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I’ve got a stupid question for you…

Every once in a while I get asked by prospective clients: “what logos (has your company) designed for large corporations that I would recognize?”.

This is an inherently ignorant question.

First of all, it’s dumb because (like most internet based logo design firms) our logo design prices range from $100-$700, we cater to small businesses and startups looking to save a few bucks, and no “large corporation” is going to be price shopping for a buget logo on the internet.

Secondly, most large corporations (although admittedly not all) tend to hire a very high end design firm (or develop an in-house one) that handles all company branding and advertising of any kind, including product design and branding, which is something my company does not do.

Finally, why should it matter? As Seth Godin points out in an excellent blog post, the only reason that companies like Nike, Apple, and Starbucks have such powerful logos is not because some logo design firm did an incredible job on the logo (I’m not saying that they are bad logos in any way, just that they are not THAT incredible on their own), but because of the massive amount of branding energy and advertising invested by those companies, as well as some very sucessful marketing plans.

So in short, if my company DID develop a logo that ended up being nationally recognized, it would not necessarily reflect our skill as designers, but rather the ability of the company owning the brand to promote it on a large scale.

However, I do have to admit, in the name of honesty, that if my company HAD developed the Nike logo, I would without a doubt be proclaiming it from the rooftops and preaching it in the streets, regardless of any of the above.

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3 Comments

  • by Pat
    Posted January 27, 9:00 am 0Likes

    For Wes: Startups seem to fail to recognize that they have a responsibility to advertise appropriately and make a logo their recognizable as theirs alone.

    I love clients that what a simple logo but they also want it to proclaim exactly what their product or service is but not be even remotely similar to anything their competitors use. Does the swoosh say shoes, does the wave say cola? Do the colors and letter placement on ebay’s logo say auction?

  • by Pat
    Posted January 27, 8:52 am 0Likes

    To answer Chatterbox: I would say NO if my designs contained a swoosh I’d fail to admit it.

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