Mar 31, 2014 • Jessica Jones
There are four words that will automatically make most design professionals cringe: “Make the logo bigger.”
Why would designers react this way to a basic request? Simple: because they hear it over and over again, and it is frequently difficult to explain to a client why a bigger logo isn’t always the right design choice.
Your logo is important, that’s not in question. It’s a crucial part of your brand, and you want it to appear in a prime position on your website. It does not, however, need to be huge in order to stick in users’ minds.
Take a look at the websites of some well-known companies: amazon.com, starbucks.com, sony.com. Their logos are all displayed prominently, and are fairly small - and I promise I didn’t wade through well-known sites looking for appropriate examples; these were the first three recognizable logos that came to my mind. Visit the website of a successful worldwide company and chances are high that their logo will be the same - prominent but small.
Why would smaller logos be more effective? There are many potential reasons; here are two of the most important.
A larger logo might not suit the design of your site. Take a look at starbucks.com. If they wanted to make their logo significantly bigger, what would happen? It would look too large in comparison to the menu to the right of it, which would throw off the balance of the header area. If it were too large there might not even be room for all of the menu items. It would also force the content further down the page, which brings us to the next point:
Users don’t come to your website to see your logo. Your logo needs to be there, yes. It needs to be in a prominent position. But it does not need to take up a great deal of valuable website real estate. Why do users come to your website? Probably to learn more about your company. To find your phone number or your hours, or information about your services. Possibly to read your blog and see what you’ve been up to lately or if you’re having any specials. A good website uses space efficiently, and a too-big logo takes space away from what your users are actually looking for. Trust me, your users are much more likely to associate your logo with a positive experience if it’s attached to a well-designed, functional website.
How often do designers hear “make the logo bigger”? Often enough that their frustration with the request has spawned “Make the Logo Bigger” t-shirts (with corresponding “No I Will Not Make the Logo Bigger” shirts), a “Make the Logo Bigger” song, art project responses, a satirical infomercial for “Make the Logo Bigger Cream,” (this one was shared on our graphic designer’s personal Facebook) and even a carefully thought out scheme detailing how to make your clients’ logo bigger without making your clients’ logo bigger.
Obviously the urge to make the logo bigger is extraordinarily common, or it wouldn’t have become such a well-known meme in the world of design. If you’ve had this urge yourself, rest assured that you aren’t alone. However, you can overcome it - I have faith in you! Recognize that your web developer is a professional (unless you hired the neighbor kid for $50 and a Google Play gift card, in which case, please, contact us!) and that she has your best interests in mind. If you ask her to make your logo bigger and she responds by detailing the reasons why that might not be the best choice, remember the “Make the Logo Bigger” song and consider that she might be right.