Whether you are a start-up business or are refreshing your branding, a logo is something you can’t afford to get wrong. Although there is lots more to branding than a simple logo design, the logo is central to it and is the image you want to be instantly recognisable and to create an immediate brand awareness.
However, there are almost as many poor logos as there are good ones, and while it can be hard to quantify how much damage a poor logo design can do to a developing business, there are certainly some mistakes you can easily avoid to ensure your logo is contributing positively to your brand recognition and your marketing success, so here we have created a quick rundown of the six most common mistakes businesses make when creating a logo design.
1) Too much detail
Ideally a logo needs to be memorable and unique, but it also has to be appealing and attractive, and trying to achieve all these things with one image can lead people to over-complicate the design process. A logo with too much detail can be off-putting because people don’t instantly know what it is, and one element of it could remind them of something else, even if the overall design is unique. Also, you need to think about how the logo translates to different platforms. You need your logo to work on stationary, social media, printed literature, web design, packaging and maybe also premises, so too much detail may not enable this and may be compromised by different print qualities. The main lesson is; keep it simple.
2) Outdated too soon
Fashions and trends change in graphic design just as quickly as anywhere else, so colours, fonts, shading or styles that are in vogue today, might become very quickly outdated, so you need to be careful not to follow trends too closely, unless you can somehow build in a process of evolution. You need to be thinking about how your brand will change over the years, but you want to be in control of this, and not changing the logo because it looks naff all of a sudden. There is a lot to be said for classic colours and designs because although they might be considered safe or boring, they are enduring and always popular for a reason. So be careful not to be too dazzled by what is currently trendy.
3) Doesn’t stand out
Your logo needs to cover a number of tasks, but a major one is that it helps you stand out against the opposition and creates an instant brand recognition. It should resonate and connect with the customers within that industry or sector. To do this the logo has to stand out, and while there is an art to this, the main thing to avoid is having a dull or boring logo that isn’t doing any work for your product and if anything just keeps it in the background. A cardinal sin is letting your product merge in with others, so make sure your logo differentiates the product and helps it stand out.
4) Wrong for the market
The first lesson of building a brand identity is knowing your market and who your product is appealing to. An extension to this is ensuring your logo fits in with this market, so use colours and images that will appeal to your market; not dull and conservative if your market is young and energetic, for example, and not too bright and trendy if your market is traditional and more discreet. You should be able to find colours, fonts and images which fit your market, but the best way to check this is to hold some workshops or presentations where you can test a selection of logo designs with people from your typical market demographic. And ideally you need to listen to their feedback and adapt your logo to what is most likely to work.
5) Imitation isn’t flattery
Tempting though it might be to find a successful logo and tweak it to your needs, the chances are people are going to notice. Even if you avoid copyright issues, your product is likely to fail because a blatantly copied logo looks cheap and inferior and suggests a lack of flair and imagination, which won’t reflect well on your brand. The best way to position your product is as something new, exciting and original, so this is what the logo should be also.
6) Don’t DIY: use a professional designer
You might have a notepad full of doodles and sketches which you reckon you can transfer to digital images, but have you thought about scalability? Do you know the best fonts to use? Will this image resolution work on all formats? Even from a technical point of view you should use a professional designer who knows about these things, but they will also have a good handle on how your message, style and ethos can best be translated to the market, so you should heed their expert advice and not try to do it yourself just to save a few quid, particularly when it is something so important.
If you need any advice on logo design and branding, contact Rebus to help you build a branding concept or simply create a new logo design.