Why Logo Design Is the Hardest


The Everlasting Emblem

It’s interesting how synonymous the different definitions for ‘brand’, are. As a noun, representing the face or experience of a company or product. And as a verb, representing the act of ‘brandishing’ something, usually livestock, with some sort of mark.

While no Austin advertising agencies that we know of specialize in the promotion of cows and chickens, it’s easy to see the similarities between these two definitions. They are both everlasting emblems meant to signify something specific to the world around them.
The cows and chickens world are limited to Farmer Joe. But for companies, brand exposure goes much further. Which is part of the reason we seek out skilled graphic animators and always keep positions open for talented logo designers. Also, a piping hot iron prod hasn’t really worked out for us in the past.

Future-Proof Symbolism

Another reason why creating a logo is so difficult is because of the ever-changing landscapes that these companies exist in. The platforms we operate on are constantly introducing some new feature or functionality that will either alter the way content is perceived or adjust how it is consumed.

Not only that, who knows how the company might want to utilize that logo in future scenarios? It has to be bold enough to stand out if placed on a billboard. But modest enough to look clean on a business card. While most graphic designers can get a good idea of what it might look like on a business card, there aren’t any demos available for 14×48 foot billboards.
Besides being future-proof, the logo also has to be what we call “prehistoric proof”, for the people still living in the past. Not everyone is as graphically inclined as branding consultancy, Rock Candy Media, and they may lack up-to-date resources.
Like a colored printer.
What this means is the logo has to work as a single color. The design can’t be structured around one or another, and has to be nimble enough to hold true in varying displays. But one of the hardest parts about future-proofing a logo is to design it with the capability of telling an ongoing story. One that might change over time.
We want to hire graphic designers who are able to foresee these changes, and have the perception to create a long-lasting impression through changing environments. This is very rare and sought out for in creative departments.
If you can nail down these qualities, you’re on your way to becoming a talented logo designer. But it takes more than just talent to make it on the Rock Candy Media team.

Cutting Through

To get a position as a graphic animator or logo designer on the Rock Candy team you’ve got to have balls. Like running through highway traffic with a Captain America onesie on balls.

The reason why is because one of our main goals as a branding and marketing consultancy is to get people’s attention. As you’re driving through bumper-to-bumper traffic on Mopac in the afternoon you’re not going to notice the green 2004 Toyota two spots in front of you to the left. And you’re not going to notice that blue Honda pilot a couple spots back. But they are still occupying the same space as you. Taking away potential market exposure.   
And what’s worse, from a customer perspective, is that the person inside that car might be a great person who you’d like to meet. Maybe grab a drink with. Tell your life story to. But you don’t notice them because of the cluttered space that surrounds you and the monotony around them.
This is a lot similar to the tragedy that happens when customers look past a great company because of a low-tier logo that doesn’t stand out in a competitive media space. There is a massive loss in brand identification that results, one that more or less is blamed on something that went wrong during the creative process. Or, because of a timid graphic designer. All is lost because that initial exposure wasn’t strong enough.
This initial exposure is so crucial. Which is why we take great care in our hiring of graphic designers. It’s why we expand our brand into things like The Digital Shortlist. To find people like you who can turn a blue Honda Pilot into a splatter-painted lambo.

Perfectionists by Nature

Like the mechanics and precision-auto detailers who work with these analogous vehicles, logo designers are perfectionists by nature as well. From getting kernings so perfectly spaced you could weave between each letter with a thread and needle. To aligning a vector so precisely it could balance a marble. They are detail oriented to the very end.

This brings another spout of difficulty around designing a logo. Graphic designers and animators envelop themselves in detail to the point where they can never be entirely contented with their work. Even in post-production.
Hear what Rock Candy Media’s Art Director, Kelsie Singleton, had to say about getting over this mental hurdle.
“It’s pretty much impossible as a designer to be 100% happy with what you’ve created. Even if the client loves it, every time you look back at it you’ll think of things you want to tweak and change. But at the end of the day, you have to remember that it’s not about you, it’s about the client and their brand.
Yes, you should be proud of your work and deliver the best final product you can, but after that, it doesn’t belong to you anymore. It’s no longer your baby, it’s theirs.
Another thing I do after finishing a big project like a logo is not to look at it for a week. If I keep staring at it I’ll get frustrated and want to make more edits. But if I separate myself from it, and let it sit on its own little island, I’m more likely to grow some appreciation for what I created. Then, the client’s happiness starts to sink in too.”
From the long list of not only quality, but consistent work that Kelsie has put out over her tenure, this is advice we’d definitely recommend for all upcoming logo and graphic designers looking for work.
Our other piece of advice would be to always shoot your shot. Look for every opportunity to get your name out there. So why not start here? By submitting some of your work to The Digital Shortlist.
Who knows. Maybe you’ll be able to deliver that splatter painted Lamborghini we’ve been waiting for.
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