A logo designer, no matter which amazing logos he/she ever created, is still a human being and it means that at least once in a lifetime, he/she must have made a mistake. In my humble opinion, any human being makes mistakes at least once per day! I tested it on myself- in my case, it’s a valid statement!
The great majority of the mistakes may be corrected. But how is it possible to “correct” a wrong logo? Unfortunately, there are some activity fields where the mistakes are impossible to correct and believe it or not logo design is one of them. A logo is part of a branding strategy, which means that people will make a simple judgement: a bad logo represents a bad entity! In conclusion, a poorly designed logo is a “good solution” to go bankrupt.
On the other hand, logo designers are put under high pressure, which could be translated as the best context to make mistakes. It’s a vicious circle and cold blood is required, in case you want to escape from it. Usually, the less experienced ones make the most mistakes, but it’s not impossible for the most experienced designer to create poor logos. Under these circumstances, it’s logical to ask yourselves if it’s possible to avoid making a bad logo. Personally, I think that there are two types of bad logos:
- Irremediable logos – ones that are looking extremely bad or that contain wrong spelled words, impossible colour combinations or Comic Sans fonts.
- Poor designed logos – ones that have a minor mistake. Usually, these are remarked by other designers while some clients might not notice the mistakes.
The truth is that there is no way in which you could be assured that your logo is OK, but there are many solutions that may offer you a very good feedback about the freshly created logo. The same as in web design, testing is capital and in this way the major mistakes are eliminated. Another solution to avoid creating a bad logo is to recheck it before adding it online. Every logo designer should have a checklist and test any new piece of design. Rechecking implies investing a great deal of time into it, but as I have mentioned, nobody is perfect and it’s highly recommended to make everything you can in order to avoid mistakes.
If you don’t have a checklist, you shouldn’t be upset. Here we have collected the most common mistakes of a logo designer which may represent the fundaments of your checklist.
Mistakes #1: Making “inflexible” logos
A logo designer must respect his/her clients. Altogether, a professional should have the courage to explain to his/her clients that one of their requirements does not respect the rules of good design. Many clients consider that their logo is necessary only for their website and nothing more and unfortunately, there are some logo designers, who believe this, too.
One of the most common mistakes of a logo designer is to create logos that aren’t scalable. It’s useless to mention that Adobe Photoshop is great software, but it has its limitations. The work with vectors is one of its major downside; therefore Photoshop isn’t the best solution for logos. We have instead Adobe Illustrator which is the option that most logo designers prefer.
A logo is part of a branding strategy and, sooner or later, it will be used in print. Business cards, flyers, banners are just some few items that will require a print version of a logo. A non-scalable logo won’t look OK both on a small business card and on a huge billboard.
In conclusion, create logos that can be used everywhere!
Mistakes #2: Ignoring the context
A logo isn’t a stand-apart item- it should perfectly suit the environment where it is placed. Another common mistake of a logo designer is to neglect the other elements of the brand such as: the website, the culture work, the visual identity etc. We have previously published an entire strategy of creating a good logo and by following the steps highlighted in the post, it’s impossible to make this mistake. Research is mandatory- in this way the context of the logos is well-known. Definitely, a logo that matches the style of the owner is way better than a standalone entity!
Mistakes #3: Designing for yourself
Every logo designer is very subjective! To be more precise, every logo is very subjective and its value may differ depending on each perspective. Any logo designer must be aware that his/her preferences must be ignored to the detriment of those of the client. Still, a good logo shouldn’t be appreciated by the creator and not even by the client. The value of a logo is given by the viewers’ appreciation.
To create a competitive logo is important to determine the main target and identify their preferences. Any other approach is not applicable and I consider that you shouldn’t test the validity of this concept in your activity!
Mistakes #4: Stealing shapes and not ideas
Many logo designers really don’t want to poorly imitate a logo, but sometimes it may happen. It’s an amateurish mistake, but it exists and you shouldn’t commit it! Getting inspiration is a very important matter and everyone should “refuel” the creativity level. One of the most efficient methods is to study the work of other designers. Well, in this way, some designers, willingly or not, copy some logos. The problem is the following: while the wise logo designers steal ideas, the mediocre ones steal shapes or fonts.
To conclude, you should never try to imitate digital items, just steal concepts. When studying logos don’t write down shapes or letters- just get the idea and adapt it!
Mistakes #5: Ignoring mandatory steps when designing a logo
We have mentioned in our previous articles the necessary steps in the creation of logos. Maybe our approach in this respect isn’t good or isn’t suitable for your style, but it shouldn’t be a reason to neglect the algorithm of creating a logo. Anyway, read other opinions, search for other best practices but don’t design without a clear order.
Every logo designer has an algorithm of creation- this is not a trifle, but a strong help. Firstly, by having an algorithm some mistakes are avoided, secondly the creation process is more effective. Thirdly, it’s easier to predict the finalisation of a project and it is also capital in establishing the deadlines.
In the end, I hope that these tips will save you from making huge mistakes. It will be great to have your opinion about the biggest mistakes of a logo designer. Which was the biggest mistake that you have ever made?
– Written by Daniel –