Like rushing headlong into tattooing your lower back during a drunken stooper, fast tracking and penny pinching a logo will leave you with a painful and expensive reminder of a bad decision. Slowly, the full effect of your uninformed choices will come to light. The work might have been done by a relative, a “desktop publisher” or an online logo warehouse but the result will be the same—regret.
Pain and Discomfort
Logo and identity design involve at the very least, some mild pain and discomfort. The development of your visual identity requires a good amount of your sweat and blood, even in the hands of the most talented graphic designer.
The process of gathering appropriate information to move beyond a stereotypical symbol is a challenge. Your visual identity needs to reflect your authenticity to be effective and that information can be difficult to get at. It requires much honesty and transparency on your part; something many people can find difficult.
It means making decisions about your business, your audience, strengths, and weaknesses. It means putting time into searching for answers and debating inconsistencies before any ink is used. It means spending both time and money.
A Logo is an Investment
A well-designed identity costs a decent amount of money because it’s a difficult exercise. The price of a logo reflects a respect for a graphic designer’s time and yours. Sure, you may hesitate paying more than ‘you have to’ but know that when it comes to reflecting your identity, a less than ideal identity can be more damaging than having nothing.
An ill-conceived logo will eventually make its way onto your signage, website, and customers minds, all with an inappropriate message.
The exercise of identity development should cost enough money and time that you consider it an investment—something you take seriously. Who do you want involved in your investments?
10 Tips to Avoid Logo Regret
- Set aside an appropriate budget
- Allow for a reasonable time line
- Have realistic expectations and goals
- Be willing to learn not only about branding but more importantly, your company
- Know that design is not a linear process
- Choose to work with a professional
- Find someone you trust and be transparent in your discussions with them
- Approach logo design as part of a larger branding exercise
- Be open-minded—especially to ideas with strategic value
- Invest as much of yourself as you can in the process
If it’s Worth Doing…
Approach the logo and brand design process with high expectations, purpose, fear, excitement, a willingness to explore difficult questions, and a reasonable budget and time-line. The experience will leave you not only with an appropriate visual mark but a much better understanding of why your customers should care about you.
Take the time upfront, invest the sweat, blood, and money, and do it right and you will be ahead of those choosing not to.Photo by Terry Donaghe