2020 was a crazy year in the Logo design space (in Nigeria) because we experienced a rise in a wrong idea populating the space and at the beginning of 2021, I attempted to address it in my own little way by writing about it to educate people. I am republishing this post which first appeared in my personal substack blog.
Why am I republishing it? After a break from writing about design in 2021 (if you are interested in why see here), I am back to writing about design and have chosen to use Medium as my design blog. So this is the start of my design blog.
ENJOY THE POST!!! and let me know your thought in the comment section.
What I will be discussing is something I love talking about and always wanted to write about. For me to be able to do justice to it, I have decided to break it into a series. In this first part, I will be laying the foundation for the topic and correcting a misconception that has become very popular.
Whether you own a business, work in a company or do freelance work, you have to deal with the importance of building a brand either for your personal brand or corporate brand. Also as a consumer or user who needs the product/service of a person or business, there are a number of factors that help you make a decision to buy/use a product/service. After every first encounter with a product/service, your experience using the product/service is a very important factor that determines if you are going to continue using it or not. These experiences build our perception and impression of the brand.
In the business/corporate world, one of the buzzwords people use a lot is BRAND/BRANDING. Over the years, I’ve seen the word BRAND being used loosely and one of the most common examples is people referring to their “LOGO” as their BRAND.
Spoiler alert!!! “YOUR LOGO IS NOT YOUR BRAND”
To even make matters worse, I now see people refer to a Mock-up as their logo.
Another spoiler “A Mock-up is not A Logo”
There has been a rise in the marketing of Mock-ups as logos. I see ads on Facebook and WhatsApp where a designer advertises images of Shiny Mock-ups as Logo for prices like 5K, 2K, or even as low as 500 Naira and you see people flock to patronize them. The popularity of this representation has led to a great misunderstanding of what a Logo is and also led to warped design expectations from designers (Trust me; I have seen very funny and ridiculous logo design brief).
I have seen this particular idea of what a Logo is become very popular among WhatsApp and Instagram Merchants and Business people. In 2020, I saw a lot of people launch their online businesses portraying “images of what they sell or do in mockups” as their “Business logo” and some even go as far as using the Mock-ups in some other fliers meant to promote their business. I am very sure you must have come across this or even commissioned one, but I am here to tell you, this is not how it should be.
And now you must be wondering what then is a “Mock-up” and what is the right way to use a Mock-up.
According to Wikipedia,
“A Mockup, or Mock-up, is a scale or full-size model of a design or device, used for teaching demonstration, design evaluation, promotion, and other purposes.”
In other words, it is a prototype i.e. it is used to test the design before implementation or production. It is used in acquiring feedback and makes it easier to make corrections. Mock-up has a wide range of use beyond Logo design. Engineers, Architects, Industrial Designers, Product Designers, and a whole lot of other professionals make use of Mock-up. In the case of Logo Design, It is mostly used in presentations to help the client or stakeholders visualize the Logo in real-life applications and use cases without exactly producing/printing it.
In the example above, the Mock-up (on the left) vs the Final result (on the right).
Most times designers use Mock-ups to help the client visualize what the design will look like when finally produced. Therefore portraying a Mock-up meant for presentation purposes as the Logo or final product itself is a misuse of the Mock-up. So when a “designer” sends this to you, you should know better and ask for the logo in its plain state.
There are times I sit down to think about what went wrong and how we got to this point where when a client asks for a Logo and they expect you to deliver a mockup to them. I ask myself “Which designer miscommunicated with a client or which client misinterpreted what a designer said and brought about this abnormality we see everywhere?”
Now that I’ve explained what a Mock-up is, your next question will be, What then is a Logo?
In the next part of this series, I will be addressing the following;
What is a Logo Not?
What is a Logo, Brand Identity, Branding, and a Brand?
The value of a Logo
Is investing in a Logo worth it?
What makes a Logo successful?
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