A friend of mine strongly recommended me to try out a recently opened confectionery shop in town.
She kept on saying, “I haven’t tried it myself yet, but I hear their icings are to die for…they decorate their cakes with the fanciest toppings.”
Brimming with an appetite, I paid a visit to the store and I must say…she wasn’t wrong about the fancy icings. Every single cake they had was so beautifully and lusciously decorated that I almost drooled all over the counter. Without further ado, I bought a slice and tried it out. That is when it all changed.
All I could say was, “Too much icing, not enough cake.”
Although the icing was exquisitely carved (enough to tempt me into buying it), the cake tasted atrocious. So what good is a cake-making shop if their cakes are fancy looking but not worth eating?
• When a Logo is All Icing and No Cake:
I couldn’t help but relate this episode to the strategy of creating a logo design. Many times, we witness logos that are heavily embellished and decorated with design elements. But what is a fancy-looking logo worth if it fails to serve the business purpose and does not communicate the company meaning to the audience?
Remember the London 2012 Olympics logo anyone?
A perfect example of a logo with too much icing (design elements), but not enough cake (meaning).There is nothing meaningful about the controversial logo except that it spells out ‘2012’ in a very intricate and obscure way. What it fails to deliver is the meaning and essence of Olympics. For an ordinary person, this logo would appear nothing more than a hyperbolic arrangement of the numerals ‘2012’.
London 2012 Olympics Logo
• Logos are Strategic, Not Cosmetic:
Lately, the practice of creating logos is turning into a challenge of “who has the prettiest logo?” It seems as if companies are forgetting the real concept and purpose of having logos in the first place.
A logo isn’t just a sugar-coated sweetener that you give to your customers. It is a visual means of achieving business goals. An ornamented logo might be eye candy for a very brief period, but it will always lack a strong foundation to build a prosperous brand.
• Striking a Balance between Icing and Cake:
What every brand deserves is a good logo design that can increase sales turnover. In order for that to happen, striking a balance between design aesthetics (icing) and meaning (cake) is crucial.
But how does one do that? By making sure that your logo:
• Serves the company purpose and its reason for being.
• Communicates with it target audience in a simple yet effective manner.
• Conveys a clear message that the audience can remember.
• Is aesthetically pleasing in the simplest way possible.
Related: All That Glitters Is Not Gold: Common Misconceptions Of SMBs About Designing Their Logos
• Learning From Examples:
For a better understanding, let me analyze a few random logos and demonstrate how a logo can have both meaning (the cake) and aesthetics (the icing) perfectly at the same time.
1. For An Aspiring Image Studio:
Star SymbolThe Cake: The star symbol cleverly shaped in the form of a camera ‘shutter’ which aptly communicates the business purpose. Also, the mention of ‘Image Studio’ strengthens the cause all the more. Snap!
The Icing: The vivid colors added to the ‘star-shaped shutter’ reinforce the purpose of the business which is to provide vibrant photography experience.
2. For A Real Estate Agency
Metropolis The Cake: The name here is the cake which can be easily associated with the realty business. The cluster of buildings also strengthens the cause nicely by signifying a metropolis. Not Bad!
The Icing: The colors added which give the real estate logo a dynamic and lively feel is the icing. Impressive!
3. For A Creative Musician Offering Piano Services
WM The Cake: The name and slogan here comprise of the cake as they easily explain the name, nature and scope of the business. Simple!
The Icing: The double meaning derived out of the piano keys is the icing here. Using negative space to the fullest, the piano keys also spell out the letters ‘W’ & ‘M’ which stand for the business name. Awesome!
• Does Your Logo have the Perfect Blend?
Your turn – Does your logo have excessive cosmetic gibberish enough to overwhelm the meaning of your brand? Or is it the perfect blend of a meaningful text and aesthetic graphics? Comments please!