Branding Blog

Designing a logo by committee… usually not a good idea.

Written by Dale Berkebile | Thu, Oct 22, 2009

So several months ago we had an organization ask us to design a logo for the group. I thought about this project until I saw how they were going to handle things and what they were asking for. I had to pass on this because if Brandwise does a pro-bono project we either have to be passionate about the cause or have the ability to have full creative control.

Anyhow, yesterday I got to see the logo the group picked. I am sad to say when I went to the site where they were presenting the new logo choice and asking for feedback there were about 20-40 comments. I read several of these comments, but soon got tired and started feeling bad for the designer.

Basically, all the comments were on how bad the logo was and could you do this or try this with the logo. I have no idea how experienced these people were at design and branding, but they mostly were, at very least, self-proclaimed marketing experts.

Overall the logo design was clean and professional looking. The downside is that it was not good in the sense that it was not simplistic enough to work at all sizes. If you tried to put this on a pen or maybe even a business card, you would have lost a lot of the logos detail. I am not sure the symbol that was used for the logo mark translated into something representative of the group.

I think the people heading up the logo development were not 100% with the logo so they opened it up to the group to decide. This is where the title for this article comes in. Logo design is not meant for, nor does it work in large committees.

What you run into when you have a committee making design decisions is exactly what happened to this group. They get feedback from everyone and several times conflicting feedback and usually no one or very few on the committee know anything about design or branding. They do however know they HATE yellow or some other subjective thing about the logo.

In order to get the best result when designing a logo you should follow these tips:

  1. Define the Vision & Mission of the company
  2. Make sure the logo somehow builds on the vision
  3. Keep the logo SIMPLE - make sure it will look great on a pen and on a billboard
  4. Typically try to keep the logo 2 colors to get the best pricing on printing- preferably a light and a dark color that give you a lot of contrast when used together
  5. Keep the approval committee to less than 3 - this helps make meeting shorter and also allows the approval process to be easier
  6. Make sure the logo is using a unique typeface - either a custom designed font or a standard font that is customized in someway so it is tough to reproduce and builds a solid brand
  7. Make sure the logo works in black, white as well as the normal colors
  8. Always make sure you get a vector version of your logo - an .eps or .ai file usually works best

We hope these tips were helpful and that anyone thinking about using a design committee will now think again.

To see some professional non-committee logo designs check out this link.