bad logos

A Process to the Pixels [Branding]

A great logo feels like home. You almost don’t notice it, because it feels right, comfortable, natural, and you genuinely identify with it.

On the other hand a bad logo stands out like a sore thumb… you notice it, but not for the right reasons.

bad logos

What’s the difference? What makes a good logo great, or a bad logo so bad? There are many factors, but the answer lies in the difference between a brand and a logo.

Anyone can whip up a logo. You can get a logo designed on Upwork or fiverr for ridiculously good prices (like under $100!). Some of them look pretty sweet too, so it’s no real surprise that plenty of business owners and entrepreneurs jump at this opportunity to get a nice looking logo for very little coin.

More than pixels

I worked with a school not long ago who were looking to rebrand. Their first port of call was fiverr. They submitted a brief, got a bunch of proposals and even some draft concepts without spending a penny. Thankfully, before going too much further, I had the opportunity to explain the significance of what they were undertaking in this rebranding project, and the importance of going through the right process.

To develop a brand, you need a process.

A brand is so much more than pixels, it’s complex, layered and runs deep into the human psychology. The pixels are certainly important — the logo is the most obvious outward representation of the brand. But there’s a difference between good looking pixels, and meaningful pixels.

This isn’t new information! I’m not saying anything revolutionary here and you’ve probably heard it all before… yet still, I encounter these challenges too often.

This school could have got a new logo for under $100, delivered in less than a week. Instead, I ended up partnering with them on a 6+ month project that led them through a full end-to-end process including in-depth research, focus groups, stakeholder involvement, design planning, execution, launch and then multiple months of a brand implementation plan. They spent much longer and more money than originally planned, but there was no sign of regret throughout the whole process.

“I just wanted to say well done for what you have done so far! …Thanks again for taking on the challenge and working with us.”

Andrew L, Covenant

If they just went ahead and focussed on getting the pixels done without considering the complexity of developing their brand, I dare say the results would have been far less meaningful — or more specifically, the brand would have had far less impact, purpose and longevity. In this case, they invested in the branding process, and it paid off.

I often feel proud of clients when they make the brave choice to invest in the process. It’s always more tempting to take the quick option, grab it ‘off the shelf’ — and this can be a good option for certain things. But for some things, things like your organisations identity, its core values, its vision and mission — these if anything, are worth investing in and seeking a meaningful and exceptional outcome.

I recently had the privilege of being involved in developing the brand identity for a small NFP ministry organisation. I was proud of these guys for making the big decision to invest in a branding process. They are a small community based organisation, they don’t have deep pockets, marketing plans or fancy offices — they had every excuse to jump on Upwork and grab a cheap logo. But no, they saw the value in the process and obviously desired something more meaningful than pretty pixels.

“This round captured exactly what we asked for… you have done a great job in creating (the) designs…”

Rita S, Fathers Care Inc.

They chose to be guided by the branding process, and interestingly, through the process they actually ended up changing their own expectations of what the logo should look like — the process revealed things they didn’t think of previously, and affirmed ideas they they had doubted at the start. The result was, as always, some nice pixels, but more importantly, they went away confident and excited about their new logo which truly represents their brand, resonates with their community, and reveals their identity.

“Wow! Thank you so much for going that extra kilometre for us.”

Rita S, Fathers Care Inc.

When it comes to creating a solid brand, going the extra kilometre is always worth it. A logo is not something you can upgrade every year like a new car, so taking shortcuts will rarely pay off. Invest in the process, and your logo will feel just like home.

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