How to Design Your Logo

The DNA of Dope

A series about brand building.

Leggo your logo.

This might run counterintuitive to traditional thinking, but I believe a logo shouldn’t be thought of as something fixed. Rather it’s something fluid. The days of landing on a Nike swoosh have long passed. Even the ubiquitous players dominating advertising identities have changed their logo four times over the last decade.

There are a few reasons for this.

First, your brand will likely never be as big as Nike or Uber. Adaptation is trademark for companies that survive and adjust to these times as this pandemic has shown.

Second: we know who we are today, but have no idea who we’ll be tomorrow. This is true of your customers as well. Evolution is something to be embraced.

Thirdly, consumers no longer have the attention span to stick with anything for very long. We’re a bit feckless. How do we provide value in a market that is always shifting for individuals that are distracted, awash, and likely overloaded by all the messaging? We have to identify the context, and more importantly, how this context relates and responds to everything else happening in the world. Timing is everything.  

Put another way, Steve Jobs wore jeans and a black turtleneck. This was his signature look. It was his, if you will, his logo, his stamp on the world, the way he advertised himself, his tireless work ethic, his values, everything he represented. If he tried that today, would it work? I’m not so certain. It meant something back then: it was utilitarian, clean, and efficient, during a time when everyone wore suits. Mark Zuckerberg adopts a similar look today; he just blends in with the million ought programmers. Virgil Abloh, however, whose style remains consistent, but evolves, is just considered, stylish, but not beholden to one thing. 

Cool, cool, but what about the logo, like, the logo?

Seriously, take your time with it. You don’t need one right off the hop. Your swoosh will come in time and the word mark will do for now. 

It’s better to get your brand out into the world quickly, see how people respond to it, and iterate. Even though this is your brand, it’s likely you want to actually sell something, which means the opinions of your customers matters a lot. When you’ve settled on a few logo designs, acquire feedback from a few different people that you think fit into your target demographic. You’ll hit the ground running with gusto, but you’ll actually have some hard data to justify which direction you’re pointed towards in the first place.

A bonus: when you signup with Dopesite Co., you also become a member of our private social network Artful Record®, a sustainable community of artists, designers, musicians, photographers, producers, seeking artistic synergy. Who are all willing, and capable of helping you with every aspect of your brand, including your logo. 

I make things like Dopesite Co., Artful Record® and It's All Sad™. I've worked with musicians like Janet Jackson and DVBBS. And I've consulted for brands like Budweiser and Adidas.