Bad logo designs, tragically, are everywhere. Even if you don’t have a background in graphic design, you can probably describe exactly what makes a logo bad, whether it’s too busy, includes poor color choices, or leaves consumers wondering what services are being advertised.
When it comes to making a logo, here are some general guidelines to follow for success:
1. Be accessible. Logos are splashed everywhere you look. Companies try to grab the attention of consumers who are distracted by family, chatting with friends or engrossed by their smartphones. Imagine that your logo is on a billboard or side of a bus and potential customers only have a few seconds to figure out who you are and what services you provide. A simple logo design will tell people at a glance what you do; this is a key factor in your brand identity.
2. Be appropriate for your audience.Use bubble letters and sunshine faces to draw visitors to a zombie movie marathon or Goth band performance. (Let’s forget about irony for a moment.) You want to entice customers to try your product or services and, ideally, spread the good word to their friends and family. Don’t chase away your customers before they’ve even had a chance to visit your website or set foot in your store.
3. Be modern. As tempting as it is to incorporate a popular saying as part of your logo, doing so can quickly date your materials and become cause for embarrassment. In 1990, high school track teams around the country used MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” on their uniforms. While the saying was relevant then, it’s no longer a part of popular culture. You might be advertising the fastest delivery or speediest haircut, but logo creators should avoid using time-sensitive language as part of their designs. What’s popular today can quickly fall out of favor.
4. Be flexible. A logo doesn’t just exist on your business card. It makes its way to letterhead, envelopes, your website, company apparel, mugs and more. Always make sure the logo can be reproduced in a variety of ways. It needs to be shrunk down so it fits on a baseball hat and blown up so it can be printed on a company vehicle. Consider as well how it looks in grayscale since printing and advertising in color might not always be an option. Design carefully so you don’t end up back at the literal drawing board.
A logo is one of the first ways your company makes an impression on its client base. The most simple logos may be some of the most difficult to design, but the time you spend making sure your logo attracts rather than repels customers will only translate to money in your pocket.