Monthly Archives: September 2011

Five Logo Design Mistakes to Avoid

After last week’s post on how to design a logo, I thought I would take the opposite approach and explain what you should avoid with your logo design. Sometimes reverse psychology can be helpful.

Don’t Get Caught Logo-less: Do to the pressure of time, sometimes small businesses delay developing a logo This is a mistake, because a logo helps to reinforce your message and provides a shortcut to remind your audience about your business. Logos don’t have to be expensive, since pre-developed, authorized logos are available for purchase for a small fee on-line.

Don’t Copy: Avoid being unoriginal. There are two ways that logo designs can fail based on originality. The first is a boring design, such as simply putting the company name inside an ordinary graphic shape such as a circle. Boring! The logo shouldn’t be static and needs to have movement. Secondly, the logo needs to be different from other company logos and in particular the logos of your competitors. Think critically and research this aspect before finalizing your design.

Eschew Obfuscation: It’s important to avoid a logo that is overly complex or too realistic. Keep it simple and symbolic. Sometimes organizations try to incorporate too many concepts into their design, resulting in a very detailed and confusing logo. For example, it’s probably too much to try to work in the concepts of global/the world, internet, and video into one realistic depiction. Or, companies try to include drawings of their products in the logo. This isn’t a good idea because many products aren’t instantly understood. Remember KISS and Keep It Simple.

Avoid Ugly: Poor Design. A poor logo fails to make good use of both positive and negative space. In fact, effective use of negative space is a great way to add extra meaning to your logo. Color and shape are also critical. Do the selected logos work well together? Is the shape appealing or unappealing to the eye?
Don’t Copy: Unoriginal. There are two ways that logo designs can fail based on originality. The first is a boring design, such as simply putting the company name inside an ordinary graphic shape such as a circle. Boring! The logo shouldn’t be static and needs to have movement. Secondly, the logo needs to be different from other company logos and in particular the logos of your competitors. Think critically and research this aspect before finalizing your design.

Drive out Subliminal: Unintended meanings. Internet blog sites are loaded with examples of logos with unintended implications. Just do a search on “bad logos” and find the many humorous examples of logos with subliminal meanings. One way to steer clear of unintended meanings is to be very careful with any use of symbolic humans in the logo and to make really sure your typography is clear. As you get to your final design, view it critically, and try to think what a juvenile delinquent might think of it. If your business focuses on a particular ethnic group, make sure that the intended meaning is conveyed to that culture. If your business has a global focus, there will be much research needed to ensure appropriateness for culture variances.

Stay away from the common logo design fails, and you’ll have the potential for an uncommonly good logo that you can use on vehicle signs, business cards, embroidered polo shirts Dallas, and Plano t-shirts.


A Distinctive Logo for Your Start Up Business

Once you’ve determined the name for your startup business, it’s time to determine a logo. You may want to delay this until you are less swamped, but it makes sense to do it now so that you can have a uniform look to your marketing efforts. What are the benefits to a logo?

Some of the most enduring logos

Credibility. A more professional image can help prospects, partners and financial supporters have confidence in your company.

Awareness. A well-designed logo can immediately convey your brand message and emotional appeal. Think about how effectively well-known logos like Coca Cola or McDonalds can instantly create subliminal demand for the service.

Differentiation. Your logo can distinguish your business from your competitors, ensuring your business is distinct in the minds of your prospects. Many local businesses tend to have similar sounding names, such as Plano Embroidery & Screen printing, Plano T-Shirts, or Dallas Promotional Products. A unique logo can help you stand out.

Attractiveness. Let’s face it, a mostly text piece of marketing collateral can get boring. Even a simple typographical logo with some color breaks up the page and makes it more interesting to read. And your logo can be used to advertise your name everywhere, from business cards to branded pens to custom t-shirts and embroidery.

Convinced? Consider these two principles as you think about your logo.

Google uses a typographical logo

Fit with your business mission. Every business has a distinct personality. What’s yours? What are your key value proposition and your competitive advantage? How would you depict that visually? For example, a bank may choose to convey security with solid, bold lettering in conservative colors. On the other hand, Disney’s logos have appealed to kids and families using a playful script, fantasy symbols of the castle and Mickey Mouse, and bright colors.

Creative approach.Logos typically are typographical, symbolic/descriptive, or symbolic/abstract. A typographical or all text

The Colorado Rockies logo is descriptive

logo might work best for a brand with a wide portfolio that is difficult to capture with a single image. The Google logo is a good example. A symbolic / descriptive logo uses a picture to capture the essence of the brand, such as the Colorado Rockies Baseball Team logo, which features snowcapped peaks. Or, a logo can be symbolic but abstract, such as the Pepsi logo. Symbolic / abstract logos, combined with your business name are most popular and often most useful for small businesses.

The Pepsi logo is symbolic

I hope I’ve given you enough to ponder. In the next post, I’ll review the options available for designing your logo.

In the meantime, if you’re still working on finalizing your business name, see my earlier post: 7 Simple Steps for Naming Your Business.


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