Looking for a logo designer in Phnom Penh? Maybe it’s branding that is what is needed

Logo design, yes. Let’s talk about it.

How there are AI for making these, now, which is interesting, and I’ve personally checked it out to see how to try something new. There were a couple of personal and in-house projects I thought it would be interesting to try out AI for; and it was fun, for me, to check into, just to see where it was going.

Here’s one:




When I was doing these, I had a couple of quetions like anyone would who is in design or writing or content creation work. Was AI going to put logo designers out of work? Was it going to make writers no longer relevant? I have opinions on these things. I have ideas. But that’s not what this post is about.

It’s about the thought process that goes into a design, and the ‘reading the air’ that comes with a great back-and-forth relationship built with time, trust, and rapport. That’s the client-designer relationship it takes to make something that’s more than ‘pretty’ or ‘neat’ or ‘cool.’ It’s representative of the essence of that person’s goal for their brand’s communication. I don’t think AI can do that (yet).

So, we’re still in business.


Cambodia, design, and ‘brand confusion’

It’s a thing.

Branding that looks like other people’s branding, creating a lot of confusion. The names, the ideas, the overconfidence in the first or second idea, without much investigation into why that name or deep consideration as to why that logo.

It happens. Now, more than ever. We have so many tools, so much freeware, so many ways of creating artwork on the internet and sending it out quickly through all kinds of channels to so, so many people. I understand how it’s a great thing to be able to do that. I do. I really, truly do. But there is so much of it, it’s hard to know what’s real.

If everyone is using the same tools, then there’s not so much differentiation that goes on. In other words, this or that logo might look like someone else’s.

Brand confusion can be a real thing. Here’s one example where it got expensive. A bank in Cambodia was ordered to change its logo because it looked too much like a government ministry’s one. In a 2017 article by Voice of Cambodia Acleda Bank… changed its logo in a nationwide operation that cost the bank more than $3 million..’ This was in response to ‘a government order for one of the country’s major financial institutions to overnight replace its logo because it was too similar to that of the Ministry of Economy and Finance… [The work to do this] nationwide operation… cost the bank more than $3 million. Hun Sen also later ordered a microfinance institution to change its logo.’ The article goes on to quote people who refute the idea that the branding was confusing. It’s not just these people whose logos are too similar to the government, however, it’s many others that I have seen pop up and try thngs a


Make a logo that is: something unique, something genuine

I would argue that this brand confusion is quite commonplace. Based on anecdotes from designers in the city, people who were born and raised here and offer brand identity services to clients in their brick-and-mortar studios, I have learned that it’s not an easy task to ask for the kind of fee you need to do the whole brand message design piece, and also, this isn’t something that would-be clients might even want to try out with you if you had the team that could.

Which is why, I think, there are just a couple of things you see out there on the market and they’re kind of same-y same-y, for probably one of any dozen reasons (budget is too low, people aren’t used to asking about audience profiles, companies are too young to know their value proposition with the exactness required to create a strong image), and more. I’m not saying that I’m perfectly aware of the situation, but there is certainly much less of an interest in diving deep into brand messaging, and audience persona-finding is a major part of that, because it takes time. It takes time to do anything with quality and care, of course. I think that where I am lately in Phnom Penh, watching the landscape, it’s easy to see people wanting to get results, and tomorrow, instead of going through the deep, substantial levels of really getting to the heart of a brand’s story. Which you may not even know, until we start to look into it.


A logo for a client in Oregon, USA



Some people, I think, are ready for that step. For the hard, internal work that it takes to get to the best part of brand identity design. Clarity.

If you want, I can send you a free four-week e-mail series, ‘Trust the Process,’ to give you an idea of things to think about related to how it can work. You can sign up for that, here. It will send it automatically – so be sure to check your spam filter if you don’t see something right away.


DK designs NUK. Here’s a detail of NUK specifications for usage, 2014

Finding the shape of the meaning of the message, and putting that together in words, images, and a narrative that clicks with the right audience takes time, effort, and yes, budget. It means making time and being patient and working on the homework that you will get, and it means caring. Most of all, this last one. If someone who runs their own company comes to DK with questions about ‘How do I get a new logo?’ and that person is earnest, I might turn it around and ask, ‘Are you sure brand message design isn’t something you want to talk through, first?’

Two paths, from here.

Which one will you take?

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