You are here

The importance of logos, and why some should have been crowdsourced

Take Amazon’s logo as an example. The arrow is suggesting that Amazon has everything from A to Z and it’s smiling at the customer.

FedEx cleverly designed its logo to include an arrow between the E and the X, signifying speed and precision - what the company’s core selling points are all about.

Switzerland chocolate company, Toblerone, is from a town referred to as The City of Bears, Burn. If you look closely at the Swiss mountain, you will see the silhouette of a bear.

Having started DesignCrowd and BrandCrowd, I’ve come to know that getting a logo is one of the smallest bits of work you will ever have to do. So why do so many brands get it wrong?

For every good example of a logo design, there are too many bad ones. So in the last few years, more and more small businesses and big brands started using crowdsourcing to design a logo that captures the brand (like Doritos, Google and Coca Cola).

While crowdsourcing is not the right path for every business or every project (in some circumstances, traditional agencies may be a better fit) most design projects - particularly logo design projects - lend themselves perfectly to crowdsourcing.  

In this article, I wanted to share a few logo fails with you, that could have been avoided if the project had been crowdsourced.

London Olympics (UK)

The logo for the London Olympics cost £400,000, took one year to make and was absolutely panned by the media, public and design community.

As a universally loved and respected brand, designers around the would love to work on the Olympics logo and a global crowdsourcing contest is a great way to tap into global talent.

Aside from the tremendous cost and time savings, think about the volume and creativity of entries they would have received, the possible publicity benefits of tapping into the Olympic spirit and having the crowd choose the eventual winner. A global event like the Olympics deserves a global solution.

Microsoft (USA)

Microsoft's current logo is a 'me too' logo with the typeface a hop, skip and straightened character away from Apple's. It’s remarkable how similar Microsoft’s logo typeface “Seboe”, is to Apple’s typeface “Myriad Pro”.

Microsoft definitely should have considered crowdsourcing its logo. In addition to getting a more creative logo, crowdsourcing would've been a powerful way to engage the influential design community (a stronghold for Apple). Getting designers and/or hipsters to use and love your phones, tablets, laptops and brand is one way to make your brand cool and crowdsourcing would be a way for Microsoft to do this via co-creation.

There’s a sense of failure and missed opportunity in all of these designs. It’s clear big brands have a lot to learn from small businesses when it comes to crowdsourcing. Those brands that do take the step towards crowdsourcing, will soon find themselves rolling in ideas and designs, great publicity opportunities, and a whole raft of cost savings to enjoy. The public and the design community will clamour to work on your project and share their ideas with you and the world.


Others - DC Comics, New England Patriots


Alec Lynch is Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of DesignCrowd, one of the biggest online design crowdsourcing marketplaces in the world.