File under: Design, Branding, Knowledge Drop, Logo

One Logo?

Expectations Shattered

We all carry expectations. We expect the sun to come up tomorrow and expect it to be wet when it rains. We expect that the ground beneath won’t suddenly collapse and that the dentist will be a bummer. We also expect branding agencies to offer logo options. For eleven years we have done this. But today that all changes.

We are happy to announce and disrupt your expectations!
We no longer offer logo options!

Wait. Hear us out. We promise we aren’t driven by ego or any high-falutin idea. Our reasoning is simple, logical, and based on providing you with the best results. In fact, if you bear with us, you’ll come to see that offering logo options is actually not in your best interest and kind of a waste of time. A single logo is what you want. If at the end of this you still don’t understand or agree please don’t hesitate to call or email us. But we’re pretty sure you’ll be on board. Let’s get started.?

Options. Options. Options. But Why?

We’ve been designing logos for clients for close to eleven years. Before that, our founder Sean, worked for another agency. I, Stevie the art director, was just an art dork that learned design through books, blogs, and bideos (videos about branding). We learned about our craft as well as the practical side about how to get clients and run the books. One of the things we both learned and agreed upon was that you present clients with logo options.

It’s Just What You Do.

Giving clients options was just what you did as a branding agency. Everyone does it, people recommend it, clients expect it, and so it just made sense; let’s offer logo options.

Clients want a say.

Another reason options are offered in logo presentations is that clients expect to have a say in the visual direction of their business. It’s my business so why shouldn’t I have a say in the direction of the business? This is understandable, but we’ll break your heart in a bit. ?

Trust…Or Lack Thereof

The third reason why we offer logo options is something far more personal and something we have to handle delicately; clients don’t trust us.

We get it. Really we do. You’re business is important. That’s obvious enough. You want to make sure that your business succeeds and is the best that it can be. We feel the same way about ours. We all have worked hard to get where we are today and in time we will look back and feel the same way about where we’ve been. It’s not like you know us personally. So why would you trust us? It’s not like we’re the highest rated agency in Colorado, or that you love our work, or that you got a great recommendation from a friend.

Real talk though – your business is important. So why trust us when we say that logo options are bad for you?

Why You Should Trust Us

The way logo design works is largely misunderstood. Most people think it’s something you can knock out in a few hours. Reality check – it doesn’t. Even when we presented three options to clients we didn’t just design three logos and stop there. We designed until we arrived at three appropriate solutions. For example, our last logo project included over forty different ideas. That a .075 batting average which is bad in baseball but that’s how design works.

There’s Always A Clear Winner

Regardless of the client or project, we as a team always collectively agree and know that one of the solutions is the most appropriate and works the best. As it so happens, our clients more often than not agree with us too. In fact, 73.68% of our clients end up choosing the solution we also think is the most appropriate. What accounts for the other 26.32%? Largely those are startups that fall off the face of the Earth and don’t even get back to us after our presentation. Here’s the kicker though, only twice has someone chosen a logo we didn’t think is the best solution. So in other words, one reason you want to see only one logo is because even if we give you an option, we would end up choosing the same option anyway.

We Are All Are Guided By Professionals.

Right now our air conditioning is broken. It’s hotter than hell and we hate it. Because we don’t know anything about air conditioners and how to fix them we told our landlord. They set up an appointment for a professional to come and diagnose what’s wrong. And guess what, we’ll take their recommendation. If they say we need a new air conditioner, well I guess we need a new one. If they tell us we need a thing-a-ma-jig that costs a hundred dollars, well I guess we need that thing-a-ma-jig. In other words, whoever is going to fix our AC is a professional and they know the best solution to our problem. This makes sense right? What are we going to do? Hover around them and ask them, “Hey what about that blue wire? That seems a little off right?” Just imagine the response.

The same is true for you. You’re the professional. You’re the expert. Imagine if we, the amateurs, came over and told you how to make ice cream or build a house. Does that make any sense?

And so now we’ve come to that awkward part where we say we’re the branding experts and you aren’t so we have to be careful to not offend…oh wait we just did! Aha! So again – we’re the branding experts and you aren’t.

We’re The Experts.

Ask yourself. What makes a good logo? What do I know about branding? It probably isn’t much or anything at all. That’s why you hire us. This isn’t something to be ashamed of it’s just a fact. Just like we’re not experts with air conditioners and you probably aren’t either.

That doesn’t mean you take what we say as gospel though. Challenge us. Ask us questions when we show you your logo. Why did you choose that font? What didn’t you go with a more subtle orange? Why did you go with a round shape as opposed to a sharp shape? Seriously. Don’t be afraid to ask anything at any point in the process. We’ll be able to guide you one hundred percent of the way. We’re the experts after all.

What If I don’t Like My Logo?

Let’s address the elephant in the room – what if you don’t like the logo? The answer is quite simple; it doesn’t matter if you like it. There are two reasons why this is true.

Symbols Take Time To Gain Meaning

The first reason is that like all signs and symbols, logos take time to become established as the vessels for your brand. When we drive and see that red octagon we know to stop. But what if all of a sudden they changed stop signs to a blue squiggle. Chaos would ensure because no one has any associations with that symbol. Over time, just as people did when the red octagon stop sign was introduced, people will gain the association of “stop” when they see the blue squiggle.

The same is true for your logo. Right now the logo we present to you means very little if anything – it has no associations. Like the blue squiggle it too will gain associations over time. In other words, over time and as it gains the relevant associations, you will love your logo. There’s a famous example of this very thing and that’s the story of the Chase logo. But you’ll have to hire us to hear that story! Or you can just check out this post. Cheater. ?

It’s Not About Liking Or Disliking

The second reason why it’s not important for you to like your logo is…that it’s not really about that. A logo isn’t meant to be liked by you. It’s not even meant to be liked by your clients or customers. Only dork’s like me “like” logos. Your logo is simply there to identify you. Do you think people “like” the Nike swoosh as much as they do now back when it was introduced in 1971? Phil Knight the founder of Nike didn’t even “like” the swoosh when it was presented. He told the designer, “I don’t love it, but I think it will grow on me.” Wise words Mr. Knight. Wise words indeed.

Not seeing logo options shouldn’t be scary. It should be exciting! All at once you’ll see your new identity and vessel for your brand. Again, over 73.68% of our clients agree with our decision in the end.

Stevie LeValley

Art Director

I'm a color blind art director. Who would have thunk it?

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