Logo Trends to Avoid
New business owners are usually excited at the prospect of developing a logo and identity branding so they can start marketing right away. But, not all businesses are interested in investing in a graphic designer to create their logo, which can be a big mistake.
If you decide to go the amateur route, it's inevitable that you will end up with a blatantly amateur logo design that will have no longevity in your branding, and it will reflect poorly on the business.
There's a big difference between a logo completed by an amateur and a professional. Don't forget the years of school, experience, and marketing knowledge a designer has under their belt. It's not simply about artistic talent or software knowledge.
Some other reasons why business owners could end up with amateur logo designs include:
Using a logo design competition website, which mostly consists of amateurs
Attempting it themselves or having a family member design it
Using stock imagery or common clipart
Simply using a common typeface, leaving the business without any real branding identity
If you absolutely insist on designing a logo yourself, or better, if you are looking through another designer's portfolio, here are some key logo trends you should avoid. Using these trends will not only cheapen the look of the brand, but it will decrease the longevity of your logo (and cost you more in the long run when it's time to rebrand.)
Look for the bad trend on the left, and the correction on the right.
Using symbols without meaning
Many times, business owners will find a clip art shape or symbol they think would fit well within their logo, but without any reasoning behind this symbol (and by pulling it from a free source) it loses its originality and symbolism for your company branding.
Image faded behind text
Not only does this decrease the readability of the text, but it loses clarity in the imagery or symbol as well. In addition, you'll be more restricted in how you can use the logo. For instance, it won't work as well embroidered on apparel and will need a costly file-set up or redesign.
Remember, images and logos are NOT the same. Your logo should be clean, simple, modern, and timeless. Think of all of the applications for your logo, and if it will retain great detail at the smallest size it will appear (not only printed small, like on a business card, but seen small from a distance as well). Having too much detail in imagery or a highly decorative font will cause the logo to fall short when resized or seen from a distance.
Every letter a picture
Nothing says you created your own logo like a custom font with every letter becoming an illustration. This creates a logo that's way too complex and difficult to read, especially at smaller sizes or from a distance.
Poor typographic choices
It takes years of school and experience to learn the art of typography. But a simple rule to follow is that 3 is a crowd when it comes to fonts. Don't use more than 2 typefaces within the same logo or it becomes too chaotic.
Using raster images in your logo
If you aren't creating your logo as a vector file, then you are starting a string of costly issues down the road for your business. Printing companies mainly rely on vector file types, and a raster file won't convert well to vector (this includes using an image). You'll be paying a costly setup fee to printers and it's likely your logo won't appear crisp on larger-scale print jobs.
Relying on special effects or color
At one time or another, every business will need to display their logo with limited colors or in black and white. It's important that your logo doesn't lose its identity without color. Don't forget that a logo should have a version for dark backgrounds as well. Also, using special effects like drop shadows or embossing will cheapen the look of your logo as well, and they won't translate well off-screen.
I would highly recommend that you hire a professional for the very important task of logo and identity branding for your company, and hopefully this list will educate you on the type of logos to avoid. An experienced professional should have a display of la wide range of logos that avoid these faults, so be sure to ask for samples when hiring your designer.
Need help creating a logo? Radiant Resolution has you covered!