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.

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About LJ

I'm a marketer and a small business owner. I love to write about branding, local businesses, small business marketing, and other insights. View all posts by LJ

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