your logo is not your brand. Your brand includes your logo and all other visual elements you play with, as well as every interaction you have with your customers. Basically, your branding puts a “face” on your interactions, from the first time they see an ad to the communications you have while dealing with them to how you ask for feedback after the job is done. Your logo, meanwhile, is one of the constant elements that’s infused in each of these steps.

Since it’s indispensable, shouldn’t your logo be as big and imposing as humanly possible? Not necessarily. Some business owners request bigger logos because they think a gigantic logo will catch a customer’s attention best, and therefore increase brand recognition. Even if this may be true, that doesn’t automatically translate to your audience being able to connect with the logo, which makes a key difference in whether or not they decide to do business with you.

Other reasons why a business owner might insist on a bigger logo is because they don’t trust their designer, or they simply don’t understand their audience. It’s crucial to hire a designer whose work suits the “feel” that you’re going for with your branding. Once you’ve done your due diligence and picked one out, the communication must be clear and continual so that your designer understands your vision.

Why bigger isn’t always better

In the age of bigger phones, bigger TV screens, and bigger monitors, there are plenty of reasons why your logo should stay relatively small. Huge logos are outdated. In fact, they can even hurt your business down the road. Your logo design should be customer-focused and its presence shouldn’t overpower your message. It also shouldn’t impose on the other elements of your ad, or take up so much room that the ad becomes cluttered. If any of these issues sound familiar, now is a great time to start downsizing.

Customer-focused design

Big, flashy logos might catch your eye, but they aren’t as “approachable” as their smaller, simpler counterparts. When your logo takes up a lot of space, it demands more attention, and this tends to send the message that you’re more concerned with making noise than taking care of your customers’ needs. Your visuals don’t need to “shout” at potential clients. Instead, use aesthetically pleasing and well thought-out visuals to give them a cue that this logo is linked to high-quality products, premium services, and an overall fantastic customer experience.

More space for other elements

Keeping your logo compact gives you a subtle but significant advantage: You have more room for other important elements and information. Strategic copywriting, a rousing call-to-action, and of course, a showcase of the very best services offer more value to customers than a logo that needlessly takes up half of the flyer or webpage. Your logo is an intrinsic part of your company, but remember that it’s not what you’re selling. Customers will appreciate the extra breathing room and the ability to gain more insight on your offerings and who you are as a company.

More white space

On any given advertisement, whether it’s online or in print, you don’t need to fill every inch of the page with text, images, or other design elements. “White space” is the empty but crucial part of a design. Think of the margins on the sides of a page, or the spaces between headings and paragraphs in an article. They don’t contain anything, but they’re necessary for the design to work. A decent amount of well-placed white space can make your ad more upscale and easier to understand. No need to cram every single thing in your canvas. Your logo will truly shine if you give it a bit of a buffer - its own space, neither imposing on the rest of the elements nor getting tucked away where it blends out of sight.

Getting customers’ attention is only half the battle

A beautiful, eye-catching logo is a great thing to have. However, it’s not going to carry your entire business. In that same vein, having a huge logo isn’t a quick and easy way to increase your chances of pulling in new clients - it just takes up space on your advertising materials that could have been better utilized. Grabbing potential customers’ attention is the first of many, many steps in providing great service and making them remember you, recommend you to everyone they know, and return to you whenever the need arises.

Designer Michael-Bierut said, “A new logo is an empty vessel.” When someone sees it for the first time, they might pass judgment on how it looks, but it won’t really have any meaning to them beyond that. You lend color and context to the logo by having positive interactions with customers and offering top-tier service. When they reap those benefits, they will associate those great experiences with your logo. The goal isn’t to have the most fabulous looking vessel and stop there. It’s to make sure you’re putting only good things into your vessel, from the first impression with a new client to the day you finally seal the deal, and beyond.

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