Ottawa based designer Steve Zelle contributed a great article to LogoDesignLove last week titled: Logo warehouses, crowdsourcing, and a lack of understanding. He begins with:
Logo design should not be approached with the goal of filling that blank spot on the top of your letterhead. It is not the time to recklessly do something trendy and cool. Most importantly, it is not about getting a task off your to-do list so you can move on to selling widgets to your customers.
The logo design process should provide value far beyond the delivery of a symbol.
The trouble with looking for a low or no cost, easy and quick logo isn’t that you get designers barking at you about spec work or that your fans jump down your throat (I’m loathe to reference the Gap again, but the reality is they saw both of these reactions by being lazy with their logo development). No, the issue is this attitude leads to you, your designers, and your customers neglecting your brand and, by extension, your company.
Let’s jump back to Steve’s article, as he expresses this point visually:
When you cheap out on process, you yourself spend less time on research and planning, your design team spends less time getting to know you, your product, your needs, and what drives your consumer, and this neglect inevitably leads to consumer disinterest because the end result is not as suited to you as it should be. None of which is healthy for your company, short term, long term or otherwise.
While a graphic designer can help with the nurturing, a logo alone is not the solution to developing a strong brand. This strength can only come from understanding. The company must understand their business, competition, market space, preferences, trends, strengths, weaknesses, and most importantly why customers should care about them.
Understanding goes the other way, too. If their customers can’t understand what it is that makes the company unique and why they should care, then they cannot develop a connection. No connection, no strength.
One of the greatest values a graphic designer can provide is the ability to successfully translate this understanding into a visual brand.
Here’s the full article. A great read!