Logos are such an important part of your business. They are going to be the first thing that people see and are going to communicate who you are as a business (whether good or bad). There have been so many logos done poorly that I think it should be addressed and corrected. Business owners can learn from these people's mistakes.
1.) The logo is too busy.
This is a very common problem for business owners. Busyness can be displayed through too much going on in the logo to where it is unclear of what the logo represents or through too many colors making it hard on the eyes visually. Some things that you'll want to avoid are having too many colors (I would limit a logo to 3 colors maximum), too many typefaces (i.e. bold, cursive, serif, sans serif, etc.) and not jumbling them all together, or too many images causing confusion for anyone to understand what the logo is even for.
2.) The logo contains too much information.
This goes right along with being too busy, but pertains more to whether the logo is giving clear information to whoever sees it. It is so important to keep your logo clear and concise. The simpler it is to understand (and quickly) the better. Try to avoid using overly detailed images within your logo, using too much text, or artwork that distracts the customers attention from the intended message.
3.) The logo is not cohesive with your type of business.
This can be such a detrimental blow to your business. As you may know, a logo is the first impression to your business, so if your logo somehow gives a message that your business has nothing to do with, people will automatically assume that you do what your logo associates with. Take the image to the right for example, if you just glance at that image and looking only at the illustration, what message does it send to you? If you answered health, agriculture, earth, or anything having to do with leaves or green things then you are correct. Is it a non-profit that dedicates it's time and efforts to clean up the earth by establishing national clean up your city days? No!!! It's a business consulting business!
The logo misrepresents the initial message that they wanted to relay to their customers and it could have caused so many people to automatically write it off because they were looking for business help not a non-profit Earth-saving business. Make sure that your logo sends the viewer the right message. Your logo and business' mission should be cohesive and communicating the same message. Try to avoid using artwork that is used in a certain industry more often than in the industry your company is a part of.
Below are examples of logos that are just unclear:
4.) The logo is subject to past trends.
I think that this might be the most common mistake made by business owners with their logo decisions. Of course everyone and their mom wants a logo that has the coolest of cool design work going on. "Give me a logo that is hip and trendy!" someone might say, but this is a mistake. We all know that trends come and go and that is something that you do not want for your business. Let's say you started your business in the early 2000's (great time to be a kid) and you got the newest hip look for your logo, maybe its something in the style of Lisa Frank. It's a clothing business targeting the 20 somethings. I will tell you right now (being a 20 something) that I would see that "beautiful" Lisa Frank style logo and lean over to my friend and say, "They can't be serious. There is no way I'm buying anything from them." (very much exaggerated, but you get the point) The point is that your logo shouldn't follow any of the popular trends of whatever era your business starts. Keep your logo simple and timeless.
5.) The logo is a look-a-like of another brand's logo.
There is no reason for your logo to look exactly like another logo. There are a couple reasons for this. One, whatever logo you copy, your viewers are going to view your logo through the lens of the copied logo. For example, Boulders Coffee looks an awful lot like... What's that one multi billion dollar coffee business... Oh yeah, STARBUCKS!!! (You shouldn't mess with Starbucks). So, Starbucks has set up a reputation; efficiency and quality. Because Boulders Coffee logo is so similar to Starbucks now their customers are going to view their business the same that they would Starbucks regardless if Boulders Coffee's mission is the same or not. Two, forgery is illegal, so if you want to avoid lawsuits from big companies (or anyone really), then just stay clear of copying. Be unique and original with your logo design to avoid those two things.
6.) The logo includes clip art.
DON'T INCLUDE CLIP ART EVER!!!
SO BAD! SO VERY VERY BAD!!!
All in all I have given you some very good examples of what to avoid in creating your own logo design or proven that you might need a change to your current logo. It is so important to have a logo that is simple, timeless, clear, and concise. Don't be like these businesses who royally messed up. Hire someone who knows what they are doing or learn and do it yourself.
Feel free to ask me questions in the comments, thanks.
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