We spend a lot of time discussing about what makes a great logo, so we thought it was time we showed you some examples of what DOES NOT make a good logo, but what makes a bad logo.
One of the best ways to distinguish a business is by having a unique and memorable logo; but designing a unique and memorable logo is not as easy as it seems. Here are some common logo design mistakes that amateur logo designers do.
Typography in logo design can either make or break a design, so it’s important you know your typography. A logo should be kept as simple as possible while still portraying the intended message, and to achieve this a designer must consider all typographic aspects of the logo design. It is a skill that is learned, not done on the spare of the moment.
Don’t use too many fonts. Don’t use crazy fonts, I believe a simple and timeless font always works. Pay close attention to kerning, spacing, and sizing and most importantly, ensure you’ve chosen the right font(s) for the project.
EasySpeedy Logo: See how this logo uses just one font but with different styling. The italic convey speed while the bold conveys ease.
Bad font choice
When it comes to creating a logo, choosing the right font can make or break a logo. The fonts chosen can often take just as long as the creation of the logo icon itself, and it should not be done quickly.
You need to spend time researching all the different font choices that could be used for the logo, narrow them down, and then see how each one works with the logo. Keep in mind how the logo’s font could be used across the rest of the brand in conjunction with other fonts.
Emotive Analytics: Every font has it’s own personality, so you need to choose the right “font personality” for your logo. The font chosen in this logo is much more serious.
Not too complex
Memorable logos are more successful as they allow for easier recognition; but for a logo to be memorable it must have something unique about it. Simplicity just doesn’t make a logo more memorable, but it also helps the logo to be adaptable, this means it can work over more mediums. For example logos need to work on something the size of a stamp and on something as large as a billboard. So don’t make the logo too complex, keep it simple.
Don’t rely on effects
If a logo requires a special effect to make it a stand out, then it’s not a strong logo. Start off by working in black and white first, and then add the special effects. This will allow you to focus on the shape and concept, rather than a special effect. Don’t use drop shadows or embossing to luster up your logos — a good logo will stand on its own.
Opus Grex: So yes this logo does have gradients and colour, but if we took away these effects it still is strong, and simple.
A logo has to be designed in a vector graphics program like Adobe Illustrator, to make sure that the final logo can be scaled to any size, this helps the logo to be applied easily to any media. A vector graphic is made up of precise points, these ensure visual consistency across all mediums and sizes. A rastered image (is made out of pixels, like what you would find in Adobe Photoshop) can’t be scaled to any size, this means at larger sizes, the logo would be not usable. Make sure you use a vector graphics program when creating logos.
Don’t use visual clichés
Light bulbs for ‘ideas’, speech bubbles for ‘discussion’, etc. These ideas have been done over and over again, they are often the first thing to pop into someone’s head when brainstorming, and for the same reason should be the first ideas to be not used. How is your logo going to be unique when so many other logos have the same idea? Just stay clear of these visual clichés, come up with an original idea logo.
Copying or stealing
In a world where we can easily rip something off the internet is just all too easy, and it’s an all-too-common practice these days to steal or copy another design. A designer sees an idea that they likes, does a quick change, it could be a colour change, and then calls the idea their own. This is unethical and downright silly but you’re also going to get caught sooner or later. And do not use clip art either — isn’t the point of a logo to be unique and original?
Don’t get too much client influence
Yes, the client is paying you as a professional to come up with a design, which means you need to direct the client to the best possible solution. The best way to do this is to offer your experience, so not let them direct the project. If a client asks for a change that you feel will not work, explain why and offer a better alternative. If they refuse, then send your own design changes, as well as their suggestions. They often realise that their suggestions may not have been the best idea, but you as a logo designer should also realise that you also, are not always right, so try and give the client’s suggestions a look — you never know, sometimes they are right.
Don’t provide too many ideas
Even though you as a designer may have a lot of concepts you have worked on, you need to use your expertise and narrow it down. If you provide 8 concepts to a client, you run the risk that they may choose what you consider is the ‘worst’ out of the lot. A good rule of thumb is to only send three concepts that you personally feel would work the best for their business.
Provide the correct files
Delivering the final files to your client is one way to make sure that your client doesn’t comes back asking for more changes. It also allows the logo to be displayed correctly in all formats, which cane be supported by a logo style guide.
You should provide the client four high-quality files — spot-colour file, a CMYK, a black file, and a reversed (white) one. These generally are in EPS, JPEG and PNG formats.
The above logo design tips should help you become a greater logo designer, but it’s important to let you know that although lists such as these are a good starting point, they should not hold back your creativity — having said all the above rules are made to be broken & there is no ‘right’ way when it comes to design.