One of the most critically important elements in any brand’s long-term marketing strategy is its logo. Above and beyond pretty much everything else across the board, it usually ends up being the logo that represents the single most immediately identifiable thing about a successful brand.
Contrary to popular belief however, outstanding logo design isn’t an easy job. You may look at some of the simplest brand logos that represent some of the biggest businesses in the world and think otherwise, but you’d be surprised as to the enormous sums of cash pumped into the research and development of even the humblest single letter logos.
From a business perspective, hiring professional graphic designers to take care of the job really should be considered mandatory. Nevertheless, it will always come down to the input and preferences of the business itself when it comes to determining the outcome.
So for those starting or operating small businesses and ready to delve into brand logo design, here’s a quick look at seven common mistakes to avoid at all costs:
1 – Amateur Involvement
First and foremost, it is crucial to remember that with logo design, you get what you pay for. If you are only willing to pay peanuts, you can’t expect anything more than amateurish results. Some of the most obvious examples of getting it wrong in this instance include asking friends or relatives with very little experience to do the job for cheap, trying to take care of the design process yourself or outsourcing to a freelancer willing to work for pennies. If you want your logo to be memorable for all the right reasons, you need to take it to the right people and be willing to invest in it.
2 – Clashing of Fonts
Never fall into the trap of assuming that when it comes to typography, you need to over complicate things and more is better. In reality, you should actually be looking in the exact opposite direction as if you have more than two fonts or weights, use a font that’s overly complicated or choose a font that’s in any way difficult to read, the overall impact of the logo design will be diluted significantly. In this instance, simplicity really is the order of the day and less is almost always more.
3 – Abstract Design
One of the biggest problems when it comes to abstract logo design is the way in which it can often make it difficult or impossible for the logo to retain its impact when reproduced in a variety of sizes. Abstract design in its own right can be risky, often coming across as confusing or pretentious. But even worse than this, it’s important that the logo appear just as memorable and generally impressive when printed to the size of a billboard or reproduced no bigger than postage stamp.
4 – Reliance on Colour
As a rule of thumb from the professionals, if and when you find yourself relying largely on colour to produce a strong logo, the overall design of your logo is flawed. Colour shouldn’t necessarily represent an afterthought, but nor should it represent the most important fundamental consideration in the design process. Even if your brand is already well known for its use of certain colours, it is imperative that colour choice be considered alongside overall design with equal balance.
5 – Monograms
Never fall into the trap of assuming that monograms and acronyms necessarily represent effective brand logo choices for small businesses. What often happens is business owners come across things like GM, IBM, HP and so on and assume that as these are globally recognised and respected brand names/logos, it must be a sensible way to go. In reality however, none of these businesses started out in the first place by using acronyms. Instead, they built enormous global reputations over the course of many years and then switched to acronym use.
6 – Replication
No matter how fantastic the logo you come up with might be, if it even for one second reminds you even 1% of any other brand or business in the world, you need to take it back to the drawing board. The simple fact of the matter is that your brand logo should be a representation of and associated with your brand and your brand alone. If it makes your target audience members think of another brand, you are technically marketing on the behalf of another business.
7 – Not Testing Concepts
Last but not least, it’s crucial to remember that just because you believe any given brand logo is absolutely fantastic, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your target audience will respond in the same way. In fact, they may not get it all, which is why it is of the utmost importance to test your logos and logo idea on real customers and target audience members before finalising your decision. Suffice to say, social media can be fantastic getting the job done.