15 Logo Design Mistakes to Avoid

Post Written By:

Sharese / a Branding Coach helping creative entrepreneurs + freelancers gain confidence in their business with epic branding.


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First impressions are everything, especially for a startup business. With a split second to grab viewers attention, your logo can make or break your business. Do not have the business with excellent products or services no one will see because of poor design.

I want to help you make that great first impression. Better yet, how to not make the wrong impression. Design a great logo and look out for the common logo design mistakes.

1. No Research

Just looking at a logo, it may appear it was put together quick and easy, which is far from the truth. Before even touching a computer, hours of research should be the first step. Without research, the design may not connect with the desired audience. It is very tempting to get the idea you have on the computer. Slow down a little and create a design brief.

pro tip: Research pinterest, AIGA.org, read this book:

2. Designed By An Amateur

A lot of start-ups have a limited budget for branding. I totally get it. Business owners are turning to crowdsourcing sites or hiring a low-cost amateur.

The old saying "You get what you pay for" definitely applies when it comes to your logo. A large number of armature designs are stolen or designed poorly. Try to stay clear of Fiverr and crowdsourcing websites.

3. Designing in a Bubble

I often heard this phrase in design school. "Do not design in a bubble" which simply means, do not try to create the design all by yourself. You need fresh eyes on the logo. When you are the only one looking at the work there could be some things you do not see. It is always nice to have an unbias opinion.

4. Its Too Complicated

You like all of the bells and the whistles, so you try to cram them all into one logo. Major no no! Do not get caught up in all of the pretty elements. In reality, some of the best logos are simplistic such as; Nike, Fedex, and Apple.

5. Using Stock Art

Logos are supposed to be memorable and tailored to your business. Stock art will make your logo look very generic and similar to many others. If you purchased the stock art, who's to say one hundred other people did not buy the same artwork. 

6. Poor Font Choice

Font families and styles carry a unique personality. Pairing an elegant script font with a sports brand can cause a major disconnect. The best way to choose a great font for a logo is understanding the psychology of font.

There are great websites to purchase professional fonts such as; MyFonts, Font Squirrel, and Creative Market.

7. Designs Based on Personal Preference

"I really like this shade of pink" << Not an acceptable reason to choose a color, unless you are designing for only yourself. Basing decisions on personal preference will get you nowhere. What does your audience want? What make sense for the brand? 

8. Too Literal

Choosing a burger icon for a burger bar or house for a real estate company are obvious solutions. I am sure these images are the first things that pop into your head. An excellent example of why you must brainstorm and push the thought processes. The logo will blend in with the rest of the burger joints.

9. Relying on Effects

If a logo needs to have gradients, drop shadows, or other effects, you have a big problem. A strong logo stands alone without all of the bells and whistles. One practice many designers uses when designing a logo is creating in black and white. If the logo has a strong appearance in black and white, then you are on to something. 

Pro Tip: Stay away from Photoshop when designing a logo. Use a vector based software such as Adobe Illustrator.

10. Poor Color Choice

Color evokes a reaction and emotion. Have you ever notice the number of restaurants using the color red? One of the characteristics of red is encouraging an appetite. The color of your logo says a lot about your brand.

11. Not Receiving Proper Feedback

If you have a medical question, chances are you are going to consult with some in the medical field. The same applies with your logo. For the most useful feedback, be sure a professional designer is one of the people you are consulting with before releasing the logo.

Posting your logo randomly on social media waiting for that one person to give you a green light is not beneficial.

12. Using Raster Images

Have you ever seen an image with a pixelated look? Not very appealing. A raster image consists of pixels which are typical designing in Photoshop. Industry standard programs for logo design are Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw, which are vector software. Vector software uses points instead of pixels which make a very noticeable difference.

Tip: No really, stay away from Photoshop when designing a logo. 

13. Not Versatile

Your logo looks good on the computer but not printed on a sign. Big problem! Your logo needs to have the ability to hold its integrity at all times. A solution to this issue is to create logo variations for different situations. Be aware of how the logo behaves in different elements and make adjustments accordingly.

14. Too Many Fonts

Use no more than two fonts in a logo design. Keep it straightforward and clean. Overloading on font can cause confusion and a loss of interest.

15. Copying Others

Copying is becoming very common in the design industry. With search engines at our fingertips, it is very easy to find an image, save, and try to pass the design off as our own. Now instead of having a unique logo, your brand looks identical to another.

Let the Designing Begin!

Pinterest is a great place to gain inspiration and create a brand board. Rather you are choosing to DIY or hire a designer, remember research, DO NOT copy, incorporate elements DO NOT steal.

Ready to design your logo?