The other day, my four-year-old asked me if he could watch a movie. Because he likes to do everything himself these days, we’ve kept the VCR and VHS tapes out just for him—he can pick a movie, put it in, and take it out when it’s over, all by himself! However, on this particular day, I was in the living room with him, and asked him which movie he wanted to watch.
He went over to a shelf where a pile of tapes were stacked, outside of their brightly illustrated plastic cases, picked one up and said, “I don’t want to watch Aladdin.” He moved it to the side. Underneath was another tape, to which he said, “No. Not Bambi…” Then he went to another shelf and picked up his favorite movie, The Land Before Time.
What’s so special about this, you ask? Well, here’s the thing: My four-year-old can’t read.
Before this happened, I’d known that he could recognize the name of a movie by the pictures on the box. Sleeping Beauty has a picture of, well, Sleeping Beauty. The Lion King has a picture of Mufasa and Simba, and while I don’t think there really are 101 Dalmatians shown on the box, it’s pretty obvious what the movie is from the picture.
But on this day, the tapes were just lying there by themselves, the boxes on a different shelf altogether. It was then that I realized that he wasn’t reading the movie titles—he’d just recognized the type-only logo! And that, my friends, is what you want from your logo—instant recognition.
Your logo is a visual representation of your business/company/product, and is used to help create recognition, loyalty and good impressions among your target market. So while you don’t need a budget the size of the national deficit to get an effective logo, you certainly don’t want to skimp, either. Your logo IS the face of your business (or product or service.)
So whether your logo is type-only, or includes a symbol, image or graphic, the question is: Is your logo memorable enough to be recognized by
a four-year-old your target audience? If not, you’ve got work to do.