Henry Ford II said that and I love it. It’s been one of my mantras ever since I heard it. My other mantra is, “it’s not about you.” The “you” being me, but I digress. I’m back to talking about logos. Logos are a tricky thing, no doubt about it. So the best idea is to keep it simple. How do you do that, you ask? I don’t know, it’s hard not to get wrapped up in an idea, a concept, your message all that. The best way is to describe the signs of having gone to far.
Graphic Design USA is a magazine for the design trade, back in the day, they used to profile companies with new logos. Along with the reveal was a description of what the new logo meant. Right there, right there is where the merry-go-round broke down. If your logo, a symbol, needs a paragraph or two to explain it, it ain’t workin’, baby. They were ever so fun though. I would read the description and see if my husband could match it to the logo. He did poorly at first; he improved over time. I used to read the descriptions in my best game show host voice. Great fun for me, not good for a logo. So here’s how you know you’ve gone off the deep end.
- The presented logo comes with one or more paragraphs of explanation. I found one description that ran 670 words. Another was 301 words for something that looked essentially like this:
- It’s so complicated it cannot not translate to black and white.
- It cannot be made small, it has to remain quite large.
- You’re presented with 20 to 30 options. Yikes, it happens!
- You’re dismayed because the logo doesn’t communicate your mission statement. A swoosh or a bulls eye doesn’t either, it’s just supposed to remind you of the company. Your logo should say, “Hey it’s me.” Not, “Hey it’s me and I represent a melding of new and old technology along with a fresh take on materialism vs. spiritualism in our ever evolving world of global communications while maintaining brand luminosity.”
And for the record, my logo: Reminiscent of an element square from the periodic table. I like science and squares. 14 words.