Choosing a logo can be a daunting task. It’s a visual representation of your brand and you want it to be just right. But what happens when the designer and agency respond perfectly to the creative brief, and yet, you just don’t like it? It’s like going on a date with someone who looks great on paper, but when you meet them, there’s just no spark.
Online dating vs logo design
Choosing a logo is like embarking on a digital love quest. It’s all about the heart – that gut feeling that can’t be explained with logic alone. You may think you’ve found ‘the one’ – swiping right on a logo design that ‘should’ be perfect, but the reality can leave your heart sinking with disappointment. Like a dating profile that doesn’t match up to the real thing, a logo that doesn’t spark joy can leave you feeling deflated and uninspired.
Sometimes, it’s just a small detail that can make or break the deal. On a first date, it could be a pair of shoes, a comment about marriage, or even a seemingly innocent question like, “Would you like to have a coffee together and discuss the possibility of starting a family?” You don’t have time for someone who doesn’t tick all (most) the boxes. And that’s okay. You’re allowed to make mistakes, and you’re allowed to change your mind.
When it comes to your logo, it’s often hard to put your finger on what exactly isn’t working. It could be the colour, the font, or the overall composition. Or maybe it’s a gut feeling that you can’t quite articulate. Despite your designer or agency explaining how it meets the brief, it just doesn’t resonate with you.
But I’m not in love
In these cases, it’s important to communicate your thoughts and feelings. Your designer or agency can’t read your mind, and it’s only through honest feedback that you can work together to create a logo that truly speaks to you and your brand. Don’t be afraid to speak up and share your thoughts – it’s your logo, after all!
Corporate clients vs small businesses – it’s personal
But even for experienced branding experts, the process can be tricky. I remember working for a well-known corporate brand whose brand guidelines were as thick as a phone book (if you’re younger than Gen X use Google). Although this did provide some structure and direction, it often felt like we had as much freedom as a caged bird. It can be challenging to find the right balance between creativity and consistency.
Strangely, creating a logo can be more straightforward with corporate clients – although the process is far longer. If they are embarking on a complete rebrand, they will likely have a team of experts to guide them through the process. From branding specialists to focus groups, design agencies to advertising agencies, every step of the way will be carefully planned and executed. The process will be precise, clinical, and well-supported by a team of professionals.
But small businesses are different. It’s personal. You need to love your branding. You want to radiate love and say, “I just love it. It’s me.”
The heart-wrenching process of choosing a logo
Even for me, choosing a logo for my own business was a heart-wrenching process. My business name is from my favourite Cure track, ‘10:15 Saturday Night’. The track is about breaking free to do something reckless, impulsive, rebellious, and the search for meaning and purpose in life. My whole brand is 80s, energy, colour, which, if you’ve met me, you may see the relevance. It’s targeted at my audience, but it also shows my target audience a glimpse of what they can expect from me.
I had trouble expressing the sub-text behind my written creative brief for my logo, so I decided to take a more visual approach. I showed the Designer a copy of The Cure’s ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ album, which features the song ‘10:15 Saturday Night’ and put together mood boards of things that resonated with me visually – music, colours, clothing, and more. This approach really helped to elevate the written brief and communicate the brand’s personality more effectively. As a result, the next round of logo designs hit the nail on the head.
Change it, tweak it, or replace it, it’s your logo
If you don’t like your logo, change it. Tweak it. Replace it. It’s your logo, and you’re allowed to make mistakes. As long as your brand values don’t change, you have the freedom to replace your logo. Yes, you’ll hear the LinkedIn know-it-alls tell you that you can’t do that, but codswallop, it’s your logo!
Keeping your logo for the long haul
Like online dating, sometimes you find the perfect match. And when you do, you want to keep them for the long haul. My own logo has been with me for a while, and I plan to keep it with a few tweaks here and there. Just like my online dating download from 10 years ago, it’s still going strong.
Love is in the air
Choosing a logo is a guttural thing. It’s personal. You want to love your branding and radiate that love to others. It’s like online dating, where your head doesn’t always compute with your heart. And that’s okay. You’re allowed to make mistakes, and you’re allowed to change your mind. After all, it’s your logo, and it’s all about the heart.
Robert Smith said, “My music isn’t designed to make people happy, necessarily. It’s designed to make them feel something.”
Spot on Robert. Isn’t that what branding and marketing is all about?