Getting your new 60″ television home, you open the box, and with a little help lift it onto the stand and push the power button. Stepping back, the first thing that you realize is not the impressive screen size, but instead, the size of the gaudy manufacturers logo that is now a permanent distraction. You now have to look at that oversized logo every time you sit down to watch the latest episode of Dexter. You have the added annoyance of the beast fighting with the ever growing “bug” that networks place in the bottom right of the television screen. Rather than accomplish what both logos were intended for—to foster a positive association with the brand, they are distracting, annoying, ugly, and negative attributes are being associated with them.
Inevitably all graphic designers are asked (or told) to make the logo bigger by their client. Possibly out of a sense of pride? A need for their logo to be larger than their competitors? Concern over an aging population, and their ability to see clearly? Whatever the reason, logos seem to be getting bigger and bigger.
Is the logo the most important item on a product? When it comes to clothing, there is certainly a select group that buys into the brand name and feels pride in wearing a portable billboard. When it comes to most consumer products and even marketing materials, however, I think the logo is often over emphasized, resulting in a failure to achieve its mandate. In most cases, a logo should be large enough to be seen but not overshadow the content, or the usability of the item it is adorning. It should be a badge of honor that is tastefully placed with a sense of balance and proportion. In almost all cases, it is better for a logo to whisper than to scream at your audience.
Always Ask, “Why?”
So what to do when your next client wants the logo bigger? Ask why. What is the purpose and does increasing the size of the logo achieve it? If it comes down to pride, suggest they consider sponsoring a local soccer team. They like big logos.