Business logos

by Admin
Updated: July 21, 2020

Business logos are often a waste of time and should at most play a supporting role in branding

The first thing that must be considered before setting to work on a logo or cryptic trademark is: What are the benefits?

For most small and medium-sized enterprises, the benefits of associating the business identity with an indecipherable glyph are far outweighed by the fact that the business doesn’t yet have an established identity.

In my experience, one of the first things entrepreneurs try to do, under the guise of establishing a brand identity is create some kind of clever logo. And by “clever” I mean something that doesn’t actually contain the name of the business.

The big fail

Even when you’ve worked hard to promote your logo and people recognize it, it can be very difficult to communicate it.

“Buy the one that has that squiggly symbol!”

Although it is now possible to easily send photos or look up a logo or trademark using reverse image search, it’s still much easier to identify something by its name.

Name first

Choose a good name and focus on business fundamentals.

  1. Decide on the name of the business subject to being able to register a domain which includes it.*
  2. Focus on the core business.
  3. Promote the business by name.
  4. Use simple themes on the name such as a distinct & consistent typeface.

* [Unique-name].com is better than [Duplicate-name]+[Descriptor].com is better than [Duplicate-name].other-tld.

Suppose my business makes widgets and I originally wanted to call it “Apple” - but apple.com is taken: Choosing a different name, e.g. abted.com is better than applewidgets.com is better than apple.biz

Whether in conversation or using a search engine, people will want to look you up by name so a good name for any business, small or large, is one that at least passes this test.

Logo later

A logo is chiefly visual shorthand, so it’s only useful when the long form is well known and only necessary when there isn’t enough room for the long form. Otherwise always use the long form.

Over time, if it is consistently associated with the business name, the logo can become a key identifier of the business. But I always wonder if it was worth it.

Copyright

A logo, provided it is original, will normally be automatically protected by copyright law as soon as it is published.

More info

Identify logos and trademarks using reverse image search at tineye.com.

“Logo Copyright Laws” at legalbeagle.com.

“Advantages & Disadvantages of Allusive Logos” at smallbusiness.chron.com.

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