Designing Bad Logos: 5 Ways to Avoid Them!
By CreativB Studios – 28 May 2022
When you are starting out in graphic design it may not seem like you are designing bad logos at first but EVERY graphic designer starts off making bad designs.
It may seem cool and trendy but as a logo designer it’s important to know that having a logo that works is more important than having a cool and trendy logo.
If you’re a business owner looking for a unique logo design you can contact us. If not, that is completely fine but our advice would be to stay away from $5 logo designers on Fiver or any marketplace and here’s why.
Before we get into the difference between a good logo and a bad logo, let’s look at the definition of a logo.
What is a logo?
A logo is an identification of a business or a brand. It is used to differentiate from its competitors and helps consumers recognize that brand.
What is NOT a logo?
A logo is not a description of a business or a brand, it’s not something that should describe what a company does.
For eg, if you manufacture shoes you should not have a shoe for a logo as it’s not creative and extremely generic.
As a famous graphic designer, Sagi Haviv, once said:
“A logo is not a sentence, it’s the period at the end of the sentence”
A logo is the first thing a consumer sees.
Imagine if a consumer is scrolling through social media and if that logo is unique enough it causes them to stop scrolling and find out more about the brand that is attached to that logo.
But if that logo is like every other logo out there then they would just scroll through.
What Makes a Logo Design Bad?
So we have discussed what a logo is, now let’s look at what makes a logo design bad:
- Complicated Design
- Bad Font Selection
- Bad Color Selection
- Generic Logo
- Following Trends
1) Complicated Design
A complicated logo design is not practical at all as the intricate details of the logo gets lost at smaller sizes and it is very important to have logos that are visible at smaller sizes.
As you can see an example down below that the visibility of the logo starts decreasing when you start decreasing the size.
Why do we need logos that work in smaller sizes?
Well we live in a digital era where we need logos to be visible at that size it could an app icon, favicon, or just viewing a logo in a smart watch.
2) Bad Font Selection
The font you select is quite important when designing a logo. A poorly selected font can make the logo feel incomplete and unbalanced.
The font you select can either make or break your logo design.
A bad logo design will have a font that does not compliment the brand.
For eg, Lego is a children’s store (not really) and the font used down below is a serif font named “Algerian” which doesn’t match the fun and loving vibe a children’s store should have rather it has an old-time vintage feel to it.
3) Bad Color Selection
Picking a color for your logo can instantly be a bad choice if you use more than 3 colors in your design. It’s too much color and is very annoying to the eye.
Let’s look at the examples below;
Logo A: Colors in this logo are not annoying to the eye but the number of colors are too much as you have to think practically as well.
Logo needs to be in digital and print form and when it comes to printing the logo on a material, the number of colors matter as the more colors you have the more expensive it gets and the cost of the packaging would be high.
Logo B: Although there are only 3 colors used in this logo, the colors are quite bright and uncomfortable for the eye which is also causing legibility issues.
4) Generic Logo Design
Generic Logo Designs should be avoided at all costs and the reason why is because they are overused and you will find many companies with the same logo design idea.
How would you expect a business to stand out when that business looks like every other business out there?
Every business owner starts a business believing they have a unique product or a service, so as a designer its out job to design a unique identity for their business.
5) Following Trends
Trends are short term and logos are long term.
When designing a logo you should avoid whatever trend is going on at that time as trends change after every season whereas a logo cannot be changed every season especially when it has been printed on material.
Even though trendy design may give you an initial boost but over time that hype will reduce and so will your business.
5 Way's to Avoid Designing Bad Logos
- Keep it Simple
- Pick the right font
- Pick the right color
- Unique and Memorable
- Make Sure it Works with Different Variations
1) Keep it Simple
Simple does not mean minimalistic, it means the logo should be practical and usable in smaller sizes.
Simple logos are often a more impactful choice than more complex ones because of their ability to communicate concise concepts quickly.
And it is more practical and flexible as it can be used in a variety of ways whether digital or print.
More and more brands are are aiming for a simpler logo as it helps cut down on cost.
2) Pick the Right Font
You can drastically improve your logo design game by taking some time and finding a good font that is appropriate for that particular business.
A good typography in a logo design connects the font with the logomark and provides a balance.
Inorder to do that you will need to know the basics of typography as every font style has a personality.
3) Pick the Right Color
Color is also an important aspect of a good logo design and to pick the right color you will have to do some research about color psychology and what color fits the industry.
When we say pick a color that fits the industry, we dont mean to pick only the colors within those industry but use them as a standard and not steer away too much from it.
4) Unique and Memorable
A Unique and Memorable logo is the most important part of designing a logo because in order to make a business stand out you will have to design a unique logo.
And the way you can do that is by research and diving into the business model, their vision, their unique quality and start sketching out different ideas as fast as possible and as many as possible then pick out 3 versions that are unique from each other.
It is important to start out in a black and white version of the logo, once you have selected the 3 best logo options then you can add color to it.
5) Make Multiple Variations
Having a logo that works in multiple variations is a sign that this logo is well thought out and allows the business to use their logo in anyway they want whether its in a horizontal form or a vertical form.
It could be on a tshirt or a pen, whatever it is the logo you design should be ready for all. It also shows how professional the designer is because of how well thought out the logo is.