The Top 10 Mistakes in Logo Design

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Edit 9-16-16: A really great guide written on how to design an awesome logo, check it out!

Logo design is a complicated matter, and there is a long list of mistakes that can be made, both by the designer and the client. Although almost anything can go wrong (it is tricky to make a logo design project turn out perfect) if you avoid certain things you’re probably going to be able to do great work and make it successful. Over the years, there has been a lot of lessons learned by countless designers, clients, and many others who study the industry. Some of what they have learned we can distil into a short list of top 10 common mistakes.

Top 10 Mistakes in Logo Design

  1. The Top 10 Mistakes in Logo Design1Poor font choice – the use of typefaces, or “fonts” is critical when designing a logo. The typography has to be perfect and complement the logo design in every way. Without typefaces being correct, it is impossible to create a good design.
  2. Relies on the color for the effect – if the design itself relies on the color for the effect generated, the logo will lack strength and will lack definition.
  3. Uses modified stock art – the last thing you want for your client is for someone to recognize a part of your image from somewhere else. If your logo contains modified stock art, when identified by consumers it sends a confusing message.
  4. Relies on trends, fads, or gimmicks – when a company does its branding and designs its logo, that logo and brand don’t change over time, unlike trends, fads or gimmicks. Staying away from popular typefaces is going to work for your average company. Some online companies such as Facebook created a fascination with newer typefaces, but they cannot be changed once they have been put in place.
  5. Amateur design quality – if the quality of the design looks amateurish, that’s going to translate into an unhappy customer. One of the worst things that up-and-coming start-up company can run into is having a lousy logo.
  6. Too many fonts – too many fonts at once creates a lack of simplicity and directness. Even suggestion cannot be accurately conveyed when transmitted across too much information. Stick to a maximum of 2 fonts per logo.
  7. Imitates others design – copying someone’s image is going to create a lot of trouble for the client, and most likely the designer as well. Copyright infringement cases are common, and you may end up in court fighting intellectual-property rights.
  8. The Top 10 Mistakes in Logo DesignToo abstract or too complicated – if the design is too abstract to be easily understood, it lacks mass appeal. If it is too complicated to be understood easily, the same problem takes place. A logo is for everybody to associate with. Logos have to immediately transmit an identity and image consumers to relate to.
  9. Uses raster images – raster images are of a lower quality than vector image. Raster images are not suitable for logo design as they have a lower resolution of pixels, and with vector images you will find that there is a higher resolution necessary for good logos to be razor sharp.
  10. Becomes cliché – if the logo seems to transmit the message and it becomes immediately cliché, then this could be undesirable in many cases. You don’t want to sound like that to a customer, so this is one aspect of logo design to be avoided.

Chris is a father of 4 and works full time as a network engineer. He loves The Office, P & R, brewing (and drinking) beer, and of course Web Design and SEO.

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