When it comes to representing your business, your logo is the face the world sees, both online and offline. You already know coming up with a great logo is a vital part of your brand imaging, but what you might not realize are all the ways a logo can hurt your business if you don’t invest time in the perfect design.
There are approximately 27.9 million small businesses in the United States alone. And, in such a global economy, you are certainly in fierce competition with more than just American businesses. Finding the perfect logo that hasn’t become clichéd can be a real challenge. Sometimes, the best way to find the perfect logo is to look at what you shouldn’t be doing.
If you’ve already designed your logo, you may want to revamp it using the tips below for what not to do. If you haven’t yet designed your logo, make a list of elements you’d like to include and what you’d like to avoid.
1. Too Much Clutter
Adding too many different elements to your logo can make it feel cluttered and busy. The consumer may not know what part of your logo to look at or what message you’re trying to get across.
Think about some of the world’s most memorable logos. Nike has a simple active swirl design. Apple has an apple with a bite out of it. Facebook is straightforward cutout text. How can you keep your logo simple and still convey the overall branding message for your company?
2. Tiny Text
Using tiny text can make your logo extremely hard to read. If you have to shorten the text so much that it is hard to read, you are likely using too much text. What do you do if the name of your company is long? One solution is to use just the initials. People will start to associate your logo with your company over time.
3. Huge Text
On the opposite end of the spectrum, huge text can be jarring for the consumer. If you only have one huge letter, for example, the reader may not quite get your brand’s message
4. Expensive Colors
The color of your logo matters on several levels. About 85 percent of consumers will decide if they want to buy from you based solely on your brand’s logo color, and they make that decision in about 90 seconds!
One thing to keep in mind is whether the color matches the overall branding of your company. For example, if you sell men’s outdoor clothing, you probably wouldn’t choose pink for your logo. Instead, you might go with browns and greens, which speak of nature and manliness.
It is also important to understand the psychology of colors, with colors like red signifying energy and drawing attention, and colors like turquoise showing youth, energy and strong communication skills.
5. Not Unique Enough
Your logo needs to be memorable. The best way to achieve a logo consumers will remember is to keep it simple and on point. One example of such a logo is McDonald’s. When you see those iconic golden arches, you know there are cheeseburgers ahead — yet the arches are such a simple design, aren’t they?
McDonald’s is an excellent example of logo branding on a large scale. They place that logo on signs for their restaurants, billboards, interstate ads, commercials and on the food wrappers they hand out every day. The logo is everywhere, and consumers remember it.
6. Wrong Font
The typography is one of the most important elements of your overall design, because it creates a beautiful aesthetic and gives a personality to your brand. For example, a serif font creates a classic look that can build trust with your brand.
If you are trying to create a more youthful or modern look, you can certainly choose a different type of font, but make sure it is very easy to read and the letters you will use are legible. There are hundreds upon hundreds of fonts and variations of fonts from which you can choose. It’s just a matter of finding the right combination that speaks to the overall message and culture of your company.
7. Hidden Meanings
Did you know you can add a hidden message in your logo? Consumers may not get it right out of the box, but over time, they will have an “aha” moment and realize the meaning behind some portion of your logo. While it isn’t a requirement, it can make your logo stand the test of time.
Amazon’s logo is one example of a logo with a secret message. At first glance, the logo looks like simple black text that reads “Amazon.com” and has an orange arrow under it. However, spend some time really studying that arrow, and you will realize the genius of its design. The arrow starts at the A and points to the Z, literally underlining Amazon’s philosophy of offering everything from A to Z. It also curves upward to resemble a smile. Spend some time thinking about how you can add a message like this to your logo.
8. Not Considering Shape
The overall shape of your logo or elements you add to the design should have a purpose as well. Out of 2,000 company logos from a list of 5,000 of America’s fastest-growing companies, 64 percent of the shapes were angular in some way. Squares, triangles and other geometric shapes give a sense of stability, creating an overall message about the brand.
Not only should you consider the overall message of the images you add to your logo, but the text itself has a shape worth thinking about.
Your logo can move your business to the next level and make a memorable mark on your target audience, or it can drive business away. It is important to consider every element of your logo, and to get a second opinion or two as well.