The perfect logo design can be tricky to pin down. Beyond the colors, fonts & typography, words, and imagery, it needs to connect with the clientele you aim to serve.
The logo should not be about you and your business so much as it needs to be about your audience and the business services they need.
The exception to this would, of course, be if you were selling YOU. In which case, go at it! But even still… you can’t sell YOU if you’re audience can’t relate to YOU.
Here are logo design and branding mistakes that immediately send your potential clients to the competition and make your business look cheap.
1. The typography is straight from Microsoft Word!
If you’ve decided to dabble in logo design without the appropriate tools (Adobe Creative Suite), you’ve most likely used one of the more “adventurous” fonts from Microsoft Suite.
Unless you’re trying to acquire Gen Z or the future Gen Alpha, your audience has likely grown up with keyboard classes since the first grade and played with these cool fonts themselves. They can recognize them in an instant and aren’t impressed.
2. You commissioned an artist for less than $100 to design it on fiverr.com
One word. Or maybe two. Generic. Impersonal.
Working with a designer who can turn around a logo within 24 hours without doing the market analysis or research delivers a design that may look pretty on the surface but leaves your target market wondering if they’ve seen something similar.
You get what you pay for on this freelance design platform.
- 1 version
- Three revisions
- PNG file
- No original vector files
- No brand study
Mason Weis from Medium.com may have said it best when he summarized,
“Logos shouldn’t be sold for $5. This is beyond way too low. A logo shouldn’t be as cheap as a sandwich.”
Despite showing off their “best work,” with prices so low, don’t anticipate receiving high-quality work.
3. You have three primary services and wanted ALL OF THEM represented in the design.
Logos should be crisp and memorable, represent the brand, and be easy to recognize.
Bad logos confuse with over-complexity, merging ideas that just don’t fit or trying to convey too much information at once.
Another consideration is how the logo will look when it is resized or placed on various media.
- Will the logo be embroidered on a polo shirt?
- Are they used on a letterhead in 2 inches or less?
- Be printed in black and white for community fundraising materials where detail is frequently muted?
Whether logo mark or text, compelling logos are often straightforward.
4. You’ve affiliated your business with a city or state and took the affiliation too literally.
I’m specifically looking at you for this one, Maryland.
Marylanders love the state flag and, if given a chance, many realtors, contractors, or local businesses will try to incorporate the 4-colored flag into their business branding.
While state pride is admirable, the additional detail of the flag overcomplicates your identity.
According to the Maryland Secretary of State, you should submit a form describing the flag’s intended use.
“Describe in full detail the intended use of the Maryland State Flag (attach depiction or drawing), including whether it will be used on a product or product package, or to advertise or promote the sale of a product or service, and whether it will be altered or have any other words or design on or near it.”
5. Your colors clash and are challenging on the eyes.
Whether colorful or muted, not every color is as legible as black and white.
Too many light colors without a strong contrast will have your prospects squinting as if looking at the sun. The same can be said for dark colors.
Neons bring back 80s and 90s vibes, and while the nostalgia is initially exciting for Millenials, the colors do not age well.
While your brand may have various color choices, most designers advise that a logo feature at most three colors.
Build a lasting impression
When launching your practice or firm, ensure the competition and your ideal market understand that you mean business! Professionalism & branding set the tone of your company. Embrace it with a designer dedicated to your success.
Schedule a meeting today and let us help your business stand ahead of the curve.
Just for fun—an SNL classic for designers!