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23 Comments

Anyone struggling with their logo?

It's not as important as you think it is. I know, controversial for a brand professional but hear me out.

Part of the reason that auto-logo generators work is that it's almost impossible to create a truly standout logo that someone will remember after seeing it only once.

Keep this in mind, because I've seen too many teams spend countless hours or even days worrying about the minute details of a logo, only to find that they haven't actually put their product in front of their audience effectively. Brand loyalty is built by creating amazing user experience, not having the world's most amazing logo.

So what WILL get you results faster than having a perfectly designed logo? Here is what I've learned from working with tech founder teams so far.

  1. Having a brand purpose (foundation/why/northstar, insert buzzword here) that aligns everything in your business around one thing.
  2. Knowing who your audience is, what their pain points are and where they hang out on the internet
  3. Creating a cohesive set of visual and verbal guidelines that creates rules for how things should look and sound, based on your purpose and audience.
  4. Being willing to keep iterating absolutely everything (including brand assets like your logo) based on what your audience actually needs.

If this is something that you are struggling with, I'd love to hear about it! Anything else you'd like to add to this list, or do you think logo is the most important thing any founder should be working on? Let's chat!

  1. 3

    You're exactly right.

    I've worked with tons of startup founders before and they spend way too much time and money on their logo, before even validating their product 😑.

    Look at the top websites from today: Facebook, Google, Netflix, Uber: all had a very barebones and pretty uninteresting logo when they started. It was clearly not that important.

    Still, it seems like people expect some level of professional branding to take you seriously in 2021. Starting with an ugly website like early Google would be too much of a liability.

    That's why I created Logology a couple of years ago, with my wife who is a brand designer. We're trying to translate all of her skills into a "generator-like" app so that founders can get good branding when they're still at the MVP stage, and don't have a lot of money.

    It took us countless hours to design all the logos (and we're still adding more every week) and figure out how to best bring value to people in an automated way.

    I feel weird for plugging my product like this, but it felt like such a perfect match to what you were saying that it seemed like a good idea. Feel free to let me know if you'd rather I delete my comment. I hate spam and hope that's not how it's coming up.

    I would love to get your feedback on it @Meri_Earthfound. Actually you seem to understand this field very well, maybe we could even partner up!

    1. 1

      Ah thank you so much, would love to chat further, feel free to pop me an email!

  2. 2

    I resonate.

    I think people still have the misconception logo = brand. A logo is an asset, it's a part of the brand. But we indulge too much in creating a logo, because it's a clear-cut process. We subconsciously indulge in it to avoid doing the hard things like defining an audience, tone of voice, code of conduct... for the brand.

    When I started creating the identity for my newsletter, the logo took me ~10 mins. I didn't sweat too much on it because I think of it like a badge I wouldn't mind wearing, no more, no less.

  3. 1

    Thanks for sharing. From what I learned the logo is a good start for branding. But what's most challenging is to determine when is the right time to change and why. When the product is out and the marketing is steady you don't want to start over and change too much.

    1. 2

      This is a great point @Calista110 - personally I think iterating small amounts is better than completely overhauling, testing small changes and seeing how they perform. For example if you look at the evolution of Instagram's logo, they essentially waited until there was a base level of recognition and were then able to reduce the logo to it's simplest form.

  4. 1

    I think after product name, domain name its the logo which is important.

    I hired couple of designers and I am not very happy with the outcome, I paid them but I wont use those logos. The auto logo builders are not always good(mostly not good).

    For my current side projects I designed the logos myself, it was fun but I am not sure if the logos are good :(

    Beta Project 1: WatermarkHere <-- photo watermarking tool
    Watermarkhere.com

    Beta Project 2: Host.pics <- image hosting service
    Host.pics

    The reason why these logos are very important for some projects, like mine is they will carry these logos on the free user photos. They are going to advertize my product, so its important that I have good logo.

    1. 1

      Hi, this is a really interesting response and a particular use case! I wonder, is the most important thing for your logo the design, or making sure the company name / URL is readable in the watermark?

      1. 1

        My intention is to bring people to my site. Putting the URL on the image looks a bit ugly, having the full colourful Logo on the image takes more space and attention(even free users may not like that). I am not sure what is right, right now going with putting the URL on free images.

        In my second product (host.pics) I made the URL itself the logo.

        1. 1

          This is such a fascinating problem to solve!
          I think you have the right idea with making your URL part of the logo, and there are ways of adding the .com on the first one without it being too overbearing visually.
          One thing to bear in mind for watermarks is they really need to be in one colour to be as legible as possible (this is also a good rule of thumb for logos in general).
          Remember also that the watermark is just one part of that signpost journey for a user - make sure that you are including links and making it as easy as possible for them to come across you after seeing one of your images.

          Best of luck with this - do get in touch if you'd like a more detailed conversation at all :)

          1. 1

            There is a problem if I don't incude '.com' with that particular domain. Imagine you are a fre user trying to watermark your photo. As a free user if I keep the text 'watermarkhere' at the bottom without '.com'. User and anyone who is seeing that image gets confused why is it indicating that where to watermark? The domain name is watermarkHERE.com the word 'here' may confuse the user that it is telling them to watermark their photos at that particular location. It can cause confusion without .com .

            I agree that text watermark needs to be single colour (may not be for logo). When there are multiple words in the logo, we need a way to distinguish the two words, for that I am using different colours in logo.

            I will be interested to talk more and take your opinions are you active on twitter, blog ?

            Thank you and Goodluck to you too.

  5. 1

    I agree with this a lot. Stay super agile on logo; I usually do a clean font, white on black background and call it a day. Logo won't make or break an idea; it's a distraction pre product market fit

    1. 1

      Thank you for sharing this!

  6. 1

    I've been working in designing for several years now and I don't think it's possible to agree more with you @Meri_Earthfound!

    This is bang on and just what many people needed to hear. Thanks for sharing the tips and sharing the post with the community 😄

    1. 1

      Thank you so much! Stay tuned, hopefully more to come :) I'd love to know if you have any other tips too!

      1. 1

        Yeah I love sharing my tips too! Regularly sharing them through my posts on the community 😄

  7. 1

    My logo and branding process is

    1. early days - make something myself. usually doesn't look half bad.
    2. wait a bit
    3. if the project gets some legs hire someone for relatively cheap for a re-do
    4. wait a bit
    5. if the project takes off hire someone at a higher tier / hire copywriter

    I do think branding is highly underrated in SaaS. Both visually and verbally can make such a difference

    1. 2

      This is so great to hear thank you for sharing your process with us! I agree wholeheartedly that branding is very much underrated in SaaS, and I've noticed a tendency for people to focus in on visual details a bit too early on without having a set direction first.
      I'd love to know, when you're setting that first visual brand, what do you base your decisions on?

      1. 1

        Sure! Visually - in the early days I'm trying to stick to dead simple style / brand guidelines. We're talking primary, secondary, black, white gray. I'll leave the color theory to the professionals haha. the same goes with fonts. To be honest, there's so much academic backing to color and type that I'd just prefer to not mess around too much.

        So that's the execution, the decision making is some combination of my discovery (who is consuming my brand, how do they like to be "talked to", where they like to be "talked to") and competitive intel (what are other companies in my space doing, how are they talking to users, what channels do they live on).

        Then I'll be testing copy too - CTAs, sub headings, everything

        So they same way I think about product management I think about branding. I suppose I take a product marketing angle

        1. 2

          This is a great approach! Thank you so much for elaborating :)

  8. 1

    Would highly recommend outsourcing via Fiverr for like $40 USD.

    1. 1

      I'd love to know what your experience with Fiverr has been, what do you like about it?

  9. 1

    Hi

    I don't spend a lot of time on logo of my projects, I usually use a pretty/matching icon.
    I think that only if the product is growing you can improve those kind of fine details, instead of being obsessed with a perfect design from the beginning. I always have in mind that this is temporal.

    I think that is better to focus on marketing, improve the product and keep it bug free.

    1. 1

      Thank you for this reply, it's great to see how other people's processes work. Sounds like you're doing great!

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