Numbered mail boxes

Tim commented:

“I made a logo for some [student] friends. I put a good 20 hours of work into it. [Their peers] voted it as the best logo in the class.

“The design is built off the generic name ‘aspen’ which gave me the idea to find a company who had the name “aspen” in their business so that I could try selling them an altered version of my original logo. One that fits the characteristics of their business.”

To which Melton gave this reply:

“Attempting to pitch a hypothetical logo to an existing business that happens to have the same name is like trying to sell a [tailored] suit you constructed on a mannequin.

“While it is possible and probably not exactly frowned upon for any considerations of professionalism, it entirely misses the point that a good logo is a precise expression of a specific business’ mission statement.”

More on stock logos.


September 13, 2010


A thoughtful logo captures the core essence of a business: What it does and how the client experience will be different than other companies doing something similar. This process takes a lot of exploration and client conversation/collaboration

Since, I’m all for taking life risks, there may be times of spiritual/business alignment when a prepackaged logo does hit it the essence mark. Go for it if you want! From my own design experience, the match up will be infrequent.

One of the top benefits of logo design is that it forces the business owner/ceo to reflect on his or her own business. Often folks go into business plodding along a generic path getting generic results. It’s usually worth the investment to dig into more of your business why’s. A prepackaged logo would eliminate this phase of business self-discovery.


I really like the point made by Guilietta about making the business owner/ceo really look at their business and assess what exactly it wants to achieve and reflect with its logo.

Having a logo is to provide an identification of a business. I think a well thought out logo and brand identity can really reflect the how the business wants to communicate with its clients. And we all know a strong brand identity can make a business succeed.

This is a really good post that evokes a lot of thought about what effective design really is. Great comments so far. *clicking the “keep informed of followup comments via email” button*

Thanks for this post and great discussion so far!

A good logo really makes the brand. Too many business are using logos and brand identities that just dont work.
Buying a logo, website and branding package for £500 from a printer who supplies cheap or free design is not going to be the same as getting a professional designer to do it.
A business man would not go to a meeting looking shabby so why do they let there business down with badly designed, off the shelf logos?

Ideally the logo designer has to work closely with the client and the owner of the brand. To bring to life a logo that not only resonates with the brand but also with the brands target audience. In reality most brand managers and owners delegate the logo work entirely to the designer. So often times it makes little difference if it was a canned logo or not.

All this Q&A.. business branding… etc etc talk is fine, in my opinion, if you are working with a larger, big business, corporate entity.
In my experience of working with small business and individual businesses sometimes it’s just the whim of the owner when he sees something he likes that conveys what his buisness does.. from a karate studio to a towing company.. sometimes it’s about something that fits and catches the eye best… but that’s my 2 cents.

The ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t work.

And it’s not about the logo. Branding is more than a logo/symbol/defining graphic mark.

It’s a visual DNA that helps define your business.

It’s an investment, not a cost.

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