Before You Make a Logo

A frequently overlooked step that makes all the difference in creating a good logo.

January 21, 2020

Gonna cut straight to the chase on this one: without a potent, different name for your startup, your logo will fall short of its true potential. I'll give you an example using two, famous companies.

Apple. Would the iconic, minimalist icon representing an apple ever exist had it not been for the name? No. That name gave them an advantage over their competitors trapped in acronym oblivion (IBM, HP) and inspired the mark.

Nike. Before the swoosh ever existed, Nike was extremely close to calling itself Blue Ribbon Sports. Compare that to Nike. Blue Ribbon sounds like the name for a freaking mom and pop bakery. There is no way something like the swoosh would have held its weight had it not been for the name it represents.

It seems prevalent that startup founders don't seem to consider the gravitas the name of their company holds. Think about it, when people say "word of mouth" advertising, what do they mean? They mean people repeat the name of the company they are referring to. Can you imagine how many times the name of a company (large or small) is used within six months? Thousands. Maybe even tens of thousands.

It's in your URL, it's on your social pages, it's on name tags, it's on email addresses, it's on all your marketing collateral, and it's on your tongue.

Get your name right before you jump into a logo or risk doing the whole thing over when you finally realize your name sucks. Your designer will thank you.

Here is my favorite book on naming:

Don't Call it That by Eli Altman.

More you say?

One Cliché at a Time

Why your startup's tagline sucks and how to fix it.

3.3.2020

Saving the world, one (blank) at a time.

Are you really? What is your metric for doing so? How are you different from companies x, y, and z that are also saving the world, one (blank) at a time? Lastly, what good does it do for me, your intended customer?

You weren't thinking of that when you first wrote that tagline, were you? Probably because it's bullshit and it's not really why you're in business. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you don't care about whatever cause you want to help, but if this phrase has crossed your lips in trying to build your brand, it means you are not diving deep enough.

You are choosing to piggyback off a phrase that has no intrinsic meaning other than being a cliché that won't offend anyone.

You can do better. You and your brand are worth more than a worn out phrase void of passion.

How would you fix it? Take a look at some of the best taglines ever written:

Think Different.

Just Do It.

Belong Anywhere.

Open Happiness.

What do they have in common? They're simple, they break from convention, and they encourage the user to be something more. To be more creative, to be a champion, to feel secure, to be happier. These taglines don't impose the idea that a user needs your company, they inform the user that this company has a shared aspiration whether they use their product or not.

They're not salesy, they're not imposing, and they are not trying to make it about themselves. These taglines are calls that signal the user to a new adventure.

You want people to be inspired by your tagline? Don't settle for cliché bullshit. Dig deep and think about how you can encourage a user to be something they never thought they could have been. Most importantly, do it in a way that brings your unique flavor to it.

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Responsible

A quest for change can leave one feeling bitter and resentful, don't let it be you.

11.29.2019

The downside to being an advocate of change is that it is hard to see past the muck blocking you from the finish line. What's more, is that the muck might not even be your doing, it's just there.

Most would see the obstacles that lie before them as excuses to turn back and give up. But that is not the rebel way.

Rebels cannot let go of their vision, it is as much a part of them as their skin, hands, and feet.

No one said doing things differently would be easy, or that everything and everyone would be in your favor. Quite the opposite actually.

It may not be your fault where you are at and no one blames you for the external things that have blocked your path. But it is your responsibility to make the next steps. Will they be forward or backward?

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