22 logo design mistakes to avoid

The nature of designers is different – some people love animation, others are thrilled by web development. Their most common feature is the desire for an incredible end result. Each of us wants to create amazing content that can deliver great results. Regardless of your field of interest, one day the necessity of creating a logo either for your own project or for a customer will catch up on you. The never-ending question is how to achieve the best results? What is the recipe for the perfect solution?

You will have to find your own style with time and experience. I know some things are badly downplaying the quality of a logo and that’s why I have listed the most common mistakes I stumble upon in my everyday practice. If you avoid them, regardless of the style of the logo you are developing, I guarantee you will significantly improve the result of your project.

1. Not planning at the beginning of the project

Planning is one of the critical elements in the core of a successful design. It is, of course, difficult to plan something that will be used by other people with their perspective on life.

I always start my projects from planning. I usually throw my ideas on a piece of paper, trying to find the most appropriate answers to a few fundamental questions that will ease the development process. And those questions are:

  • Who is the logo for and what audience is it intended for?
  • What are the exact requirements of the project promoter?
  • What should it describe, express, advertise, and suggest to customers?
creating an insulting or discriminative logo

2. Creating an insulting or discriminative logo

In the 21st century, people around the world have become highly sensitive to a vast variety of topics.

You should pay close attention to the symbol that you design in order to avoid any hints of discrimination or intolerance.  Any mistakes can upset the audience which will negatively affect the corporate identity of the brand you are designing for. The biggest PR myth of all is: “There’s No Such Thing as Bad Publicity”. You must be very careful not to kill a business before it starts its existence.

3. Borrowing too many ideas and inspiration from other artists

Copying a logo design creates a conflict in our line of work. Should I copy? Is it right to do so? Will copying help me win over the crowds? Will I be punished if I get caught? Too many questions and yet a few answers. In my opinion, if a business is unique, it is not a good idea to use plagiarism as an easy way to get something done. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Do not be seduced by it! Theft is a crime. If you do not want someone else to steal your work, it’s a bad idea to do it to others around you

It does not mean you cannot research the market to get inspired. Look at other good ideas, techniques, and styles. My advice is to study them and make them a part of you and your style, not copy/paste them. This is how the industry develops as a world full of ideas and colour.

4. A logo that is inappropriate for all types of media

The primary function of the logo is to present a business to the world on various types of media. If your design is not universal, then it will not be functional enough for the client or company you are creating it for.

5. Not leaving anything to the imagination of the viewer

A good advice that nobody gave me when I first started designing is to use the observer’s vision as a tool for a successful design.

It takes time to master this technique, but when you learn how to use it for the brand you create, you will see the positive reactions it evokes in people.

The sense of fulfillment when finding a secret message within your work unlocks the hormone of happiness in observers and they quickly transform into devoted followers of the brand!

6. Using stock elements when designing a logo

In our modern days, people work with templates to make their workflow easier or faster. This is not a bad idea, can you imagine your company whose appearance and radiance is not original? Or even worse – to see two companies with the same or similar logos?

It’s easy to pay $ 10 for one project’s base and building and editing over it, but be careful because you can lose the most important part for a logo – the original thought behind it. If it is not unique, the company will not stand out on the market.

creating an attractive but empty logo

7. Creating an attractive, but an empty logo

In my practice, I often find great logos with a similar problem. They look elegant and beautiful, but they do not demonstrate a single feature of the company or its activities.  This problem is common when designers use templates. You must always keep in mind the information that the symbol should radiate to the audience!

8. Following the current trends

Every generation has its own fashion and style, but the good design is independent of its age and time. Trends come and go, but if you aim for a long-lasting effect avoid being stuck in today’s craze. Try to create images that can leave a mark in history!

9. Providing wrong file formats to the client at the end of the project

So many times my customers have sent me logos designed by other professionals. These designers only provided the wrong raster file format of the logo after they completed their task. It has always been difficult and time consuming for me to vectorize someone else’s projects.

Please don’t do this to your clients and me!

I ask you as a friend to avoid this mistake. Do not waste the time of both your customers and colleagues. Keep in mind that once you complete a logo, other people will use it, be careful not to create obstacles for others!

creating too abstract forms

10. Creating too abstract forms

The abstract form even if it is aesthetically pleasing, does not bring any essential information to the observers. There may be an emotional impact, but I think this is not enough for a successful logo.

Try to make your design more specific, to provoke associations in the mind of customers. Develop logos in such a way so the audience can understand at a single glance what the brand is doing and what it sells…

11. Including too much or too small details

If you look at the logo as an image, it has one goal – to provide details for the company and its nature and activities to observers. Too much information is not a good sign, because it has to be placed on different media and surfaces.

The same goes for the details, after all – too much of anything is not suitable for you! Too many components can lead to the destruction of the symbol in specific formats.

The logo is a symbol, not a complete picture or a comic book. My recommendation here is to try and create original and straightforward concepts.

12. Including endings like LLC, Inc, Co etc.

Adding such items rarely brings useful information to the consumers. Yes, it can tell them how big a company is, but to what extent is this important?

The audience is not interested in the market value of a brand, but in its activity and customer feedback. If we look at this as an additional element in a design, it will again lead to an unnecessary visual overlay of your logo design.

using raster elements in your logo

13. Using raster elements in your logo

Pixels or the so-called raster images are not suitable as elements of a logo. This error is widespread in non-professional graphic designs and results can lead to loss of quality in large-format printing.

I would recommend using full vector elements when designing your business’ symbols. If you like an image that is part of a raster image, just look at a few lessons and trace it as a vector shape. This will greatly improve the end result of your work.

14. Not using positive and negative or optical balance space as an advantage

Reasonable use of positive and negative space in a design will greatly improve the end result of your project and how others perceive it. This can turn out to be really interesting as effects and you will always surprise the audience with your work.

15. Creating a logo that is depending on colours

The good logo is independent of its colours. It is often common to change the colours of a logo to match the overall vision of a media, format, or a current campaign. I recommend you always begin the development process in black and white. Build your logo as a palette of achromatic tones. Then you can quickly and easily change the colours to match the company’s views and the requirements in their brief.

16. Using highly excessive contrast of the colours

During my years at university, while doing my Bachelor degree, a common topic for discussion was the contrast, its strength, and use. In fact, this is a very important technique so it is useful for designers to master it so they can use it in their everyday life. It is important for an artist to be able to combine colours in order for the important information to stand out from the rest.

This is not a valid rule for logos though. Be sure to use harmonious colours and palettes. The purpose of a logo is to be perceived as a whole because what matters is the combination of words, images and the message it transmits. Use contrasts effectively in your work, but do not bet on them when you develop the logos.

using unreadable typography or too many fonts

17. Using unreadable typography or too many fonts

Typographic elements are of utmost importance for the emotional impact of a design. The mistake of inadvertently selected fonts, which gives a false sense to the observer, is frequently noticed within our line of work.

A logo with too many different fonts is a mess!. If you want to bet on the contrast in typography as a technique in your logo design, I advise you not to use more than two different fonts in its construction. Exceeding this number can lead to mixed broadcasting and misspelled messages to the customers of the brand.

Be wise and choose carefully, so fonts are easy to read regardless of their size.

18. Not taking the advantage that kerning of the typography can give you

Once you’ve finished choosing the perfect font, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the gap between different letters. Too close or a split can lead to problems with the speed of reading and brand recognition. Do you imagine yourself as a client of a company whose name you cannot read by looking at their logo? Or take a minute watching it to find out how it is pronounced?

Try to make your design recognizable!

19. Using too thin lines in the different elements of your logo

What bothers me the most in other people’s work is the use of thin lines. If you use such lines and you scale down the project, you will notice that a significant part of them are lost and become difficult to perceive by the human eye. It can also result in poor print quality because with some of the printing methods (such as tampon printing, for example) can merge your items together and completely destroy the design and effect you want to achieve.

20. Stretching and deforming the typography

It is common for designers to distort the proportions of the fonts. This is a terrible idea because it makes it extremely difficult for the text to be noticed in the logo. It is absolutely forbidden to use it in your everyday life, any professional in the industry will confirm it for you.

21. Creating a too complicated form or using too many visual effects

Another common mistake in the industry is when logos contain too many details, shapes, and visual effects. Again, with some media and smaller sizes, these actions can significantly impair the quality of your work.

Successful logos are clear and simple to be more easily exempt from brand viewers. So I recommend that you avoid cluttering your character. Remember that a symbol is sending just a message, not ten different ones!

not proofreading your final logo design

22. Not proofreading your final logo design

The final proofreading and testing your decisions is the ultimate way and the most important step to finish any creative task with an incredible result.

I advise you never to forget to test how your work sits on different objects and media, such as T-shirts, mugs or folders. Try to experiment with the colours on which you put it on. Look at it as a symbol and a figure, not as a text inscription. Often, when I design a logo, I turn it around (like a mirror reflection) for a while, because that often helps me to notice different small errors that are difficult to see in any other way. Also, the viewers of the brand might have to see it this way, if a window is branded and they are on the other side if it.

Conclusion

The logo design process is highly focused on planning and testing. It is important for your logo to be transparent, pure, media independent and easy to perceive. If you avoid the mistakes as mentioned above, I promise that both you and the customer will be pleased with the final result of your project.

Now It’s time to sit down and make your own design. Take the time and try to create something unusual. Once finished, do not forget to come back to me and let me know how it went and what you created, because I know you will have something to share!

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