Companies put considerable time and money into branding and logo design, so it’s understandable that they want these to be widely seen. A website offers the perfect opportunity to do this, but remember that it should offer your visitors something too.
When we build websites, we sometimes find that clients want a large company logo to appear on the home page, but is this the best idea? Will it help visitors to instantly recognise your brand and embed its logo in their mind, or will it leave them thinking they’re being bombarded with advertising at the expense of valuable content?
Perhaps we should look at how much prominence some of the most recognisable companies and organisations give to their logos. As an example, here are screenshots from the home pages of websites belonging to three brands we all know well:
Note that all three of these household names don’t try to hit you with a big, in-your-face logo the second you arrive. Instead, they bear a small company logo somewhere near the top left. They’re not just there as logos either, but to direct you back to the home screen when clicked or tapped.
Rather than an enlarged company emblem, these three home pages devote most of their space to what the companies do. In the BBC’s case, that means news, whereas with McDonald’s and Apple, it’s new products and services. Of course, these will change regularly too, unlike their logos, which means the immediate appearance of these home pages won’t remain static.
Also remember that most online traffic is now mobile, so that’s all the more reason not to clog up small smartphone screens with a bulky, imposing logo. If you do that, is the visitor really going to be tempted to scroll down any further?
That’s not to say that branding isn’t a vital part of a website, though. Consistent use of brand colours and font can help drive recognition, and when backed with quality content written in a uniform tone of voice, it should mean that a subtle logo is quite enough to drive the message home.