You’ve probably seen those irresistible “unlimited revisions for just $99″ offers. Unfortunately, logo design is one of those cases where you do get what you pay for, especially on the lower range of the spectrum. Of course seeing obscenely high priced branding disasters doesn’t help either.
For most it might often seem like an unnecessary step, an extra that can be bundled with a web or brochure (re)design project. However, this is not particularly true. Most of the times the logo and identity are elements which either contribute to the first impression or are what you’re left with when you think of a product or brand. Just think about business cards and how helpful those little pieces of paper can be at times. And why not mention merchandising which means selling an image and a logo.
The main issue with logo design and identity is that if it’s to work is has to be reflect the individual characteristics of the entity it is created for. If it’s a generic design, one that’s been seen in various iterations in other places, it no longer helps you stand out from the pack. It still might help fill out some white space on the page but that’s about as far as it can go.
That’s why logo design is just about knowledge and research as it is about actual design. As a professional you really have to learn both about the brand you’re trying to create as well as the market and the competition. There are few things more detrimental to a company or product than either being perceived as amateurs because of their unpolished image or even worse being confused with their competition due to similar visual choices.
Logos should be timeless, despite the visual gimnicks used to adapt them for new media. It’s no surprise that one of the worst mistakes you can make in this respect is to follow a trend instead of going for something that’s true to your personal values. Once the fad has passed you’re most likely out of fashion and in need of a redesign, which can result in costs much greater than those associated with the actual creative work.