Ten Most Common Mistakes in Logo Design

A company’s logo is such a massively important part of its business, not just from an aesthetic, advertising standpoint, but also because a logo can define who a company is in one solid, poignant image. When creating a logo, there are several common design errors you should avoid. In this article, we will discuss some of the most frequently-made mistakes in logo design (and how to avoid them.)


#1: Be careful with the number of fonts you choose

“The more the merrier” generally isn’t the case when it comes to logo design, particularly if your logo has actual words in it. When deciding how you want to portray your company, make sure that you choose a typographical layout that isn’t overly complex. Stick to a maximum of two fonts and weights. Even that much should be carefully managed so as not to have your design detract from the message.

#2: Don’t choose complexity over simplicity solely for creativity’s sake

The best logos are the ones that are unique and meaningful, yet also easy to remember and identify. Don’t assume that a logo has to be intricately complex in order for it to be unique; simplicity doesn’t eschew creativity.

#3:Use a graphics program to create your logo

Adobe Illustrator is the go-to for graphics design. This is because if you make your logo on Adobe Illustrator’s vector program, you will be able to then scale the image to any size. If you use raster images, they will be pixelated and you will not be able to resize them to fit the area they’re needed in.

#4: Don’t settle for a monogram

Designing a logo isn’t always easy, particularly if you’re struggling to come up with the concept you need. However, don’t settle for a simple monogram in place of an actual image — strive for something that truly defines the company or its products and services.

#5: Think outside the box but don’t escape it entirely

While it’s good to think outside of the box, you want to make sure that you are not making your logo overly-abstract. The logo is a reflection of a business’s goals and ideals and, while the logo should be creative and encompass a meaningful concept, you don’t want it to go over the heads of the customers — they need to be able to bring the logo back to your business.

#6: Avoid clichés

While this “mistake” seems obvious, it still remains a common one. Use of a cliché is natural — we are familiar with certain phrases being linked to certain objects (light bulb for an idea, thought bubbles for thinking, etc.) If you find yourself drifting towards the cliché, make note of this tendency so that you can avoid falling into a trap that diminishes the message you’re really trying to convey.

#7: Never prioritize color over substance

While color is certainly an important part of any good logo, you shouldn’t be relying on it in order to make the logo work. Prioritize the design of the concept and the actual shapes first. Then use color to draw the eye and accentuate the logo, itself.

#8: Try not to Rely on current trends

What’s trendy and fashionable now will not be in a few years. That’s the nature of society, and basing your logo off of a current trend means that it will not age well once that design fad passes and you’ll be redesigning your logo every few years.

#9: Don’t Forget about negative space

The FedEx logo is a good example of the correct way to use negative space. It’s cleverly done, and between the “E” and the “x” in the logo is an arrow created with the white space. Remember that negative space is something you can use to your advantage, just as with your choice of how to apply your company colors to surround and support your logo.

#10: Be careful about “borrowing” ideas

There’s a fine line between borrowing and stealing design ideas, and the way to make sure that you don’t cross that line is to go nowhere near it. When designing, avoid even a whiff of unethical behavior or plagiarism, not only because it’s illegal, but also because you’ll feel better about your work if you know it is 100% original. And, after all, you don’t want potential customers to confuse your business with someone else’s.

#11: Make sure the logo translates across mediums

When you’re designing your logo, you’ve probably already got a picture in your head of where you think you’ll see it most often. But remember that it will, no doubt, appear in various mediums, viewable at varying distances. What looks good on company letterhead might not be so easy to discern when you’re designing a company flag for your business. While your business flag will have more surface area, you’re also expecting it to reach people that are viewing it from a distance. Likewise, make sure your graphics mesh with your company website.

Logo design is not always an easy endeavor, but it is important to take the time to do it right. When designing a logo, remember to keep it simple yet creative, and always use vectors instead of raster images. Make sure it can stand the test of time, and that no matter how or where your customers view it, they can immediately associate it with your company.

Mars Cureg

Web designer by profession, photography hobbyist, T-shirt lover, design blog founder, gamer. Socially and physically awkward, lack of social skills, struggles to communicate with anyone who doesn't have a keyboard. Willing to walk to get to the promised land. Photo and video freelancer, SEO. Check out more on my Google+

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