Larry the Ad Man's Blog

I hope you learn from my small business marketing and advertising tips.

"Advertising is to trade what Steam is to machinery" Thomas Cook.
It was an honor to be nominated for 2011 Canadian Weblog Awards.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The importance of a logo.

If you are a regular reader, you'll notice my love of case studies when sharing my advertising ideas. So does  one of my favorite radio programs, Age of Persuasion on CBC radio. The host, Terry O'Reilly, is a former copywriter for an ad agency and pointed out a very interesting element of the FedEx logo in his latest episode. He says " Take a good look at their logo. In particular, look at the space between the "E" and the "X" - and you'll discover an arrow. That is a nice piece of design - suggesting that FedEx is all about movement and forward momentum. Exactly what a delivery company wants you to feel:"
I love a clever logo, but then I'm an advertising geek. With others the great logos are more subtle. Another one of my favorite logo's was part of my marketing studies and the biggest thing to happen in my home town. The 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary has many elements in the logo. Firstly, it's red which are Calgary and Canada's colour. It resembles a Maple Leaf and also a snow flake. Note the stem for the leaf. There are 5 large and 5 small "C"'s representing Canada and Calgary respectively. The fact there are 5 rings represent the 5 continents as do the Olympic rings, which itself has many elements. The rings represent the 5 continents coming together.
I found a great logo ranking website ( that ranks, based on votes, the most popular logos. A couple of the most simple yet effective (they are 1 and 2) are below: 
The Apple speaks to the education aspects of Apple computers. The original logo included Newton under the tree as he discovered gravity. Now just a simple Apple it also represents an Apple for the teacher and the multi coloured version represented the full colour graphics the company has based it's products on. The Nike swoosh simply represents speed with their brand of running shoe.

When looking at designing a logo for your business, have a look at a few factors. First, what is your competition doing? If your competition has a complex red logo, you may want to go with a blue one? The next step is to determine how your customers should feel when looking at your logo. Will your customers react more to a simple basic logo or a more complex logo that says more about your business. You'll see Apple started with a complex logo that said more about what they did and simplified it once the brand was well entrenched. Make it a recognisable symbol so it is easily identifiable in your ads and marketing.

The Logo Factory website brings us the horror of a bad logo. I wonder if these companies really proofed them well before agreeing to go public with them?
So be very careful of what it may look like upside down, sideways or even a mirror image. You never have a second chance at a first impression. Another logo I dislike is a sports alternate jersey logo. It's from my local hockey team, The Calgary Flames.
The money the Flames spent marketing this logo boggles the mind. They didn't just roll it out for one season either. It became a shoulder patch on jerseys in subsequent years after the alternate jersey was retired. I found it difficult to cheer for the team when they wore this. I'm not sure how the players felt, but I'd bet they weren't as happy wearing it as they were the traditional flaming "C". Do you think that might have translated into missing points during the season? That leads to another point when considering a logo, you might want to consult your employees and others involved in the business. A happy staff and management is a successful business.
So I've given you a lot to think about when designing a logo. Consider each carefully and don't rush into it and you will make the right decision for your business. Until next time, I'm Larry "The Ad Man"


  1. Here's another bad one that will make you laugh:

  2. And another bad one

    They are VERY comical.

  3. Here's a bad tag line on a sign... Didn't think this one through:

  4. This one should have NEVER been produced: What were they thinking? It reminds me of a local business called PMS hobby craft. It took YEARS for them to change it to PM hobby craft. You have to think of all possibilities.

  5. New News on Apple's logo:

  6. The logo of your business is part of its identity. Its colors, shape, and the entirety of the logo represent the character of your business. It is an advertising strategy that is measured through its uniqueness and how comprehensible it is to potential customers. A logo is like the window to the soul of your business. That is why its design should be planned and pondered upon thoroughly.

    Kevin Beamer

  7. Another way of attracting customers into your website is to auto-invite them via email and social networking sites. Once you have “lured” them into visiting your site, the site has to have the factors that will make your target customer stay and browse through the website. The appearance is one factor that attracts a potential buyer. It doesn’t have to be flashy, but it has to show what the customer needs to see about your business.

    Kevin Beamer