Your logo is just the tip of the iceberg

By Simon Droog — a Dutch self-taught brand and graphic designer

I just finished another #runinthesun here in Barcelona in the woods. I love to run! But that’s not why we’re here. We’re here to talk business, graphic design and branding. Ok, well… the reason I brought it up is: while running I was thinking about branding and logos. I always get the best ideas while running. But I digress. As I was saying: Branding and logos. A common mistake I hear about logos is: your logo is your brand.

Have you heard that statement as well? — I bet you have.

​I like to look at it from a different angle:

“Your logo is a representation of your brand, it’s like a first name —an identifier.”

—As Seth Godin call it.

It helps you identify who you’re talking to. But at the same time it can also be so much more. It can be an invitation —an invitation to learn more about what lies underneath. It can be a preview —a glimpse of what’s to come or a tiny sliver of something larger.

Atelier Pan | Your logo is just the tip of the iceberg

YOUR LOGO CAN BE SO MUCH MORE

If you look at the Nike logo for example, the Swoosh. Everybody knows the Swoosh. It’s one of the most iconic logos out there and it represents the whole brand behind it. Without all that the logo means nothing. Nike is all about the message —Just do it! It’s about the performance that Nike enables you to have, the motivation, the high quality product, the inspiration. That’s what make the brand good.

Atelier Pan | Your logo is just the tip of the iceberg

Without the rest to back it up, the Swoosh means nothing.

IT’S ALL ABOUT WHAT LIES UNDERNEATH

Your logo is a representation of your brand: of who you are —of what you do to benefit your client —of why you do what you do —and of how you do what you do. *If you’re interested in your why, how and what —make sure you read this article as well: Why should I do business with you?

Atelier Pan | Your logo is just the tip of the iceberg

It’s about:

  • your brand strategy,
  • your calls to action,
  • your customer service,
  • the way you speak,
  • your whole array of communication tools,
  • your people and
  • your facilities.

—From the Harvard Business Review article: A Logo Is Not a Brand.

Without all these layers, your logo just an hollow shell.

YOUR LOGO IS JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG

So when you're ready to have your logo designed, make sure that you have all the layers ready. And plan a session or workshop with your designer where you discuss all the different layers of your brand: who you are, what you do and what you want to accomplish. This will enable your designer to create a logo for you (the tip of your iceberg) that is a perfect representation of all that lies underneath.

One more thing:

Another example of a great logo is, is the Apple logo. And everybody knows it. It has gone through quite a few changes to get where it’s at now. That’s because the brand behind it has changed over time as well.

Atelier Pan | Your logo is just the tip of the iceberg

When you change your ‘iceberg’ —your why, how and what, the 'tip of the iceberg' should change with it. Otherwise your logo wouldn't be a good representation of your brand anymore. You might've been using it for years now, but along the way your brand has grown, developed, changed or pivoted. If this is the case, this would be a good indicator that your logo and the rest of your brand are in need of a rebrand or an overhaul. A rebrand will make sure that the 'tip of your iceberg' re-represents what you’re all about at this moment in time.

I DON'T SAY THIS OFTEN ENOUGH

Thanks for reading! I always appreciate that. I must say that I think it's amazing that you’re listening. I think you’re doing great things. You’re a conscious entrepreneur. You’re trying to make a difference. And I truly believe that you should be seen —be heard. You’re doing great things, and I’m committed to help you promote that, to show that to the world, to give you a platform —in a way of a visual identity.
Because 
you deserve to get noticed.

A QUICK RECAP

Remember: your logo is just the tip of the iceberg. Your logo is a representation of your brand. It gives your brand a face to the world that people recognize. When they see your logo they immediately recognize what your brand is about, because they know what’s behind it.

That’s what I wanted to say this week.

If you need some help with your iceberg...

People have been asking me how to stand out in the crowd as a conscious entrepreneur a lot over the years and I’ve been able to put it off for a long time, but a while ago I (finally) gave a workshop on this subject for the first time. The feedback has been remarkable!

I'm planning to do the workshop more often, so if you’re interested… let me know 🙂 

Atelier Pan Dare to be Different workshop

Ok, I’ll see you again next week!

With pleasure,

Simon

Atelier Pan | Visual identities for Conscious Entrepreneurs

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