Content // Logo Development

Logo Development

By Matthew Desotell
Sep 12, 2018

Things to consider before you start.

What makes a good logo? What should your logo look like?  Should it be graphical or type based? Does it need a subliminal shape in it like FedEx’s? What should people think when they see it?  What should they feel? And what do we want them to see and think?  What’s their at-a-glance take away?  Does the logo need to stand for something? Is the logo for the product we’re making today or does it need to be for the brand we might become in 8 years?  Will the name be synonymous with a product like Kleenex, Coke, or Xerox?  Will we use it as a verb like, “Google it?” Is the business only regional now, but we should be planning for it to be global someday?

Lots of considerations for logo development and likely you don’t need to get them all right before you start.  Most people starting a business, need a logo, and find someone who can throw one together.  Some, more well-funded and invested businesses, knowing they need to create a brand might get with a branding agency from Day 1 and use their venture capital.  Likely you’re somewhere between the next Silicon Valley start-up darling and your neighbor’s next grilling tool invention they plan to pitch on Shark Tank.

It stands for who you are.

Whatever the case, a logo should be effective in conveying something essential about the company or product.  Like, if your thing is fun – your logo should be fun.  Take Toys-R-Us for example.  What, too soon? Okay, take Blockbuster…  What, still too soon?! Come on. I’m using Blockbuster; it’s been long enough.  (And yes, I know there’s an owner in Brooklyn who refuses to close.  Power to you. I’d like to meet you, buy you a beer and watch a DVD of “Dude, Where’s my Car?” with you. Because that’s a movie I never actually saw, because I was into art-house films at the time and thought I was too cool for big “blockbuster” movies. And that word brings us back to that logo. )

The name “Blockbuster” was indicative of their business – in this case: mass entertainment + retail.  Picture their logo.  (Or Google it in case it’s not fresh in your mind’s eye). The text is big and bold. The graphic is a movie ticket so it’s built into the logo.  At a glance, you “get it.”  Remember the first time you saw or heard of Blockbuster?  I don’t really, because it was always kind of around since I could remember but I remember being excited seeing their sign because I loved movies and the yellow in their sign reminded me of buttered popcorn!  And obviously in the 80-90’s, renting movies at a neighborhood video store was new and novel!  Now, fast forward to the present! (I’m not going to use a “be kind, please rewind” reference in this article.) Now there isn’t a Blockbuster Video store anymore (I know Brooklyn dude.  I see you.).  Now there’s Netflix.  What’s their logo? What’s their move ticket?  There isn’t one. Why?  Maybe it’s because things change so quickly and digital isn’t as tangible as a movie ticket.  Dunno. Didn’t work on it.  (Dear @Netflix, I’m totally open to working with you.)  But all of this is the point.  Logo development is important. What should your logo be?  And then once it’s out there for a while, how might it evolve over time as your product or technology does.

Great question.  Would love to have the conversation.