Years back I got it indoctrinated that a logo or any visual communication design is just not a beauty contest?
Now, I always beg to differ after walk through the reality for 6 years. The problems always lay easily when the theory put out of the context! Our lecturers got their benchmark from American textbooks! Ogilvy, Leo Burnett and other Top World Marketers are from USA! A local Indonesian Advertising book I've ever read is by Rhenald Khasali, he is an American educated either.....
Just hang on with me for a while.
case A : smart client
I wanted to have a new logo for my new business. Of course, I would have had all my philosophy, marketing, branding strategy, including my unique selling preposition. Or else how would I penetrate the market.
The agency did their homework based on my marketing information. Some times later he would get back to me and present all the 'cooked' ideas they have. I listened and chewed and digested. Some insights flied and catched.
Well, if I were the client my final decision would be based on my FEELING. Is it looking good? After it is truly able to represent all my personality inside it.
For instance see the starbuck logo, a woman? none of the visual relate or remind me with a good coffee. Pertamina new logo, just a "P" with 3 colors, well yeah...so what?
Garuda Indonesia, a logo cost 1B at that moment, pretty prestigious to pay for a brand identity rite? It is cool, and fine, BUT I believe at the process there were aloot of many types of bird visual!
case B : ignorant (dumb) client
I had a leftover money. A huge one. So while looking for the next traveling destination, I put aside some idle money to set up a business. Simple one, selling something tangible for majority. So I have the product and the system but not the logo. I have a name, my fave name, derived from my dog's name. I don't care whether it got nothing to do with the product.
The agency looked so serious thinking for my new logo, I wonder why. They presented them to me, which I was not sure I followed. I just think how would all this thing can make my product highly wanted in the market.
So, at the end, I picked the nicest color and form, the rest, the philosophy can follow.
Mostly there are this two kinds of clients.
So, again are you sure it is not just a beauty contest?