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The Husband and I just finished binge-watching Silicon Valley.
I loved this show. I cannot recommend it enough.
But one of the reasons I loved it so much was that they poked fun at the business of startups. And I’m guessing that a lot of what they poked fun at is actually true (if my experience in the corporate world is any indication…).
The focus of the show is a coding genius named Richard and his startup software called Pied Piper. (No one but Richard likes the name, but that’s a discussion for another day.)
In an episode early in the season, Pied Piper gains entry to the TechCrunch competition in San Francisco (this a real thing, btw) and needs a logo.
Their newly-minted head of Public Relations, Erlich (a pot-smoking, coding wannabe who also owns the “hacker hostel” all the Pied Piper employees live in) comes up with, according to him, the best idea ever: To get one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists (and a convicted felon), Chuy Ramirez, to do the logo and give Pied Piper a “cool edge.”
The only reason Chuy agrees to do it is that he thinks Dinesh, one of the coders along for the meeting, is Hispanic (he’s Pakistani, but Erlich doesn’t fess up). Chuy says this will cost a mere $10,000. Erlich lets his excitement get the better of him and agrees to pay the fee with what little money Pied Piper has.
Chuy is so pleased they’ve hired a “Hispanic” coder he decides to incorporate that into the logo. He arrives to paint the logo on the garage door of the hacker hostel and what they get is a scene of a “Hispanic” Dinesh having, ahem, s*xual relations with the Statue of Liberty (I’m laughing so hard I can barely type this). 😂🤣
Even the crass, pot-smoking Erlich realizes this is not appropriate. But his revision suggestions make Chuy angry, and he edits the logo by making Dinesh Pakistani and painting Erlich’s face on the Statue of Liberty. 🤣🤣
The neighbors call the cops, and the cops tell them they have to paint over their $10,000 logo (and in an effort to hide it, Richard raises the garage door only to reveal Erlich’s pot farm).
The truth is…
This isn’t too far from the truth for what I’ve seen a lot of startup businesses do. I even saw it happen in the company I worked for (billionaires have no business designing logos either).
Your logo, branding, and design all make visual statements about your company. But here’s the thing most people don’t understand: Your logo and design are not for you.
It’s about what will appeal to your target market.
Yes, it’s important that you love your branding, but the way to get to the best of both worlds is to hire a professional. Someone who has proven design and branding skills (aka they have training and a portfolio of work they’ve done for paying clients).
The key to a logo’s effectiveness isn’t cutesy creativity. It’s simplicity and clarity. And those can be challenging for even the most talented designers to accomplish.
If you take your business seriously, you will hire a professional to work with you to design something that will help you attract your target market. To keep it clean, clear, and effective.
I see way more bad logos than good ones. Again, because simplicity is not easy.
Too many times, I see everything but the kitchen sink thrown into one little logo and the public left to decipher what the heck it all means. And this means the public will never connect to it because they won’t spend the energy to try to figure out what your business is all about. 🤷🏼♀️
A bad logo will make your marketing efforts much more challenging for that very reason.
Remember: A good logo will cost you. A bad logo will cost you more.
Always behind you 1,000%-
PS – I can help you nail just the right logo and branding for you and your target market (and help you avoid getting “screwed”). Click here to start the conversation.