4 Tips for Working with Lame Logos

June 20, 2010

For those working in a large corporation or in fields such as advertising, design or marketing, logos are an important stage of planning and launching a business. But in small- to mid-sized companies in not-so-creative industries, sadly, logos can be an afterthought - hastily drawn on a cocktail napkin one night, or lovingly created by a friend or family member with no real design experience. Working on print or web projects for a company with a lame logo can be touchy. You don't want to step on anyone's toes, but you don't' want the poor logo to zap all of your creativity. So, here are some tips for dealing with a lame logo: 1. Carefully suggest a redesign The first line of action should be to suggest a logo redesign. Remember to be kind and speak to the client's best interests of how a new logo can improve their brand. Be ready for a no. Sometimes a logo change is just not negotiable - even if it seems like a dire need from a design perspective. Often the company has too much equity invested in the current logo to make a change. 2. Look for technical reasons to redesign If you don't think the client is willing to change the logo for aesthetic reasons, look for a technical reason to suggest a logo redesign or modification, such as use of clip art or any other non-copyrightable work in their logo. Also check to see that the logo is scalable for print, web, small designs (such as business cards or promotional products such as pens or magnets) and even larger print ads or banners for trade shows. If the logo doesn't work in all these size ranges, that's another reason to suggest a modification or redesign. 3. Tone it down Go ahead with your project using the lame logo, but provide one design option with a toned-down version of the logo. If color is the main offender, it could be a gray-scale or black-and-white version of the logo. If the logo has an outdated drop-shadow, underline or any other distasteful extras, strip it down to a more minimal version. Also try the logo in white or black reverse type lettering, depending on the background color. If the company logo focuses on a specific color, try using reverse type and filing the logo in with that one significant color as well. 4. Use a text-heavy design See what happens when you write-out the full name of the business in text. If the original logo is a combination of text and design, strip the logo down to just the design, and bring out the text or company name in its own new treatment. Try different fonts and stacking the words and playing with the kerning to make the greatest visual impression.

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:21 am #

Great advice however there are those that just won't budge. You can lead a horse to water....

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:21 am #

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