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Overdoing Your Logo – Too Much Icing, Not Enough Cake! -

Overdoing Your Logo

Featured Image: Unplash/Annie Spratt

A friend of mine strongly recommended me to try out a recently opened confectionery shop in town.

She kept on saying, “I haven’t tried it myself yet, but I hear their icings are to die for…they decorate their cakes with the fanciest toppings.”

Brimming with an appetite, I paid a visit to the store and I must say…she wasn’t wrong about the fancy icings. Every single cake they had was so beautifully and lusciously decorated that I almost drooled all over the counter. Without further ado, I bought a slice and tried it out. That is when it all changed.

Online Logo Maker Tool

All I could say was, “Too much icing, not enough cake.”

Although the icing was exquisitely carved (enough to tempt me into buying it), the cake tasted atrocious. So what good is a cake-making shop if their cakes are fancy looking but not worth eating?

• When a Logo is All Icing and No Cake:

I couldn’t help but relate this episode to the strategy of creating a logo design. Many times, we witness logos that are heavily embellished and decorated with design elements. But what is a fancy-looking logo worth if it fails to serve the business purpose and does not communicate the company meaning to the audience?

Remember the London 2012 Olympics logo anyone?

A perfect example of a logo with too much icing (design elements), but not enough cake (meaning).There is nothing meaningful about the controversial logo except that it spells out ‘2012’ in a very intricate and obscure way. What it fails to deliver is the meaning and essence of Olympics. For an ordinary person, this logo would appear nothing more than a hyperbolic arrangement of the numerals ‘2012’.

London 2012 Olympics Logo

• Logos are Strategic, Not Cosmetic:

Lately, the practice of creating logos is turning into a challenge of “who has the prettiest logo?” It seems as if companies are forgetting the real concept and purpose of having logos in the first place.

A logo isn’t just a sugar-coated sweetener that you give to your customers. It is a visual means of achieving business goals. An ornamented logo might be eye candy for a very brief period, but it will always lack a strong foundation to build a prosperous brand.

• Striking a Balance between Icing and Cake:

What every brand deserves is a good logo design that can increase sales turnover. In order for that to happen, striking a balance between design aesthetics (icing) and meaning (cake) is crucial.

But how does one do that? By making sure that your logo:

    • • Serves the company purpose and its reason for being.


    • • Communicates with it target audience in a simple yet effective manner.


    • • Conveys a clear message that the audience can remember.


  • • Is aesthetically pleasing in the simplest way possible.

Related: All that glitters is not gold: Common misconceptions of SMBs about designing their logos

• Learning From Examples:

For a better understanding, let me analyze a few random logos and demonstrate how a logo can have both meaning (the cake) and aesthetics (the icing) perfectly at the same time.

1. For an aspiring image studio:

Star SymbolThe Cake: The star symbol cleverly shaped in the form of a camera ‘shutter’ which aptly communicates the business purpose. Also, the mention of ‘Image Studio’ strengthens the cause all the more. Snap!

The Icing: The vivid colors added to the ‘star-shaped shutter’ reinforce the purpose of the business which is to provide vibrant photography experience.

2. For a real estate agency

Metropolis The Cake: The name here is the cake which can be easily associated with the realty business. The cluster of buildings also strengthens the cause nicely by signifying a metropolis. Not Bad!

The Icing: The colors added to make dynamic real estate brand and lively feel is the icing. Impressive!


3. For a creative musician offering piano services

WM The Cake: The name and slogan here comprise of the cake as they easily explain the name, nature and scope of the business. Simple!

The Icing: The double meaning derived out of the piano keys is the icing here. Using negative space to the fullest, the piano keys also spell out the letters ‘W’ & ‘M’ which stand for the business name. Awesome!


• Does Your Logo have the Perfect Blend?

Your turn – Does your logo have excessive cosmetic gibberish enough to overwhelm the meaning of your brand? Or is it the perfect blend of a meaningful text and aesthetic graphics? Comments please!

Online Logo Design


Author Bio:    

Evan is an Expert in Digital Marketing. He has been working in the social media space since 2008, with a focus on design services, user interface planning, branding and more. Currently, he is leading content marketing efforts at DesignMantic and has played an integral part in the success story of DesignMantic through strategic marketing campaigns. Evan is also a design pro, who has shown a predilection towards DIY design projects.

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