Let me tell you a little story that is the inspiration for this post…
A couple of weeks ago I received an enquiry asking for details of pricing guidelines for logo design. I responded asking for more details about the project in order to calculate a quotation based on the specifications of the project. It turns out that the company in question had recently launched a website but had ‘forgotten to sort out a logo’. In place of the logo was just headline text rendered by a web browser. Apparently the idea of getting a logo had just slipped their mind, and were now seeking to rectify the situation even though the service was available.
This situation instantly reminded me of a post that was recently published claiming that the Google Mail logo was designed the night before the service went live. So it seems even the biggest companies in the world sometimes leave the idea of designing a logo until the very last minute. Anyone who has set up a new business will tell you that there are a million and one tasks that need completing before you are ready to start taking over the world. Unfortunately, the identity of the product or service that is being sold is often put right at the bottom of the order of importance.
Great logo design is not a quick process
If you want something done properly it’s always best not to rush. The common census among those who need logo design seems to suggest that designing a logo is just a case of drawing a pretty picture and slapping it onto everything that the owner uses or sells. In some cases this is the practice employed by many designers with less knowledge and understanding, but the difference between the average and those who know what they are doing is that to achieve a great logo, and in turn a great identity, is that the logo design process is often long and laborious.
A logo shouldn’t be an afterthought
So when is the perfect time to start exploring the possibilities of getting a logo designed?
- Obviously, it’s not going to be the first element of a business that you think of. A business should never be built around a logo, since a logo is an identifier of said business (you can find out more about the dangers of backwards branding here).
- Ideally, there should be a strategy in place to help build the brand identity of which a logo can adhere to and in a sense be an iconic identifier of those decisions.
- There should be plenty of time for the designer to explore directions for the identity prior to any services or sales opportunities going live.
- You should NEVER launch without having a logo of any form of description.
- Rebranding may occur when businesses are already operating, with the assumption that some form of identity is already in place.