You can not complete a brand strategy without a memorable, versatile, and original logo design. A great logo captures the attention of your target audience, strengthens your brand identity, and distinguishes your business from the competition.
So, why is it that many of the most harmful logo design fails are still making their way into the final version of professional brand strategies?
There could be any number of contributing factors, but I think the biggest issue is that business owners don’t always know what separates a great logo design from one that will actually hinder their business. There’s so much more to the process than simply choosing a logo that “looks nice”— which is why I’ve decided to write this blog.
Today, I’ll be sharing the worst logo fails businesses make so that you can pick a logo design that is not only visually appealing, but also flexible, timeless, and distinctive.
5 Logo Design Fails to Avoid at All Costs
1. Overlooking The Importance of Shades and Hues
This is one of the most common logo mistakes I encounter as a designer. Many brands choose muted or pastel colors because they like the appearance of them, without realizing that these tones don’t show up as well on printed materials. It’s also more likely the colors will get overpowered by other design elements, giving your logo a less eye-catching effect. Plus, contract is a key design element, and if you’re using soft or dull hues it becomes more difficult to establish a visual hierarchy in your design.
For these reasons, I always recommend clients be extremely strategic in using pale shades and hues in their logo designs. If you’re committed to a softer tone, you’ll have to consider how you will balance it out with other visual elements to ensure the design maintains its impact.
2. Choosing Confusing or Indecipherable Fonts
Ah, another tell-tale sign of bad logo design. This one can be particularly damaging, since it often prevents a brand’s target audience from being able to quickly identify or relate with their trademark.
There’s a fine line between interesting and illegible, and business owners should always be cognizant of that line when deciding on their logo.
The font you choose should align with your brand identity and have a clean, contemporary look. Also, be careful when bolding or italicizing fonts as this can often make the text harder to read.
3. Designing the Logo in the Wrong File Format
I couldn’t complete a list of logo design fails without including this point. There are a variety of different formats logos can be created in and each format serves a unique purpose. Not having different versions of your logo available to you could cause issues in the long run.
A scalable vector graphic (SVG), for example, is intended for web use and provides a more sharp, crisp digital image. An encapsulated postscript (EPS) file, however, is intended for print and can be scaled for all sorts of materials, including billboards, signs, and magazines.
Many business owners falsely assume that the .JPG version of their logo is all they need. This is a major faux pas! JPG images do not scale well and appear pixelated on printed materials. Having the EPS version of the file is necessary, so working with a graphic designer who will provide you with multiple files and logo formats is always advised.
Avoiding this common logo mistake is the best way to ensure your marketing projects go smoothly in the future.
4. Neglecting the Significance of Variety
Many business owners think a single version of their logo will be sufficient, but this is rarely the case. Having several options when it comes to branding your business provides you with more creative possibilities.
Let’s take the major music streaming platform, Spotify, for example. They have created four different versions of their logo icon by alternating their brand colours, giving them flexibility in terms of which icon will appear best in a wide range of materials or online formats.
It’s also important to have logo variations in terms of orientation, as it provides you with more flexibility in your design compositions. Below is an example of logo orientations from popular project management software Asana. Notice how the second is more narrow, allowing the brand to place their logo in places the first variation might not easily fit into.
I always advise my clients to be proactive in creating variations and orientations of their logo. It’s one of the worst logo fails—but fortunately it’s easily avoided!
5. Being Oblivious About Potential Copyright Issues
Of all the logo design mistakes on my list, this one is by far the most critical. Choosing a logo that’s similar to another company’s logo could result in legal action being taken against your business. Many brands have had to forfeit their logo and branding, as well as pay penalties and other damages because they failed to do their research before deciding upon their logo design.
To avoid this, I always recommend working with an experienced and qualified logo designer to ensure all of your bases have been covered.
Are You Ready to Work With an Edmonton Logo Designer Who Will Help You Avoid These Common Mistakes?
I won’t let you fall victim to logo design fails. I invite you to learn more about my process and the steps I take to ensure each client gets the absolute best results. Or, if you’re ready to get your project started, reach out to me and we can chat about your branding needs.