Kwirkee is Quirky

Property Company House Logo

Posted in Articles, Design Thoughts by kwirkee on February 10, 2009

Being too literal in logo design


I write this post with a slight cringe, because I know that I have fallen foul of the Literal Logo Curse on more than one occasion. In my defence, it’s often because my client has worn me down and I have given up trying to explain my point of view. That being said, I still feel that this is a point worth making, so I’ll have to accept any “Hey, but you made THIS” comments coming my way after you read the post.


Being Literal…


Sometimes, your logo can be perfect even if you’re literal. There are several beautiful florist logos around which DO contain flowers and leaves. Still, the better ones tend to have abstract looking flowers, rather than, say, a photo of a rose. (Using photos in logos is a whole other post.) You could say that the flowers also represent beauty, freshness, colour…not just flowers.


And if your café is called “The Little Spotted Coffee Cup”, it would look stupid for your logo to be a piece of cake (cool spots might work though).


But Not Too Literal!


But more often than not, being too literal can really diminish your company. For example, imagine you start a little company selling running shoes. You call your company “Fast Running Shoes Inc”. Your get your designer to create a snazzy little logo which is a picture of your amazing, award winning shoe. So far so good? Ok. But…


Your shoe company is going well, so you decide to add a range of clothes and sports equipment. Now what? Your name is wrong. Your logo is wrong. It’s not flexible enough. So now you have to go to the trouble of changing all your branding to accommodate your growth.


If in the beginning you had chosen a logo which reflects your brand’s values – say, competitiveness, ambition and victory, you might have designed a logo that grew with you.


And The Proof Is…


Think about the world’s most famous brands. Apple doesn’t have a picture of a computer.  Neither does Google – an incredibly diverse brand. McDonalds doesn’t have a picture of a burger. And speaking of shoes, world famous Nike does not have a picture of a running shoe. Rather, the famous and fluid Nike swoosh represents the wing of Nike – the Greek Goddess of Victory.


“But How Will People Know What I Do?”


Don’t forget, your logo almost always appears with other material, like information in a brochure, or a product you’re promoting. Together they will be more effective than trying to communicate everything in one logo.


To Summarise


Try to convey your company aspirations rather than its core products. It’ll be cleaner and less cluttered, and when your company grows into a massive international conglomerate, you won’t have to change it!