What is a logo? While you wait for my answer, I’d ask; what is a car, a house, a tree or a bicycle? My guess is that your answer will be; a car is a vehicle that moves you from point A to B. A house is a place you live. A tree is a plant that bears fruit. And a bicycle is a pedaled two-wheeler. Yes! But did you consider in your possible answer that a car has a massive precision based engine? A house has a strong foundation? A tree lives by photosynthesis? And that a bicycle is made with alloy metals? My point is, all these objects exist and function by principles. So does a logo.
A bad logo is:
1. One Made Without A Detailed Brief. This is like going ahead to build a house without an architectural sketch. Telling a designer the name of your business and what it does isn’t enough to make a good logo. You get exactly GIGO – garbage in, garbage out. A brief captures your business ideals or central theme, core values, corporate statements – vision, mission, tagline, etc.
2. When Your Logo Has No Meaning. Try asking yourself what does this logo mean? If you have no answer, maybe you try asking the designer. But its something you should have known right from its presentation. The Nike swoosh (many people ignorantly call the tick), Playboy bunny, Apple Inc’s apple, Microsoft’s windows, Dayo Abiola’s success symbol have meaning.
3. Completely Over Crowded With Graphic Elements. Gosh! This personally ekes (adds) my disdain. Anything more than 2 different graphic elements is crowded. Worse still any element that isn’t of central importance in size, position or function is outrightly ridiculous. A logo isn’t meant to be a “vivid artistic illustration” or like a fight in the national assembly or even “beautiful” for that matter l, as many will like to to think. A logo should simply be appropriate and able to install in human memory.
4. One That Cannot Tell Or Justify A Brand Story. The world has changed. But in reality very little with regards to human interaction has. Technology has only enhanced it. Humans still want to feel loved, feel wanted, feel care, appreciated, etc. These are some of the feelings brands communicate with us. And it becomes the reason why someone can say for instance “I’m a Coke person’. And this feeling is assured on sighting the Coke logo. The way a brand interacts with you is through a story. A bad logo has no story because it was created with none anyway. One reason a detailed brief is once again important.
In conclusion, A logo is a symbol or mark designed for the differentiation and instant recognition of a business, product or service. Simple! But not as simple to make. It’s made with principles.