Guest Post – Crucial Mistakes When Creating a Logo

Today’s post is a guest post from Brian Jens, a graphic designer, working for DesignContest. Here, we see an example of how visual design tips can have sustainability added into them. I’ve highlighted where sustainable ideas were added to a description of logo design. This post highlights that sustainable design is about more than Web Performance Optimization (WPO) – it extends into Design and Art Direction.Thanks, Brian!

 Crucial Mistakes Made When Creating a Logo

a set overlaid flat stop signs

Good logo design is important for every business: it helps to distinguish company or brand, to make it recognizable to target audience. But good logos are also hard to create, especially if you are inexperienced.

The design industry changes and develops rapidly and so something that was trendy yesterday is not today. You can avoid logo obsolence, though, if you learn and apply the principles of sustainable design into your logos.

Sustainable graphic design implies we create logos that are meaningful, created with the users in mind and can work in the future too.

It can be hard to make logos that are sustainable, but it’s much easier when you at least understand what you shouldn’t do. That’s why I’ve picked out the most common mistakes designers make while creating a logo. Try to avoid them if you want your logos to be really good and sustainable.

  1.      Copying Other Logos Style

One of the most common design advices is to seek inspiration in other designers’ work. But some inexperienced designers might take this advice too literally and simply copy the style of a certain famous logo instead of coming up with something on their own. This ruins the whole idea of a logo: instead of creating something memorable, unique and associated with their client’s company only, they make a logo that is already associated with another company or brand. Moreover, it affects both them and their clients pretty badly as the plagiarism isn’t tolerated.

And copied logos cannot be sustainable at all as they are meaningless. While sustainable design is all about creating something that has real value, logos that remind of other ones aren’t valuable at all. Duplication does not improve sustainability.

Of course, copying can be unintentional too (when you copy a logo subconsciously, for example), but it doesn’t make the damage less serious. To avoid this, always do research while designing a logo and check the logos of company’s or brand’s competitors.

Copying existing logo styles is confusing

  1.      Using Stock Images

Though stock websites are full with beautiful images that definitely can look good in your logo, avoid using them. The logo has to be unique, but it won’t be if you use someone else’s images for it. Stock images are used everywhere, so it is possible to find another logo with the image you used. Moreover, logos that contain stock images look cheap and amateur and they aren’t sustainable too as they are not unique.
stock logos are not really design

  1.      Misusage Of The Fonts

The font (typeface) is the important part of the logo (and sometimes the logo even consists of the font only). That’s why it is important to choose the font wisely, to be sure that it delivers the right message and looks good with the image. You should also avoid using too many fonts in logo: it can look overloaded and it increases the carbon footprint of the website. One or two fonts are usually are more than enough.

Misuse of fonts Mangled Mastercard Brand Identity

  1.      Too Abstract Or Complex

When designers strive to create an original logo, they sometimes overdo it, making the design too detailed or abstract. The logo should be clearly understood and easily remembered, which can be hard if it’s too abstract. It also has to look good in different sizes and that can be hard if the logo has many details: they usually merge when the logo is reproduced at small scales.

Abstract and complex logos are hardly recognized by customers, which ruins the whole idea of a logo. Moreover, if they are big, their complexity increases the carbon footprint of the website.

overly complex logo design for logobuzz

  1.      Color Problems

Colorful logos can be bright and eye-catching, but they also can become very confusing. Avoid using too many colors (four or less is enough) and making special effects based on color. Logos sometimes have to be displayed only in one color, or in black and white and so if all accents are based on color, they’ll disappear. Be sure that your logo is inclusive so even the color blind people could see it correctly.

Try designing a logo in black and white first: in that case you’ll be sure that it is strong enough by itself and can be used in any color.

sports bar logo with bad color palette

  1.      Technical Problems

Logos are usually designed in Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw: this software allows you to create vector graphics. However, not all designers (especially inexperienced ones) know how important it is to create logos in vector format.

Raster logo cannot be enlarged freely: at some point it becomes pixelated. It is also harder to edit. So if you want your logo to look good in any size, always do it in vector.

You have to be sure that your vector logo isn’t too complex. One of the main principles of a sustainable design is to think about all users, including the ones that use mobile phones actively. And if vector logo is complex and has too many details, it is harder to render. Such logos can drain the battery much more than the raster ones.
raster vs. vector image

Even an inexperienced designer can make good logos. All that is necessary for this is to learn to avoid the most common mistakes and to think about the customer instead of yourself. If you do so, and look at good logo design examples, you will eventually become skilled and professional logo designer.

Bio: Brian Jens is graphic designer, working for DesignContest. He enjoys researching and writing about design trends and tips. Feel free to send your brightest ideas to Brian if you want him to write something for you.

Sources for Images:

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