Think of your favorite brands. Chances are the logos for some or your favorite organizations convey the values, personality, and goals of that company in a single glance. If done correctly, a company’s logo should invoke an emotional response and draw customers in to learn more about what that organization represents. If done poorly, well… it only takes a quick internet search for “logo fails” to see how bad logo design can hurt your brand!
Although the giants of the corporate world such as Apple, Nike, and Target have broadly recognized logo designs that seem simple, you can be assured that much time and thought went into the placement, color scheme, and messaging. For example, one of the companies that we deal with on a regular basis, FedEx, demonstrates their speedy service via the use of negative or white space to reveal a hidden arrow inside their logo. Since their 1994 redesign, FedEx has won over 40 awards for this simple yet powerful message.
There are many options when it comes to creating a logo for your brand. But whether you’re going the DIY route or hiring a professional graphic designer (our recommendation!), you can be sure your first logo impression is a good one by avoiding these 5 logo design mistakes.
1. Not having a one-color version of your logo.
While colorful logos can seem cool on screen or on paper, they don’t always translate well when converted to fabrics or promotional products – and they definitely cost more to print. Don’t rely on color to make your logo great. Some of the most universally recognizable brands have a global reach partly due to the simplicity of their logo. Some of these global brands have become the inspiration behind phone apps, board games, and even quiz shows where players must identify brands only by their outlines, putting the user’s consumer knowledge to the test. Save money and make a bigger impact by keeping your brand simple. Start with a one-color, black & white version and then add color or special effects to show more brand personality.
2. Poor choice of typeface.
Font choice can make or break a logo design. The style, shape, and continuity of the fonts you utilize in your branding convey a message to those who view it. Fonts such as Comic Sans or Papyrus may seem fun, but their overuse in the corporate world has turned them into internet fodder for savvy buyers. (Check out this entire site dedicated to Comic Sans for a good laugh!) Crisp, sharp fonts send a message professionalism and punctuality. Handwritten fonts convey a more relaxed mood, but could come off as inauthentic. Think carefully about the message that you want to send when choosing logo fonts. Your goal is to inspire those who come in contact with your brand to learn more about you, not inspire them to question your font choice.
3. Designing in Raster instead of Vector.
Your logo needs to be clear and crisp at a range of sizes, including from very small for business cards, to very large, for billboards. Designing your logo as a vector image makes editing and reproduction a much simpler process. Vector artwork is created using mathematically precise points. Vector artwork can be resized to ANY size and maintain clarity. By contrast, raster artwork uses dots or pixels to create images. When resized the image may become distorted – like standing too close to a Monet! Make sure your logo is designed using vector image software such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw, and be sure to get a .eps, .ai or .svg version of your logo to ensure that your brand will look great at any size.
4. Not kerning your fonts!!
Haven’t heard of kerning? Not a problem! Kerning refers to the adjustment of space between two specific characters. Although this may be perceived as a trivial adjustment, the space between your fonts can actually have a major impact on your overall design. Without kerning, the hidden arrow in the FedEx logo wouldn’t be possible! Especially when it comes to font heavy logo designs, try to “see” your logo as a set of shapes rather than letters. Make sure the spacing between shapes is visually even or makes sense for the overall look and feel of your logo.
When it comes to logo design, simple is often better. A good rule of thumb: make sure your logo will look good on a postage stamp as well as on a billboard. Highly detailed or colorful designs are difficult to reproduce on a smaller scale such as apparel embroidery. Make your design timeless by avoiding current trends for logo design. Keep it simple and your brand will outlast any trend!
Visual identity is important. When thinking about a new logo for your startup, or toying with the idea of a redesign of your current one, avoiding these 5 mistakes will help your corporate brand shine!
Ready to get that brand out to the world? Say, “Hi!” and our team can help you discover the best print and promo to showcase your brand.