08 Aug 10 Pitfalls to Avoid When Creating Your Logo
In the world of graphic arts, you get a lot of jokers who think they can design because they took a course in college. The art of graphic design takes years of experience to cultivate along with a creative mind. There are many factors and forethought that should happen prior to your logo design phase. In the planning phase, it is important to know what you want your logo to portray. It’s best to have it descriptive of what your company offers, because, let’s face it, very few businesses have a worldwide known brand like McDonalds. Since we don’t all have that recognition, it makes it more important to design our logo in a way that speaks about our business, so that when it stands alone, it actually markets for our company.
When designing a logo there are certain rules of thumb you should live by. Below are just 10 pitfalls to avoid when creating your business logo:
- Do Not use drop shadows around text. These are the shadows seen just below text as in the example. Some of you reading this are looking at the example and saying to yourself, “I like that look”, but resist the temptation. This is an outdated method and used by amateurs. It also doesn’t print well on many promotional products since shadows are not solid colors and rather a gradient. While drop shadows have their place in graphic design, try to avoid them in your logo.
- Stay away from outdated fonts such as Comic Sans, Brush Script, and Times New Roman. Thesefonts are overused. If you look at an graphic artist’s portfolio and you notice the same fonts being used over and over, you can assume that he/she is not very creative. Custom fonts work great, but are very time consuming to create. There are thousands of fonts out there, so choose well. Make sure it’s easy to read and follows along with your business theme.
- Don’t use Microsoft Clipart or WordArt. These are sure signs of an amateur. All of the clipart looks the same whether it’s a donkey or a bicycle. These don’t fair well with logos. If you will be using clipart, be prepared to pay a little extra to buy a nice professional piece of clipart. In most cases, I still advise against clipart in your logo unless you make some modifications to make it unique.
- Avoid using contrasting colors. There are some color combinations that just clash and there aresome that you eye just can’t read when together. Pick with one color palette and stick with that through your design. This goes not only for your logo, but for any design, regardless if it is business cards, brochures, or any other designs.
- Don’t have an abnormally tall or wide logo. You will want to use your logo for branding using all kinds of items, so it always best to stick with a square, round, or a rectangle design. If you go too tall or too wide with your logo, it will have to shrink down very small to fit in areas with height or width restrictions.
- Don’t center everything. This is another sign of an amateur. While some things do have to be centered, everything doesn’t. Left justified is a great starting point for the eyes and sometimes right justified is called for.
- Don’t use low resolution images. While you may have a tiny little blurry picture of something that you just must have in your logo; however, if you don’t have a nice high resolution version, you logo will not look good. Every time your logo prints on any item, it should print clean and free of blurriness or jagged edges. This all starts with having a good resolution from the start for any elements used within the logo design.
- I mentioned earlier to not use Microsoft clipart in your logo design, and now I’m saying don’t use Microsoft Word to design your logo. This is a word processing software, not a design software. You can’t design worthy logos for businesses using this program. Plus, printers don’t use Microsoft Word to print from, so it will have to be completely redrawn in a graphics program.
- Avoid strokes in your logo. Strokes can adjust in thickness when re-sizing, so avoid them when possible. Use only vector graphics that will not change proportions when they are re-sized. Sometimes this adjustment in proportion of the strokes are not recognized by those making the change and can lead to problems with your imprint.
- Don’t use too many fonts. A good rule of thumb is not use more than 2 different fonts. One for any text in the logo, and a different font if a tagline is included. Using more fonts than 2 makes the logo look messy and amateurish. Sticking with only 1 or 2 fonts will help your logo to look neat and clean and portray your company better.