Is your logo working for you or against you?
Logos are incredibly important. They represent your company’s identity and enhance your reputation. Even if you have great products and trustworthy services, it will be hard to gain your audience’s attention if your logo is poorly designed. Unfortunately, logo design mistakes are common, and it’s often the brand that is the last to know about it. To ensure that your logo is well-designed and compelling, here are five common logo mistakes to avoid.
Mistake #1. Poor Color Choices
Logos can be colorful and memorable, but it’s important that your colors work together. If your colors clash, it can make your design appear cluttered and confusing. It’s recommended to design your logo in black and white and then choose the colors. Working in a simple format allows you to design a compelling logo, and then implement your personality through color.
Another consideration is how you want people to feel when they look at your logo. Color affects people’s moods, feelings and behaviors, so it must be chosen strategically. After all, you don’t want your logo to make people feel agitated when they should feel comforted. Below are popular colors used in branding and the psychology behind them.
- Black: Powerful, mysterious, luxurious.
- Red: Action, confidence, excitement.
- Blue: Stability, safety, trustworthiness.
- Yellow: Happiness, energy, warmth.
- Green: Tranquility, good luck, health.
- Orange: Enthusiasm, energy, excitement.
- Brown: Reliability, strength, resilience.
- Purple: Wealth, mystery, wisdom.
Mistake #2. An Overly Complex Design
A logo does not need to be busy or loud to get noticed. Simple logos are best because they get the point across quickly without causing confusion. Take a look at some of the most well-known logos – Nike, Adidas, Apple, Target – and see how beautiful simplicity can be.
In many cases, logos get too complicated because people are trying to send too many messages at once. As you sketch great ideas for your logo, avoid combining them into one design. Go with your most important message. As your logo draws customers in, you will have plenty of opportunities to share more stories with them.
Mistake #3. Typographic Flaws
Believe it or not, the typography you use in your logo can have a profound impact on how it’s received. You are not always going to be there to decode your logo, so choose your typography wisely. Appropriate font and spacing are crucial when creating the proper tone and meaning for your words.
Here are a few things to be aware of:
- Spacing. Excessive spacing, or not enough spacing, can make your message difficult to read. Choose fonts that have proper, consistent spacing and can be easily read, even from far away.
- Overused fonts. Some fonts work well and are considered “safe” (e.g., Arial, Times New Roman). However, they can also make your design boring and predictable. Experiment with other fonts to find one that works for your brand’s tone and personality.
- Too many fonts. Stick to one or two fonts. Any more than this can make your design look cluttered. If you do choose another font, stay within the same family so that they complement each other.
Mistake #4. Using Stock Images
It may sound obvious, but there have been enough cases of companies using clipart or stock images. Usually, this happens when a business is trying to save money and get something put together quickly. No matter how small your budget is, you should always come up with authentic, original designs. You can do this by working internally or by hiring a graphic designer or freelancer. (Meet one at one of NJAMA’s Mix & Mingle Events!)
Mistake #5. Settling for a Monogram
Monograms are great for towels, but they should not be used for branding purposes. It’s difficult to build trust and credibility with the initials of your company alone, so think beyond this option. It’s far more effective to create a design that is original, inventive and memorable.
Also, avoid acronyms. Even though many well-known brands go by their acronyms – IBM, HP, GM – they did not start out this way. It wasn’t until they became popular that people started shortening their names. Use your business’ full name when you’re starting out so that people get familiar with it. Later, once your target audience knows your brand, you can consider using acronyms.
These mistakes may sound simple, but people make them more often than not. The reality is that it’s hard to create an original, compelling logo from scratch, so people end up taking shortcuts. By working with a trusted graphic design expert and being clear about the message you want to deliver, you can build a beautiful logo that works for your brand.