With the power of the Web, and more people searching than ever, it’s essential for your company to communicate and distinguish itself from competitors with a clear and unique message. The easiest and quickest way people recognize and remember a company is by its logo. Logo design mistakes, however, can cause the opposite effect. People won’t remember your business, or if they do, their opinion won’t lead to a purchase. This reaction is often applicable to online shopping, where your website and logo design needs to convey professionalism and trust for consumers to shop with you. Find out about what makes a bad logo design in our roundup of the top 10 common logo design mistakes you need to avoid, whether you’re a business owner or a graphic designer, to create a professional and successful logo. Here are 10 Common Mistakes Logo Design.
1. A Logo Made by an Amateur Designer
One of the biggest mistakes in logo designs is relying on an amateur, versus a professional, graphic designer to create your business logo. Business owners often hesitate to put money into a logo, even though they make similar investments in their company’s website or equipment.
A growing trend for small businesses is to rely on logo design competition websites, which provide you with several different logo designs for a small fee. The problem, however, is that many amateur graphic designers use these sites and make many of the logo design mistakes outlined in this list.
2. A Logo Featuring Design Trends
Trends are temporary and make your logo a time capsule, rather than timeless. Swooshes, bevels and glows are a few examples of past graphic design trends. They’re also a favorite cliché design effect among amateur designers.
Professional graphic designers ignore trends when creating your logo. While they’re up-to-date on the latest craze hitting the industry, like geometric shapes and stripes, through websites like Logolounge, they also ensure those trends don’t become a part of your company’s custom logo.
3. A Logo Using Raster Images
Raster images are a common logo design mistake. Logo designs either use raster or vector images. Raster graphics consist of pixels, while vector graphics feature precise points. The benefit of vector graphics, and why professional graphic designers use them, is because they scale to any digital or print size without a loss of quality.
Raster graphics do not. Instead, the image becomes blurred or pixelated. New graphic designers, as well as business owners, are often unaware that they should be using vector graphic software, like Adobe Illustrator, and instead use raster graphic software like Adobe Photoshop.
Because of the popularity of logo design competition websites among new graphic designers, it’s common for businesses to unknowingly purchase and invest in a logo that uses raster images. The result is a logo that becomes blurred when enlarged, preventing you from using it for multiple purposes.
4. A Logo Containing Stock Art
Amateur designers, whether a family friend or yourself, may know about vector graphics, but look to the internet for vector imagery to create a company logo. It’s a common logo design mistake as numerous stock vector websites, like VectorStock, are available for downloading graphics.
Logos need to be original and unique, especially if they’re licensed to you. Stock vectors aren’t licensed to your company exclusively because they’re used by others across the globe. If your logo features a stock vector image or even part of one, you’re potentially liable for breaking the supplying website’s license agreement.
A massive risk with using logo design competition sites is that your logo could feature a stock vector image without your knowing about it. Professional designers produce original vector graphics and never use stock images, which protects you and your company from legal action.
5. A Logo Made for the Designer
A design mistake you’ll find on competition websites for logos are submissions that aren’t what you requested. The reason is because the designers are creating a logo for themselves, rather than for you.
Graphic designers are always learning new design techniques. Young designers will often practice what they’ve read about, such as a new trend, through your request on a competition website. What results is a selection of logo designs that aren’t what you wanted, which wastes both your time and your company’s money.
Another trap designers often fall into is creating a personal logo or trademark to brand every design they make with. A series of logos featuring the number 100, for example, aren’t unique, even if their overall appearance is different. Professional graphic designers ensure your logo is about your company and no one else.
6. A Logo With a Complex Design
Professional graphic designers like to follow K.I.S.S., or “Keep It Simple, Stupid.” A simple logo not only makes it easy for visitors to remember your company, but also preserves your logo’s details at smaller and larger scales.
Complex or detailed logos require a large space to be appreciated. Your fingerprints, for example, aren’t noticed during your day-to-day life. It’s when you see them up close that you notice the various lines and details.
Logos need to be appreciated all day, every day. Their purpose is to be used across platforms as well as printed in different sizes. Professional graphic designers recognize this and ensure your logo’s design is smple, yet captures your company’s voice.
7. A Logo Dependent on Color
Young graphic designers often start their designs by choosing and building their color set, which is a common logo design mistake. Even if you know the company’s preferred colors, logos should be designed in black and white to start.
The reason for creating a logo in black and white is because it’s not always printed in color. Letterheads, forms or other documents may be printed in black and white, which is why it’s important the logo is initially created without color.
Designs that begin with color tend to develop elements that become dependent on the color for its effect. Amateur designers, as well as company owners, often don’t realize the impact of color on their logo’s design, which is why it’s important to work with an experienced graphic designer.
8. A Logo With Ineffective Font
Fonts are as important as the graphics found in your company’s logo. Experienced graphic designers recognize the link between the two, which is why they divide their time equally between creating a unique visual and finding a timeless font that complements your logo’s graphic.
Using common logo fonts isn’t a design flaw or poor choice. Often, those fonts feature in logo designs because they’re timeless and contemporary. Fonts like Comic Sans, however, are an example of a familiar font that has fallen out of favor.
Odd font choices, especially on logo design competition websites, often indicate the earlier mistake of graphic designers creating logos with their needs in mind instead of yours. Even if the logo itself matches your company’s personality, a faulty font can cause your business message to misfire.
9. A Logo With More Than Two Fonts
Using more than two fonts is another logo design trend to avoid. The standard in the graphic design industry is to use one or two fonts, which should have different weights to prevent them from competing.
Multiple fonts not only cause competition, but also confusion among your consumers. They can also present a conflicting brand message, especially if the font styles feature a sharp contrast. Think of well-known companies like Nike or NASA. They use a single font to convey their brand.
While professional designers have the experience and expertise to use two fonts, they often stick to one. If you’re designing your own logo, keep to one font as well or work with a designer to use two.
10. A Logo That Copies Other Designs
Logo design competition websites are increasingly finding themselves with submissions that are imitations, rather than inspirations, of other logos. The problem, especially as a business owner, is that you may not even recognize these logos as belonging to other companies and choose a logo that is unoriginal and far from unique.
Using a copied logo also places your company at risk for legal action, as these logos are trademarked and licensed to the original company. Professional graphic designers create a logo that is 100 percent original, ensuring your logo is unique.
Capture Your Company’s Voice With an Original Logo
What makes a bad logo? Inexperienced graphic designers, unfortunately. While their intentions are good, their lack of experience results in unprofessional and unoriginal logos. Logo design competition websites amplify the availability and access of these logos, which in some cases can lead to legal action against your company.
At DaveBernard DZign, I work with you to create high-quality, original and truly customized designs that capture your business branding and voice.
Text by The NetMen Corp