My wife and I were traveling in Switzerland last year and we were frequently confronted with the ugliest, most visually disturbing logo I can remember; the logo for SwissCom, the Swiss telecommunications giant. The graphics committee (it had to be a committee) responsible for this should be lined up and shot.
Ideally a logo is a simple visual description, generally with the following design objectives:
– Visual clarity with bold, simple design elements
– Visual impact in 1 color or full color
– Works in all mediums (paper, banners, internet, etc)
– Maintains visual elements when reduced or enlarged
– Ideally conveys
o What business you are in
o Image (eg old fashioned, cutting edge, honest, high-end, successful)
o How your business is different
Now I’m not suggesting this is an easy process. In fact, it can be a hard intellectual and visual mountain to climb. It is a wearying and expensive process so we are easily seduced by inferior ideas.
In my experience, the best insurance is a faithful pit bull designer that won’t let go, chewing and chewing until a brilliant idea takes shape.
As a practical matter, most of us are not SwissCom with thousands of dollars at our disposal for logo design. On a budget, I suggest engaging an experienced graphics designer (we have several to choose from). Meet with the designer armed with concise answers to the above questions: “what business”, “image”, and “differentiation”, and examples of logos you like. Hint: Google logos or logo design.
If you have entries for our ugly logo contest, please email an image and where you encountered the monstrosity.
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