Avoid these common pitfalls during the logo design process to make sure your brand new emblem is both professional and relatable.
I already posted my logo design guide for UK businesses, which contains a whole wealth of ideas on the principles of logo design, and how to use shape and colour to create an instantly-recognisable graphic that perfectly sums up your brand values.
One thing I forgot to mention is that when it comes to logo design, it’s impossible to please everybody. Design itself is subjective, and some people just simply won’t like what you’ve created.
But to maximise your chances of creating something that’s both strikingly beautiful and totally suitable, I’ve listed 5 design mistakes here that you really need to avoid when creating a new business logo.
1. Accidentally using inappropriate or inoffensive symbols.
This is a biggie. There are some jaw-dropping – but often entertaining – stories out there from brands that have unknowingly used totally inappropriate concepts within their logo designs. Don’t become a laughing stock by following their lead.
Always research the spiritual and cultural connotations of the shapes and colours you’re using, just to make sure your design doesn’t have hidden meaning. And as a general rule, avoid designs that look a little too much like body parts for your audience’s liking. Air BnB should have taken this advice on board when they came up with their new(ish) ‘Belo’ logo. Take a look here to see what I mean.
2. Ripping off an existing logo.
It’s one thing to take inspiration from another brand’s design, but you need to make sure that your new creation doesn’t look strikingly similar to someone else’s work.
To avoid plagiarism, think about what you really like about the other company’s logo. Do you love their use of colour? Does the shape and composition appeal to you? Or is the font or typography what’s really standing out? Hone in on what it is you’re enjoying about their design, then experiment with this one element for a while, adding different shades and shapes into your drafts until something sticks. You’ll soon find that the concept takes on a life of its own.
3. Over-using colour.
It’s easy to go overboard with the use of colour – but logos that are exceptionally bright, busy or over-the-top could end up looking amateurish.
My top tip is to choose your colours at the very end of the logo design process – and always consider what your logo looks like once its colours have been removed. Does it have the same visual impact when it’s re-purposed in black and white? Do the shapes or illustrations still look distinctive? If not, you may be relying on colour a little too much, and it could be time to go back to the drawing board.
4. Being too invested in the latest trends.
Sure, it can be tempting to want to incorporate an interesting or ‘en vogue’ design concept into your logo in a bid to establish the brand as cutting edge. But remember that fashions change – and pretty fast, too. What looks on trend right now may appear dated or even unprofessional in a few years’ time.
Instead of trying to find ways to use the latest graphical gimmicks, focus on creating a design that will remain timeless because it encapsulates everything your brand stands for.
5. Forgetting to create a logo that’s scalable.
When designing your logo, you need to come up with something that’s going to retain its quality of design, regardless of whether it’s plastered across a huge billboard or added to the tiny top corner of a company letterhead.
Many designers love using small, intricate shapes or illustrations within their designs – but this can make it virtually impossible to scale the logo down later on. Simplicity is key here.
And if you want more advice and tips, you can always check out my post on brand identity design on FounderU