I hear this a lot: “Why don’t you have sample logos up on your website so I can see your work?”  Well, it’s true, I’m just not one of those designers who puts up a bunch of logos in my online portfolio.  But, I have good reason not to.  Here’s why…

Take a look at the logos I’ve posted here.

What do these logos tell you about these companies when they’re slapped up on the site in a bunch?  Well, not a lot.  And therein lies the problem – when you look at a bunch of logos, you’re not getting the full story.

Telling A Unique Story

When I set to work on a great brand, I work with the company to produce not just a logo, but a complete set of brand components that work together to tell the one-of-a-kind story of a particular business.

It’s all about working together to creatively showcase your unique company through your unique brand:

“[Nora’s] creative, outside the box thinking results in truly original concepts and she’s able to process those ideas to a finely-honed end product…She truly cares about me and my business…We love the branding and logo!”
-Chris Sherburne, Weddings by Chris Sherburne

Creating a great brand requires more than just a company name and generic industry information.  A logo created or viewed online with this limited info doesn’t touch anyone, and it doesn’t sell your unique product or service to your specific target market – which leads me to my next point…

Target Market, Not Ambiguous Tastes

Everyone has particular tastes; it’s a fact of life.  A great brand appeals to both the company for which it was created and that company’s particular target market.  If you look at a logo without knowing the target market or the message behind it, then you’re likely to judge or “grade” that logo based on your personal preferences, including color, font, style and icon placement – regardless of whether you’re included in that particular target market.

An Integrated Brand, From Start to Finish

A great brand is the whole picture: not just a logo, but a complete, invigorated look and feel that integrates into all business elements, including a wide variety of marketing materials.  A logo can appear naked without the backing of a fully fleshed out brand.  This means, as a responsible graphic designer, it is my job to research both the business and the target market in order to smoothly incorporate all necessary brand elements:

She managed to harness all our ideas and bring to life everything we discussed at one meeting.  Nora’s gift of listening to others, researching the project and creating a brand that everyone will recognize, is outstanding…Thank you Nora so much for your talent and insight.”
– Elyn Rahman, Giving Back Cheer

Great branding requires a designer who understands a specific business situation and who also understands what needs to happen to realize results – and real results mean business and brand success!

The big picture: Logos in themselves just aren’t adequate samples of a branding expert’s true portfolio and they’re just too important to stick together and slap online in a portfolio.  Testimonials and case studies are much more effective as samples – so watch for more case studies in upcoming posts on The Branding Spot!

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