Posted by: ADsevenfour | March 17, 2010

Make the logo bigger … what to do when your client asks for the inevitable.


So you are in the situation where you, or someone from your creative department has presented a design to a client, and one of the pieces of feedback was, “Can you make the logo bigger?” … What should you do?

The first thing to do is to think like the client …

The client is seeing this from the point of view of it being his / her baby, the only thing that matters and that if the user has clicked on a link, banner or typed their name into a search engine, then the most important thing is to reassure the user which companies site they are in.

The client is a representative of their company and therefore they will be making sure that something they approve will have to tick all the boxes and answer the questions that their superiors will ask.

The client wants to make sure that the company identity is very prominent, due to their understanding that if the user doesn’t know where they are they will not have a sense security, the bigger the logo the more secure the user will feel.

Most clients don’t understand and have a dislike of white space. Any wasted space on a site can obviously be put to more use, and their is normally a lot of white space (commonly referred to as an exclusion zone) around their company identity.

After you have thought like the client, it is time to think like a brand consultant, and not necessarily a designer*…

There will normally be a set of brand guidelines for the client which you should request / have already. Within these guidelines should be a section on the logo / brandmarque / identity. This will show the safe / exclusion zone which the logo needs to sit in. It may also give you a comparison for best use, size of logo versus the size of the collateral on which it is appearing. This could answer your problem immediately.

Make sure when talking about the logo you do not refer to any personal feeling towards the brand. You and the client are there to interpret the brand for best use on the web, the client will listen to you if you talk positively about the brand, stating that it is not an emotional decision it’s what is best for the company. By doing this you can then argue positively for the rest of the elements on the page, colour, weight and size associations. Remember why you are there in the first place. You have been employed to interpret the brand for the client.

Most clients want as much of their content above the fold, with this in mind, remember that the bigger the logo the more it will push the content down, this could be where a strategic bit of spacing becomes key leaving Call to actions just above the fold, and therefore unable to be pushed down the page by a bigger logo. (Jakob Nielsen’s Guideline #66 on his list of “113 Design Guidelines for Homepage Usability”)

I always argue that the logo is just a part of the branding and that it should feel part of the experience and not overpower the content, which is afterall, why the user has come to your site. Making the site feel like it is part of Brand X is more important than making the logo bigger. Afterall, once the user scrolls down the page the logo (unless anchored on the page) will disappear.

If all else fails you can site other brand examples, Nike is a good example for 2 reasons. 1, they have one of the strongest brands in the world, and have chosen to actually drop their name from the identity, just leaving the swoosh, the opposite of what your client has asked for. 2, Nikes’ logo is actually very small on their site and on their advertising, they are letting the brand do the work and allowing the products to speak for themselves.
Brand is more than the logo, it is the emotional and psychological relationship you have with your customers. By showing a logo that is disproportionally large you appear to be lacking in confidence, which will subconsciously effect your user.

*Remove your personal emotion

Andy@ad74.co.uk

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