Designing a logo for a client may seem simple but is, in fact, a daunting task that requires the patience and skill of an experienced designer. A logo’s function is to represent a client’s brand(s) or identity. Because a logo is designed specifically for customer recognition, it is important to avoid the common mistakes of logo design.
Some of the most common mistakes to avoid when designing logos include:
Creating a raster graphic instead of a vector graphic
Raster graphics are made up of pixels so when zoomed in on, these types of graphics appear pixelated. Because of this limitation, a raster graphic is virtually unusable for reproduction for larger media. A logo should be designed in a vector graphics program (i.e., Adobe Illustrator) to ensure that the logo can be scaled to any size. Because vector graphics are made up of mathematical paths, as opposed to pixels, it ensures consistency across all media in all sizes.
Thinking more is better
More is definitely not better in the case of designing logos. Keep complexity to a minimum as the logo should be simple. The simpler the logo design, the more recognizable and effective it will be.
Designing for specific media
Don’t create a design that just looks good on paper. The logo you create should work well on different media (e.g., T-shirts, letterheads, Web, etc.) and be readable and definable in any size it is reproduced in.
Choosing the wrong font
Choosing the wrong font can be a drastic mistake in logo design. Whether the font is unreadable or if the font simply looks unprofessional, it’s detrimental to the success of the logo. In fact, choosing the right font is one of the more difficult components of designing logos. There is no easy way to describe how to choose the right font. However, through trial and error, you can find successful combinations between the font and the logo. Once you narrow these combinations down to just a few, use your instincts to pick the best.
Using more than two fonts
Seeing too many typefaces in one logo generally causes confusion for its viewers. Restricting fonts to a maximum of two improves the legibility of the logo and improves brand recognition.
Incorporating trends into the logo
Design trends just as clothing trends go in and out of style. Your logo should be timeless. If you design a logo incorporating a recent trend, five years down the line, the logo may become obsolete and need a complete redesign. Since a logo is often a client’s identity, you should avoid this at all costs when designing logos.
Relying on color
Color is an important element when designing logos because it can foster brand recognition; however, it should not be a vital component in the logo design. If the logo relies too heavily on colors for its effect, it could backfire on you. In fact, a logo should be designed with the intention that it may need to be displayed in black and white. Once the design is complete, you may want to research the meanings of different colors and choose the color(s) that suit your client’s needs.
Designing to resemble another logo
Keep your work original. This is not to say that a logo cannot inspire the design for another logo. But, it is important not to cross the line of replicating a logo for two important reasons: you want to keep the logo unique and you ultimately want to maintain your professional integrity.
In addition to avoiding the common mistakes of designing logos, you should also ensure you are designing a quality logo by:
Doing research on the client to get a feel for their style and objectives
Brainstorming ideas and seeking constructive criticism on the ideas
Making sketches of your vision before designing on the computer
Working with and reviewing with the client before finalizing
By avoiding these common mistakes and collaborating with your client, you will improve your skills and become more successful in designing logos.