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Why Great Logo Design Is Only As Good As The Story Behind It

When it comes to your brand identity, don’t settle for a half-baked narrative.

Why Great Logo Design Is Only As Good As The Story Behind It

Blank stare or look of excitement: If someone asks you about the story behind your logo, how would you respond?

When it comes to brand identity, logos usually get most of the attention. But for me, it’s always about uncovering what is represented by each and every aspect of the graphic or "wordmark" (a designed text-only typographic treatment of a name). There’s just something about hearing firsthand from a designer or business owner as they beam with pride like an old-world craftsman.

One of the best things about working with a rock star branding agency or creative designer is that attention to detail—every color, every line, and every design element all have a clearly defined purpose. It's something they are able to articulate so you’re able to understand how your logo is able to capture the essence of your business, your brand values, and your brand identity.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. Some designers will just create dozens of designs and leave it up to the client to figure out which one they like and why. Without that background texture, there’s a good chance they’ll never be able to fully appreciate or take pride in their logo. And that’s a real missed opportunity.

That unmistakable sense of pride is something I saw from Sound Opinions, the world’s only rock 'n' roll talk show, when I asked them about their new logo via Twitter. Within seconds, they responded asking me what I thought about their new look. Curious about the story behind the design, I wanted to learn more. They immediately pointed me to Someoddpilot, Inc., the Chicago-based branding agency they used for the project, and that’s where I had a chance to take a peek under the hood.

In just two short paragraphs, they were able to provide background on the show and define their brand, one that "exudes a smart, trustworthy, down-to-earth energy that encourages the audience to get involved." They also set the stage for the next evolution of the brand and their logo which they believe represents "a cleaner, crisper rendering of the brand’s mission: to broadcast expert knowledge, foster educated discourse, and fan the flame of musical passion that resides in each listener."

When it comes to your brand identity, don’t settle. Before hiring a branding agency or designer to create a new logo, don’t just fixate on a graphic or wordmark. Make sure they’re also able to help you clearly articulate the details behind the design. That’s where the real magic happens. If not, there’s a good chance you’ll wind up with a logo that only captures half of the story.

[Image: Flickr user Iris]