Lisa Merriam

HP’s Swoosh-O-Matic Logo Service–-Bad Branding Made Easy

Just when you thought HP was refocusing on its core business of computer hardware, they’ve decided they can also be low-cost designers. HP has begun marketing Logoworks by HP under the misguided notion that branding is about looks.
Your brand is not your logo. Your brand is your reputation and promise. It is what your customers think about your company and what they expect from your products.

That said, your logo is critically important. To be effective, it must symbolize your reputation and promise. It must mean something and communicate something. It must stand out. If your logo looks too much like others or is simply unmemorable, it fails as a symbol of your reputation.

Precisely because logos must be symbolic and distinctive, HP’s Logoworks is a bad idea. It’s quite possible that the HP service can provide mediocre to adequate design. What’s lacking is the in-depth strategic insight intrinsic in every great symbol.

Take the following example: the HP Logoworks logo looks nice enough. But compare it to competitors. The cliché of the tooth is clearly overused. Nothing says “just another dentist” like a tooth logo.



Don’t cut corners when creating your brand. Find a designer that is a strategist first and foremost. Ask logo designer candidates to walk you through their process. How much do they delve into your reputation? Do they explore what really sets you apart? Are they able to go beyond the superficial and common? Make sure they study competitors and typical industry visual conventions (to avoid them!).

A great logo doesn’t have to be expensive. Logoworks by HP is a false economy. Let HP make great printers. For logos, go to specialists.