Too often does the designer hear from the client “Make the Logo Bigger!” The common misconception seems to follow the train of thought that if the logo isn’t big enough, the brand simply won’t be noticed, communicated, or even remembered.
Why is it, that when we hear the word brand, we automatically think logo? The brand is so much more than just its mark—it’s a feeling; a message; an assumption; a deeply rooted belief or conviction. It’s Tony the Tiger, or the rush you get when you slide yourself into the cool leather of an ‘Ultimate Driving Machine.’ It’s also sincerely believing that you’re in good hands with Allstate, or that Tide is the best detergent for grass stains. The logo is literally the tip of the iceberg. And though it is an important piece of the puzzle, many clients confuse its role.
Consider Apple, for example. We all know Apple’s current mark—which is rather simple—and many of us could pick out Apple’s last two marks if they were placed in some sick logo-lineup. But consider Apple as a product offering. You know that if you walk into an Apple store, you’re going to get great one-on-one customer service. Arguably, you’ll also get some of the most cutting edge design and technology spanning several markets. You’ll even get community. And as a consumer, you know that anything bearing the apple logo will come with these amenities. This is Apple’s brand. It’s service-driven, cool, relevant, and technologically ahead of its time. The brand has been amassed after years of message give-and-take, from us to them and back again. It’s a conversation composed of product and advertisement design of every sort, customer feedback, and blogs.
Whether the logo is big, small, or absent altogether, we know an Apple product when we see it; that’s the power of branding.
Think of the brand as the personality and the logo as the face. Running with this personification, we learn early on as humans that it’s the inside stuff that matters most. Your brand is similar. The message behind the company is what’s most important because that’s where consumer value and desire is birthed. This message can be developed internally or externally to the company and the more universally accepted it is, the stronger the brand becomes. And here’s where the logo comes into play. The logo is the capsule that houses this information, endorsing the very product to which the mark is applied.
Bringing this back to our business, this means that your logo—on your website, packaging, or flyer—doesn’t need to do all the talking. It’s just a delivery mechanism. Your overall brand will communicate for you, as it is both created and reflected in all design choices. Your logo on the website might seem small, but trust that it is bolstered with words, colors, textures, and type that all speak to your brand’s essence. The logo is simply the name tag on the overall package that you offer to consumers. The real trick is to harmonize and reconcile all the pieces into that package.