You can dig and dig and find a lot of rocks before you ever find a real gem. You wouldn’t trust a part-time jeweler to evaluate your fiancé’s wedding ring over the Internet, so why would you trust a part-time freelance stranger to do your logo overseas? And yet, many are convinced by logo “companies” that sprouted up like mushrooms in recent years that a logo can be churned out for a few hundred bucks and minimal feedback. Never has the phrase “you get what you pay for” proven truer.
It seems most business owners also think logos are important, or else there would not be a growing market for cheap logos. However, at Streng we believe strongly that the creation of a quality logo requires the efforts of true graphic design professionals. Anyone on the Internet who tells you differently doesn’t likely understand what he or she is talking about. If all you want is to trade money for a shape with words on it, then you’ll find plenty of people willing to take your hard-earned dollars to provide you with a mark that may or may not be attractive at a glance, but which expresses absolutely nothing whatsoever about your brand.
At Streng, we believe a logo is a building block in a complete brand identity, and it has a story to tell—your story. That story can be difficult to put into words, much less sum up in a few sound bites. An online form or an email describing in a few phrases what your mission, your vision, your story is about, and sent to a stranger over the Internet, is never going to cut it. A logo should capture the essence of your brand at a glance, and that can’t be done without communication, emotion, and personal investment on the part of both the client and the designer.
A great logo embodies several key characteristics: uniqueness, adaptability, and timelessness, as well as being appropriate for a particular market. A logo that captures all of these is hard to come by. Let’s briefly dig into each one.
Unique: Jewelers will tell you that every diamond is unique. You want your logo to stand out from others in the same industry or market. Certain elements are very overused, like arrows, swooshes, and text inside circle, just to name a few. Also, your logo does not need to explicitly state what the company does through text or image. It may be beneficial to avoid being too literal because there are already hundreds of logos doing the same thing.
Adaptable: Even the smallest jewel sparkles with warmth in a variety of settings. A logo should be flexible enough to work across many different situations and platforms while maintaining it’s appeal. It has to work small and large, on a flat surface or a 3D surface, in color as well as black and white applications. So a great logo shines in the most basic applications and more complex ones.
Timeless: Timelessness is possibly the most difficult aspect to capture in a logo because you are seeking diamond-hard durability for the long haul. Apple, NBC, and even the I Love NY logo have accomplished this. Subtle refinements occur over the years, but a timeless logo remains largely unchanged and instantly recognized. While some logos are time sensitive and are meant to “expire” after certain events, an ideal company logo should remain viable for the long haul.
Appropriate: It’s essential to know who your audience is and what your company represents in order for your logo to be appropriate for your market. A serious law firm should have a dignified, authoritative logo. A company for children’s products should appeal to a younger audience and reflect playfulness. Market research is key. Think about how the logo will be perceived by different genders and ethnicities. And try to keep in mind who the chief decision-makers are in your target market.
With so many elusive and challenging criteria to meet, logos, like diamonds, require precisely the right conditions to form. But when they do, they are priceless.
Streng Design and Advertising is a full-service print and digital agency. We design one-of-a-kind handcrafted logos for each client and work to develop strong client brands. Check out our capabilities and contact us anytime at 630-584-3887.