Whenever you start a brand, or when you are the owner of the brand, the one thing that comes to your mind apart from MANY things is whether your logo should be small and subtle or it should be descriptive?
The answer to it would differ, no one can ever tell you what suits your brand better unless he/ she is a professional. The more you know your brand, the better it is to decide what is the best for you. The kind of logo you are going for is the decision that you take at an initial stage. There is no one rule that fits all.
The beginning stages of every brand are very confusing, you have hundreds of questions in your mind and you are always looking for someone to answer your most asked question “Can someone please make me a logo”? Or where do I go for the professional logo? Who do you think can help me out?
Well, logo designing is one tricky and VERY important part, and deciding on which type of logo are you going to go with is an equally important step. However, this is the step where people often end up making mistakes. Descriptive logos are pretty easy and handy, they give extensive information to the customers and save them from searching for the brand online to know everything about them.
On the other hand, the non-descriptive logos are cleaner and less congested than the descriptive ones. If you can explain your brand in the best possible way without making it congested and keeping it subtle then non-descriptive logos are the best.
Nevertheless, we cannot take sides at the initial stages once we have discussed the pros and cons of everything. Let’s first discuss what descriptive and non-descriptive logos are.
The first step in deciding which type of logo is best for your brand is to understand what they actually are? If you are still not aware of both the descriptive and non-descriptive logos, you are highly unlikely to decide for yourself.
A descriptive logo means you are putting everything in your logo, without making it congested obviously. You add maximum information to the logo to make sure nobody has to go through the hassle of searching for you in order to know you better. Or what your business does. Your logo should be explainable for your business.
The best way to understand the difference between the descriptive and non-descriptive logos is to look at the logos of Burger King and McDonald’s.
McDonald’s arc does not explain the food and restaurant industry. On the other hand, when you see the logo of Burger King you would instantly understand that the brand belongs to the food industry.
These logos are better for the brands that quickly want to inform the audience what the business is about and everything they want their audience to know. These images and logos do not leave much to guess for the audience. Have a look at these logos, and you would immediately know what the brand is all about. That is the kind of descriptive logos that are appreciated in the marketing domain.
Now coming to another type of logos which is….
Non-descriptive logos are more subtle and simple, you take all the information from whatever is available to you. Unlike descriptive logos, they do not have a lot to offer but if done right these are the best kind of logos that you should depend on. In the non-descriptive logos, you choose minimalism and say a lot of things in the least possible way.
These logos are more evocative than informative, by providing more insights into the information and company personality without directly telling the customers about the brand. Non-descriptive logos are tricky to understand but if designed rightly they are quite meaningful.
Moreover, these logos are perfect for a range of environments. By allowing the brands to create a proper recognition in the market they convey the business feelings and ideas. However, there is no denying to the logic that they are not quite comprehensible. When you are going for a non-descriptive logo, you are leaving everything to your audience to guess everything. Non-descriptive logos are easy for the larger brands that are already known in the market, however, the smaller brands that are yet to create a market can be tricky for them.
Now coming to the right question, which one is better? The descriptive logos or the non-descriptive logos?
Descriptive Logos Vs Non-Descriptive Logos
This is one long debate that can go on and on for an indefinite time, but here we can give you the reasons why you should go for descriptive or non-descriptive logos.
When we talk about descriptive logos, they give clear insights into all the business and everything about it. They further help in creating brand awareness and making your organization more transparent.
Nevertheless, almost 80% of the brand still uses non-descriptive logos that define themselves clearly to the customers. One of the main reasons for choosing non-descriptive logos is that they are simpler and easier to comprehend and of course more modern as well. Times are gone when the congested logos were in fashion and people used to idealize them.
One thing that you must understand is that there is no one strategy that fits everyone when it is to choose the right design for the logo. You have to conduct thorough research in order to find the right logo for your brand. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, almost 597 businesses found that people prefer descriptive logos more than non-descriptive logos. As they think the descriptive logos are more informative and authentic as they keep the customers in the loop about everything. It helps them make a better purchase decision when the logo is descriptive. On the other hand, the non-descriptive logos end up making the customers a bit confused.
Selecting a Descriptive and Non-Descriptive Logo
While you are deciding what logos to choose, you have to keep everything in your mind from trying to understand whether you want to go with a minimal and less informative logo or you want to go for a detailed logo. However, you have to keep in mind not all detailed logos are congested and not all non-descriptive logos are minimal. Everything changes with time and is quite subjective to the brand or the industry you are representing.
The descriptive logos are undoubtedly more effective but you will not find their findings as black and white as you think they are. They are considered to deliver much of a positive interest for both the familiar and unfamiliar brands. On the other hand, they have entirely different effects for the bigger brands.
When choosing the type of logo for your brand, never compare your brand with the top ones of already famous brands as they have had a different journey than yours. Customers out there are already aware of the brands like Nike and Mcdonald’s but your brand is still in the struggling or initial phase. Apart from this, if your brand has any negative associations, we would recommend you choose the non-descriptive logos as not telling the customers about everything is not a good idea especially when there are more negatives than positives.
For example, if you are in the food industry it is good to use the image of burgers or other food items to represent your brand. On the other hand, if your company organizes funerals or other related services, showing a picture of coffins or dead bodies would not be a good idea for your brand.
In some cases, descriptive logos can be quite problematic if your organization sells a huge range of products, you cannot put it all on the logo, and selecting a few would restrict your business. So, going with the non-descriptive logos is a better choice in this case.