Do Logos Really Say Anything About A Brand?
Small business owners explain how they came up with their logo and it's importance in their overall marketing strategy.
Adam Main is the founder of graphic design company Cat Fits Box
Our graphic design company is equal parts geek and fun. We wanted a logo that would reflect that so we sought inspiration from one of the certainties of the universe – any unattended box will sooner or later be filled by a cat. We like to think that our company, much like the posterior of a cat, can mold itself into any form when necessary. We gave the cat a somewhat ‘wired’ appearance to represent our coffee-fuelled nature. Above all the logo is a fairly literal take on the company name and it helps people to remember and recognise us at a glance.
If running your own business wasn’t fun we wouldn’t be doing it. It’s great to see the smile on even the most hardened businessman’s face when they get one of our business cards. What our logo creation strategy boiled down to is that any situation involving a cat and a box will be glee-filled.
Henry Hales and Sophie Yates are the director and marketing director of Sir Plus, a sustainable menswear fashion brand
Sir Plus garments are created using the finest quality surplus fabrics and off-cuts – known as cabbage in the industry. This resourceful method reduces consumption and enables access to a wide variety of quality fabrics.
Like the name, the logo originated as a pun based upon the values of the company; a cabbage in a top hat represents not only the materials used, and the green ethos, but also the level of quality you can expect within Sir Plus. The combination of the cabbage and the top hat reflects the playful attitude of the brand, encouraging customers to have fun and not take themselves too seriously.
Anna Dent is the founder of Anna Dent Studio, a pattern design company
Originally I had a logo which used the same lettering but had abstract shapes alongside. I realised that although it gave an indication of my style it really didn’t convey much about what I do.
The pen, pencil and paintbrush actually came from a pattern that I had recently designed. I like to draw things that I see around me and, taking that very literally, I drew the tools that I use to create my designs. So when I was looking for something to use in my logo it seemed a natural choice. It shows that I draw by hand to create my work, which is important to me because there is something special in hand-drawn and painted work. It’s something you don’t get when a design or pattern is created purely on a computer.
Danny Lezer is business development manager at Firestar Toys
We wanted a logo that would help show that we’re a fun company to deal with. I think people often forget that behind all the corporate nonsense we see now in companies, there are actual humans who have a sense of humour and like to have a laugh. By having a fun logo with the right mix of geeky and cool we can show off our quirky personality which will enable us to interact with customers in a more human and friendly way. We run a serious business, just not in a serious way.
As a microbusiness we’re unable to spend the eye watering amounts that larger companies can on marketing. We rely almost exclusively on word of mouth, especially through social media. To do this, we make all of the content we post via the sites is memorable and often fun. The logo is simply an extension of this that will help to create consistency and cement our personality across all communications and interactions with the company. Having a global customer base, it was important that the logo wouldn’t be held back by language barriers; equally important was that it didn’t exclude anybody.
Julie Bishop is the founder of JobHop, a social networking platform for employment
Before I finally decided on the very simple logo we have today I’d worked my way through about 20 others, some of the ideas reduced me to tears, one I created made everyone cringe and others were just laughable. JobHop is a social networking platform for employment, our mission is to get those members of generation Y who love Facebook but don’t use LinkedIn to network with employers in a social way that they’re used to – our logo had to say that.
We understand that generation Y will strategically hop to climb the career ladder fast, they’re not going to stay in a job for 30 years like older generations. Hopping became key and with that in mind we decided on the spacehopper. We made the spacehopper as simple as it could possibly be, to allow for easy recognition. For JobHop, orange was the perfect choice of colour as we embrace change, we want to disrupt how recruitment is currently done and we want to reach out to a young market to get them to think about networking with work in mind.
Conrad Ford is the founder of Funding Options, a financial firm which helps SMEs access loans and manage their cash flow
Funding Options exists to help firms get the right finance from a range of products and providers, so the visual idea behind the logo is to communicate how the options that our customers chose can lead to a range of outcomes.
I tried to achieve this by making the logo look like the type of graph you might find in a business plan spreadsheet, and in fact the very first version of our logo was exactly that, a graph that I hurriedly created in Excel during the spring of 2011. Back then, Funding Options barely existed and I found myself with just a couple of hours left before the deadline for a competition to win a £100,000 startup grant called the Tech City Launchpad. I decided that our competition entry lacked weight and needed a logo and, after five minutes fiddling with a spreadsheet chart, we had one.
We eventually won the government grant and now, a couple of years later, we’ve had the logo rendered a bit more professionally. In 2012 it even became a registered trademark.
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