Logo blunders are more costly than time invested and money spent. By failing to avoid these logo pitfalls you will have an enormous hurdle to overcome just to get customers. People are visual creatures; we subconsciously use memory recall on a daily basis in order to make important financial and emotional decisions. You need to think of your logo as an imprint, something easily recognizable that people will automatically associate with your brand. It is less about what you should include in your logo design and more about what you shouldn’t. Think clean, think simple, and think what best represents your brand. Be sure to avoid these 5 logo mistakes at all costs!
1) Not putting in the time to get it right.
Start planning early, write down objectives, and play around with different ideas. Ask yourself important questions, “What kind of symbol do I want to use? An image, an abstract, or maybe a monogram?” While your business is your passion, you need to find a way to emotionally detach from your logo to a certain extent. Your taste may be immaculate, your vision innovative, but your logo isn’t about you; it is about what your target audience will see and how it relates to your brand. Do it right the first time by mapping it out and don’t be afraid to start over if it isn’t working.
2) Total chaos.
Your logo should be as minimalist as possible while appropriately representing your brand. If you step back and say to yourself, “Is this too much?” Chances are it is. Too many fonts, too many colors, too many words all lead to the same outcome; alienating your audience. You don’t want to overwhelm with this important symbol, you want to imprint. Choose a design that is easily remembered and stands out from your competitors. Think clean, appealing, and appropriate.
3) Copying competitors to gain an edge.
Your competitors may be successful but what works for them might not work for you. Originality won’t only score you integrity points, it will get you noticed. Scoping out the competition is an important step in evaluating your brand but in order to position yourself as the better option, you can’t blend, you have to stand alone. You don’t want to look like a carbon copy, a cheap knockoff. Find a logo that when placed next to your competitors, sets you apart. This may be as simple as a color choice or opposing symbol, but the effects will be everlasting.
4) Ignoring your brand voice when creating your logo.
When Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying”, he must have had branding on the brain. An audience won’t be impacted by the details of your logo but instead by how it makes them feel. Do you want your brand to feel aggressive, edgy, and spontaneous? Or would you like it to convey subdued, patient, and assured? You can have your business perfectly formulated, know exactly what message you want to display, but without correlating your logo to this message it simply won’t register.
5) “Looks good enough on letterhead!”
This isn’t just a symbol that is going to go on letterhead; it will potentially be printed large and small on signage, websites, clothing and marketing literature. It needs to be equally as recognizable when printed on different substrates as well as in black and white.
Look at logo creation as an opportunity, get it right the first time or you run the risk of being unseen.
Amber Schmechel is a business writer who focuses on topics such as branding, logos, and entrepreneurship. She is the Public Relations Director at www.LogoGarden.com.