Logo Design Mistakes – Why Do some Designers Suck?

Logo Design Mistakes in 2016

Top Logo Design Mistakes Designers Make

Logo Design Mistakes in 2016

If you are looking to have a logo designed, it can be a challenge to find a good designer who will do a good job. It can be an even bigger challenge to know whether or not the logo/ brand identity you pay for is designed for multiple uses and purposes. When it comes to logo design, branding and brand identity, you’re pretty much just trusting a logo designer or a logo design agency to do a good job. They are the design experts, right? How do you really know if you are hiring a good logo designer? Well, we can give you some input on what makes a terrible logo designer.

How do you really know if you are hiring a good logo designer? Well, we can give you some input on what makes a terrible logo designer. Knowing what mistakes to look out for will help you sift through the rubble in finding the right logo design agency in Sacramento, Folsom, El Dorado Hills or anywhere else in the great ole’ US of A.

Here are the top 10 design mistakes that logo designers make. If you find a designer who makes these mistakes, you know that they are not the right choice for your business. These 10 mistakes will help you identify designers you can and can’t trust to carry out proper logo design techniques and best practices.

Mistake 1: Not Charging Enough

Everyone wants to get a good deal. There’s nothing wrong with this. But you also get what you pay for. If you go with a logo designer who is charging rock bottom prices, you are going to end up with rock bottom results.

How much should a logo cost?

  • A logo should not cost $5 on Fiverr
  • A logo designer should not charge you $500
  • A logo should not be carried out through a logo contest for $100 (THIS IS SO RUDE). Would you ask 100 interior designers to design your interior home and then pick the best one when you feel comfortable?
  • A freelance logo designer should charge between $1000 – $5000
  • A Mid-Level Graphic Design Company: Between $2000 – $5000
  • A High-Level Graphic Design Company: Between $5000 – $1000
  • A logo design agency/ firm should cost anywhere from $10,000 – $100,000+

What is not enough?

Depending on your location and the local market, there may be different price points. Therefore rather than specifying a dollar amount that is too little to pay for your logo, look for these warning signs:

  • Is it a friend or acquaintance who knows something about graphic design? It is tempting to accept a “favor” if a friend offers to do your logo for you on the cheap. But knowing how to use Adobe software and being able to make a good logo are two different things. Your logo is going to be your brand recognition for your business, and the way people will see your entire brand identity. You do not want your business to look shabby for the sake of your friend or a few shekels. And you do not want to risk a friendship if you are unhappy with the logo they create for you.
  • Is it a design contest on a freelance work website? Most of the time, the only people who participate in these contests are amateurs who are not able to get regular work yet because they don’t yet have a good portfolio. As a professional, would you do free work and then hope that the person you did the work for would like it better than the next person’s work? That’s what these logo design contests are – people are submitting their designs for free, and they get paid only if they win the competition. Do you think actual professionals are spending time submitting to these contests, or that any of the submissions are the participants’ best work?
  • Is it a company that is advertising rock bottom prices? You get what you pay for. Someone who is willing to design a brand concept, brand layout, put together a brand presentation, mock up products, mock up brand positioning for $500 is clearly broke or they are rookies. Steer clear of a $500 logo. You will eventually reach out to a logo design company and have them re-design what the original designer screwed up.
  • Is their primary business logo design, or something else? Many printing companies offer logo design as part of their printing service. Because they can make more money and provide a service, doesnt mean they are going to provide you will all the files you need. It’s not a bad business idea, and it might be a good deal for some customers. But if you want a logo that really looks professional, you need to work with someone whose zone of genius is graphic design, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop. This means that their primary business is also going to be graphic design or web design.

What does an amateurish logo do to your business?

It makes your business look weak. If your logo is bad, people won’t take you seriously. It may be hard to reproduce or enlarge the logo. You will probably need to spend money redoing your logo in the future, at which point your customers will be confused at the change. You can avoid any of these problems by getting your logo designed professionally in the first place.

Mistake 2: Using Trends for your Logo

Hipster Logo Design Trends and Mistakes

There are design trends just like there are fashion trends. If your logo design relies on trends, it might look rather cheesy. A timeless and original logo stays safely away from trends. A trendy logo also makes you look the same as all the other businesses. Think about the colors, fonts, and shapes of a dated and common logo – say, a dot-com business from 2000. It’s easy to visualize what that sort of logo looks like, and no one would dare to put a similar logo up on a business now simply because of how dated and common it looks. If you have a trendy logo now, it will look equally dated and common in a few years. Do a quick search of the latest logo trends and make sure that your logo does not follow any of them.

Mistake 3: Creating Logos in Raster Files

Vector Vs. Raster Logo Design Mistakes

Zoom in on a picture. It starts to get pixelated very quickly. Most people think this is just what happens with images. But there is actually an image type – vector – that never becomes pixelated, no matter how much you zoom in.

You might think that it won’t matter because you are only going to print your logo small. But to be realistic, you don’t actually know where all you are going to use your logo. Put it on your website and somebody may pull it up on an absolutely huge screen. Or you may someday want to put it on a shirt, a flier, or even a billboard.

SVG is the future of the web

SVG is the future of the web for many reasons, but one in particular for being extremely sharp. SVG offers increase usability in zooming, multi-browser compatibility, enhanced accessibility and more. SVG also loads much quick so for the purpose of Search Engine Optimization, your website will see an enhanced performance. For more information on SVG, and it is great information, read about why SVG is the future of the web.

Do yourself a favor and make sure you go with Vector and SVG

Vector images are basically the standard for logo design. If your designer doesn’t use vector images, or worse if he or she is confused when you mention them, this person is not actually an expert in digital design.

Mistake 4: Using Stock Art

Stock Graphic Elements - Logo Design Mistakes

If your designer uses stock vector images for your logo, this causes two problems for you. First, it undermines your uniqueness. Chances are, someone else is already using that stock image for their logo. Secondly, it could cause you legal problems.

The designer may have had the legal right to use the art because of a paid subscription, but another company with a similar logo (made from the same stock art) may be able to sue you for copyright infringement. The risks are just bigger than the benefits when it comes to using stock art.

How do you tell if your logo has stock art? Look for common, familiar shapes such as globes. Unless it is designed in a way that is really unusual, like the AT&T globe, chances are it’s stock art.

Mistake 5: Designing for the Designer

Designer Logo Design Style

Your logo needs to reflect your business, not your designer’s personality. If the logo your designer creates for you reflects the designer more than your business, what is the point? Ask to see a range of designs that your designer has done for a wide variety of types of businesses.

This will let you know whether the logos he or she designs are appropriate for the businesses or simply reflect the artist’s own inspiration. There is nothing wrong with following your own vision as an artist, but logos designed for customers are not the place for that particular sort of creative release.

Mistake 6: Making the Logos Too Complex

You need a vector image in case you need to blow your logo up large. You need a simple image in case you need to make your logo very small. Obviously, there is a bottom limit to how small you can print any logo, but check out how the logo will look at reasonably small sizes such as on a mobile device or at the bottom of a brochure. If your designer tries to hand you a logo that ends up looking like a blur at smaller sizes, ask for a simpler style.

Mistake 7: Not Working in Black and White

No, your logo doesn’t need to be black and white. Colors are lovely and we like them very much. But your logo designer needs to consider what the logo will look like in black and white. At some point, your logo will be put on photocopies, or printed somewhere where it needs to be in two colors. If the shape and style of your logo only works when the colors are present, it is not going to be recognizable once it is photocopied.

Mistake 8: Using a Terrible Font

No self-respecting designer should ever use Comic Sans or Papyrus as a font, for anything really. But as much ridicule as Comic Sans gets, it is far from the only terrible font. Your font for your logo needs to be legible and neat looking. With hundreds of typography designers in the world, there are plenty of new typography sets to choose from. Just search a website called DaFont.com and you will be able to find hundreds of options that work for your business.

It also should have an artistic look which generally fits in with the business you are advertising. The style of the font should complement the design of the logo, but not match so closely that it completely blends in and becomes unnoticeable. At the same time, it should not be so different from the logo design that it clashes. Take into account the personality that they typeface is conveying and ask yourself whether it reflects the personality you want to present in your business.

Mistake 9: Using More Than Two Fonts

If you use more than two fonts, your audience will not be able to easily see and comprehend your logo. A change in fonts signals a pause, and it forces the reader to take a short moment to adjust to the new font.

This makes it useful to choose different fonts for headers and body text, since the different font sets the headers off from the body text and slows the readers down between sections. But if there is no reason for your audience to pause in reading the text of your logo, don’t change the font! And where you do change the font, you should have no more than two fonts.

More than that is cluttered, confusing, and a bit stressful for audiences to read and look at.

Mistake 10: Copying Other Logos

In intellectual property law, there is a minimal percentage of difference required for one work to not be infringing on another’s intellectual property. But just because you can legally have a logo that looks very similar to another company’s logo, that does not mean you should.

If you choose to use a minimalistic pear with a bite out of it as your company’s logo, people won’t think of your company when they see your logo. They will think of Apple. Your logo needs to be unique and to reflect your business, no someone else’s company.

Even if you carefully skate the line and avoid copyright infringement, you will not be well served by having a logo that reminds customers of another company’s logo. You can’t capitalize on another company’s branding; you will only end up looking like a knock off. And that means low quality.

Communicate to your Prospects through Front Street Media

To communicate to customers that you have high-quality products or services that are well worth their investment, you need a logo that is unique, polished, appropriate for your business, and made by a professional. We can help you with that, here at Front Street Media. Give us a call today!

If you are looking for a local logo designer in the Sacramento, Folsom, and El Dorado Hills area, you can trust Front Street Media. We not only design your logo, we design your brand identity. When you reach out to a logo designer, make sure they give you all of your logos. Any logo design project should come with multiple final logo designs.

  • CMYK (Print) Logo Design
  • RGB (Web) Logo Design
  • Social Media Logo (Square)
  • Social Media Logo (Circle)
  • Horizontal Logo
  • Vertical Logo
  • Black on White
  • White on Black
  • Greyscale Logo
  • Etc.

If you are looking for a logo design company in Sacramento, Folsom or the El Dorado Hills area, do your research. Sit down and have a meeting with a couple companies and ask some questions. At the end of the meeting, you should feel confident in moving forward with at least one of the companies.

Make sure they designing your logo in Illustrator and not photoshop. Also, make sure they will design multiple versions and styles of your logo to fit within your website, print marketing, social media and other areas of your marketing efforts.

Good luck! : )

3 thoughts on “Logo Design Mistakes – Why Do some Designers Suck?

  1. Alice says:

    This is a great article. Lots of good advice for people who are new comers to logo design and design in general actually. Very well put, Useful info.

  2. Wilson Smith says:

    Fantastic tips and another great article, all are very simple however its amazing the amount of people who don’t abide by the simple things and end up creating horrors of logos.

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