A wordmark is a specially stylized typographical treatment of the letters in your brand name. An effective wordmark focuses your customer’s attention on your name, while driving home some desirable first impressions about your brand.
When your company has a long name – and by long we mean more than one word – a common instinct is to commission a wordmark that fits every last letter. But heed our warning: this approach can (and will likely) lose people.
Let’s Just Be Clear
We aren’t talking about I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, here. We’re talking about a broader phenomenon, wherein a company has a name like “Acme Solutions,” “Acme Distribution” or “Acme Software.” In such cases, there is a commonly used first name (Acme) followed by something descriptive (Solutions, Distribution, Software) that distinguishes the company from other unrelated “Acme” firms. Trying too hard to fit these descriptors into a wordmark is exactly what can besmirch an otherwise fine design.
Okay, Descriptors May Be Necessary… Sometimes
An organization with a name like Acme may need to tack on a descriptor like “solutions” or “distribution” for reasons like:
- Search engine requirements.
- Legal requirements.
- Marketing a new brand category.
- Distinguishing a common name from a sea of others like it.
But think about it. If you’re trying to focus attention on a name, two or three words – correction – two or three stylized blocks of letters run the risk of splitting someone’s gaze between multiple focal points. Note how the image below lacks a strong centre of attention.
There’s Still Hope
If your brand does have one of those unavoidably long names, don’t fret. There are ways to create a wordmark that puts the proper focus on part of your name, without ditching the descriptors that keep you trade-marked, or search engine friendly.
Take this treatment, for example.
Long-Name Wordmark Wins
- Use your descriptor in your website URL – not in your wordmark (above). Since your URL naturally accompanies your wordmark in all marketing materials, your descriptor will always be seen in the vicinity of your mark for quick association.
- To distinguish your brand from companies that have similar names, use your descriptor in accompanying “About Us” text rather than in your wordmark.
- Use strong, differentiated typography that stands out in your market without the “help” of secondary graphical devices like swooshes, which detract from even the shortest of names.
If You Didn’t Know, Now You Know
Sometimes a slightly longer name can look great as a wordmark – but only if it stems from a brilliant design solution. The vast majority of the time, an attempt to squeeze every part of a name into a wordmark can make design work a disaster.