Gasp! Did I just announce a possible misstep in my business practice? Yes I did. But confessing my error, I believe, can do two positive things:
1) Well, I got it off my chest and that’s always good!
2) Hopefully sharing my experience will help someone else.
I’ve come to learn in my logo creation experience that not only does your logo drive your brand, but, for entrepreneurs, logos are highly personal. You are your business, so your logo should not only represent what you do, but it should have your flavor as well.
When I took on my most difficult logo design client – myself – I went through multiple designs, but never felt comfortable with any until I allowed my very personal side to come out and dictate the design. I was questioned about the “whimsical feel" of my design in the process. However I was and still am fine with it. It’s who I am. I am free-spirited and I love fairies. For me, magic happens when I design, so the fairy wings and sparkles are very appropriate elements in my logo.
Logos don’t always have to be obvious, ya know. What’s important is that whatever your logo design is, it must represent YOU. Then, brand the heck out of your business, using that logo. It needs to show up everywhere and in everything you do. When you are branding properly, your market is going to start associating your logo with your product or service. Consider the Starbucks™ logo. There’s no obvious connection between a mermaid and coffee, and certainly not back in 1971 when they opened their doors. Did a mermaid in their logo stop me (or anyone??) from buying their coffee? No. (Actually, I buy their chai tea lattes. I hate coffee.) Now though, because of great branding that created great interest, we can learn that the mermaid is a siren, which represents not only the seaport of Seattle, but the irresistible “siren’s call” of Starbucks coffee.
This blog is not a license to be willy-nilly about your logo design though. Do, absolutely, consider your target market and your marketing goals when designing your logo. Do be professional and make sure you represent yourself and your business as such in your branding practices. Do be willing to accept that there will be various reactions to your design and branding. Just don’t get so hung up on the idea of "pleasing" others that you forget or neglect to share who you are in the process.
Whatever image and/or style you choose for your logo and branding, don’t be afraid to make it personal. You put your heart and soul into your business. There’s nothing wrong with putting yourself into your logo design. Use your branding activities to carry your business message through and don’t ever - I mean EVER - apologize for your branding design. Own it. Be proud. It’s you.
So let me make it official. I will NEVER apologize for my card design again. I promise.
Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section. Thanks for reading this lil’ blog o’ mine!