Come on, Mom! This logo’s not for her.
Here’s a little tidbit that comes straight from real life: When asking your friends and family for their thoughts on a new logo—or any bit of design for that matter—make sure they know a thing or two about design before giving them the final say!
Can you tell I’m a bit frustrated? If I had a nickel for every logo that’s been killed by a client’s mom, I’d have about 35 cents—way too much change to be jangling around in these pockets.
I know that it’s in our nature to seek out the opinions of those closest to us. Small business owners don’t have the benefit of board members or executive councils to aid in major decisions. That job often falls to one’s social council, i.e. our friends, siblings, co-workers, and of course, moms and dads.
But still, why moms? Being a mother-designer hybrid myself, I wasn’t going to be the best case study for my investigation. And not to be too impolite, but aren’t moms old? Dads are old too, and yet dads have never come up as an obstacle to my designs.
Are moms more protective? Are they more willing to give their negative opinions than most family members? Do they simply not have an eye for design?
No, no, and no. I couldn’t help but feel I was missing something. And then I realized: it’s not any one of those reasons, or even all of them combined. In fact, the issue is not moms but the clients themselves!
It’s not a matter of disregarding a mom’s opinions as much as educating the client about good design and being firm on who the logo was made for. If the logo is for a tech company with the goal of attracting individuals aged 18-35, then of course your 75-year-old mother probably won’t like it. Similarly, if the site is directed towards men, then I’m sure a gal might not see the strength in the logo—but dad might!
To conclude, I have nothing against my clients asking for the opinions of others. I do, however, take issue with a client that asks his or her mom for an opinion when the logo was never intended for her to like in the first place. Logos and brands aren’t universal—look at Coca-Cola and its hordes of haters. To reiterate, tween girls won’t be inclined towards the Brooks Brothers’ logo just as middle-aged businessmen find little to like about The Disney Channel’s branding.
So go ahead, ask your friends and family for their opinions, but be realistic as to whether that’s the demographic you’re trying to please! And please, keep this change from building up in my pockets!