There’s nothing more expensive to your business than cheap design

September 20, 2018

by Dave Clowes

Logos are everywhere. I look around me now whilst sitting at my desk – my computer, my phone, my t-shirt, my jeans, my trainers, my head of design Paul’s shiny new bag, they all have logos and they are all full of meaning – some even have hidden messages.

I love logos. I love seeing a beautifully designed logo taking pride of place on a freshly printed brochure or business card (oh, and the wonderful smell!), or on a newly constructed website (no smell here I’m afraid!). I’m so lucky that I get to deal with logos all the time… and the best part of my job is when I get the chance to design a new one!

But what is the purpose of a logo, and why do you need one?

I think the main purpose of a logo is to identify – to identify the product, company or service that it is being designed for.

As consumers we are spoilt for choice and a company has one chance to impress us, and it’s likely our first impression will be the company logo. By simply looking at a logo lots of us (me included) immediately make judgements and perceive a business, product or service in a certain way. If we think it looks too expensive, too corporate or even badly designed we might avoid it. However, if the logo (and brand) looks like the type of company, product or service we’d like to be associated with, it’s highly likely we’ll give it a chance.

Consumers remember a well-designed logo (and brand). Shapes and colours are easier to process and memorise than words are (apparently), therefore it’s essential the logo accurately portrays the business in order to attract the right audience.

Designing a new logo

Creating a new logo for a brand is exciting but can also be challenging. Before working on any ideas I like to understand as much as I can about the company I’m creating a logo for – I research the company, ask questions and look at their competitors. How do they present themselves, what colours do they use and why? Have they used any icons or imagery? Next, I think how can my logo design be different, so it stands out from the others?

I try and keep my concepts simple and use only a few colours – I mainly design in black and white (well 90% black to be precise) and then add colour into the design later. It’s important to remember that a logo needs to work in one colour to give you options and flexibility when constructing the rest of the branding. Because of social media, a logo needs to look good in tiny sizes too.

It’s easy to forget sometimes that when creating a logo you’re doing this for the client and not for yourself. This will apply to all designers… there’s been many a time where I’ve absolutely loved a design only to find out that the client doesn’t (what’s wrong with them?)! That’s all part of the process. Unfortunately, the customer is always right, whether we like it or not!

In this day and age everyone thinks they are a designer, just like everyone thinks they are a photographer because they took a nice photo and put it on Instagram. I come across a lot of business owners designing their own logo, not understanding how damaging a poor design can be to their business. Whether we like it or not, first impressions matter. There can be nothing more expensive to your business than cheap design.

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