A Logo is Art

A logo is art

This morning, Ryan Davey (our front end developer) and I were having a conversation which I think is always brought up when discussing logo design. We both agreed that we think a lot of people don’t understand or appreciate the true value of a quality logo. We also agreed that logos aren’t always perceived as art.

When a new logo for a company surfaces for the first time on the internet you usually read a familiar comment “ My (insert age) year old cousin could have made that for (insert low payment) in (insert short time frame) ”. Im not sure if thats a compliment to your little cousin or your disapproval for your little cousin’s artistic abilities but it never seems positive. These statements from viewers are common when it comes to art and here is why.
You can’t rush art
I think this is always forgotten by the observer. There’s a lot that goes into creating something that is aesthetically pleasing. A logo that you think took 5 minutes realistically could have taken an artist several days or weeks to design. There are various steps that are taken by a designer before finalizing a logo. Here is a quick list of steps that I take:
1. Identifying the brand
2. Research the industry and company’s competition
3. Conceptualize in black and white
4. Simplify concept
5. Create variations for different formats
6. Use color theory for symbolism
7. Make modifications after client feedback
Remember that this is just one logo that is created. In most cases there are multiple logos that will be designed and shown to the client.
Art is opinionated
Artists hear positive and negative remarks all the time because art is a communication of emotion. Art is supposed to make you feel emotion and this is why I think logos are always criticized heavily. The criticism is simply based off of either loving it, hating it or having mixed feelings about what you see.
It can take time to appreciate art
There are occasions when time will tell if your dislike will transform into love. I think a great example that I can give is the Nike swoosh. The Nike swoosh was created by Carolyn Davidson a graphic design student at Portland State University in 1971. The swoosh was chosen by Phil Knight who taught accounting at the university. Knight, who needed to meet production deadlines for Blue Ribbon Sports (now Nike) said, “I don’t love it, but it will grow on me.” His comment couldn’t be more true.
We are all individuals and we have our own opinions throughout our lives. Next time when critiquing a new logo, view it as a piece of art. You don’t have to love the logo but maybe with more insight you’ll appreciate it for what it is.

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About Fred Schall

Fred Schall is the co-founder of Schall Creative. He has been designing and developing websites since 1997. You can find him on Twitter @mrfredschall.