Logo design is an often overlooked aspect of a company. Now that you’re more comfortable with the process and working to expand your business, you’ll need to think about a logo. Don’t underestimate the power of a well-designed logo–it’s the image that represents your business, and it’s the image that goes on all of your communications and print materials. When are you ready for a logo, take some time to think about how you want your brand to be perceived. If you’re still in the planning stages, then read our article for some tips on choosing a company name.
Here are some mistakes people make when designing a logo:
Plain or hard to read font
Many small business owners just use their names or their business names as logos. While this is fine for some businesses, business owners often make the mistake of choosing a font that “looks” good. Sometimes, this results in a logo with Comic Sans or some cursive that makes the name difficult to make out. In addition to looking unprofessional, these mistakes make the business look amateurish.
Take a look at the fonts below and think about what emotions or thoughts each of those fonts evoke. The cursive font, while “fancy,” is a bit confusing at first glance while the font below the cursive conveys a sense of casualness. The two fonts on the right are Courier New (top) and Times New Roman (bottom).
Cheap graphics that look like they come from clip art
Small business owners often look for ways to save money, and many will attempt to create their logos using free logo design websites online or through their word processing suite. The result is that the business owners use very cheap graphics, and in some cases, graphics that may not accurately represent the brand.
Using free clip art images or cartoonish images gives customers the wrong idea about your business, namely that you’re too cheap to pay for a professional logo designer. Take a look at a sample clip art image below that some small business might use as part of a logo for some auto-related business. These kinds of images don’t inspire confidence.
Inappropriate or suggestive graphics
Some businesses can get away with sexually suggestive graphics, but having a crude or “gimmicky” graphic can be a turnoff for your customers. You don’t want your customers looking at your website or logo and making fun of it. While memorable, these kinds of graphics don’t represent your brand very well. For example, one such design was the University of Santa Catarina’s Oriental Studies logo, which was immediately pulled in 2015 after it became viral on social media platforms.
Cluttered graphics or confusing graphics
When people look at your logo, they should have an idea of what service you provide or what you do. If you are a small photography studio, then you don’t want to use graphics of trees or flowers in your logo, even if you specialize in that type of photography. Similarly, if you provide a service, like computer repair, then you don’t want to use a graphic of a doctor. Such confusing images will frustrate your audience and hide what your business provides.
Too bright colors or brash conflicting colors
Businesses often think that being flashy will attract customers. They make take out advertisements with business lettering that is bright and flashy, but this may not be a good idea since such presentation may look gaudy. Colors may work for some businesses, but keep your audience in mind. When you randomly choose colors for each letter, you may get something like this:
Now that we’ve covered some mistakes people often make when designing their logos, here are some helpful tips. While logo design is a matter of preference and industry, many big businesses are moving toward minimalistic, clean designs. McDonald’s, for example, has dropped all lettering and shading in favor of a simple, yellow arched “M.”
Use colors with care
We saw above how using colors randomly can be gaudy, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid colors altogether. Colors can inspire certain moods. When we see the color green, we may think “growth” or “organic,” while the color white may evoke thoughts of “purity” and “peace.”
Colors and their significance are ingrained in our psychologies and cultures. It’s the reason why brides wear white at weddings and why we wear black at funerals. Keep in mind though that colors and their meanings differ from culture to culture. So if you’re hoping to reach an international audience, you may want to look into the implications for other cultures. For instance, whereas the bride may wear white at a wedding in the US, white would be worn by people at a Chinese funeral.
Come up with a logo that tells a story
Creating a logo that represents your brand is no easy task. You want a logo that is unique and tells a story if you are using some specific kinds of graphics. Perhaps the most famous of these logos is the Toyota logo with its three ovals, each symbolizing the customer, brand, and business philosophy. These ovals, or ellipses, are arranged in a stylized “T” for Toyota.
Simple can be good
Your logo doesn’t have to be elaborate with many graphics representing the business. One favorite style today is the minimalist logo. This design philosophy is modern and clean. If you include both text and image in your logo, both should be separate from each other so that you can always use the image separately. Many brands have moved toward this simplistic design, like McDonald’s, Twitter, and Nike.
Your logo should scale well
Remember that your logo will appear on all your documents, so it should be able to resize and still look good. It should look clear on a business card as well as on the front of your building if you have a physical presence. Your logo will be on letters, emails, and any promotional material, so scale the logo to different sizes to get an idea of how each size would look. Adjust accordingly–if your text is small in comparison to the image, then such a logo may not look good on a business card.
Don’t make drastic changes
Once you’ve decided on a logo, you’ll have it everywhere. Thus, investing time in your logo is essential–if you don’t take the logo seriously and your business grows large enough, you’ll have to take some time to redesign your logo. And if you do a complete redesign, you’ll have lost all of the brand recognition you’ve established with your old logo. Additionally, you’ll have to redesign all of your communications and promotional materials to reflect your new logo. Once you’ve decided on a logo, it’s easier to make small, subtle changes rather than creating a new one.
A good logo design is an essential part of your business. You may not need a logo immediately. But once your business begins to grow, you’ll want to have a logo that represents what you do. You don’t have to go it alone when creating a logo. Numerous websites will offer logo designs for small businesses, and we listed some below.
Design Contest and 99 Designs allow you to set a price to elicit bids from designers. You can choose different packages that will determine how many submissions you’ll receive. This way, you get many logos to choose from without having to contact ten different designers and having to manage ten different people.
If you already know what you want and want a cheaper alternative to logo design, then you can try any number of freelance websites like DesignCrowd or Fiverr. These sites allow you to set your price for different freelance designers (amongst other specialties). The quality of the results you get will vary widely though.