Microsoft… IBM… Wal-Mart… Nike… Adidas… Time Magazine
Six of the largest public companies in the world…leaders of their respective industries… innovators and creators of products, services, and information…
You know who they are. You study their growth, their balance sheets, their risks, their failures. You even go out and buy their respective entrepreneur’s biographies hoping to discover that one secret strategy that put his or her company over the top.
Well I’m here to tell you that there’s one thing all of these companies have in common that is so blatantly obvious it’s often overlooked.
I’ll make a bet with you. Even if you were the finest linguist in the world I’m challenging that you couldn’t write more than a few sentences to describe the logo of each of the companies I listed above. I mean how much can you write about a logo that’s one color, one symbol, without shadows, embossing or flashy graphics?
I’m often amazed when I’m contacted by a potential client who is starting a business and asks me to design a logo for them that is flashy, multi-colored, layered, spinning, exploding… “that stands out. ” I mean doesn’t anybody conduct basic research anymore? You think Bill Gates called in a graphic design team and said, “Hey guys I’m thinking Microsoft should have a logo that spins and flashes with 15 colors that shows how bold and crazy we are…” Do you really think Jack Welch called for a multi-colored General Electric logo?
The Face of Your Company
What will be the face of your company? When you grow it won’t be the owner, the employees, or even the product or service you provide. It will be the logo. So how do you want to project your company to the world? In the case of each business above the chosen logo is one that is bold, clean, and simple. What that achieves is fairly straightforward, but as I mentioned, is often overlooked. A clean and bold logo projects stability and reliability, the two keys to success for any business. Time Magazine Inc. is recognized as a leader in the journalism industry, an industry that relies on credible information and trustworthy reporting. The strong and crisp logo emits such a sentiment.
The same goes for computers. IBM Thinkpad laptops have long been regarded as some of the most reliable and durable portable computers. The all-capital-letter IBM gives off a sense of strength and persistence.
The bottom line is that your logo, above all else, has to reflect a sense of strength, stability, and trustworthiness. If it’s just a pretty graphic it’s useless. So when you’re in search of a graphic designer for the perfect logo to represent your soon to be “world-conquering corporation” make sure to remember who came before you. I say if it’s good enough for Microsoft, Nike, and Time Magazine… it’s probably good enough for you.
Derek Falvey is the owner of Acuvar Web Design and Creative Development http://www.acuvar.com . He has helped numerous small businesses from lawyers to home builders and even a small farm create internet business strategies that guarantee success. Specializing in graphic design, web site development and creative e-marketing strategies.