How To End Your B.S. Marketing Drama (Make A Logo In 5 Seconds)

Clay: Hello everyone, I’m Clay Collins…

James: I’m James Lepine.

Clay: and in this episode of the Marketing Show, we’re going to talk about how to end your BS, prima donna, logo drama and create a logo in about – what – 5 seconds?

James: Yeah.

Clay: About 5 seconds. That’s what you have to look forward to in this episode of the Marketing Show.

So in just a second, we’re going to show you some of the most authoritative and easy-to-create logos on the internet from huge companies that you’ve heard of before, but before we do that, we just want to give a quick shout-out to everyone who participated in the comments of the previous episode of the Marketing Show, so thanks to everyone.

James: Ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time of week, oh yes, it’s time for the Marketing Show shout-outs. First off this week, we have Jaxi West. Let’s hear it for Lauchlan Mackinnon. Up next, we have Michael Hardenbrook. Looking good, nice shades Michael. Up next, it’s John Smith. Next, we have Shelley Berger Phillips. Hello Shelley, I like the purple. And finally, Tom Shivers.

And that will do it for this week’s edition of the Marketing Show Shout-outs. If you’d like to see your name and picture appear on this section of next week’s episode, you know what to do. Leave a smart insightful comment below and contribute to the conversation. If you do that, you will be considered for next week’s edition of the Marketing Show Shout-out.

Clay: So James, what are we going to talk about today?

James: Yeah, so today, we are going to talk about logo drama, and here’s kind of the situation with logo drama. So many folks are spending too much money, too much time…

Clay: Preach it, brother.

James: …and too much effort on their logos, instead of doing actual work that brings in actual money because you’re obsessing over this.

Clay: That’s right. A lot of people are delaying working on their product, working on their website, doing important things in their business because they’re asking a million people about logos. They’re going back and forth with their designers. They’re spending like cold hard cash doing a bunch of BS, and that energy should be focused on changing the world, making new product, making great marketing.

James: Yup, so that all ends today, and we’re going to show you exactly how.

Clay: We’re going to shut that — down. Matt, can you edit up the cursing?

Examples Of Best Fonts For How To Make Logos

So first off, here’s how to make a logo. Okay, step one, okay, go to a word processor. Step two, find the most boring font you can think of, and step three, type in the name of your brand. Done.

James: Done.

Clay: Okay.

James: Yup.

Clay: Cool. We’re going to actually show you how to create a logo in about 5 seconds at the end of this.

James: Yup.

Clay: So we promised we were going to show you some of the famous and authoritative logos on the internet, so let’s start out with New York Times.

James: Yeah, pretty well known paper I would say.

Clay: Right. Do you see a symbol here?

James: I don’t actually. I see a font.

Clay: Yeah, I see a font too.

James: Yeah.

Clay: You know what? They probably have this trademarked, but I guarantee you that you could find – I’m not saying you could rip off the New York Times or add some like fake calligraphy fonts, but you can find fonts like this in a – You know, fonts that are much more suitable to your brand in any distribution of, you know, a popular operating system. So your computer right now has a font that’s going to be just fine.

But let’s cruise for a second, right, because I just want to note something. What is this site James?

James: This is crowdSPRING. This is where people go to get logos done.

Clay: Yeah. So as you can see here, this is the world’s number one marketplace for logos in graphic design, and their logo is a font, okay. A font. So I think that’s telling what is one of the – Probably the second most famous and well-used logo design community is on the internet has a logo that’s a font? Let’s keep on cruising because a lot of times, when I point this out, people say, “You know, this only works for like authoritative news organizations…

James: Right.

Clay: …professional blogs. This doesn’t actually work for software service, or products, things like that. What do we have here? This is the Facebook logo, and the Facebook logo is…

James: A font.

Clay: You guessed it.

James: Yeah.

Clay: It’s font.

James: Yup.

Clay: I think I see a trend here. Okay, so right about this time, you know, we usually get someone who goes to comments and says something like well, I can think of a company at some point that is incredibly successful that has a logo that is not a font that is in fact, a symbol, right. So Apple comes to mind. So just hear me on this. We are not saying in any sense, you know, any way, shape, or form that you cannot be successful having a logo…

James: Right.

Clay: …that is a symbol.

James: Right.

Clay: All we’re saying is that you can get this done very quickly if your logo is just a font. Initially, you know, when you’re making 7, 8, 9 figures, then go spend a lot of money on fancy logo. Just keep on cruising here, right?

So examples of products: DIY themes. Okay, it’s not a font. It’s two fonts

James: Yeah, and one’s a thicker version of the second one.

Clay: Right.

James: I mean it didn’t take them long to figure this one out.

Clay: This is not hard to do people. You know, you can figure this out in a weekend. It’s just screwing around on like paint.

James: On pages or word or paint or anything, yeah.

Clay: You can do this in Word Processor. Let’s keep on going. Google. Okay, all right, it’s a font.

James: Google? What’s Google? Oh yeah, Google, right.

Clay: You’ve heard of…

James: I think I have heard of Google. Okay, yeah.

Clay: Yeah. I mean they’re one of this like fancy internet companies.

James: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, cool.

Clay: Okay, so this again is a font. Now granted, they went into the color picker, and they labeled each letter a different color…

James: Right.

Clay: …which takes a lot of hard work.

James: It totally does.

Clay: I mean we should probably teach a thousand dollar class on how to do that, right?

James: Just the blues and the reds, and yeah.

Clay: This is fancy, fancy designing guys. Let’s go on to another authoritative source. Copy blogger. A lot of us have heard of copy blogger. I’m a fan of copy blogger.

James: Me too.

Clay: Brian Clark does some great work over there…

James: Definitely.

Clay: …and Sony Simone and the whole team, John Marrow. Good people. So again, you know, the background has something going on here, but it’s again a font, and it’s a pretty basic font. I don’t know what font this is, but you know, I guarantee you, and maybe I’m wrong, but I could probably find something like this in about 30 seconds on my computer.

James: Right.

Clay: You know, it’s not very hard to do, you know, if they didn’t screw around on the font thing. So…

James: Because they focus on their content. They’re creating good content.

Clay: Exactly. Like here’s the thing. Nobody makes a purchasing decision based on like your logo. Have you ever been like that is such a good logo, having to buy this?

James: I have to have this product.

Clay: I have to have this, or the opposite of that. This logo sucks and even though I really, really want it, you know…

James: That logo didn’t cut it.

Clay: …it’s just a font.

James: Right.

Clay: Like why would I – Yeah, okay. Maybe it’s because, you know, people with awesome products are spending their time on like, you know, making the product. Let’s go on. Time Magazine.

James: Yup.

Clay: You heard of that one?

James: I think I have, yeah.

Clay: Okay. Time Magazine also. So – I mean this really gets back to something kind of interesting, right, like so – Here, let’s – We’re going to jump to Ramit Sethi’s blog, but like, you know, like this things in – Like do you see where like people kind of brag about where they’ve been featured? Almost all of those, when you see those, are just fonts, like no one’s proud of being, generally speaking, of being in a publication that has a fancy logo, and I think that’s because authoritative sources generally just don’t screw around with it.

So okay, New York Times, Wall Street journal, also a font; Fortune, just a font.

James: Right.

Clay: All caps though. They went all out on that one.

James: Wow. Yeah, they had the cap…

Clay: They had to hit the caps lock.

James: Wow.

Clay: Right.

James: And you can see even Ramit is just using the font again, so…

Clay: Right, which is exactly what we were getting to. Ramit is using a font, and look, here’s the hello bar. That’s not even – I mean it’s a font. It’s just one letter, you know. So let’s keep on cruising, right. Inc. Magazine. This one was hard to create.

James: Capital letter, a period. I mean wow.

Clay: Right, right, right. Anyway, and so we’ve got Ramit at – So even bloggers are doing this. This is what I’m saying. And my friend, Derek Halpern, this is like what? Is this like Helvetica? Social triggers?

James: Right.

Clay: What do you think this is? How much time do you think you spent? Derek, if you’re watching this, leave a comment below and let me know how long you spent typing this, okay. I really want to know. I really want to know. Obviously, like you know, dude’s paying attention to content, paying attention to his products, not going — about his logo.

So continuing our request to beat this dead horse into the ground…

James: The logo drama, yeah.

Clay: …maybe cut it into multiple pieces, let’s go over like five reasons why you should just quit your logo drama, your BS logo drama, and you know, just get this over with really quickly with the Word Processor. So reason number one James, what is it?

James: Super authoritative brands have fonts as logos. So – I mean we’ve already kind of shown this to you on the sites. The Wall Street, Journal, New York Times, Fortune. They’re all using fonts.

Clay: Google, Facebook, DIY themes, stuff like that, copy blogger.

James: Okay, so reason number two…

Clay: Reason number two is that folks know that they are in a commercial situation and that they’re about to be sold to when they see a fancy logo, like when you see a logo that’s complete art work, you know, they’re going to be asking for your credit card number, right?

James: Yup, yup.

Clay: And you know, the fact is that almost everyone is going to be asking for your credit card number, but it looks a lot more like non-commercial when there isn’t some big fancy piece of artwork logo.

James: Uh-huh, totally. More trustworthy.

Clay: Reason number three, what is it?

James: You should be spending your time on creating awesome marketing campaigns and awesome products, not on designing logos.

Clay: Yeah. It can be a potential endless energy drain.

James: Okay, reason number four.

Clay: Your fancy logo should not have to compensate for a stupid product or a stupid marketing campaign.

James: And you’re probably tricking yourself into thinking that once you get that perfect logo, everything is just going to start magically selling.

Clay: Right, right. And the truth is most people are scared to death of creating marketing and they’re feeling really anxious about creating their product, so they divert all that energy into creating their logo as a form of procrastination under the blue. If I – Man, if I just nailed this thing, everything is going to fall into place. People are going to be flocking to me. They’re going to be like look at that logo. I just can’t keep my wallet out of my pocket.

So what should we do now James?

James: Now let’s deliver on our promise and show folks how to choose their very own font.

Clay: Totally. Okay, so I live in Minnesota, and so let’s say I want to start like a start-up incubator called the Minnesota Tech Foundry, so I’m going to go Minnesota Tech Foundry. Bam. Done.

James: Five seconds.

Clay: Okay, but like let’s pretend we don’t like so much.

James: Okay, all right.

Clay: We’re just going to like cruise along, you know, like how about this? Minnesota Tech – Ooh, that looks mysteriously like the copyblogger…

James: It does.

Clay: …thing.

James: Okay.

Clay: Let’s just keep on going. Let’s just keep on going. Let’s just go…

James: Not comic sans.

Clay: …and not comic sans.

James: No, it can’t do that.

Clay: Okay, that’s our number one tip is don’t use comic sans.

James: Don’t use comic sans.

Clay: Okay, Minnesota Tech Foundry.

James: There you go.

Clay: That looks like the one that Derek Halpern is using a little bit.

James: Kind of does, yeah.

Clay: It probably isn’t, but it looks mysteriously close. All we’re saying here is this doesn’t have to be – Let’s just do the tech – Ooh, here’s another one, Minnesota Tech Foundry. That looks pretty official. But you know, we can always do stuff like, you know, let’s get super fancy, and you know, let’s use this – Baghdad thing and let’s make it – Oh, we can’t make it bold.

Well anyway, you get the point. This is not difficult to do folks. You can do it in a very short period of time. Anyway, that’s what we got for today.

James: So thanks so much for watching this episode of the Marketing Show. If you feel like you learned, or you know, gained some knowledge or benefited from it, we would be incredibly grateful if you can share it on Twitter or on Facebook, let your friends know about it, and let them know about what we’re all doing here together.

Clay: Anyway, I’m Clay Collins.

James: I’m James Lepine.

Clay: And we are representing entrepreneurs on the journey, getting your back on all things marketing. We’ll see you next time.

James: Keep working hard.

Clay: Absolutely.

  • katlessin

    Clay this was a fantastic reminder. Even though I love my logo it would have saved me so much time, hassle and cash if I had done this. Your logo philosophy really ties in nicely with your business name/domain name beliefs. Have you created a Marketing Show Video on that yet?

    • Heh . . . no, but that’s a good idea for another episode.  It’s a slightly more complex topic, however.  Thanks for the suggestions.  Also, FIRST! (We’re not going to email folks about this episode until tomorrow).

      • katlessin

         Just got the email asking about James…
        I was really impressed and amused!  He sounded like a professional radio broadcaster, but I may have only been amused because I feel like I know him being a part of your “programs, tribe, family etc”.

        • He used to be a professional radio broadcaster.  So you’re spot on.

  • The timing of this is perfect-I was just about to reconsider my logo at Smart Creative Women! When I created it, I thought-simplicity-simplicity-simplicity but then the artist/illustrator in me ALMOST got the best of me and I was considering changing  it. Actually hiring it out! HA! now you called me on it, just get back to work, Monica!!

    • I dig your logo.  You might want to play around in your word processor and change colors if you want. Anyway, I’m no graphic designer, but I like your font.

  • Just reminded me of a friend … He really wanted to kick off with their software and brand but without logo there can’t be any design and without design there won’t be a website and without that … eeeh I’ll just stop here

    So he has been waiting for the logo for more than 6 months  … everything on hold waiting for the awesome logo …

    And well, … he is still waiting … 🙂

    • This is a freaking tragedy.  And it’s sad that it happens WAY too often.

  • Clay,

    Next time one of my web design clients makes me wait 2 weeks to start the project because their graphic designer (read: uncle who knows how to use Photoshop) hasn’t finished their logo, I’m going to send them this video! I think you’ve just decreased my total project time per client by making this, THANK YOU! 🙂


    • Nice.  I’ll enjoy being your source material and backup ammo.

  • Fun video with a great reminder, guys. My day job is in a graphic design agency so I know a thing or two about logos. A lot of the ones we do are exactly what you suggest – typographic ones. There is such a huge variety in typefaces that a logo which is really just text written with a fancy typeface can feel a lot like a symbol.

    What I find is that the biggest job is not to design the right symbol, but to find the right font. That is something we spend considerable time on. But then again, we are designers.

    I’d also like to point out that you put the *symbol* in the Marketing Show logo to good use as a transition piece which proves that a symbol is not entirely without merit. Though overall, I completely agree with your message.


    • “What I find is that the biggest job is not to design the right symbol, but to find the right font.”

      I think this is spot on.

  • ha ha.. LOVE that you took 13 minutes to share your message that it takes no time at all to make a good logo!! I have been playing now for the last 5 minutes with your ‘time tested’ way of doing logo.. and what fun I am having! 

    I will have a look at them in the morning when I wake up, and pick one.. so fast and easy!! thanks so much to both of you for your fun, happy smiley faces, and your passion for helping others to get their message out bigger!! 
    Elissa Joy 

    • Thanks, Elissa! And I’m glad you’re having fun.  And I hear you about the time: sometimes it takes repetition to disabuse folks of bad habits or long-held beliefs. 

  • I really liked James’s voice over it was hilarious and cheesy! He totally needs a job in voice overs!

    However, I noticed now that James is around I take the show a little less seriously, probably cos you two kid around with each other and that gives the whole show a different feel. Also, I find it astonishing that James has such a deep, manly voice, yet to look at he has a youthful baby face, & looks quite boyish. Such a confusing contradiction!!

  • vincentleleux

    So from next week your logo will only be font?, and no motion graphic intro and no logo motion graphic 15 times per episode?

    I know you didn’t do it at the beginning and firstly focused on marketing and getting clients, but you have to be complete and say why you do it now, it’s not totally B.S. otherwise you wouldn’t do it.


    • “So from next week your logo will only be font?,”

      Not next week.  But probably next month.

      • vincentleleux

         Great, I can’t wait to see that.

  • Niklas Lohmann

    Great insight! This is about entrepreneurial stuckness…Lets get unstuck, create the logo and move on! : ) Then in half a year, design a good symbol to enhance things, preferably with some of the cash-flow you generated by getting unstuck…

    • Totally.  Or one can choose to use time and money down the road focusing on something with a potentially higher ROI.

  • Well I must be a marketing genius…

    Or maybe I am just starting out and can only afford a free wordpress theme and the free font logo that accomplanies it.

    When I first created my blog I didn’t really get a chance to have Logo Drama because I knew that it was something that I wan’t going to be able to spend money on it right away. So far, I haven’t had any of my readers freak out because I don’t have an over designed symbol logo.

    Thank you for addressing this, I now feel like I can put the “create a logo” task on the bottom of my todo list.


    • Nice.  So many of the best business decisions are made in light of resource constraints.  (Of course ANY entrepreneurial business . . . no matter how large and profitable they are, has resource constraints: it’s the folks that ignore these contraints that make foolish decisions).

  • Alvarado Am

    Fantastic, it’s like you have given me permission.  I just killed my business name last week but I did loved my logo and now I was struggling in how to incorporate my logo with my new name and it isn’t working and really all I want it’s just Font .. be bold you know? so watching this is like DUH! of course! hahaha… thanks for reminding me of what is important, now I can focus on the great product that I want to share with the world! 🙂

    • Awesome Alvarado.  So much marketing time and personal energy is spent trying to hang on to a current “asset” while making the next version of our product or business.

  • I’m with YoGirly, I must be a marketing genius! : )

    I started out with a free WordPress theme too, then bought a paid theme and had a very basic logo designed, which is simply my name in a basic font. 

    This after wasting a bunch of time though — while researching logo options, I spent a few hours online salivating over fabulous logo designs I loved, saved a bunch of them into a document, then wrote up comments about why I liked each one, notes about “look and feel” and so on (I worked in advertising a few years ago, and design concepts were always talked about in terms of “look and feel”), and sent this document over to the designer.

    By the time I was at the point of having to choose among concepts, staring down all the choices made me feel exhausted, so I just went with my name written in a basic font.  Oh, all that time spent on the whole process that I could have used to do actual marketing for my business!  : )

  • Haha, thanks for the shout out!

    Great episode. The easiest things to do are ignore the hard part (business) and concentrate of the easy stuff, logo, biz cards, etc. that don’t build anything. I’m betting even the most successful people are guilty of this some one point in their entrepreneur career….I probably have a stack somewhere in my closet from some idea I had years ago. 🙂  It’s about prioritizing what gets you closer to success, and a logo doesn’t steer the ship

    My pal Ilya at and Andrew at both good examples that could be added to the list. 

  • Finding the font I wanted to use took longer than it probably took the designer to type it into their image editing program. But luckily, with all these different design blogs out there featuring “cool fonts,” finding the perfect font is easy.

    • Those blogs can be addicting.  Especially

      Nice site BTW.  Haven’t a few people tried to rip it off?

      • Cool site. A great read on typography is the book “Design for Hackers” titled: typographic etiquette . I hung out with Kadavy in December. Really sharp guy. 

  • Lori Reed

    Done. 5 minutes while you were talking. Love it. Now I can continue moving on to what’s really important to the creation of my business, where the fun happens everyday. I’m excited as I watch how everything is unfolding in this creative dance I’m calling life. Thanks guys! Lori


    place where ‘FUN’ simply happens

  • Anna

    I still think that logos are great and worthwhile – but only when you are not hanging all your hopes on it alone. 

    • They’re most worthwhile when you don’t hang any hopes on them alone.

  • Jaxi

    you guys are so cool!  I had no idea you did this shout out thing – super surprise to see/hear my name and pic 🙂

    This show came at the perfect time! Last night I was thinking of if I was going to keep my current logo or create a new one! Now I know how simple and easy this can be if I don’t use the logo I have had for a while. 🙂 

    I never paid attention to how many big name companies and newspapers just use fonts for their ‘logo’/name.  Huge ah ha moment here moment here 🙂 Thanks much!!

  • Jonathan

    This was probably the most entertaining episode of the marketing show so far. Nice work.

    • Thanks, Jonathan.  We had a lot of fun making it.  And the shenanigans only increase in the next one.  Also, it’s a lot more fun to make this show with a co-conspirator.

  • Marion Spicher

    Thanks for the logo tips.  Very timely for me as the as I need to tighten up my Blog, Web Page, Facebook. Fist item on the agenda is to nail down my brand.  I’m trying to be proactive as marketing is key when my manuscript (s) roll out for readers.  

    • Awesome.  I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

  • Does this hold true for iPhone apps? While Facebook, Linkedin, Netflix, and Google+ iPhone apps all have fonts as logos they were all free. All the apps I have purchased (Angry Birds etc) have graphical logos. So if I am creating a iPhone game do I need a graphical logo?

    • Well, it know of works for the phone app.  Instead of spelling your entire brand with a font. You might just have to use one character.  Here’s Pandora’s iPhone app: . . . and here’s the logo for the New York Times iPhone app:

  • Thanks for another great episode Clay! I came to the same conclusion on my own a few months ago, but I love how much fun you’re having making your point! Thanks again for the shout out. I can’t wait to see the next episode!

  • Great show as always and perfect timing. Just this morning was on the phone with a “marketing consultant” who’s first task they wanted to do was change our Logo as they said it wasn’t good….all for the low price of $250 (a discount that said).  LOL to them and to your point that’s not going to drive sales for us.  We like our Logo, unfortunately took more than 5 minutes but now we know. This is our logo:

  • Haha this was hilarious to watch guys and pretty informative as well! Thank you! 😉