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I Need a Logo, Part Two

Ok, so let’s pretend that you didn’t meet with a designer for your logo. You ponied up the $99 to get a logo done online, arming you with an “ok” logo in tons of different formats, most of which your computer can’t read. Proud of your financial prudence, it looks like you are off and running – now let’s go get some business!!!

First stop: a business card. Knowing that graphic designers charge far too much for a 2″ x 3.5″ slip of paper, you decide that Microsoft Word is the weapon of choice to slay this dragon. After all, Avery templates and a couple ink cartridges produce results so much quicker than a print shop. Therefore, with a dozen fonts and a stretched-out logo, you throw together your cards, spit them out of the printer and head off to your first networking event. Each business card you hand out doesn’t look quite as nice as every card you receive, though. But who cares; it does the trick, right?

Seriously, someone paid for this...

Next, you’re going to need some print collateral. Once again, we fire up MS Word. Pulling photos from Google and applying the same extensive font collection (it’s good to be consistent), you just saved yourself a few bucks yet again. You now have a Word document that may be a bit hard to read, never looks quite right when someone gets it in an email, and weighs about 5mb.  But who cares; it does the trick, right?

Eventually, you will need a website. We will all need a website at one point or another. So, after putting it off as long as you can, you finally break down and get the budget $200 website. No one is going to look for you on Google, so you saved some money by avoiding those SEO witch doctors. The artistic geniuses at the other end of you short email chain have thrown together a website practically overnight; why would you ever consider spending more? It does the trick, right?

Unfortunately, after about six months, you almost forget that the website is there. You don’t get any business from that or any other marketing material, so you go back to revisit that one-pager. It will probably only take you a couple hours to get it perfect. Maybe your “look at me” starburst isn’t big enough on it. Maybe you’re not saying enough, so you add a couple pages – in really big text – so that your idea gets across. Or maybe you need to do some work to that logo…

After all this work is not the time for clients to point out that your logo is hard to read. Or to realize that everyone you’ve come in contact with needs to ask what you do, even after taking your business card. This may seem like an exaggeration, but it’s not. It’s the second such case I’ve encountered this month.

Patrick King

Patrick is the Founder of Imagine and advisor to places on brand strategy and creative. His insights have been published in Inc. Magazine, SmartCEO, Washington Business Journal, The Washington Post, and Chief Marketer, among other publications, and shared at conferences throughout the US. He also has an amazing sock collection.


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