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Why logos aren’t everything, as explained by a logo

The Story of a Logo, Doomed at Birth

©Somewhere Else
Many people make a big deal out of my kind. We are printed on every carrier, and some people even proudly use these paper bags as props in their selfies. We could even be a source of encouragement, emblazoned on t-shirts and pushing people to just do their best. In some cases, we are the golden arches people look for to have happy family meals. Ding ding. I am a logo, the pride and joy of every brand. Yet here I am – navel gazing, close to destruction, and wishing everyone knew that I’m honestly not that big a deal.  
How I look ≠ Define My Worth

Contrary to popular belief, looks aren’t everything. 

Don’t get me wrong, I do care about how I look. Considering that I end up everywhere persuading people to like me enough to represent my brand, tote my face around on bags, shoes, perhaps even ink me on their skin; of course I care about my looks. But that’s exactly it. People don’t love us just because we’re beautiful, it’s the brands we represent that they’re in love with. I’m pretty much nothing if a brand worth people’s love does not exist beyond me. 

In The Beginning

When I was first created, there was an excitement that I could feel. All these ideas that were spewing forth felt like I was to be of something great. “Something different but not too different.” “Something ownable like that other brand.” “Something that communicates our brand’s ethos!”

Months of emphasis was placed on the way I was to look and appear. “More refinement!” “More sexy!” “Maybe a little softer on the edge and wider at the ends?” That’s when it hit me – it all depends on me now. How people will receive and love my brand is all based on how I’m to look.

All My Brand’s A Stage

With excitement all swelled up in me, I went out greeting the world wearing my brand’s promises on my sleeves and ready to be the next big logo. But man, nobody cared, no one really looked at me. None saw me and thought about my brand’s ethos, nor was anyone concerned about all my brand’s promises I was proclaiming. Sure I got a few shrugs, some conversations that led to page 6 on Google search which frankly just left me feeling embarrassed – as the values talked about in the process of my making were just all talk. Despite all the effort given into crafting me, it dawned on me that everything else was just not making it. 

Our website was terribly neglected – I sat right at the top of a page that couldn’t give visitors what they wanted. Our products were honestly just something anyone could find on AliExpress with my face slapped onto, without innovation, yet priced at a premium. I felt like a total fraud, just trying to lure the unsuspecting to throw their hard-earned dollars in. Thankfully, people saw through me — the hollow ethos imbued in my brand, the fake image I was projecting.

Made The Scapegoat

Of course, I got blamed for the business’s sputtering start – placed under the digital knife again and again. “Let’s just give our logo a refresh, maybe then people will flock to us.” Did my founders truly believe that people would pay a premium for an otherwise generic product because of me? Perhaps the uninformed and misinformed would, but should they? “Willing buyer, willing seller” they’d say.

Today, logos appear to be everything, encapsulating all of a brand’s worth, when there are actually many other different components that makes a brand valuable to the lives of people. There’s no shortage of business owners like my founders, whether naive or looking for a quick buck, they’ve all neglected to respect people, their agency and intelligence. If they would just pause for a moment to walk in our customers’ shoes, they will see that people deserve better and serve our communities more effectively — in ways they would actually like to be treated. Or is it too simplistic of me to wish that when all logos are born, we be tasked to represent something true?

Here I am, my end in sight. Businesses like ours don’t last, and unfortunately like the many that have come before, more will take our place, doomed to repeat this cycle of empty brand creation.

Since you bothered to read this, I am sure you will fare better. 

Let’s work on your logo and then some, to build you a flourishing brand.


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