For a lot of designers, logos are simultaneously one of the most fun and soul-crushing things to design. That’s because—if you’re doing it right—it takes a lot of work to create something that can often seem easy to dismiss as a simple task. After all, it’s just a tiny illustration. How hard could it be?
Like a lot of things that fall outside our own personal experience, there is (of course) way more that goes into designing that tiny illustration than one might think. Just consider this: a logo needs to embody the vision, spirit, and legacy of a brand’s identity, and convey all of that stuff in a consistent way from generation to generation, across all media and platforms. No pressure, right?
The truth is, there’s an art form to creating logos.
On top of all of the research, experimentation, and refining that goes into establishing a brand’s vision, a designer also has to figure out a way to translate that vision into something visual. And unique. And memorable. And fresh. And designy. (It’s a real term, we checked.) And professional, yet fun and edgy, but in a timeless way.
So you can understand why designers might not appreciate those online logo generator sites loitering (like delinquent kids!) around the internet. While seemingly convenient,
Logo generators are pretty much an abomination of design and branding.
(Especially if you really care about what your brand stands for.) Here are three reasons why.
1. It’s lazy—and that’s a reflection of your brand.
The Digital Age is defined by convenience, but that doesn’t mean convenience always makes things better. Case in point: building your brand identity. Building one’s brand identity is a complex process. And while technology does help the process along (thank you, Google Analytics), it often takes a lot of people a lot of time to figure out what makes a brand a brand.
Taking time to research and reflect on what truly defines your brand and makes you unique among your competitors should be your priority. If you don’t care enough about your brand to put the time and work in to learn what makes your brand worth connecting with, you can’t expect customers to, either.
2. It’s the opposite of unique.
If everything your brand stands for can be summed up in off-the-rack, multi-use clipart, you’ve got some soul searching to do. The marketplace is a wild, loud, and ultra-competitive place, and branding is what helps you get your foot in the door. 94% of a first impression is design-related—how are you going to stand out and ensure that consumers connect with, trust, and choose you over all others? That generic logo you got off the internet probably won’t inspire much confidence.
3. It’s emotionless and impersonal.
Nowadays, people don’t want to buy from brands—they want to connect with the people, values, and personalities behind those brands. Because the act of researching and developing a brand identity is so human-centric (prioritizing the behaviors, experiences, and humanity that drives great branding), it infuses the resulting elements with the heart of what a brand really stands for and hopes to accomplish. That’s some really heavy, important stuff that you miss out on by picking a logo out of a lineup or letting a robot pick one for you.
So how do you go about getting the logo of your dreams? A good place to start is seeing what’s already out there. For example, take a look at your competitor’s logos: what styles or elements do you like, and why? What works and what doesn’t? What are some themes you see over and over? You’ll quickly realize that a lot of the logos that don’t resonate with you are the ones with the same generic elements as those you’d find in a logo generator (after all, those designs are meant to apply to a wide variety of brands, industries, and ideas; there’s bound to be crossover). And the more you see, the more you’ll be able to define what actually speaks to your brand and values. Then you can relay that vision to a designer who can help you adapt those themes and create something one-of-a-kind to match your individual brand identity.
Looking for more insight, strategies, or advice on developing a kickass brand identity or logo? Check out all the ways we can help.