Make the Logo Bigger!
by Shane O’Neill, Vice President
As with any profession, there are always behind the scene idiosyncrasies that seem to commonly pop up. Sometimes these tweaks or requests don’t really benefit the objective and, in some cases, might be an obstruction to overall quality or effectiveness. In the agency/marketing world none rise higher than “Make the Logo Bigger”. I get it, the client wants to make sure the viewer knows whose ad, display banner, etc. they’re looking at. Clients want to make sure their name stands out. On the surface that’s 100% reasonable and sometimes justifiable. Yet many times making the logo bigger can be a detractor. Here’s why.
For the sake of conversation let’s focus on three popular marketing/web objectives; print advertising, digital banner display, and website. From a graphic design perspective, the main concerns are message, aesthetics, and brand perception. A good designer cares about these elements and considers each when laying out marketing assets. So, when the account team sends down the request to Make the Logo Bigger, the proverbial “Noooooooo” is sure to follow.
Now, this might seem like a silly article, but I think it’s important to address issues like this to not only better communicate to the client, but also ensure we are putting out the most effective marketing materials. As Al Pacino said, “life’s a game of inches” and in marketing those inches really can matter. Let me explain.
Let’s start with print advertising. The goal, of course, is to make the user stop, take note, and remember. You have maybe a second or two to get a viewer to acknowledge your ad. This is accomplished through creative design and a compelling message. A huge logo can detract from that message and actually fight for the user’s attention. If that happens, the user may never process the message and the ad’s effectiveness becomes diminished. If we focus on getting the user to stop and take note, the user commits to the ad, processes the message, and THEN identifies the business (logo) it refers to. Brand message delivered!
Digital display banners are even more difficult to capture a user’s attention. On top of that, for the most part, you’re limited to a single headline that captures the essence of your message. Sometimes that’s a strong call to action (to click), a powerful question, or a clever tagline. Whichever the case, the logo is not a compelling reason to click and let’s remember, our goal is to get the click…which takes them directly to your biggest brand champion, your website.
Jewelry stores are luxury retailers and luxury look and feel is distinctly different from other retail. A retailer’s website is their online storefront and should emulate the branding of the physical store or, if an online only store, is the definitive representation of the brand. Luxury branding is often clean, subtle and elegant. An overly large logo on a website detracts from that feel, but the question should be asked; why do you need a large logo on your site? Anyone on your website knows exactly what website they’re visiting. A large logo just takes up valuable real estate and is hardly subtle. For example, let’s take a look at the brand of brands in the jewelry space, Tiffany. Note the size of the logo on their website. It’s subtle and elegant and there is no doubt what site you’re on… beautiful. Now imagine that logo two or three times larger… an entirely different vibe altogether.
The bottom line is that the treatment of your logo matters. It serves a purpose and it defines your brand. And while there are certainly exceptions to the rule, it’s not as simple as making the logo bigger.