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January 21, 2006

Law Firm Logos are Goofy, Useless, and a Waste of Time and Money.

At some point I'll reveal how I really feel about law firm logos. For the time being, Tom Kane in The Legal Marketing Blog has a nice recent post about firm logos. I agree that quality service and not logos should be the main event, as Tom and others say. And I would add that if you have a logo, don't change it--but if you don't have a logo, don't bother to develop one. Logos are really about your "look". Whether you know it or not, your firm already has this "look".

Your "look" is on your stationery/letterhead, envelopes and (if they match), your business cards. These all have your firm's name on it. Hopefully, these same patterns, lettering, and colors are reproduced on your marketing materials: website, brochure, blog. When people see Hull McGuire PC, usually underlined in burgundy with black Gothic lettering on pastel-colored stationery or business cards, that's us--our trade dress and our "look". Clients, agencies, courts, and contacts have been seeing it for 12 years. The repetition does it, and it likely has value. We wouldn't change that look even if we decided we didn't like it.*

A great example of repetition yielding recognizability and therefore value is the Yahoo! home page (and in fairness, I likely got this idea from Harry Beckwith's writing). First, forget about the easily recognizable Yahoo! logo for a moment (Yahoo!, Google, IBM and Coca-Cola have logos--but they've spent millions on them). Then go to the Yahoo! home page. It's very basic--even boring--but Yahoo! has stuck with it because people recognize it through repetition of the format you see when you open the page. To me, that consistency is bracing, reassuring. And, originally intended or not, it has value. Yahoo! knows the "look" of its home page is basic and boring, it can certainly afford to develop a new one, and it wouldn't change for the world.

* Besides, "HMPC" sounds more like a fuel additive than a symbol of quality legal care.

Posted by JD Hull at January 21, 2006 08:47 AM

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