Your Logo Is Not Your Baby!

Giving birth is such a special blessing. One that even the pain and stress of labor can’t diminish. You push, you curse, you snap at those closest to you. And then the angels sing and there it is; you’ve started your own business and your cousin’s friend’s roommate created a logo with your favorite colors. Isn’t it beautiful? You hold it close to your breast and the unbreakable bond is established.

And before you know it, your baby is all grown up. Where does the time go? It goes into your business that’s where. You’ve poured blood, sweat and tears into it for 10 to 20 years now and pulled that cute little logo of yours right along with it. All the hustle, the 80 hour weeks, the sleepless nights, the making payrolls… you’ve done it. You’ve started a business and pulled it kicking and screaming into an enterprise that supports your family and maybe several others.

Over my 28 year career in brand identity design, I’ve encountered this several times. Usually you, the logo parent, is a self made entrepreneur who has built a company from ground up into a successful small to medium size business. Yes, your cousin’s friend’s roommate did the best they could with the bootleg software they had, but the reason you love it is because it represents the risk, the hard work and accomplishments you made. But your the only one that knows that or feels that way. To everyone else, your logo either blends in, or epitomizes a brand that has to work to overcome it’s own poor representation. In all honesty you should receive standing ovations for the business you’ve built around a neglected brand.

But here is what you need to understand. Your baby is ugly. I mean, your logo sucks! It’s not helping your business, it’s holding it back. It doesn’t communicate that your business is well organized and pays attention to details. Forget that crap you’ve heard about the value of consistency. Consistently bad is not an advantage in your market. And trust me, all the big brands that are praised for their well known logos are constantly looking at ways to make them better. Yep, that one too.

So please, take heed. Let go of the bad equity in your old logo. It’s NOT YOUR BABY! It is a business opportunity to better connect with your customers. Partner with a talented designer or firm that has the experience and ability to help brands grow with a well thought, customer focused logo.

Tom Cox