What Makes A Bad Logo?
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.
Nowadays it seems many people claim to have the knowledge and expertise to design professional logos. The amount of work involved in creating a unique logo is usually underestimated.
If someone claims they can provide you with a professional quality logo for under $200, you have to question exactly how much time and effort is being spent on developing your logo. Not a lot.
Why does quality of your logo matter?
Your logo is what identifies your business and helps you stand out from your competition. It’s your first chance to make a good impression with potential customers.
If it’s cheap, dated or a generic design, what does that say about your business?
When it comes to your branding your business it’s always best to work with experienced graphic designers.
But with so many people claiming to be able to offer professional logo at cheap prices these days, how can you spot a bad logo design if you don’t know anything about logo design?
Here’s are some tips to look out for:
1. Obvious design
Be aware of the ‘obvious’ logos which are the ones without any real idea thinking behind them. One of the first things you think of that relates to a hair salon is a pair of scissors right? or a paint brush for a painter.
2. Bad Typography
The most common sign a designer has no experience is typography. It’s one of the bigger challenges any designer needs to learn. Professional designers pay close attention to those details that you probably wouldn’t notice unless you were made aware of it.
One of the most important and time consuming processes is known as kerning. This is manually adjusting the spacing between each letter to make the text a lot easier to read, and avoid those awkward gaps between some letters.
Below is an example of text that’s not kerned. You can see the uneven spacing between some of the letters (in particular the word ‘been’).
And below that is text that is kerned. Everything is much tighter and better for the eye to take in. The spacing between each letter appears much more equal.
It’s so minute that you may not be able to notice a significant difference, but some fonts have bad automatic kerning than others. If it’s not adjusted, the text can look ugly.
The word ‘been’ for example…
And now the word ‘been’ is kerned.
3. Bad choice of font
Let’s use this logo for a funeral director, now the question is would you consider leaving your loved one in the hands of a funeral director who’s logo has a cartoony font? I wouldn’t.
Fonts imply a tone of voice and help evoke a feeling or emotion related to your business. What tone of voice does this logo convey above? Silly, funny, non professional. The wrong choice can be devastating for your company.
4. Bad choice of colour
Colour is a really important consideration in the design process. It says a lot more about your business than you think.
Colour is very important because it’s where first impressions of customers are based. Colours are more than just a visual aid because colours convey emotions, feelings and experience
A professional designer will be able to help you on colours to use and which to avoid.
A good word of advice, stay away from bright neon colours!
5. Uses photos
You do not use photos in logos. Period! A photograph is an image created from pixels. You therefore cannot change its scale without losing detail and causing pixelation.
Logos have to be created in a way that they can be reproduced in one, two or three colours, and a photograph is made up on CMYK, therefore you cannot print it in one colour on a uniform or hat for example.
Any logo that features photography is a clear sign the designer has no idea about what they are doing.
6. NO clip art
Grabbing an image from a website, and throwing a company name on it and calling it a logo is not professional. The abomination created is not a professional quality logo.
Look at the example above and you can see there is white edges around the flowers, obviously this is not meant to be there, but because it’s copied straight from the web which is the problem.
Don’t go no where near clip art.
7. Relying on effects
A good logo should work in black and white.
Even though using gradients is a bit of a trend at the moment, it’s important to remember that a logo must also work as a solid black shape without the effects.
Here’s a ‘logo’ that has gradients and glass effects.
Here it the same logo without the effect in black.
It’s just a circle above some text. It could be the logo of any company.
An good logo relies on simplicity. How many times have we heard the phrase ‘Keep It Simple’. It’s not about what you add, but what you take away.
Think of how simple some of the most iconic logos; Nike, Apple, etc,
These logos are perfect examples of effective logo design. They are simple, memorable. They work without colour and without text and you’d recognise them even when they are small.
Extra ‘elements’ just detracts the eye and cheapens the logo. It also affects legibility at smaller scales, see example below.
There are many websites that claim to offer professional logo design and will happily take your money and chuck together a logo for you in a matter of hours. Is the face of your business really worth cheapening? Is it really only worth a few hours?
Your logo is the face of your company. Try to see it as an investment, not an afterthought.
We understand everyone has a budget but it’s worth seeking out a true professional and getting your brand designed properly.
At the end of the day you get what you pay for.