You may be satisfied with your current business logo, but are your customers? Have you checked if it’s well designed? Does it have all the basic elements it should? Does it fit your needs?
Here we will summarise some common logo mistakes that you may not have noticed but could be impacting your brand.
1. Too complex
Some people (and their designers) go crazy and want to put every single detail of a business in a logo. But, a logo should mainly say one thing – the one thing you want everyone to see right away.
Sure, there is more in a logo than just text; there could be a pictogram, a monogram, an illustration, colours or a combination of these. Either way, think about it like this: can you print your logo on a pen and still read all the text and distinguish all the images?
If not, then it’s not optimised for use across different media and it needs to be decluttered. This is so it can speak louder and clearer about the one single thing your company represents.
2. Not complex enough
I know, we’re contradicting ourselves! But, some logos just don’t include enough elements to make it a real logo. You need to find the middle ground.
The main thing that makes a terrible logo is not being able to read the name properly, or even worse, the complete lack of a name or title. Thinking that you’re already Nike and that everyone is going to recognise you from a symbol, is a crime – not only in the design world but also from a marketing perspective!
As a startup or even a mid-sized company, you need your clients, customers and everyone to know the name of your business, a name that they can google and remember. Make sure your name is always present in your logo.
3. Visual elements that carry the wrong message
Keeping critical thinking in perspective, it’s fundamental to ensure that only the right message is being conveyed. This is particularly important if a logo will represent you or your brand across different cultures, countries or even age groups.
Designers need to apply a critical perspective that makes them able to translate visual elements into a clear message. They must be able to identify and avoid shapes, forms, or possible perspectives that might be misinterpreted, mistaken, or might distract the viewer from the desired message being transmitted.
4. Depends too heavily on colour
Yes, colour is one of the most important visual elements. It changes the look and feel of any design, but your logo must work using only one colour too.
If it relies too heavily on colour (or even worse on transparency or other effects), then your logo won’t be flexible to all the media it will have to occupy, for example, when printed on bills or your social media banner image.
If you don’t consider this, your logo’s impact will suffer. It won’t be legible, and your whole brand will take a step down. To be a professional logo it must use the right colour choices.
5. It’s coloured according to your taste, not your business needs
“I like purple so I’ll make my restaurant’s logo purple”.
Stop right there! This is one of the biggest mistakes to make. When building your corporate identity, you need to think about your customers and what would make them feel comfortable buying from you or working with you.
Some more intimate brands, such as those that make handmade products, may have logos that relate more to the owner’s taste, but only as a way of making them more relatable to their customers – not just to make it “pretty”.
6. Your logo doesn't represent your brand
This is such a major deal breaker. Everything in your company should align to the same principles, and this includes your logo!
We talk time and time again about brand values and how these should influence design and marketing. Your logo is the first thing customers will see, and it not only needs to attract your target market, but represent you and your business/brand in the way you want it to be perceived.
7. Not checking out your competitors
Let me clarify – this means you can check them, BUT, not copy them!
If the typography of their logos is in capitals and in bold, it’s probably for a reason. All industries will have convention in design, and it’s good to identify this.
However, it is important to note that what your competitors have done with their logos may or may not work for you, so you can’t just follow the crowd.
See what elements you have in common and what sets you apart from them and work on those. Get the most out of what makes you unique.
There is no exact recipe for having the perfect logo. It depends on things such as the values of your brand, on the style of your service, on the status you want to represent, on the cost of your services, among other factors.
Therefore, when deciding your business logo, you should hire designers that know how you can get the best representation of your ideas into an appropriate logo.
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