Logos, as we all know, are an important representation of a brand. Whenever we see or think of a certain brand, one of the first things that comes to mind is its logo! Logos help customers remember who you are and why you are in business. This is the reason why logo designs should be sophisticated, stunning and memorable, without missing out on all the essentials that are part of a certain brand’s ideology.
Unfortunately, some are tempted to DIY their logo using free and easy tools to make the job a lot easier! There might be a lot of templates available from these tools, but if some basic branding principles are ignored it will become boring, useless and boring in no time! To recognize and avoid a bad logo design, here are the guidelines to follow:
What is a Logo?
A logo is part of a branding scheme, and while to others it might seem like a trivial task, it actually has a big impact on a buyer’s attitude & perception towards a certain product or service. This is one of the reasons why logos are well thought out. It is simply a great representation of the brand’s identity, including its values, mission and vision, goals and objectives.
Why Does Your Brand Need it?
There’s plenty of reasons why having a logo is essential for a brand. Here are some of them:
- To Grab Attention
There is no better way to grab the attention of consumers than to display the stunning look of your logo (that is of course, if your logo is stunning enough!)
Large companies believe that 2 seconds of attention is enough to convince potential consumers to try their product or service. And if this is what you are aiming for, then logo designs should successfully, effectively, and in an engaging way communicate your core business values to your target audience.
- It’s the Foundation of Your Brand Identity
As part of your strategy to strengthen your brand identity, logos become essential as they tell a story about your brand to your target audience. Depending on your design, this can influence their emotions, attitudes and purchasing decisions.
- It’s Memorable
Logos are symbols that can instantly connect with consumers. Every time your logo is seen, it will trigger a memory of what your business does and what they think about it.
- It Separates You From Competition
Want to stand out from the crowd? It starts with a unique logo design! Your logo can represent your business ideals, such as quality and sustainability. There are many ways your logo can convey your message to your consumers, and this will prove that you are better than your competition.
How to Make a Logo?
Before you can create a stunning and memorable logo that will leave a lasting impression on your consumers, consider these steps:
- Understand Why You Need a Logo
Each brand has its own reason for wanting a logo. To be able to create a successful logo design, start listing your reasons so that you know which direction to take as you go along.
- Define Your Brand Identity
This includes the core values, ideals, goals and objectives of your brand.
- Find Inspiration For Your Design
Magazines, newspapers, web pages, social media, and other relevant sources are useful for finding inspiration.
- Check Out the Competition
When looking at your competition’s logo, point out their strengths and weaknesses so that you can create something better and unique.
- Choose Your Design Style
The ideas, the inspirations, the emotions which correspond to the identity of your brand are translated into design. Choose the right logo design aesthetic that best suits your brand!
- Find the Right Type of Logo
There are different types of logos to choose from (letters, wordmarks, pictorial marks, abstract logo marks, etc.) so be sure to pick the one that best suits the brand and the overall aesthetic to achieve a unique logo.
- Pay Attention to Color
Colors evoke a certain mood which can affect the attitude of the buyer and their purchasing decision. So make sure you choose your colors wisely.
- Pick the Right Typography
Work with 4 basic types of fonts that work well with your logo’s aesthetic.
- Communicate with Your Designer
Be specific in your requests to give your designer an understanding of what you like. Also be open to suggestions. When it comes to quality, also consider communicating about pricing options.
- Evaluate Your Logo Options
This includes asking for feedback from friends, colleagues, and potential clients to help you make better decisions.
- Integrate Your Logo Design into Your Brand
This includes all branding media for your business needs like website design, packaging design, cards, etc.
What are Bad Logos?
Unfortunately, bad logos are floating around in the market, and if you’re meticulous enough, you might be able to spot them right away!
Bad logos are complex logos that are difficult to understand. In addition to being unrelated to the brand itself, they do not represent it in any way! What comes to mind most of the time is confusion, poor recognition, excessive complexity, and obscurity.
When logos are bad, you don’t expect them to make lasting impressions on consumers and they won’t stay in the market for long. This is why bad logos should be avoided.
How to Recognize if it’s Good or Bad?
You don’t have to wait until you become a pro to recognize a good or bad logo. Here are some guidelines:
- Appropriate representation of a brand’s core values, mission, vision, goals and objectives
- Quality and uniqueness of the design, layout, scheme and concept.
- Follows the 5 Golden Principles of Logo Design:
- Choice of colors and typography
- Speaks to the minds of the audience directly without confusion.
- Adaptability to changes as the business grows
Good and Bad Logo Difference
To easily distinguish a good logo from a bad one, here are some of their differences:
- Good Logo
- Simple design that consumers can easily recognize and remember the most.
- Simple enough to be able to be reduced or increased while still being beautiful.
- Captures the viewer’s attention and leaves a strong positive impression.
- Looks equally good on any web device and on any type of printed media.
- Has meaning and relevance.
- Bad Logo
- Uses raster graphics which instead of making your logo bigger, (do not scale up) only get increasingly pixelated edges.
- Consists of hard-to-read fonts.
- Too complicated design, difficult to remember and barely recognizable.
- Wrong font manipulation & wrong color combinations.
- Sometimes it can lead to very funny or embarrassing consequences.
- Comes in only one version/orientation.
- Doesn’t have any connection with the rest of the visual identity.
- Aren’t consistent with your brand voice.
How to Avoid Bad Logos
Whether you are a pro or just new to logo design, creating a bad logo is always a possibility. In fact, honing the skill takes a lot of time and effort. Here are some tips you can follow to avoid it:
- Avoid Designing by Yourself
Even though it will save you money, without logo design knowledge or experience, your work will likely be wasted. If you want to build a stronger brand identity, don’t settle for lower returns. Better to call a professional!
- Avoid Taking Favor from Friend
When it comes to logo design, it is best not to entrust this project to an inexperienced friend.
- Understand the Purpose of the Business
Before wasting time, it is best to fully understand the details of the business objective. Misunderstandings can lead to bad results.
- Avoid Making it Complicated
When looking for a variety of resources for inspiration and creativity, it is important not to lose the thread of simplicity and clarity. No matter how smart the design or concept is, if it seems complex and confusing, consumers are likely to misunderstand the message you want to convey.
- Avoid Playing with Colors Unnecessarily
Often, overdoing it with the colors will not make the logo shine. If some adjustments aren’t necessary, you might as well discard the idea and instead focus on simple color combinations that clearly emphasize the concept of your design.
- Avoid Following the Market Trend
While market trends are a great help in coming up with great ideas, keep in mind that following them can lose the uniqueness of your design. Even if your competition does, always remember that the focus on the concept weighs more than any current market trend.
- Avoid Experimenting with Font & Size
Don’t be tempted by the many font choices available. Be sure to do your research so that you can choose the most appropriate font, size, and spacing for your design.
8. Avoid Raster Image & Graphic
Some logo designs include images and graphics to grab the attention of consumers. But avoid using a raster image and graphic if your design requires scaling up.
9. Have a Final Touch
Before you pass up your design or publish it, perform a final inspection to make sure nothing is missing or out of proportion. Give it a professional look to make sure your design is perfect in every way.
How to Overcome if You’ve Chosen a Bad Logo?
When an initial logo turns out bad, the good news is that you can modify some of its elements to improve your design. Here are a few tips:
- Use Color Contrasts to Increase Legibility
Use free tools to create new color schemes for your design. Choose a nice color combination that will make your logo more pleasing to the eye, especially when using it as an app icon.
- Unify Logo Elements to Improve Visual Consistency
Improve elements (ex: symbol vs company name) that appear visually disconnected to avoid confusion.
- Add Color(s) to Enhance Brand Name Recognition
This is especially applicable to logos with unusual spelling. For example, in order for consumers to remember the correct company spelling, highlight two parts of the name using two different colors.
- Highlight Certain Logo Elements to Make Your Logo Pop
If some important elements of your logo do not stand out, you might as well highlight them with colors, shapes, etc.
- Pair Your Logo Name with a Relevant Logo Icon
As a general rule, the logo name and icon should complement each other. When this is done, your logo will appear meaningful, understandable and relevant rather than obscure or abstract.
- Avoid Misleading Letter Case Combination
If there are some confusing letter case combinations, such as a lowercase letter mistaken for an uppercase letter, then it’s best to replace or edit them.
- Avoid Misleading Letterform Alteration
Although changes to the shape of letters often improve the appearance of a logo, when done incorrectly, they can create confusion for users. If this is the case, it is best to reapply the shape of the original letter to the drawing.
Here are some tips, tricks and tips for recognizing and avoiding bad logo design. Remember, bad logos don’t help your branding strategy, so if you’re serious about it, think carefully about how you’re going to create one for your brand. Otherwise, hire an expert or professional to help you get started.