The importance of logos, and why some should have been crowdsourced

The importance of logos, and why some should have been crowdsourced
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Ever wondered what the fuss around logos is all about?

If done right, a logo can indicate, with just one image or word what your company is all about.

Take Amazon’s logo as an example. The arrow is suggesting that Amazon has everything from A to Z, and it’s smiling at the customer.

FedEx cleverly designed its logo to include an arrow between the E and the X, signifying speed and precision – what the company’s core selling points are all about.

Switzerland chocolate company, Toblerone, is from a town referred to as The City of Bears, Burn. If you look closely at the Swiss mountain, you will see the silhouette of a bear.

Having started DesignCrowd and BrandCrowd, I’ve come to know that getting a logo is one of the smallest bits of work you will ever have to do. So why do so many brands get it wrong?

For every good example of a logo design, there are too many bad ones. So in the last few years, more and more small businesses and big brands started using crowdsourcing to design a logo that captures the brand (like Doritos, Google and Coca-Cola).

While crowdsourcing is not the right path for every business or every project (in some circumstances, traditional agencies may be a better fit) most design projects – particularly logo design projects – lend themselves perfectly to crowdsourcing.  

In this article, I wanted to share a few logo fails with you, that could have been avoided if the project had been crowdsourced.

South Australia

After months of hype and $1.3 million dollars spent to create it, the new South Australia logo was slammed by locals and the wider Australian community.

Some even thought it resembled an origami Pope hat, and that it certainly wasn’t an image that will draw people to a place. After spending $1.3 million on the design, it’s no wonder Tasmania wasn’t included in the logo, as it would have cost them a further $13,000.

Transport NSW

One of the many things you want to avoid with logo designs, is creating confusion between your brand and that of another. This is where Transport NSW failed quite terribly.

The new logo cost $1 million to create, and is unmistakably similar to the Tennis Australia logo, according to many Reddit users and some media.

With the help of the wider crowdsourcing community and of being able to share designs internally for feedback before selecting the perfect one for your brand, Transport NSW could have avoided making commuters wondering if they’re at a train station or a tennis clinic.

NRL

The NRL's new logo received mixed reviews from the design community and the public (with one poll saying 17% thought the logo was "ugly").

The NRL competition is one of the largest sporting competitions in Australia (like the NFL in the US) and the public and design community would've jumped at the chance to participate in an open design contest. It could have also given the NRL some much desired global attention.

 

There’s a sense of failure and missed opportunity in all of these designs. It’s clear big brands have a lot to learn from small businesses when it comes to crowdsourcing. Those brands that do take the step towards crowdsourcing, will soon find themselves rolling in ideas and designs, great publicity opportunities, and a whole raft of cost savings to enjoy. The public and the design community will clamour to work on your project and share their ideas with you and the world.

Alec Lynch is the founder and CEO of design crowdsourcing marketplaces DesignCrowd.com.au and BrandCrowd.com.

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