Seven Logo Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Your logo is the visual personality of your business and as a first impression; your logo essentially is your business! A professional logo is one of the fastest way to build credibility. If you sell quality products, your logo should reflect this. Likewise, a poor quality logo suggests inferior products. If you can successfully avoid these common logo blunders and you are well on your way to a great logo:
1) The Clipart Logo
Most clipart images are widely distributed. Anyone who is familiar with the software providing the clipart will very likely recognize your ‘borrowed’ logo. This is a poor way to build credibility for your business.
2) The Special Effects Logo
Strip away all of the special effects to get at the heart of your design. Special filters such as glows, drop shadows, and bevels are great for creating graphics and manipulating photos, but they can be very distracting when applied to a logo. A great logo should be able to stand its ground in black and white, without any effects. You may like to consider drafting your concepts on paper first. You should think more about what is being presented before you decide how it is presented. When you are pleased with a one-colour concept then go to the computer and recreate it digitally. At this point you may or may not like to add a subtle effect to enhance your logo for web use. Eliminate any effect that does not add value to your design.
4) The Banner Logo
A logo is not a web banner advertisement. You are doing yourself more harm than good by forcing your logo into a banner shape, especially if the content is crammed to fit the entire rectangle. Our eyes are trained to avoid these shapes, not read them.
5) The Integrated Logo
Professional logo designers occasionally integrate graphic elements directly into the text to create one unified logo. This process is difficult and risky. Executed poorly, your logo can easily look ‘tacky’ and illegible. (i.e. using the letter ‘O’ in the company name to create a globe, eye, magnifying glass, etc.) If you are new to graphic design, stick to a top centered or left graphic layout.
6) The Text-Only Logo
A text-only logo severely restricts the ability to express your company’s uniqueness and memorability. Larger, more established businesses can pull off text-only logos with exorbitant marketing budgets. One test of logo's effectiveness (marketing budget's aside) is to alter the letters and see if your logo is still recognizable. If not then you need to seriously consider a visual element. If you just can’t resist a text-only logo, consider a strong, unique typeface – preferably custom made.
7) The Monogram
Monograms (company initials) are very difficult to use effectively. It will take a long time to build credibility with a monogram logo. Similarly, logos consisting of several overlapping letters generally do not work well. They may be fun to construct, but the end result says very little about your company and your products/services.
8) The Complex Logo
Detailed illustrations, photos, and complex layouts make poor logos. Each additional detail is an extra detail that your (potential) customer has to remember. A simple, unique logo with solid shades and minimal lines will have greater impact and memorability.
About The Author
Craig Fraser is a Brand Specialist and Creative Director for Flame Media Design.