What on earth is that logo about?

Posted on 18/03/2016 by karen

Some logos are self-explanatory, others have been around for so long that we can just recognise them in any language (Coca-Cola) and a few have been simplified so that the company name doesn’t have to even be there any more (Nike). On occasion, a logo can be the cause of a bit of controversy when it’s first launched. I remember years ago when the Commonwealth Bank’s new logo was unveiled, one wag commented that it looked like a Sao biscuit dipped in Vegemite. So what does the logo represent? Who knows. But it’s simple, strong and will stand the test of time. Which is just as well because it cost a motza to design.

But not every company is a big one, not everyone has a big budget and designing a good logo is difficult. It’s much, much, much harder than it looks. (I know. I studied graphic design and became a copywriter!) Anyway, I’m sure that most business owners and most designers are giving it their best shot. Having said that, this photo was taken by a client of mine. He showed it to me during a brainstorming session and wanted to know what the heck they were thinking. Below is my best attempt at coming up with an explanation.


The difficulty in designing an original logo

Look around and you’ll see a ton of logos. They’re everywhere. So it follows that designing something that doesn’t look like someone else’s logo can be a challenge. And here are 3 more challenges:

  1. The client is always right. Now I have argued this one for years because I think if you employ a designer (or a copywriter) you should give them the brief and then stand back and let them do their job. I’m not saying you don’t keep an eye on things or collaborate with them — after all, it is your business — but don’t micro-manage. If you could have designed it yourself, you would have done it in the first place.
  2. Design is something everyone wants to dabble with. In my years in advertising, I’ve seen it all. From a business owner coming back into a meeting saying his wife prefers the colour orange, to a marketing exec demanding that the blue Citibank logo be changed to pink for the press ad. Yes, really. (I know I’m creative but I really just couldn’t make this stuff up!)
  3. There are 3 partners in the firm, therefore the designer very probably had to deal with 3 clients. In other words, a committee. Pleasing a committee is very, very hard. You’ve heard this saying before, haven’t you? “A camel is a horse designed by a committee.” Say no more.

But what does the logo mean?

My best guess for my client is that the 3 primary colours represent 3 partners and the 4th colour, the blend of them all, represents the combined skills and strengths that you as a client of their business, will enjoy if you engage them. Turns out, two firms have merged so the blend also makes sense there. Personally, I think it looks like a print company’s logo. But my real issue is the words. Here to help. Business Support. Taxation Planning and Strategies. Financial Services. I think they should really think about putting the word ACCOUNTANTS somewhere. Basic? Yes. But sometimes it’s easy to miss the simplest things. Especially when you’re busy designing a camel. Oops, sorry, I mean horse.