The One Answer You Shouldn’t Have For Your Logo

You’ve had your first crack at your logo design and wonder, “is this the right one? Will this logo speak to my customers?” You’re ready to move on to the next step of putting down some cash on business cards, menus, and signage but need just a little reassurance that this design will take.

Good job! This is a great place to be in. Having questions means you are open to the possibility that the design you created might be the wrong fit. It could very well be the right fit too. By asking, you come closer to discovering it.

There is one extremely powerful question we like to keep in our back pocket and we tend to ask all of our clients it…multiple times. Today I’m going to let you in on our secret. The question is short, to the point, and enlightening. It’s also the question that annoys us most from toddlers.

That question is “Why?”

It always seems like when a three-year old starts it goes on and on. Why, why, why… At first it’s cute but quickly it seems frustrating and irritating. But why is that?

After all, as adults it is our job to teach our nieces, nephews, and/or children. It’s the one question that can be asked repeatedly until the answers start drying up at the bottom of our well of knowledge. This is why I think it always ends in frustration.

We come face to face with precisely how much we don’t know. Fortunately you can plunk them in front of Siri for an hour so they can get all the info they need. On second thought, that seems like a scary proposition.

But I digress. The reason we ask why is because there always should be an answer. We are a bit more strategic in our why’s than a toddler. Why’s tend to expose the assumptions.

It’s the first question you can ask about your logo design, “Why this logo design?” Challenge your own answer with another “why”. Just for kicks, throw in a “how”, “How does it accomplish this reason?”

Go more in depth by asking why with every element of the design. You’ll know you are onto something when you have an answer for nearly all of your why’s and they aren’t entirely circular arguments.

A huge red flag lies in one singular answer that you might stumble upon. It is the one reason you shouldn’t rely on for your logo design. It will lead your business astray every time. Unfortunately, I fear the majority of designs in the wild suffer from this answer deciding their fate.

“Because I like it.”

“Why purple? Because I like it.” “Why diamonds and watermelons? Because I like them.” You see where I am going with this. It’s all well and good to like your business’ logo. It’s great if you do. It’s just not important or necessary.

“Because I like it” has zero business intent. There is no goal outside your preferences that will drive business in your direction. You are already sold on your company. What would be the point in trying to attract yourself with your logo?

A much better answer (while not definitive or complete) would be “Because they like it”. If you know full well that your audience likes and will respond to this design or this design element that is a great reason to keep it.

To give you another example. Imagine I showed up to a client meeting in sweatpants. The only reason I am wearing them is “Because I like them”. A potential client will not see it that way (unless they happened to love and wear sweats too). It would be immensely more effective for me to dress for the occasion and the client while staying true to my personality (my business).

And that’s where the dance begins. Finding the aspects of your business’ personality that your target market will best respond to.

Why?

Because I said so! No, but really, showcasing your business’ best aspects and personality in a unique and memorable way tailored to your target market will always outperform “because I like it.”

March 30, 2017
Posted on 
Author photo in a circle
Kyle Lincoln

Kyle is a logo crafter, avid reader, and writer. His experience expands across a wide spectrum of clients such as Nandos, Shaw Business, and Destination Canada. Growing up, it didn’t take him long to go from doodles to design. Kyle’s previous work in identities for conferences and events left him longing for something more enduring. He’s got a vested interest in helping businesses thrive and an eye for brand incongruences. In Vancouver he can be found scoping out his client’s location and/or the nearest gelateria and is always up to discuss your project or favourite flavour.

You’ve had your first crack at your logo design and wonder, “is this the right one? Will this logo speak to my customers?” You’re ready to move on to the next step of putting down some cash on business cards, menus, and signage but need just a little reassurance that this design will take.

Good job! This is a great place to be in. Having questions means you are open to the possibility that the design you created might be the wrong fit. It could very well be the right fit too. By asking, you come closer to discovering it.

There is one extremely powerful question we like to keep in our back pocket and we tend to ask all of our clients it…multiple times. Today I’m going to let you in on our secret. The question is short, to the point, and enlightening. It’s also the question that annoys us most from toddlers.

That question is “Why?”

It always seems like when a three-year old starts it goes on and on. Why, why, why… At first it’s cute but quickly it seems frustrating and irritating. But why is that?

After all, as adults it is our job to teach our nieces, nephews, and/or children. It’s the one question that can be asked repeatedly until the answers start drying up at the bottom of our well of knowledge. This is why I think it always ends in frustration.

We come face to face with precisely how much we don’t know. Fortunately you can plunk them in front of Siri for an hour so they can get all the info they need. On second thought, that seems like a scary proposition.

But I digress. The reason we ask why is because there always should be an answer. We are a bit more strategic in our why’s than a toddler. Why’s tend to expose the assumptions.

It’s the first question you can ask about your logo design, “Why this logo design?” Challenge your own answer with another “why”. Just for kicks, throw in a “how”, “How does it accomplish this reason?”

Go more in depth by asking why with every element of the design. You’ll know you are onto something when you have an answer for nearly all of your why’s and they aren’t entirely circular arguments.

A huge red flag lies in one singular answer that you might stumble upon. It is the one reason you shouldn’t rely on for your logo design. It will lead your business astray every time. Unfortunately, I fear the majority of designs in the wild suffer from this answer deciding their fate.

“Because I like it.”

“Why purple? Because I like it.” “Why diamonds and watermelons? Because I like them.” You see where I am going with this. It’s all well and good to like your business’ logo. It’s great if you do. It’s just not important or necessary.

“Because I like it” has zero business intent. There is no goal outside your preferences that will drive business in your direction. You are already sold on your company. What would be the point in trying to attract yourself with your logo?

A much better answer (while not definitive or complete) would be “Because they like it”. If you know full well that your audience likes and will respond to this design or this design element that is a great reason to keep it.

To give you another example. Imagine I showed up to a client meeting in sweatpants. The only reason I am wearing them is “Because I like them”. A potential client will not see it that way (unless they happened to love and wear sweats too). It would be immensely more effective for me to dress for the occasion and the client while staying true to my personality (my business).

And that’s where the dance begins. Finding the aspects of your business’ personality that your target market will best respond to.

Why?

Because I said so! No, but really, showcasing your business’ best aspects and personality in a unique and memorable way tailored to your target market will always outperform “because I like it.”

March 30, 2017
Posted on 
Author photo in a circle
Kyle Lincoln

Kyle is a logo crafter, avid reader, and writer. His experience expands across a wide spectrum of clients such as Nandos, Shaw Business, and Destination Canada. Growing up, it didn’t take him long to go from doodles to design. Kyle’s previous work in identities for conferences and events left him longing for something more enduring. He’s got a vested interest in helping businesses thrive and an eye for brand incongruences. In Vancouver he can be found scoping out his client’s location and/or the nearest gelateria and is always up to discuss your project or favourite flavour.

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