I Do Not Need a Logo…

What’s a Logo?

A logo is a graphic (illustration, usually) that is designed to represent your company. Designing one is one of the most crucial elements as you launch or realign your firm. Your logo can be your visual “bookmark” in a customer’s mind, and should suggest all of your firm’s Purpose whether your name is beside it or not. the best logos are timeless, clean, evocative reminders which instantly bring the desired associations to mind: Nike’s swoosh, Apple’s… apple, Playboy’s bunny. Even the flag of your country is often used in this way. They need no words, yet in the best of all worlds, you know what they represent and why.

Why Don’t I Need One?

Even with oodles of money for research and development, logo design debacles litter the corporate world (Xerox and the London Olympics have recently caused plenty of controversy). With piles of cash, logo designs and redesigns can fail spectacularly. You, my smaller-business reader, do not want to throw piles of cash out your window. So you don’t need a logo.

How Will Anyone Remember Me?

Oh, you do need a memorable visual marker, but it does not have to be a logo. A well-executed wordmark is far more important than a meaningless or missed-the-mark logo.

What’s a Wordmark?

Glad you asked. A wordmark is your company’s name, in its unique, standalone type treatment, which you will always use in the same standardized way. You will not tweak it, stretch it, color it differently in different media, or wrap the words differently to suit the size of the space you’re working with. You won’t do that, right?

Your wordmark will be filled with your Vision; it will be exceptional and intriguing. It will make me think only of you. Still don’t get it? How about FedEx, Yahoo!, and Coca-Cola. Can you picture the colors, style, and typeface of each wordmark?

When you use your wordmark, everywhere, in the exact same way, it will become that visual hook you need.

Can’t I Please Have a Logo?

Yes, you may. Be warned, it is much harder than it looks to get a good one, and much easier than you’d think to get something that doesn’t make you any money. I want your business to grow! If your name is the most important ad you’ll ever write, then your choice of logo, wordmark, or the combination of logo and company name (called a logotype) has a lot to do with how many eyeballs will recall seeing that most important ad.

Last word: Skip the Swooshes, the Ovals, the Mascots—Please!

Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson