August 26, 2012

What’s a great logo worth?

We were asked to explain the importance of a great logo the other day, which reminded us that we have said very little about logos in this space over the years. Not one blog post, not one White Paper devoted to logo design, despite having launched a few hundred of them.

Many people romanticize and exaggerate the value of logo design, truth be told. If your underlying product or service fails, even Milton Glaser can’t save you. There are even people who naively believe logo = brand, but they mostly want to sell you keychains and pens.

A logo we created for a school for children born deaf. The apostrophe signifies a cochlear implant or hearing aid.

A great logo is an improvement over a merely good logo. It’s one element among many (name, tagline, reputation, narrative, differentiation, visibility, to name a few) that make up the total perception of your brand. So it’s valuable to have a great logo, but it won’t kill you if it’s good enough, and everything else is solid.

A poor logo, by contrast – one that’s ugly, amateurish, inappropriate or unreadable – can turn off prospects in significant numbers, and haunt you for years.