A logo does not a brand make

There’s a wealth of cheap as chips logo designers out there, but a logo does not a brand make. Here we explain why nailing that branding system and investing a little more in your identity is a far better approach. 

So you’ve got the best business idea on the planet. You’re at smugness level 10 because you know you’re onto a winner. You’re ace at what you do and you know you can solve your customers problems like no one else can.

You’re ready to go and take on the world. Should probably see about getting a logo then. Oh, what’s this? Logomania256 on this website you’ve just googled is offering to design your logo for £15. Blimey that’s decent. And you get unlimited revisions! Yes. Please. Pop in those card details and Logomania256 is your uncle. Huddled over a computer somewhere, the dark and mysterious figure known only as Logomania256 bashes out a logo design in record time and before you know it, you’re the proud owner of their latest masterpiece.

It’s probably perfectly sufficient. It might even be half decent. Cheap and cheerful right? Now, we’re not here to bash the hard work of Logomania625. You might be very happy with their work and remember it was only £15. Job done, let’s do business. 

Korp Talent’s branding scheme combines a trustworthy corporate blue, with informal rounded type and a quirky, confident tone of voice.

For our client Korp Talent, a tech recruitment start-up with a really interesting approach to finding talent, they admitted, quite happily, that they considered Logomania256’s offer. Why wouldn’t you? Start-ups are often strapped for cash and eager to make money and it’s certainly a tempting proposition. 

There lies the issue. All too often, start-up entrepreneurs fail to notice that they’re passing up on what is perhaps the most valuable investment they’ll ever make in business. You could buy all the best stock, invest in all the best talent. But that £15 attempt at building a brand will inevitably hold you back.

Why? It’s dead colourful and eye-catching. Your mam loves it. Your partner described it as ‘jazzy’. That may well be, but at the end of the day. It’s just a logo. A hastily created, albeit jazzy logo. It’s a logo designed by someone you’ve probably never spoken to face to face. It’s a logo that is designed by someone who probably hasn’t taken the time to understand your business, your market and your place in the world. AND at the end of the day it’s just a logo. 

A logo, even a £15 jazzy one, does not a brand make. Any designer will tell you that a successful brand is a system, of fonts, colours, your unique tone of voice, a particular photographic style and key visual material, that’s harmoniously combined on screen and in the real world to tell the world your story. Let’s face it, Logomania256’s £15 bargain isn’t going to do that. Your logo is undoubtedly at the centre of your brand, but it is by no means the only facet.

Our branding for Seaton Delaval Arts Centre, referencing the venue’s seaside location and the drama and tragedy masks. Subtle clues, combine to make an intriguing scheme. 

Remember, in the market place, there’s a whole host of super slick, well thought out, successful brands. Customers flock to them because they’re recognisable, they speak their language and their solid branding gives off an air of trustworthiness. Research shows you’re far more likely to seek out a Nandos or a Pizza Express when visiting a different city than you are to try an independent local establishment you’ve not heard of. Why? Because you’re familiar with these carefully crafted brands. At the end of the day, Nandos is just chicken and chips. But their masterful branding scheme makes it feel like so much more than that. 

For Korp Talent, with our help, they realised the importance of building a brand beyond a simple logo. Logomania625’s loss was ours and Korp’s gain. Needless to say, our quote was considerably more than Logomania625’s. However, in return, Korp got a brand. Not a logo. But a brand. We conducted numerous get togethers with the Korp Talent’s teams here in the UK and in Sweden to understand exactly what this company was all about. These conversations are just as important as the sketching and the computer bits. After all, we might know a lot about fonts, we don’t know a lot about Scandinavian tech recruitment.  

The Korp Talent branding scheme uses a number of design devices to tell the company’s story. Operating primarily within the Scandinavian tech industry with operations in the UK, recruiting coders, developers and data wizards, the logo marque itself is built around coding symbols. These symbols then feature within design elements, as background textures and splashes of colour. The blue and yellow colour scheme, references the Swedish flag, with complementary colours and imagery emphasising those Scandi vibes further. Korp is a global company with global ambitions however, so we’ve not been too explicit with it’s the Scandinavian theme, combining the marque with modern typefaces to give a clean, reliable but forward facing identity. 

It’s a brand that references its place in the world, albeit subtly. It allows a customer to form their own impression. For some, they’ll see the coding symbols. For others, they might see Sweden. Hopefully, your partner still thinks it’s jazzy. 

Above all, the brand will become unmistakably Korp’s. A £15 logo simply couldn’t do that. 

Creating a brand system to surround your logo is vital if you want to produce a clear and concise brand message. Take our work for the Student Radio Association. The ‘play icon’ that features in the logo, is an integral part of the entire communications strategy. The cascading triangle motif is used in everything from page backgrounds to image frames. It creates, one harmonious identity, a logo and a design scheme together, delivering the same message. 

So, if you’re short of money and have a business idea that you just HAVE to get out there, by all means, give Logomania625 that £15. But if you’re after a world-beating brand that’s far more than just a logo, a brand that truly tells your story, drop us a line.