How to choose a logo with confidence? Don't ask your friends.
(screenshot from facebook - not my design or client)
If you’ve invested in logo design, you want to make sure that you get the best results from the process. It can be scary to make the final decision and commit to a look for your brand. That fear may lead you to ask for a lot of opinions. Because if everyone likes it, it must be the best option—right? Wrong.
Asking your friends to help choose or refine your logo comes with some risks. Here’s why.
The crowd you're asking isn't exclusively your target audience.
When you pose a question to a crowd on Facebook, many of the respondents won’t be your ideal clients. Even if some of the people who reply fit your demographic, their opinions will be given the same weight as people don’t need or want your service. Interpreting the feedback can be confusing or lead you to draw conclusions that aren't best for your brand. Bottom line: asking your social network to weigh on logo options can make you second-guess all of the research and work you and your designer have done.
Your friends don’t come to the table with expertise in design.
Trained designers know how to make a logo attractive and meaningful. The ultimate goal in logo design is to capture the essence of your brand in a single mark. To do it, designers need to understand your brand while also thinking about technical things like typography, color, negative space, balance, and how your logo will look on different materials.
Most of your friends won’t be offering opinions informed by design expertise. So, when they say, “I think it should be bigger (smaller, brighter, simpler, busier . . . you get the idea), they aren’t offering that note with a complete understanding of the impact. This can lead to a lot of back and forth with your designer creating frustration and weakening your final logo’s impact.
A thumbs up or down doesn’t get you very far.
Often, I see people share two or three logo design options in a group asking people to select their preference or favorite. There are a whole bunch of problems with this approach. First, this type of feedback is subjective. Especially when you don’t know much about the respondents, tallying up subjective votes gives you pretty meaningless results. Second, a “like” or “don’t like” doesn’t give you specific direction for revision. Third, human nature makes many people go with the flow and vote for the option that seems more popular. That means there’s an inherent bias to the answers you will receive.
Most importantly, you don’t want a logo everyone likes. That may surprise you, but it’s true. Instead, you want a logo that attracts your target audience and turns others off. Appealing to your key demographic instead of everyone helps you build a differentiated brand.
So, if crowdsourcing feedback isn’t the way to go, how do you choose and refine a logo with confidence?
You invested in a design expert—use them.
Before you even get to the stage of reviewing possible logo designs, choose the right designer. Take the time to find a designer whose work you love, whose design process you respect, and whose expertise you value. Then let them do their job. Trust them. If they do their homework and have the skills, they will present you with thoughtful options. Your designer should have a reason behind every choice they make.
Consider your logo options carefully.
I always suggest my clients take the time to look at the logo design options I present from every angle. Print them out and put them up on the wall. Get to know them and notice what feels right and what feels off. Then discuss those things with your designer in clear language that helps them refine effectively.
Gather meaningful design feedback.
Instead of sharing the options to your broad social network and asking for a vote, reach out to three people who know your brand well. They can be colleagues, ideal clients, or other advisors like your business coach or copywriter. Even then, please don't ask them to vote for the logo they want. Instead, ask them specific, targeted questions based on your goals for the brand. Some examples might be:
Which of these two logos feels more warm and approachable?
What adjectives come to mind for each of these two logo options?
What symbols or images does this logo bring to mind?
The answers can inform your decision, but remember, the choice should ultimately be up to you!
Strong businesses deserve strong visual brands. If you are looking for guidance in branding or rebranding your business with confidence, contact me to schedule a call.