dfwabel

Nobody Cares About Your Logo

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Posted (edited)

Jon Hollamby, a Sydney-based art director specializing in branding and advertising, wrote a Medium post titled, "Forget about your :censored:ing logo. Nobody cares."

 

It was later picked up and edited a bit by Fast Company, but I'll post excerpts from the original (linked above).

 

Quote

Somehow we’ve gotten into the mindset that a logo — this thing that does nothing more than identify us — is so incredibly important.

We build our brands around them and when we get bored or when the :censored: hits the fan, we re-design them. We manipulate them until they look better, sharper, cooler — anything to try to tell people, “Hey, this is who we are,” or, “Look! We’ve changed. Please forget about that sex scandal thing.”

But logos on their own actually say nothing. While they can make people aware of your brand and help with discovery and recognition, they can’t tell your customers who you really are, or what the :censored: you actually care about unless you build meaning into them. 

 

Don’t get me wrong; we still need logos, but it’s nonsense to make yours the foundation of your brand.

 

Quote

The logo is the last thing I do when designing a brand. I’ve repositioned it from the cornerstone of a company’s brand to just one image within a flexible visual system, that works in conjunction with a non-visual system of beliefs, values and purpose. Brands are multi-faceted and shouldn’t be reliant on one element to be effective. Your visual identity is what you use to communicate the purpose, values and ideas you have in your experiential identity.

Remove your logo from your product, your website, your app, your ads and your customers should still know it’s you. Give your logo a break and focus on delivering a great customer experience, that’s what will turn your customers into advocates.

 

Edited by dfwabel

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I saw this article. Sounds like he got dumped by that hot logo designer who works down the hall.

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Apparently, great customer service and a strong logo are mutually exclusive.

 

On top of the "everyone builds their brand around a logo" strawman, this guy fabricates a pretty utopian business scenario to trivialize logos. This in-a-bubble idea that you should be able to strip away a logo without damaging a strong brand ignores the role a logo plays in developing a brand to that strong point.

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10 hours ago, C-Squared said:

This in-a-bubble idea that you should be able to strip away a logo without damaging a strong brand ignores the role a logo plays in developing a brand to that strong point.

This was pretty much my thought. If you're sitting around sketching a logo, you've likely made decisions about the brand, even if you don't realize it.

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This reads to me as though he really wanted a Hot Take to spread his own professional brand.  Should’ve just created a better logo.  

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i'll echo both C-Squared and Goth, this was more of a snarky jab at logos than an educated thought. i think the overall message of the piece is fine and is a topic thats been discussed for a long time; what is the importance of a logo? theres just not a right/wrong or yes/no answer to it though. the Cleveland Browns can exist without an official logo but what about Starbucks? so often the only thing they do to their products and packaging (bags and cups come to mind) is just put a logo on it. 

 

since humans began drawing on cave walls we've communicated with symbols and simple images. they are pieces of communication that transcend languages and tell the world a little about what you are or whats important to you as well as being a simple identifier of a thing. "the last thing i do when designing a brand is do the logo", yes, as you should or at least not design a logo until you understand the given brand and have something to say about that. it doesn't mean its not important, id argue just the opposite— it often takes all of that previous work and understanding to design a good logo. 

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Good point. 

 

Yes, it is true that an effective logo is the final culmination of a coherent branding strategy.  It can only come when you know what you want to say.  But it’s also true that a logo is the single most important way that strategy is communicated to the public, and if you blow that first impression it may not matter at all how much work you put into the overall strategy. 

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