When you launch your business coming up with a catchy name for it is one thing many entrepreneurs struggle with. But there is one other step that intimidates most business owners and that is coming up with a memorable logo design.
After all, bottling up the very purpose of your brand and what it stands for into a single design can seem nerve-wracking. But then there is no other option is there? You cannot expect people to remember your brand in a competitive industry if you do not put a face to your brand. And that too not just any face but one that feels perfect for your brand, the people the brand is created for.
A well-designed logo will become the identity of your brand. So, a run-off-the-mill design, or a logo you put together with some standard templates online will not really help in carving a niche for your brand. You need something unique, something that summarizes what your brand stands for. So, it is important to understand how to design a logo that sets your brand apart. But it is also equally important to understand how not to design a logo.
In marketing, learning from your mistakes and quickly bouncing back will propel your brand toward success. But there is one thing that’s even more useful – learning from the mistakes made by other marketers. That’s why we are going to talk about the logo design mistakes that some brands make and ways to avoid them.
One of the biggest logo design mistakes is choosing unprofessional fonts, fonts that lack character. But what’s even worse is getting too psyched about picking cool fonts and ending up using too many styles.
Typefaces all have specific traits and when you try to bring many of them in one frame, they end up clashing with one another. This makes the design look cluttered and it is definitely not easy on the eyes. Besides, each font has a different story to tell. So, they might not all work towards the common goal of conveying the single message you want your logo to convey.
You need to master the art of choosing business logo fonts and then stick with just one or two styles at the most. If you think you cannot show much variation working with just one typeface, take a look at the below logo design. It incorporates just two styles but the design has so much character.
Just like fonts, if your logo design has too many colors, it might be sending out confusing signals and you don’t want that. One other problem with using too many colors is that you end up relying too much on the colors.
Sometimes, the design looks nothing like the original version when you cannot use all the colors in it. But there are times when you have to use the logo in monochrome or times when different colors have to be used so as to make the logo look good on varying backgrounds.
Use just one or two colors. In fact, nearly 76% of the top brands in the world only have one or two colors in their logo.
A logo like the one above will create the same impact on your audience no matter what color it is translated to. This way, you have something versatile to be used across all your promotional designs.
Do you have a logo just because every brand is supposed to have one? Then you are missing the point. Logos that do not have a clear purpose or a definitive meaning might be difficult to fit into the brand identity design. Confusing logo designs without a solid meaning will do more harm than good.
Remember that all of the marketing designs you create for the brand will have a connection to your logo design. So, unless you do not have a clear idea of why each element of the logo design is present in it you might not be able to establish the relationship.
Your logo should have a clear goal. It could be something like:
Once you have identified this purpose, try to graphically represent this. Can you guess the intent of the below logo?
It is meant to convey what the brand does and the symbolism achieves this. The font style supports this idea. So together, this design manages to convey the message it carries.
While customers are busy trying to understand what your brand offers and how it is different, they might not necessarily be patient to try and understand the complicated meaning behind your logo. One of the most common logo design mistakes to avoid will be overcomplicating your design by adding too many details to it.
There are some cool logos with hidden meanings but even these contain simple metaphorical elements or symbolisms that customers will instantly understand the moment they get the perspective. So, you can have a logo with a strong meaning or imagery that communicates your brand’s heritage but the design should not be vague. Designs that are tough for non-designers to interpret as well as those that are intricately designed with too many details might both miss the mark.
Stick with a simple design that customers can easily remember. Have you seen Apple’s old logo? Take a look at it in the below image.
What do you think? Will you have liked seeing this complicated logo behind your iPhones or MacBooks? Probably not. And it might not necessarily have been as easy to connect with and remember as the current logo of Apple is. A simple logo is better, especially for consumer brands.
A coffee mug symbol in a coffee shop logo, a cake in a baker’s logo – they all sound simple and easy to understand. Since you do not want complicated elements in your logo can you go with such symbols and icons that are too common? Not at all.
Anything cliched is burning a hole in your reputation. Having a unique logo designed for your brand is more a necessity than a luxury. So, stay away from anything that looks too common or imagery that has been used too often by brands in your industry.
If you want to keep your logo instantly recognizable and still look unique, try incorporating the symbolism you wish to use into your fonts or negative spaces of the design. Take a look at the new General Motors logo below.
The electric plug reference in the negative space of the letter M in the above logo is a good example of how you can incorporate symbolism without cliched references.
In addition to this, you should also understand the shapes commonly used in logos and what they mean. This understanding will help you come up with better ideas for your logo.
You cannot choose a logo design simply because it looks trendy or because you like it personally. Aligning your logo design with your brand persona and customer persona is much more important. A design you like will look good to you. But a design that your customers like will stay in their minds for a long time.
A logo that is designed for the target audience will end up creating the most impact. It could be imagery that feels relevant to them or design elements that evoke the right emotions in them.
The two “T”s and “I” in the Tostitos logo together form an imagery of two people sharing a bowl of chips. That’s exactly what the brand wants you to emote when you think of Tostitos – sharing a bowl of chips with your friends or family. That’s one way to create a meaningful logo without just focusing on aesthetics.
One of the biggest logo design mistakes that some new entrepreneurs make is ignoring the scale of the logo while finalizing the design. Unlike designs like business cards and flyers or even social media posts, there is no single size in which your logo will be used. Your logo might be scaled up when it has to go on a billboard or scaled down when you have to add it to your business card. So, if you create a raster image or bitmap image, you might have trouble scaling the design.
Using a crowded layout or a symbol that will be easy to understand when the logo is big but makes no sense when the design is scaled down will also be a problem. You want your logo to have the same effect no matter how big or small it is.
The first thing to note will be to create a logo in vector graphics so that you do not have to worry about a pixelated appearance when your logo is expanded. The next thing will be to carefully pick every design element in such a way that the message remains clear as you expand or minimize the logo design.
Take the BBC logo for example – its minimalistic design makes it equally impactful no matter how small or big it appears.
Logos are meant to appear on a variety of surfaces both physical and digital. So, if your design is not versatile, your logo might look good only in some places.
For example, if you have a wordmark logo with just your brand name and your brand name happens to be a long one, what kind of logo design will you choose? If you choose to have all the words in one line, the logo might look good on digital designs like social media ads or even on billboards.
But if there is a product with cylindrical packaging and your long wordmark logo appears warped, will it have the same effect? You will be making up for this by scaling the logo down a little more and thus compromising on its legibility. This is an example of a logo design that is not versatile.
Try incorporating lettermark logos if your brand name is long. These will have just the initials of your brand name. Or if you want the name to appear fully, you can also go with a combination mark logo (which has both a wordmark and a symbol). So, you can use the symbol version when there is a space constraint and the wordmark for digital designs.
There are so many logo styles to try. Depending on your brand name and the elements you want in your logo you can choose something that looks good on diverse surfaces.
Before you start coming up with ideas for your logo designs make a mental note of these logo design mistakes that can make your logo look bad. You want a catchy and meaningful logo that attracts customers and builds a strong relationship with them. Not a random piece of marketing graphic designed in a hurry. So, take it slow. Have a strong plan in place. Create a visually memorable design that lays down a strong foundation for your brand identity design. And finally, choose what works for your customers, not what works for you or for your competitors.