A no-go logo

The thumbnail version:

  • A professional-looking logo lends credibility
  • The logo must tell what the business is and does

The full version:

This topic comes up from time to time but it’s worth revisiting because it addresses an issue that costs small businesses, particularly startups, a lot of wasted money.

I recently saw a short video demonstration on LinkedIn of a logo being designed. The post and video were promoting the work of a logo designer. The use of the brush and ink technique was impressive. Any calligrapher would have approved.

However, the end result, though aesthetically impressive, had very little practical value because no name or product or service could be identified. Now, some business owner seeking a logo might argue that the “swoosh” doesn’t” say “Nike” either, to which I’d say, “But you’re not Nike.”

A small business needs its logo to lend credibility and to tell what the business offers. If, say, ABC printed T-shirts and displayed a “fancy” but indecipherable logo, it wouldn’t be helpful to a potential customer looking for a business called ABC or for a place that produces T-shirts.

Sign of steaming cup of hot coffee outside of a coffee shop. It doesn’t need anything more by way of a logo to tell prospective customers what they need to know.

The obvious solution is a well-designed, professional-looking but legible name logo that tells either the name or the product or service or perhaps just one of those—it depends upon the nature of the business.

Maybe one day your business will grow to be where it can be recognized by a swoosh or a golden arch. But, until then, settle for a well-designed name and product logo. Maybe even just a product logo.