Previous posts have talked about logo shapes, creating unique and memorable designs, and other related topics. This article, however, will focus on the biggest mistakes you could ever make in designing a logo, and how to avoid them:

  • Too many fonts
    A logo is a symbol. It is meant to be “seen” rather than “read”, so you do not need too many fonts (or font sizes, for that matter). At most, you could use up to two font styles or sizes; more than that and the logo could become too hard to understand. Similarly, be careful of the font style that you plan to use and consider its sizing and spacing. Oftentimes, a simple font is the best way to go. Choose wisely as the font could either make or break your logo design.
  • Too complex design
    Is it important to have a logo that is unique? Absolutely. Do you have to make it complicated for it to stand out? Absolutely not. In fact, making a logo that has too many elements may only end up confusing your target audience. You do not need a complicated and abstract design to catch people’s attention. Again, a clear and simple logo is all you need to make an impact.
  • Dependence on color & effects
    If you need to add special effects or more colors to a logo to make it more interesting, then it probably wasn’t designed very well in the first place. While color may be important, there are times when it may have to be viewed in black and white. There may also be times when it will have to be printed in small size (such as a letterhead) or large size (such as a billboard). Thus, you need to ensure that it doesn’t rely too much on color or special effects. How can you do this? Begin with a black and white sketch, first; that way you can concentrate on the overall shape and concept of your logo. You can always add color and special effects later.
  • Overused cliches
    What images come to mind when you heard the word “brainstorming”? Lightning. Speech bubbles. Light bulbs. How about the term “cooperation”? A handshake. Arrows pointing toward each other. A linked chain. While there is nothing wrong with these images, they have become all too familiar. And boring. There are many other possible images to express these concepts, if you just look further. Stay away from overused cliches! Be original.
  • Stealing others’ designs
    Nowadays, it has become all too easy for just about anyone to download a logo, swap colors, modify the text, make a few changes here and there — and call it his or her own design. Obviously, this is downright illegal and unethical, and you could get sued for stealing in the future. Avoid using stock images and clip art as well, as they might be overused.

Designing a logo does not have to be complicated; neither should it use cliches or worse, copy another person’s ideas. Avoid making these mistakes, be original, and you will go far!