What not to do in logo design

Logo & Brand review

Your logo design is one of your businesses most valuable assets. Your logo design is a visual representation of your company to the world. It defines your company and it is the image that your customers will come to associate with your business over time. Because your logo design is printed on all of your company’s promotional materials, from your business cards to your businesses stationery and t-shirts, the logo design that you choose plays a vital role in representing and advertising for your company.

Whether you decide to choose an artistic logo design, an abstract logo design or an iconic logo design, there are a few very important factors to remember when designing or choosing your new logo design. Most importantly, a good logo design is simple, unique, memorable and recognizable. Your logo design should look professional and it should also be timeless. It is very important that your logo design be scalable and look good at any size no matter if it is printed on your business cards, pens or on a massive billboard.

Below are some tips of what not to do in logo design. There are many common mistakes made in logo design that you want to avoid. Hopefully, these pointers will help guide you through the logo design process.

1. Avoid using raster images

Raster images are images that are made up of pixels. Generally, it is not good to use raster images in logo design because raster images become pixelated when they are scaled to different sizes. As you stretch and increase the size of a raster logo design, its quality will decrease and the individual pixels will become more and more visible.

Instead, I highly recommend that you create your logo designs in vector format. Vectors graphics are based on mathematics and lead to more clean and scalable logo designs. A vector logo design can be blown up to thousands of times the size of the original design without any lose to the quality of the logo design. The most recognized applications which handle vector based graphics are Adobe illustrator, Macromedia freehand and Corel draw.

2. Avoid creating an overly complex logo design

Like I just mentioned, a logo design needs to look good at all sizes and across all types of media. Remember that your logo design will be printed on everything from billboards to your company’s business cards to maybe even your company’s pens. If your logo design is too complex, it won’t look good when it is printed in a very small size.  It might loose its impact as it looses detail. It is very important to keep this in mind when creating your logo design.

It is also important to remember that some of the most famous and memorable designs in the world are very simple. Think of Nike’s logo or Apple’s logo. These are all very simple designs. You don’t need to create a fancy, complex logo design to have an impact. Simple and memorable logo designs work the best.

Nike logo design

Apple logo design

3. Your logo design should stand on its own even without colour

It is a good idea to first design your logo in black and white before adding colour. Colour is something that should compliment your logo design but it shouldn’t be vital to your logo design or that which makes your logo design great. There will be times when you will need to print your logo design in one colour so it is always a good idea to make sure that it can be from the get go. Design your logo in black and white first and then, add colour after.

4. Avoid using inappropriate or irrelevant colours

At the end of the logo design process, you will want to add colour to your logo design. The colours that you add to your logo design can convey a lot of information to your audience. They can accentuate your logo design or if they are used improperly, they can work against you and hinder your logo design. It is very important that you remember that the colours that you use in your logo design should be appropriately matched to your target audience. After all, you would not use pink to sell a man’s razor, would you?

5. Avoid using too many fonts or poorly chosen fonts

A good logo design uses a maximum of two fonts. If you use more than two fonts your logo design, it will become very confusing and distracting for your audience. Logos with one to two fonts in their logo design are more legible, memorable and recognizable than those with many different fonts.

It is also important that you consider your target audience when choosing the font(s) to use in your logo design. The fonts you choose can make or break your overall logo design. If for example, you are creating a logo design for a lawyer, it would be a horrible idea to use a very childlike, hand-written font. Through their logos, lawyers need to convey the idea that they are professional, reliable, honest and trustworthy. A childlike font definitely would not do this. Have a look around you. Most lawyers logo designs tend to use classic serif fonts that denote class, reputation and professionalism.  Typography must be carefully considered in logo design. You must make sure that the typography that you use compliments the message that your logo design is trying to convey.

6. Don’t just design a meaningless logo. Create something with meaning that will stimulate and excite your audience.

Some of the best and most memorable logo designs today aren't just images. They are often smart and well thought out designs, many of which have hidden messages. Think of the FedEx design or the Amazon logo design. These are two excellent, simple and smart logo designs with hidden messages (click here to read my post about logos and their hidden messages). Can you see the arrow in the FedEx logo that subliminally tells its clients that it is a speedy, reliable and forward thinking company.? How about the arrow that links A to Z in the amazon logo (signifying that they sell everything from A to Z)?

Fedex logo design

Amazon logo design

Take your time and see if you can come up with a logo design that is interesting, pertinent and that will stimulate conversation within your target market.

7. Don’t rush it.

A good logo design takes time. Think about your target audience and analyze exactly what message you would like to portray to your clients both old and new. Taking a little extra time in the beginning can eliminate headaches in the years to come. Good luck!

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