Steve Cornish, Managing Partner at Ruleof3, sheds light on the trials and tribulations of clients who fixate on the size of their brand logo and offers tips on why it’s necessary to be strategic…
White space is our friend. Just because you’re paying for a page in a magazine, it doesn’t mean you should use every single square millimetre
If I had a dirham for every time a client asked us to ‘make my logo bigger’…
Unfortunately, it is a well known comment in the design industry – it seems no matter what size a client’s logo is, they will always want it BIGGER. Of course they want their brand to stand out, be memorable, and a bigger logo will achieve this right? No.
When we disagree, we are not trying to be difficult. By all means, we’ll make your logo bigger, but the design needs to be effective and achieve the objectives set by the brief. Even small changes can often bring up other problems that will need to be solved within a design to make it work, so it really isn’t as simple as just making the logo BIGGER. Here are a few points to consider before asking ‘THAT question’ and becoming another one of ‘those’ clients:
1. Visual balance
A designer is always on the quest for balance, originality and that ‘cool factor’. Often, designs have been poured over with the size of different elements tested in many ways. Humans are naturally drawn to symmetry and balance, so making an element on the page larger or smaller may throw this out, resulting in the design being less pleasing on the eye and your message less effective.
2. Design hierarchy
Why is the term ‘hierarchy’ in a design so important? Essentially, our eyes move around a design and settle on the elements that are given visual prominence. If too many elements – such as a really large logo – are too big, the viewer may dwell on the wrong information or become overloaded and ignore the communication piece completely. We generally have a very short period of time to communicate our message so directing the eyes to maximise the message is one of the best ways to communicate this.
3. The logo is NOT the message
It is rarely the objective of a brief to make the logo the message. Even in brand building projects, the logo is part of an overall look and feel. The logo should support the visual language of the brand, remembering that it is not the only element of your visual brand that communicates with your audience. The imagery, tone-of-voice, colours and typography all come together to create the visual familiarity that should be generated by your brand. These elements need to be consistent and clear, shouting ‘this is who we are’ to create brand familiarity in a way that’s far more effective than a bigger logo.
4. White space
Repeat after me – white space is our friend. Just because you’re paying for a page in a magazine, it doesn’t mean you should use every single square millimetre. White space is important in enhancing your message. White space is the equivalent of a deep breath – it clears the page, allows the viewer to relax and ultimately be more open to your message. White space especially around your logo will give it more visual prominence, rather than just making it bigger.
We are constantly bombarded with over 5,000 images and messages per day, so how is making your logo bigger going to cut through all of this noise? While it may seem like a simple request to ‘make my logo bigger’, it is something that needs to be far more carefully considered to ensure the balance of the design. At the end of the day, a communication piece needs to enter into the memory of the viewer and persuade them to act.