Everyone knows what a logo is. It's the thing we get asked the most, "Can you design me a logo?". Years ago as young designers, we'd happily say "Absolutely" and take the money. Not that we wouldn't do a good job, on the contrary, we would. But it would all be very subjective. Not really based on anything 'proper', other than our own designer instinct, or by the thing that was influencing us at that point in time. A book cover, a record sleeve, a piece of music, a film.
So whats changed? Well, when we get asked these days we do tend to say 'no' quite a lot. And that's weird, right? We don't mean to annoy anyone or come across as pretentious fools, but what's the point of just designing a logo in solitary? What's the objective? What are you expecting the outcome to be?
Websites like Fiverr and People Per Hour are chock full of young designers all fighting over their logos. £8 a logo here, £12 a logo there. They're happy to spit out logos all day long as long as you keep paying the hourly rate. But here's the kicker; they won't care if you get a 100 new customers or lose 100. And why should they? For £8 an hour, why should they care?
The point here is that a logo is part of the overall brand process. It's the mark that identifies you and the thing that people remember. But doing it on its own is like ordering double glazing for a house you haven't yet built, or some other better analogy (email me if you have any). Anyway, we don't design logos without getting to understand our customers objectives. Otherwise, there's not a chance that the project will be a success. Or worse, that our customers don't see a return on their investment. And that folks, simply isn't cricket!*
Without a proper strategy based on customer objectives, and without some agreed criteria to judge your decisions against, it's sad to think that everything could come down to someone pointing at a page of logo designs and saying “Ohhh.. I like this one!.” And as we all know, subjectivity should never be an excuse for making grown-up commercial business decisions.