The Logo

When I started my first company, Lifeboat Scooters, I right-clicked and saved an image of a boat from Google Images, then added text under it in Microsoft Paint. My first product didn't even come with a logo anywhere on it. I sold over $5,000 worth.

As my second product came to fruition, I had learned the absolute basics of Adobe Illustrator and managed to create a simple rendition of a flamingo to adorn the product as a tribute to the rider the signature product was designed for. I sold over $20,000 worth.

By the time I started Syndicate Store, I had progressed ever so slightly in my Adobe Illustrator journey and managed to create a unique enough 'S' logo that my friends said was "sick". We did $750,000 within 1.5 years of opening and the logo remains the same seven years later.

When I relaunched Lifeboat as NATIVE, we decided to outsource the logo creation through an online logo competition website. You describe your brand and put up a budget, and 100 designers send in their best logo in hopes of taking home the budget. Hundreds entered, and all were really bad, unusable, except one. That same logo has received countless compliments over the years and been etched into hundreds of thousands of physical products sold in scooter shops all over the world. (earnings undisclosed)

It might seem like there's a correlation between getting better at design and the increasing amount of money I made, but that's definitely not the cause.

The point I'm actually trying to make is that each time I did the best I could and made the most of the resources I had available, and then focused on the product.

I genuinely believe my logos could have been twice as nice or half as good without making a difference to my revenue in those time periods.

Sure, you need a logo, and there are schools of thought that would say that the right logo and branding are everything, but that's not where we're at right now. You're at the stage of just starting something, offering a product or service, and hoping that someone is willing to pay you for it.

To at least give you something actionable to go off: If everything is ready but the logo, pick a font that looks nice to you and make your whole brand name your logo. In places where the whole word doesn't fit, just use the first letter.

A good enough product can go very far with an extremely basic logo.

You can always update it later. At which point you’ll probably realise you don’t need too.

In 1971, Phil Knight of NIKE contracted a graphic design student to design a logo for his company who came up with the famous swoosh tick. Knights initial response was “I don’t love it, but maybe it’ll grow on me”. The swoosh is today considered one of the most valuable logos in the world.


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