Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Why I don't do Logos

I don't do logo design work because ... well because it is just too darn hard.

Every year I get a handful of requests from pet oriented business owners and small rescue groups wanting me to create a custom logo using my painting style on their pooch or other animal. I am always very flattered and yet I always decline because logos are such an important part of a company's identity and it is so hard to get it just right. I also tend to discourage detailed painterly or photographic images as logo subjects because they do not translate well on every item that a logo has to go on ....  business card, web banner, letterhead, signage and so on.  Take a moment and  imagine a stunning colorful painting of a sneaker, now imagine that on a business card, and now think about the "Nike Swoosh logo" ... which image is going to be more easily remembered?  Most designers will agree that a bold graphic iconic image like the Nike swoosh will be much more effective than a very pretty painting of a shoe.

I have designed and redesigned my own logo a few times in the last 11 years. I have finally created a design I am very happy with, but it took several tries.  My own logo is a combination of text and a graphic stylized paw.  I like it so much I went ahead and paid the money to register it.  I could have tried to create a logo that incorporated our company mascot Atticus, but it would have been a bit busy and it also would have been dog specific, which would distance our cat lovers and it would have been breed specific as well, not appealing to dog lovers with other types of canines.

Here is a quick list of tips when considering a new logo design:

#1 Try to find someone that has a few years under their belt as a professional graphic designer. A professional designer will know how to create a logo that will work well for your personal brand and identity. 
#2 If you are a small business owner and on a budget it is ok to work with young designers trying to build up a portfolio but do try to stick with individuals that have an education in graphic design.
#3 Figure out a budget for your project and try not to be too tight with the purse strings because this single element of your brand is going to be with you for a long time if it is done correctly.  A good logo is worth every penny you pay for it.
#4 If you want to incorporate your pet into your business branding consider using them as a mascot but keep that separate from your actual text logo. A good example of that is Cesar brand pet food. They use a Westie in all their advertising and packaging however  their actual "logo" is simply text.

In closing I offer a link to a terrific little design studio that caters to the pet industry ... check out Sniff Design, and tell them Art Paw sent you.

1 comment:

AutumnLeaves said...

Wonderful and informative both, Rebecca. I seem to remember reading something similar back when I was in college in one or another of my business classes. Great advice!