Whether you’re in the middle of a logo design process, revamping your existing logo, or just starting to think about your visual identity, there are common mistakes you can learn from.
1. Your logo isn’t flexible enough
Throughout your logo’s lifetime, you will come across many different channels where it must adapt in order to represent your brand effectively. A strong logo is only successful when it is complemented by a set of assets that contemplates variations in size, proportion, and color, among others. Too often we find logos that aren’t prepared to fit well on horizontal, square, or vertical spaces, for example. It is also essential to have a thumbnail version of the design that you can use for assets like favicon and small avatars.
2. Your logo is offensive or discriminatory
I can’t stress this enough: in a world where exposure is a few clicks away, we can’t afford to share material that hasn’t been double (triple!) checked for discriminatory content. It is impossible to please every single viewer, but we can at least make sure that there is nothing openly/intentionally offensive. Logos are symbols that carry associations, and we must carefully evaluate the shapes, colors, and typography we are pairing to see if there are silent messages that attempt against our ability to connect with the market or that come off as insensitive in relation to certain causes or issues.
3. Your logo isn’t prepped for various color systems
What do I mean by “prepped”? When a logo goes out into the vast world, it will be reproduced across a variety of mediums, including paper, screens, fabrics, plastics, among many others. Our goal as brand designers are to ensure that we have specified what the graphic should look like in all of those mediums. To do so, color equivalencies are crucial.
4. Your logo’s visual style is detached from the product
Regardless of whether your product is physical, digital, or service-based, there’s an aesthetic style that comes together with your current offer. Selling flower bouquets commands a different visual character than selling insurance. Let’s remember that a logo’s core function is to identify your offer in a saturated marketplace. A common mistake is to design a symbol that is far detached from the visual style that your target audience has come to associate with your product.
5. Your logo files aren’t scalable
This is a designer’s worst nightmare: they must implement your brand symbols in different channels and sizes, but your files don’t scale. Your brand’s identity ends up looking pixelated and unprofessional. In order to be accessible in multiple sizes, logo files must be created as vector artwork. Vector files shrink and expand without losing any quality or fidelity in relation to the original design. In other words: please have files like .ai or .eps* on hand when you are asked to share your logo — especially when you know it’ll be used to create a design asset.
Don't be a designer's nightmare, and help attract your ideal clients to your brand by avoiding these mistakes when having your logo designed.