Logos don’t matter. Part 2.

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Christian: I don’t get excited about logos, because I think the importance of logos is way overstated…except in the case of huge outfits like Coca-Cola, IBM, Apple, etc. Who cares what your logo looks like? Who cares what my logo looks like? Who really cares what San Diego National Bank’s logo looks like? No one.

Steve: Surprisingly, Christian and I completely agree. Logos are overrated and are useless deliverables sold by designers because small-business clients insist on one. It’s usually vanity and pride driven. There are literally millions and millions of logos. For a small company with limited resources, they’re a waste of time, energy, and money. The days of creating a world-recognizable Coca-Cola logo are gone for small to medium-sized companies. It simply costs too much hard, cold cash. I do believe your company name is important much more than a logo and needs more consideration.

Do a Google Image search on the phrase “Rhino Logo.” You’ll find thousands and thousands of logos with a rhinoceros icon. Does a rhino symbol have the strength or memorability to differentiate your product from all others? We doubt it.

Christian: Company name is more important than the logo…but not by much. What really matters is the quality of your work…but even *more* important is your ability to market and *sell*…that’s where it’s at…that’s what will make you successful or not in the crowded arena of design these days. A logo is not going to make any big impression on your customers. As long as it doesn’t look horrible, I don’t have a problem with it.

I prefer heavier font weights because it helps the logo stand out on your web page or in a brochure or whatever. But avoid generic type. If I had to choose between two typefaces in a logo I would go for a heavier weight. For a logo, I would want a more distinctive type.

Steve: I’m always curious as to the goals for a logo.

“My wife wants a purple logo with swirly letters. And junior wants a soccer ball in it. I want something that says, ‘bull’ with punch and zip.”

Christian: As Steve has wondered…what do you want your logo to do? If the answer is…”Just something to put on my stuff because everyone else has a logo, so I need one, too,” I’d say, “OK…this does the job. It’s all you need. Now get started on a more worthwhile project.” If your logo has to do more than that…I’d say…Fuhgeddaboudditt…it doesn’t matter…no logo will do more than that. No logo is going to make customers flock to you…
…stop wasting your brain power.

Steve: This is all true. It shocks designers to hear Christian and I who are designers ourselves say something so radical and unconventional as “Forget the logo drain.” In the end, type compatibility is *practically* insignificant. It will not alter results one iota. Yet, Christian on occasions has insisted we NOT use certain font combinations because they clash and are in poor taste. So continuity does matter to him. I have to call him out on the carpet sometimes. Want to make an adjustment, Christian?

Christian: Nothing to adjust. Yes, continuity matters. And font combinations are very important. Some combinations work and some don’t…peanut butter and jelly works but peanut butter and tomatoes probably doesn’t work…gin and tonic works but gin and coke probably doesn’t. The choice of font combinations is *very* important…and I say this not based on anything I learned as a typographer (I know you were waiting for that…sorry)…but I learned it based on my experience as a graphic designer.

But none of that matters when it comes to the typeface used in a logo. The logo is just a small part of most projects. Very small. Tucked away in the upper left-hand corner of something…or lower right-hand corner of an ad…whatever…and the typeface used in that logo matters not one iota in regard to the combination of typefaces used in the project itself.

See why Steve and I get along so well? Ha ha ha…we are like evil twins…we keep each other alive while at the same time always trying to kill each other.

Steve: We’re definitely evil twins. Which is the evil one? Shall we vote on it?

Christian: So my final comment about logos is: relax…choose the logo version you like best…make sure it’s readable on a web page and in other uses, and be done with it. Steve and I have been applying the Pareto principle to website design…maybe you’ve heard of it…related to the 80 – 20 theory…I recommend you read up on that, and think for a few minutes about how that principle might apply to the amount of time and work you probably are putting into your logo project….see if you think it’s really worth it.

Steve: Our philosophy is a great example of where reducing expenditure (optimization) can prevent ulcers and sleepless nights.

Christian: Designers spend countless hours and hours thinking about logos and constructing the logo, etc…time and energy that would have been much better used on other projects. Forget about evil twins…Steve and I are like Siamese twins on this one.

What others think of us:

"Hi, Steve. Thank you very much for the elaborate report. I'll implement your suggestions and spread the word about your amazing service." francophilesanonymes.com, Guernsey, UK

by - Zvi Chazanov