Why is your logo important?
Your logo is often one of the first brand elements to be seen by prospects when dealing with a new business. Whether it’s at the top of a website, on the splash screen of an app or on the cover of a brochure it’s essential that it make a good first impression. And while a logo doesn’t constitute a whole visual identity, it’s a key ingredient in your brands memorability.
Your logo doesn’t have to spell out exactly what you do, but it should convey your brand’s values through purposeful choice of typography, iconography and colour. Prospects should be able to determine whether you offer luxury, offer value, are approachable, are technical etc, just by looking at your logo.
Particular styles, fonts and colours are synonymous with specific brand values. It’s important that these are considered when designing a logo in order to position an organisation well within the market.
Take the Tiffany & Co logo for instance (pictured above), a luxury jewellery and speciality retailer. Comprising a black logotype that employs a Didone typeface in small caps, all of which contribute to a luxurious aesthetic. If these design decisions were different, the logo would not portray the brands luxury values.
So why avoid logo generators?
Reason 1: They can’t get to know you
While a logo generator may ask you some questions prior to generating the results, it can’t get to know you or your organisation on a more personal level, it won’t feel your passion and it wont hear your tone of voice.
To ensure your brand is positioned well within the market and appeals to the right audience, time should be taken to properly research your business and other organisations in the same market. This allows informed decisions to made during the design phase. Something that cannot be done by a logo generation tool.
At Reflection, we always begin a logo or branding project with a questionnaire. This allows us to discover more details about how your business operates, who your clients are and what characteristics are needed for your organisation to be successful. We ask questions such as “Is there a story behind your business or its name?” or “What primary message do you want to convey to your customers?” Answers to questions like this will reinforce our decisions made in the design phase.
Reason 2: The logos aren’t unique
Logos created by logo generators are compiled from a list of predefined shapes and fonts. As a result, it’s possible that another user of the same generator could finish up with the same logo as yours.
Fonts and design styles adopted by logo generators are very much “of the moment” leading you to believe you’re getting a great logo but a successful logo should be timeless. Logos that follow trends soon become dated.
Reason 3: They Lack Creativity
When we present a logo to a client, what they see is just the tip of the iceberg. The logo is a result of extensive research, ideas generation, initial sketches and further development. During the ideas and sketching phases, we’ll constantly cross-reference our research to ensure the resulting logo will appeal to the right audience and fit within the market. None of which can be done by a logo generator.
Reason 4: You might love the results
That’s right you might love the logo, but will your ideal customers? One of the biggest issues we have with logo generators are some of the initial questions asked to its users before the logos are generated. They will ask questions such as “What’s your favourite colour?” or “Do you prefer serif or sans serif fonts”. If your answers to those questions are “red” and “serif” you’re guaranteed to see some red, serif logos that appeal to you, however it’s more important that your logo captures the attention of your target audience.
So, while we do our best to create a logo that you and your customers love, we try not to let personal preference stand in the way of creating an effective logo.
Our experience with a logo generator
Before we wrote this article, we had to see for ourselves, the standard of logos produced by these generators. We devised 2 example companies in need of a logo and created an account with one of the highest ranking free logo generators on Google.
Our first made up company was a family run bakery with traditional values. After entering our name we chose our industry and gave a description of our business making sure we included key words such as “traditional” and “family run” to give us the best chance at getting a logo that reflected our values.
Next we chose “Icon Based” as our logo style. While there is no right or wrong answer to this, as Reflection we would have undertook research into logo styles commonly found in the baking industry to support this decision.
We then proceeded to select a bunch of fonts that we liked. As mentioned previously, we were selecting fonts that appealed to us. As Reflection our research would have highlighted fonts that appealed to the bakery’s customers.
Our standards weren’t set very high but the fact that we could describe our business and add keywords to depict our values gave us a little hope. Upon submission we were subject to a neat little animation sequence that informed us that our logos were being generated, business cards were being made and social media posts were being created. Exciting stuff… until we saw the results.
As you can see we were met with a myriad of icons, font choices and colours. None of which reflect traditional values or even the baking industry for that matter. We were expecting to see at least a loaf of bread.
We ran the same experiment but as a premium tie retailer just to be sure. As predicted the arbitrary results did not reflect the business or its premium values specified in the initial description at the start of the process.
Logo generators simply produce quantity over quality. You can spend a lot of time scrolling through results until you find something you like, but don’t be fooled into thinking you’re getting an effective logo. The end result will be a logo, pieced together from uninspired shapes, fonts and colours, unrepresentative of your business and its values which ultimately could be generated by someone else.