Do you have a logo? I hope you answer with a big fat yes.
Whether it's your small business or blog, you should have one.
But it's important what it's like. I've seen so many mistakes. So many attempts.
When you start your biz or your blog, you know you need to come up with a logo, and maybe you can't afford to hire a professional designer.
So let's dive into logo design, what mistakes you can make - and of course how you can avoid these.
What is a logo?
A logo is a unique, remarkable sign connected to your business, product or service.
A well-designed logo raises you from the faceless mass of businesses and puts you in a favorable light.
It can be the foundation of an individual and special brand - also the foundation of your successes.
If you trademark it, it can represent an even more serious asset.
For these reasons, it's essential to take your logo design seriously.
A good designer will get to know you and your business, map out your target audience, your competitors and then she will take a pencil in her hands to sketch (yes, she hasn't even opened her design software).
What mistakes can you make designing your logo?
1. Your logo is designed by an amateur
You ask somebody incompetent who you think can do it or you do it without knowing what you're doing.
Without the process of good logo design, you'll get an amateur solution.
Your logo is identified with your business and it's an essential part of your brand - the process of its creation is important!
A good design process involves many aspects, which are condensed into a unique graphic.
Asking somebody cheap might be cheap first, but the result will imply that your business is amateurish too.
2. Your logo isn't designed with the right software
My #1 nightmare is when I read on social media: "I used Word to design my logo".
#2 is Photoshop.
Photoshop is genius for photo editing - but it's not a software for designing logos.
You can't use an image to design your logo.
It should be drawn with a vector software (e.g. Adobe Illustrator) so that it could be resized without quality loss.
A good designer will provide you with different versions of your logo (for the web, for print, as jpg, or a png with a transparent background).
Your logo should be recognizable in any size, and you can't be sure now, what sizes you'll need in the future - maybe your biz grows so big you want to advertise on a billboard. ;)
So make sure your logo is a vector graphic.
3. Your logo is designed according to the latest trends
Trendy and cool now, but in 5-10 years?
You can't start with a rebranding in your mind.
A good logo is timeless and simple. Just think of Apple, Coca-Cola or Nike.
4. Your logo is not in unison with your business
That graphic might be cute at first sight, but does it really express your biz?
What emotions will the typography you use evoke in your target audience?
Does your logo create a positive first impression about you?
5. You buy a stock logo
These are pre-designed, cheap solutions - and usually look like that.
A good logo is unique and original - and only you or your company owns the rights to use it.
I'm sure you wouldn't be happy meeting someone who gives you their business card with the same graphic in their logo as yours.
(Not really a stock logo, but I don't like 99designs and similar sites, where designers can compete for a getting paid for their design. I think this method has several drawbacks:
1. The communication isn't always as effective between the designer and the client as it should be.
2. The brief isn't detailed enough or asks for something that can't be done (a story: one biz owner asked for including social media logos like Twitter or Facebook in their logo - no real designer would do this as it's illegal).
3. Just think it over: would you compete for a job doing it for free and then waiting for the result if you won or not? Your chances are like those of winning the lottery. I think, we, designers deserve more than that. We want to support you. Give you our best, our heart. Will you support us? :)
4. Many biz owners ask people to choose their logo by voting. Are you sure they are your target audience? Are they the ones who should decide?
6. Your logo is complicated or too detailed
If your logo is too complicated - resembles a graphic rather than a logo - it won't be clear in a smaller size. It's even worse when it's similar to another, copyrighted logo.
A good logo is memorable, which can be achieved through its simplicity, and it should work in one color too.
According to Paul Rand, a good logo can be sketched with a few lines in ten seconds.
Is your logo like that?
7. Your logo is ambiguous
It's a big fail if your logo can be misinterpreted. (Just search Google for logo fails if you want to see some examples - they don't deserve to be displayed here, ha!)
So, these are the most important logo mistakes you should avoid. Let me know what you think in a comment below.
Next time I'll write about logo types and how you can choose the best one for your biz.