How big should my logo be?

Branding comes through service and experience, more than shouting

One of the most common questions we get during the design of agents’ websites is “Do you think my logo is big enough?”, or sometimes simply the request: “Can you make my logo bigger?”.

We thought the topic warranted a quick exploration as part of our agency online marketing resources library.

Now then, at the end of the day you’re the customer, so we’ll make your logo as big as you want it.  However, before doing so, let’s just examine what’s best for your brand impact.

Brand impression is not as simple as just a big logo.  In fact, it’s more closely correlated to the overall “user experience” a customer gets from you at all touch points.

  • Do your press adverts feel like your boards?
  • Do your business cards, feel like your store fronts?
  • Does the welcome your staff gives to customers as they walk into branch feel consistent, and in tune with the brand?
  • Does your website feel like your printed property details?
  • Do your emails from your negotiators feel the same as the website?

Does it all work smoothly?  Do all those touch points answer your clients’ questions simply, and quickly?  It’s the accumulation of all those touch points which form your “brand”, and the logo (and colour palette) are simply the most obvious identifiers and unifiers of that brand.

So, in short, if you’re doing the whole brand experience well, then your brand will be strong.  You don’t need to shout your name at customers every time you meet them.  You wouldn’t do that in branch: “Hello Mrs Smith, welcome to JOHN AND SONS AGENTS, do sit down.”

(Aside:  Really strong brands go a step further, play on their strength, removing their name and graphical brand from the communication, to make the point.  Meerkats anyone?  One very revealing experiment even demonstrated how the Waitrose brand remained identifiable through font and colours even when other brand names like Amazon were used for the actual wording.)

A big logo sometimes gets in the way of delivering the best possible website experience to customers.  Their screen real estate is precious, and if you command the top two inches with your logo, you’re taking up space that could be used to deliver to your users the “answer to their question”.  And if you deliver the user the answer to whatever question is on their mind, quickly, simply, and openly, you’re building your brand.

Now take look at a few major brands like:

  • Rightmove
  • Facebook
  • Google (inside their results pages, granted the homepage is very obviously branded, but as you go deeper)
  • Youtube (where the logo is tiny)
  • Or indeed in our own sector, take a look at Foxtons as a great example
  • Or the brand new Chestertons website (which we think is one of the nicest sites out there at the moment: some extensive user testing work that we completed recently confirmed it as the nicest design in the eyes of users).

You’ll see that they all have logos with a relatively diminutive relationship in relation to the power of their sites or their services.

Now, clearly we need to balance this with the fact that some of these services have “big” brands already, and often our challenge we will have more of a “brand building” challenge with you, especially if you are a smaller independent agency.

It’s also true that the more of a “utility, or tool” that you are, such as an email service, or a property search engine, with high repeat usage, and heavy service usage like searching, the more you’ll want to give space to the functionality or content more than to the logo on the page.  But with agency, the product for most of the users is the house (vendors are most typically also applicants), and or the sales service around that.  And that’s a repeat touch business.  Especially the search part of that task, and doubly so if you are effective at getting your customers signed up to email alerts.  They’ll search with you for a few months, and more likely see your press ads, your site, your emails, and your staff quite a few times during that brand journey.

Take a look at the range of designs we’ve produced for agents, and you’ll see varying approaches from big, bold brands, through to more diminutive presentations more akin to the major search services listed above.

There’s no right or wrong answer clearly, but we’d argue that it’s worth considering how much of your brand we can communicate through the “holistic service” rather than simply by “shouting”.