I’ve worked on 100s of logo projects, and they can be a bumpy ride.
After all, your logo represents your business – it’s often the first thing that people see and it alludes to the promise of things to come should the person engage further with your business.
This is one of many reasons why people obsess about getting the logo absolutely ‘right’.
However, unless you’re spending £1000s on market research, putting your logo through targeted focus groups and actually getting some data to base design decisions upon, you could just be guessing.
One of the three statements below is true of any logo (and we’re talking about the logo, not the branding).
- I really like it.
- I don’t like it.
- I don’t really have an opinion about it.
This is, of course, true of any design, or anything creative for that matter.
You may love or hate a particular photograph, for example, but not really be able to put words why this is, because it just is.
So why do we obsess about logo design when it is so subjective?
The logo that makes it as a businesses mark represents the business – it’s the first thing people think of when starting a business – the name of the company and the logo often get squeezed into one project.
So it HAS to be right.
Even if being right means that just the owner of the business loves it.
And this isn’t a problem if you’re a new company with a brand new logo – no one has seen it yet, no one has experienced your product or service and no one has ever interacted with your business.
All these things are nothing to do with your logo, they are to do with your branding:
- what you say,
- how you say it,
- what you do,
- your ethics, your story in pictures and;
- the customer’s experience of you.
It’s very understandable why we obsess over logos.
They absolutely, 100% have to be on the money, hitting the mark and make you feel like they are a true representation of you and your business.
But does a great logo actually get you anything more than just a way to identify your business?
Obviously, there are badly designed logos.
I don’t mean bad in my opinion, I mean bad from an objective point of view.
- Poor choice of font
- Bad typography
- Poor layout
- Wrong colours
These types of error are not subjective, they are fact.
So it goes without saying that you need a professionally designed logo.
But what does it actually get you?
- It portrays your business in a positive and professional manner
- It provides a symbol or mark by which you can be identified
- It suggests something more about you – something that entices the prospective customer to engage
It may also hint at other things such as whether you are playful or serious, traditional or modern and so on.
A logo doesn’t really do much until you stick it on something.
And in this case, it’s your website.
As I’ve mentioned, logo projects can be quite difficult to complete as they are (often) subjective.
As well as working on lots of logo design projects, I’ve also built a lot of WordPress websites.
I often hear things like:
- The logo has taken months to complete, now it’s done we want the website completed asap!
- Can’t we just use an off-the-shelf site and stick the logo on it for starters?
- Make the logo bigger, it needs to be much bigger!
- The logo project used up most of the budget – can we just do something quick and cheap for the website?
In general, this boils down to the fact that the logo is seen as the most important part, the website is just something you do as a checkbox item and somewhere to stick your new logo.
Your logo looks great, but does your website makes it all happen?
You could think of your logo as busing like the frontman (or woman) of a band who just turns up, sings and looks good.
It’s their job to sing your songs, look great and be remembered.
However, behind the frontman are a lot of talented people that actually make everything happen; writing the lyrics, composing the music and so on.
Without this, the frontman is nothing.
So a logo alone will not get you anything, but a website will deliver the goods.
Websites still have to be designed, and this too can be subjective.
Just like a logo, the design of a website can also be a tricky part of the project.
This is again subjective, but hopefully, as part of the logo project, there are, at least, some creative guidelines to follow.
And there’s so much best-practice data when it comes to web design that reasoning behind what to, and not to do can be backed-up with documented evidence.
This generally makes the design of the website slightly easier as you’ve done the hard creative bit.
What’s been interesting about a lot of website projects that I’ve worked on is that once the logo is done, the web design does actually come together a lot easier. This is something to bear in mind if you are a start-up business looking to have a website designed.
There are all the important considerations like UX and usability, but the broad look and feel of the site should fall in line with the logo work.
A website will give you data that a logo never can.
If you ask 1000 people whether they ‘like’ your logo, you’ll get 1000 different responses.
The same can be said of the design of your website.
But, the big difference here is that your website can provide you with data; it can give you feedback about:
- The number of times it’s been seen
- The length of time people looked at it
- The number of pages visited during sessions
- The bounce rate (who likes it and who doesn’t)
- Where it’s showing in the search results
- What’s missing, what needs improving and what’s working
It’s impossible to get this objective data from a logo alone.
Does this make your website more important than your logo?
So we know that a logo alone will get you nothing.
You can have the best designed, most expensive logo on the planet, but that alone will not get you anywhere.
Think of it like this;
If a designer created the best imaginable logo for World Peace, would it happen?
No – not without an innumerable list of other things having to happen too.
Everything is online.
Chances are that when someone does interact with your business, it’s going to be online.
It’s going to be though the search results or social media.
If it’s through the search results, it’s the quality of your content, site and SEO marketing that’s to thank for that, not your logo.
If it’s via a Social Media referral, it’s again your content – someone found it via a search or someone liked it enough to share it.
Search turns things around.
In the old days, we had to reach out to our audiences via traditional outbound, direct mail, print media and advertising.
Now, inbound marketing is the way.
Rather than trying to convince a prospective customer, we convert them by being there when they are looking.
This means your content (website) comes before your logo.
Unless you are searching for a brand name, a companies logo is not going to be shown in the search results.
The first connection a potential customer makes with your company is your page title and meta description.
There’s no logo there, so all the prospect has to go on in a 70 character title and 160 character meta description.
If you have a problem I can help with or need a solution that I offer, this could be the first thing you ever see about my business.
My logo only comes into play when you’ve clicked through, but it does play a role when this happens – if the logo and design of the site are unprofessional, you are going to bounce straight off my site and into the search results again.
Providing my site is fast and looks professional, you’ll stay as you’ve possibly found an answer to your question or a solution to your problem.
Both the design of your logo and your website are important.
But neither of these creative aspects will actually bring you anything.
It’s your content and your SEO that will bring visitors to your website and convert into new customers.
To this end, in the online world your could say things come in this order:
- The content and SEO of your site
- The design of your website
- The design of your logo
Getting everything finished is just the start.
Once you have your amazing new logo design and have your site designed and built, the real work starts.
This is why it’s so crucial not to see a website as something you can set and forget.
You don’t want to change your logo once it’s done, but you need to keep changing, updating and optimising your website to make it more effective.
Talk to Toast about improving your website.
If you’ve got the logo and have a live website, but just don’t seem to be getting any further, give us a call on 01295 266644.
We can have a chat about where you currently are and where you want to be.
One thing we promise not to do is tell you that you need a new logo and website design (unless we can prove it with data).