Logo Logistics and Logic: When developing a new logo, less is more

A logo is a clear, simple evocation of what you do and how well you do it.

When it works, the logo gives everyone who sees it an exact idea about your brand. But most successful logos are more difficult to create than the end result suggests. Sometimes it’s that the person creating the logo is not a good artist or conceptualist. Other times it’s that too many “experts” are working on the problem.

According to a director in a financial services firm who I spoke with recently, creating a logo as part of their re-branding effort was a “nightmare,” mostly because practically everyone in the office was involved in the process.

The 2011 biography of Steve Jobs demonstrated that there are advantages to megalomania. If you have a genius running your company, it is often better to let the boss make all the decisions. But if you don’t have the genius leader, and dread a free-for-all involving all employees, try instead to narrow down the number of people who are designated to make the final decision. Aim for no more than three members.

This approach is most effective when it happens at the beginning of the process. Another important point: Just because somebody is a partner doesn’t mean that person should be on the committee. Partner or not, the small group should be empowered to decide on a theme, develop alternatives within the theme, and select two or three top choices. Before the final selection is made, the committee might invite a vote by partners or perhaps by everyone in the firm.

But the committee must retain the right to make the final decision.

This process won’t guarantee that everyone is happy with the final result. But the alternative won’t either, and by streamlining the process you are much more likely to come up with a logo that stands strongly for your brand.

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