The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Are Logo Graphics necessary?
Confessions of the Professions
A logo is a best company’s asset with companies spending millions of dollars a year coming up with the idea for their logo, colors, placement, branding, and marketing it to make their logo stick in the minds of consumers. Logos can be quite time-consuming and expensive depending on how much a logo is worth to the company. The amount of time it takes for an establish business to come up with a logo, especially if they are re-branding or “renewing” can amount to millions of dollars in time and design. Getting the logo right, however, to these companies is likely worth the cost, but while many companies focus on a graphic logo, there are some that have managed to slip by the expensive design process, and stuck to the simplicity of text.
Just to get an idea of how much or how little companies spend on their logos might show in the results in their customers, users, and investors. Pepsi spent a million dollars re-branding their logo; BP spend over $200 million dollars re-branding the entire company, specifically the logo; Symantec, originally VeriSign spent $1.2 billion on their logo. Several major corporations, which you would think would spend millions of dollars of investing into their logo spent very little to no money at all.
Although paying the in-house designers and the meeting times for ideas in coming up with logos or new logos are not taken into account, Microsoft, Google, and Coca-Cola spent very little to no money in branding or re-branding. Twitter bought their logo for just $15 on iStockphoto, and although Twitter has re-designed the logo several times, their design has been taken in-house. The iconic Nike cost just $35 in 1971, with co-founder of Nike not really loving the logo, but hoping it would grow on him. Apparently, it’s still the official logo over 45 years later.
Many other companies turn to Fiverr.com which is certainly okay for starter ideas, but unfortunately, not to knock the designers of Fiverr.com, but most of them turn to a library of stock photos to look for the logo you specified, and will try to accommodate your needs. Unfortunately, if you do happen to go this route, you and a dozen other companies will end up having the same exact logo. You might consider suing, but you’d end up spending more money in lawyer costs and fees than you actually spent on the logo. Turn to Fiverr.com for great ideas, but be weary, as you will definitely get what you paid for.
Logos are everything to a company, but does investing more money into a logo necessarily mean it is better? Logos were always a thing and happened to go with every website and company, no matter what. There were, however, many “side stores” who always just happened to have text content of their store, rather than an actual logo. “Going out of Business” could be a store name without much effort.
A look at the history of RadioShack also shows the company began as text, and eventually, emerged into just a circled R with the words Radioshack still kept intact throughout its history. Unfortunately, though RadioShack still remains with us in this century, it was a much more powerful company about 40 years ago, but has yet to catch on in becoming a great competitor to other companies like Best Buy and Amazon.com. Fortunately, most “techies” know what RadioShack is, even if their logo was never that great.
Craigslist, in 1995, went against the trend of every other company and decided to stick with a text logo. Although I couldn’t find any official information on startup costs for Craigslist, I am sure they were very minimal, compared to what other startups cost to simply get the company up and running, but logo was probably a non-financial issue, as there was none, except the text of “Craigslist”.
This logo is powerful in itself, as Craigslist itself has proved to have virtually no competition at all, and any competition that has rose up, has either gone away, or is simply “sister” website. Craigslist has remained my idol for my own websites for as long as I can remember and gives me hope that I do not have to invest hundreds of dollars into the design of a logo.
While Confessions of the Professions itself has had only one logo, it was designed to be very minimalistic, and the image of our logo was eventually scratched from the site, in favor of much faster loading text. I have saved costs on not focusing on the logo, but rather on the content of the site.
Another website of mine, MyPost.io, which is a website that allows anyone to publish a webpage on the Internet in seconds, has no official logo, but remains by its text of just: “MyPost”. While none of my websites or companies are as big as the major corporations, they are still found on the Internet and are often just as recognizable, as least, with returning visitors and users.
Being a web designer, web developer, software developer, I usually jump into the job and focus on the functionality and content, and afterwards, the logo becomes a thought. And while I would love to spend more time on a logo, it seems that the more simple the logo, the better. In my case, I prefer to keep it simple by sticking with text and focusing on what about the website makes it more memorable other than the logo.
There are millions of websites out there with articles, content, graphics, images. Many are more successful than others, while there are plenty that share great messages, but are lost amongst the “stars of the Internet”. The more appropriate focus when it comes to websites, is not the logo, but the content of the website. After all, how many people are actually connecting with the logo and can relate to it? Content is much more impressionable as people can read it, feel it, express it, and learn from it.
Logos definitely can be clever and many of them contain their hidden messages, but they deliver just one message: the message of branding. Content in an article delivers multiple messages across its visitors. So, when it comes to a logo, should you focus on it and is it important? Having some type of logo, graphic or text, is very important.
The look of the logo itself, unless its extremely ugly or you are a major corporation that is trying to reach the entire world, is probably less important. If you want to spend some time on it, go ahead, but if you can come up with a text logo that is just as memorable, than you might have saved yourself a lot of time and money.
Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to a logo and logo design, but the less time I can spend worrying about a logo, the more time I can spend on the functionality and design of a website. Text logos to me represent simplicity, whereby the company can focus more on its operations.
While many people might favor the “branded” over the “non-branded”, sometimes the “non-branded” works just as hard, if not harder, even at more affordable rates than the “branded”. If you can come up with a clever graphic logo, than you should certainly go with what you feel is best for the image of your website or business you are trying to represent; but just because you choose a text logo doesn’t make you any less important of a company or a website than one that has a graphic logo.