5 common mistakes in logo design

A logo designer must know that it doesn’t matter how many amazing logos he/she created; the designer is still human and it means that he/she will have made mistakes. This list of 5 common mistakes might help to avoid them in the future.
Many mistakes can be put right, but how do you ‘fix’ a wrong logo? Unfortunately, some mistakes can’t be fixed, and it is very true in logo design. A logotype is (or should be) part of a branding strategy, which means people will make a very simple judgement: a bad logo equals to a bad business. In short, a bad designed logo is the best way to damage your business.

In the other hand, many logo designers are put under extreme pressure, that will inevitably lead to mistakes. It is a vicious circle, and the designer will need a cool head to avoid it. The less experienced designers will make more mistakes, but it is not impossible for an experienced designer to create a bad logo. So, is it possible to avoid creating a bad logo? I personally think there are two types of bad logos:

  1. Logos beyond repair – the logos is really bad, with poor choices of colours, fonts and/or graphics.
  2. Poor logos – the logo is acceptable, but there’s scope for improvement.

In truth, there’s no way to know exactly if the logo is right, but a good designer will offer feedback and constructive criticism, the same way you would do a usability test with a website to detect errors.

Here are some common mistakes that can help you making an analysis of your logo:

Error #1: Design a logo that is not versatile

A good logo designer will always respect the clients wishes, but at the same time feel comfortable explaining to the client when their request doesn’t respect good design principles. Some clients might not understand that a logo is going to be used in many different situations (website, stationery, signs, uniforms, etc). Many inexperienced designers also don’t foresee the many different applications of the logo. Adobe Photoshop is an excellent application, but not the right tool for logo design. Using a vector application like Illustrator is a much better approach.

A logo is generally designed as part of a branding process, and it will inevitably be used for business cards, brochures, business stationery or even car livery. If the initial design is not scalable across the different types of media, the problems will happen sooner or later. A good logo can be used for any purpose and in any situation.

Error #2: Ignoring the context

A logo is much more than one piece of graphics that will be used in isolation, it need to fit in with other elements of the brand, like: website, business strategy, target audience, etc. Research is essential, it will allow the logo to be designed within context.

Moreover, the logo design might dictate the subsequent visual communication items. A good logo will have to stay coherent when put in context with the rest of the branding elements.

Error #3: Designing for the designer

Logo design is very subjective. The designer’s preferences must be secondary to the client’s wishes. Nevertheless, the value of a good logo cannot be measured by the designer or even by the client: the value of a good logo is determined by the target audience!

To create a good logo it is important to determine the target audience and identify it’s preferences.

Error #4 : Stealing forms and not concepts

many designers don’t want to copy an existing logo, but that can happen. It is a primary error, and one to be avoided at any cost. Research, references and inspiration are an important part of the designer’s life, and we all have to ‘refuel’ our creativity. A good way to do so is researching other designers’ work. However, inspiration and copy are two completely different things!

Error #5: Ignoring the steps of the logo design process

Every designer will have a specific number of different steps in their creative process, this is to minimise the possibilities of oversights and make the process more efficient. It also allow for budgeting and establishing the schedule.

I hope this article was useful to you, if you want to know more about logo design and want a FREE assessment of you current logo and/or identity, please contact us.