A logo is just a marketing tool.
It’s one of many marketing tools firms use to convey your message to the marketplace.
A logo is the first contact many prospects will have with your firm, for example, on a business card when meeting one of your lawyers at a conference. It can help set the tone for their thinking about the firm, and its quality and professionalism. Does it convey the sense of a high-quality organization? Does the logo LOOK professionally designed or like the firm did it in-house or at Kinko’s?
The first step is to discover the brand message the firm wants to convey to the marketplace. Has your firm first decided what its message is? Are you tough or intellectual? Creative or traditional? Efficient, friendly, tech-savvy, or edgy? Because once you know specifically what you’re saying, that’s vital guidance to offer to your logo designer.
Interestingly, logo design is a very narrow subspecialty area of “graphic design.” Not every designer can create a great logo, just like not every lawyer can handle every kind of legal practice. For example, our logo designer does nothing else. He’s dedicated his entire life exclusively to logos. That’s it. Not websites or professional announcements or advertisements. He lives in the world of glyphs and font families.
In this way, he doesn’t simply default to using what we call the “giant initials”-style of logos. See more here. Below is a before-and-after example of how one firm’s “giant initial” logo was redesigned into something much more readable, at the same width. More than a redesign, it required a strategic process to get the lawyers on board with the idea of emphasizing the firm’s “Galloway” street name.
A logo is a little piece of art, and your lawyers and professionals can have very different feelings about the type of artwork they like. Some may like impressionists or modern art, others like basic “still life with fruit,” and others might prefer “dogs playing poker on velvet.”
We must help all of them see why the logo says something about the firm that would make them proud to pull it out of their wallets. Because if they don’t like the color or design, the Marketing Committee is going to hear about it for a lonnnnngggg time. Some lawyers will simply refuse to hand out their cards. (Trust me, this happens.) Logo redesigns are much more difficult projects than most people realize.
Here’s a place to start, our blog post entitled “C’mon, it’s just a logo. How hard can it be?”
Below are a few more logo redesigns. Each required more than a simple tweak to the font or layout. Done right, logo revisions require strategic thinking to clearly determine what the firm wants to say to its target audience(s), and how to connect with them.
Do you have too many names on your logo?
This can make good design quite challenging. Here’s how to make the negotiation with the other name partners less painful when removing their names from the logo.
Need a new brand or logo for your own firm?
Contact Ross now at: ross [at] fishmanmarketing.com or +1.847.921.7677.
Download a free copy of his best-selling strategy and branding book, “We’re Smart. We’re Old. And We’re the Best at Everything.” here, or buy an actual book on Amazon here.
Do your lawyers need marketing training or a dynamic speaker at a firm retreat, either live or via webinar? Ross is one of the legal profession’s most-popular marketing and CLE presenters. Here’s a link to a video of Ross in action.