The importance of an organization having the right logo and designing a logo cannot be understated. It evokes feelings such as trust, excellence, and integrity regarding your organization. The most effective ones connect customers and brands without having to provide an explanation. By that same token, a poorly designed logo fumbles the key messaging business leaders are trying to express. By avoiding the following common mistakes, your logo has a superior chance of inspiring people.
Using Overly Bright Colors
Although some companies have navigated the use of bright colors effectively, they tend to be the exception and not the general rule. Tide laundry detergent, for example, employs a palette of bright yellow and orange to create a type of bull’s eye behind its dark blue name. Few products find the success Tide accomplished going this bold with their color options.
That’s largely because overly bright colors can be uncomfortable to the consumer’s eye, causing people to look away. By contrast, natural colors that are easy on the eyes are more likely to hold a potential customer’s attention longer. If the design is meant to attract someone’s interest and hold it, color selections must achieve this goal. Don’t hesitate to tone down the brightness.
Creating Overly Complex Logo Designs
There’s a general consensus that Apple enjoys one of the most effective and iconic logos, bar none. But it might come as something of a surprise to learn today’s logo was not the company’s first bite at the apple.
Back in 1976, Apple Computer Co. put forward a logo featuring Sir Isaac Newton sitting under a tree reading a book. Highlighted by what appears to be an angelic light, perhaps representing ideas, is a single apple one assumes is about to fall on his head. Meant to tell the story of how Newton discovered the theory of gravity, a framed image is wrapped with a ribbon with Apple Computer Co embossed in three rows. Further complicating the branding faux pas, the creator writes: “Newton – – A Mind Forever Voyaging Through Strange Seas Of Thought – – Alone” in small letters on three sides of the frame. So cumbersome and busy was this logo the so-called bitten apple was born just one year later.
Apple is a veritable case study of why simple, definable logo designs are typically superior to complicated ones. Better to learn from another company’s mistakes than regret making one of your own.
One of the common mistakes regarding the use of fonts and letters involves shortsightedness. Trendy and culturally specific fonts may be great for targeting a niche audience. But as times and culture change, the logo can become passé. When designing a typographic logo, it may be worthwhile to consider the following:
When letters are spaced unevenly, excessively wide, or too close together, the legibility of the logo usually suffers. Focus on maximum readability to ensure the message is adequately conveyed to your target audience.
A short list of fonts exists that many designers grossly overuse in our daily experience. For example, Times New Roman and Arial dominate the fonts employed on desktop computers, laptops, and other devices. Integrating these and other go-to fonts turns your logo into wallpaper. It simply fades into the background while others stand out.
To avoid appearing boring, some designers swing too far in the other direction. Large, highly stylized fonts that come across as street graffiti can be something of a turn-off. It’s important to strike a balance between coming across as background noise and a nuclear explosion.
The right typography can communicate a brand’s central messaging. When developing a type-based logo, step back and ask yourself if it accomplishes your organization’s goals and has lasting power.
Not Accounting for Multi-Medium Usage
Perhaps the most discouraging mistake involves painstakingly developing what appears to be the perfect logo only to discover it flops in certain mediums. This usually occurs because inexperienced designers craft iconic images or typography in what some see as a vacuum. They focus on the image directly in front of them as it appears on their computer screen. The inherent problem with this approach is that a logo must be flexible enough to be used in multiple ways and advertising platforms.
For example, a long, horizontal logo may work perfectly as a website banner or even a highway billboard. But try to use it in a space that requires a vertical application and it may prove useless. This is a common issue with outdoor town banners displayed vertically on lamp posts during community events and holidays. Inclusion as one of many sponsors in a newspaper advertisement potentially means shrinking it down until barely identifiable.
A truly viable logo design requires significant tweaking even after you believe it effectively represents your brand. By investing time and energy into creating a logo suitable for every conceivable platform, you’ll be able to tap into a wider range of audiences and demographics.
Resembling Your Competitors
It may seem counterintuitive, but business leaders who strongly advocate for distinguishing their organization, products, and services from competitors end up using a similar logo. In no way do they desire to look like a low-cost version of an established industry outfit. It just happens. That’s primarily because many of the standard processes, colors, and ideas have been adopted across the sector. So, it seems logical to incorporate visuals that are considered meaningful to a certain type of business.
If you step back and consider the logos used by some of the fiercest industry rivals, they look almost nothing alike. Coca-Cola sticks with a red base while Pepsi-Cola employs blue. Despite a green base, citrus sodas such as Sprite, 7 Up, and Mountain Dew use letters and colors to differentiate their beverage from each other.
By that same token, there are plenty of brands that deliberately pose as others. This frequently occurs when companies are trying to undercut well-established quality brands. In recent years, inexpensive cereals deploy logos and typeface that almost mirrors leading brands. The idea is to attract shoppers who want to save money for what amounts to the same ingredients. While effective, following this trend positions your brand as a cheap knockoff.
Design it with Logo-Making Tools
When entrepreneurs launch new enterprises, they need to complete multiple things on a limited budget. Cost reduction efforts are often applied in every phase of the venture in an effort to stay afloat long enough to generate a profit. It may seem prudent to go with an online tool and create your own. However, unless you possess design skills, you’re likely to fall prey to one or more of the common mistakes that result in an ineffective logo.
Instead, it’s recommended to consider outsourcing the design process to ensure you launch the organization with an eye-catching logo that checks all the boxes. This way you can work closely with a graphic designer to achieve your desired result, have more flexibility to make changes, and possibly make additional changes in the future if needed.
The alternative includes typically wasting valuable time and money better invested elsewhere. For instance, if you’re designing your logo by yourself using one of the online apps. Having said that, it can be good to start by playing a bit with a logo creator in order to understand some of the possible design options and get an initial idea of how you want your logo to look.
Exceeding Marketing Budget on a Logo
Marketing firms routinely charge tens of thousands of dollars to create logos for brands. Some companies pony up more than $50,000 for a logo that may have been crafted by a third-party graphic designer. Big marketing firms see and understand the explosion of the remote workforce and online independent contractors. The question is whether you want to pay a firm an exorbitant amount or hire a freelancer directly. Obviously, that’s a rhetorical question.
Consider searching online for a freelance graphic designer whose experience and portfolio sync with your brand. Negotiate a deal that makes sense within your budget and emphasizes an end result over hourly payment. Along with getting the right logo to promote your brand at a reasonable price, you may establish a prosperous business relationship.
A smartly designed logo helps build consumer confidence and validates an organization’s professionalism. Of course, the precise opposite holds true when a logo confuses people, resembles an established brand, or doesn’t garner positive attention.
No one sets out to make an ineffective logo. But too many otherwise savvy business professionals repeat the common mistakes others have made. Before launching a new company, product, or service, take the time to assess the design and make sure it works across platforms and communicates its intended message.