I did make me wonder, and not for the first time, does the business down the street realize how incredibly hideous their logo is?
It's a newer sign, installed within the last year. It is a commercially manufactured sign, so someone at a sign shop had to build this thing. At what point did the ugliness occur? And why wasn't it fixed before it got to the point of manufacturing and installation? Was there a Sign Committee that all agreed that this sign was the best thing they could come up with?Did a member of the committee design it him/herself? Every time I drive past the sign, I think about how nasty it is. And how sad it is that this business is identified by it.
It also made me pay more attention while running errands. I started looking at the signs around town and thinking about the businesses that own them. I realized that I have opinions about the businesses based on their signs, without ever walking in the door. I think that's the point though, isn't it?
I also seem to compare similar business against each other. Would I visit one hair salon over another? Or a restaurant versus another one down the street? All based on their signage? You bet I would! And sadly, there are a lot of small businesses that aren't selling themselves well at all. Maybe, just maybe, part of the reason some small businesses fail is that they have a really ugly logo on their storefronts and people are turned off by it.
So, how does a business know that their logo is ugly? Ask! Ask a friend. A neighbor. Strangers walking down the street. Just ask! Even someone who does not have a great eye for design can tell if the logo makes them feel uncomfortable. Sometimes, it IS personal preference. I get that. But I think it's important for business owners to talk to other people and get their opinions. "Other people" is where your clients come from.
And where DO these incredibly ugly logos come from? I'm pretty sure they aren't coming from a professionally-trained graphic designer. Trust me on this. Going to college and majoring in Advertising/Design takes a ton of time, dedication and skill. If your neighbor has a kid who is a really good artist, and she's 15 and she'd be happy to draw something for you for $10, chances are, it's not going to look professional. It's going to look like your neighbor's kid drew your logo for $10. If you give that art to a commercial sign company and ask them to make a nice light-up sign to advertise your business, it's not going to look any better lit up than it did on paper.
Some of them are just old. Old, ugly and tired. If you have a logo that you paid good money for back in 1997 that was really trendy back then, chances are, it's ugly by today's standards. These things have to stay relevant! If your logo looks old and tired, people will think your business is old and tired too.
So… is YOUR logo ugly? Do you know? Have you asked anyone? You really should. If you'd like, I'd be happy to give you my opinion. I have a pretty strong one!