Design

When designing a logo, your goal should be to identify who you are, not explain what you do

Your logo should identify you, not explain who you are or what you do.

You've finally convinced yourself to start that small business you've been dreaming about. You wrote your business plan, formed your LLC, opened your bank account.. and now you're thinking... "how will people know about my business?" The novice designer inside of you starts to imagine the colors, typography, and logo that will represent your business. Then you get the urge to add what you do to the logo somehow. Examples: You have a painting company so you name your business Rhino Painting, instead of just Rhino. You're in construction so you name your business HomePro Construction, instead of just HomePro. Do you get my point? You're making the attempt to explain what you do with your logo, instead of just allowing it to identify you - and this is wrong.

Identification, not explanation

When designing an identity, your goal is to identify, not explain. Just consider something for me - if you think about the world's most notorious brands, what do their logos have in common?

  1. The Apple logo doesn't say they make computers or iPhones
  2. The Google logo doesn't say they run the world's largest search engine
  3. The Microsoft logo doesn't say they make computers
  4. The Facebook logo doesn't say they're a social media company
  5. The Amazon logo doesn't say they're an online store
  6. The Coca Cola logo doesn't say they're a beverage company
  7. The Disney logo doesn't say they make movies, TV shows, or have theme parks
  8. The Samsung logo doesn't say they make phones, chips, or appliances
  9. The Nike logo doesn't say they make shoes or sports gear
When designing an identity, your goal is to identify, not explain.

The commonality is that none of these companies explain what they do, but yet you have a perception of who they are just by looking at their logo; their logos are only intended to help you identify them.

The ability for someone to recognize your logo doesn't rest solely the on logo itself. Once an identify is created for your business, it's up to an individual or group of individuals to begin building the business's reputation through strategic messaging, a popular word for this process is called branding.

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