Article by graphic designer Elisha Crismale from http://www.evokevisualcreations.com.au/
1. Logo Design by an amateur or DIY
Your logo design should be treated as a set-up expense, it is worth investing in a good brand from day one if you are serious about your business. If you are serious and you are professional your logo should reflect that.
Common mistakes that make you look amateur:
– You designed it yourself (in Microsoft PowerPoint or Adobe Photoshop. Neither are industry standard software for logo design).
– A friend or relative that claims to know a little about design did it for free or a low fee.
– Using your local printer – they know a lot about their trade and the application of logos and artwork, but they are most likely not an expert in logo design.
– Outsourced to an online design website for $99 – these websites are populated by amateur designers with little or no experience in graphic design.
– Taking advice from a friend or family member (who is not in the industry or isn’t your target market) on a design you have done. There is a big difference between encouragement from someone who cares for you and a critical opinion. If your brother is an electrician, his opinion on a logo design really isn’t worth listening to.
Advantages of engaging a professional graphic designer:
– Saves you money – Getting the design right from the get go will save you money down the track. Once you grow to a point where you need further marketing collateral, your logo will withstand the test of being enlarged and stretched for different sizes with no issues. Files will be supplied to the printer in the correct format. No need for any adjustments resulting in additional fees.
– Saves you time – You are probably already busy working on your business and don’t need to have to worry about logo designs, colours, fonts etc. Leaving it to an expert will free you up to do what you do best.
– Stay Consistent – A graphic designer will help you remain consistent across all your marketing material. They know what font and colours to use so that you remain consistent. This will help your brand become a reputable, reliable business people want to work with.
And most importantly, you will look like the professional business that you are!
2. Using Raster images
The standard practice in logo design is to create it using a vector graphics program such as Adobe Illustrator. A vector image is made up of geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves, and shapes or polygons and therefore can be magnified infinitely without loss of quality.
The alternative is using Raster software such as Adobe Photoshop, in which the image is made up of pixels and can cause problems in reproduction.
Have you seen a photo or an image that has been cropped or zoomed too tightly? You can start to see the pixels of the image and it looks terrible. This is how the logo will print at a larger size if designed in Raster.
It is essential to create your logo in vector format to ensure the logo can be scaled to any size and can be edited easily at a later date to maintain high quality.
3. Using stock images
Never ideal as they come with copyright laws to restrict the use of stock imagery in logos or trademarks.
Essentially, your logo is meant to be unique to you and your business – a stock image is a generic image that hundreds and thousands of people across the world could also be using.
4. Too detailed
Highly detailed designs will not scale well when printed or viewed in smaller sizes, you will lose the detail and effect.
Detailed imagery will cause problems in reproduction and possibly add to your cost. The logo design may need amending to suit the application, once you start making changes to your logo, you are no longer consistent.
Using fonts that are too detailed is also no good – if someone can’t read your business name from a distance then your logo is not working.
The more detailed a logo is, the more the viewer has to process and the less memorable it becomes. Keep it simple and your logo will be much more successful.
Less is more!
5. Are you relying on colour?
Time and consideration is put into the right colour choices for your brand. Be aware, that your logo may need to be reproduced in one colour or black and white at some stage.
Don’t rely on colour to distinguish between elements in your design. When you need to convert to one colour, the design will be lost.
6. Doesn’t attract your target
If you can’t attract the right customers – your “target market” how are you going to get clients? Businesses need to outline and understand who they want to attract and communicate to them. It makes no sense designing for the masses, the more specific you are the better chances you have connecting with your target audience.
7. Doesn’t Stand out
The biggest mistake is to look the same or similar to your competitors! The purpose of a logo is to represent a business, if it doesn’t represent yours you have failed in the task.
A unique design that captures what you are about and is appealing to your target audience will help you stand out from the crowd. Having a distinct brand will raise you above your competitors.
8. Your logo design isn’t true to you…
Your logo should mirror your values and culture, your business vision and communicate what your products and services are about to your target audience.
A good graphic designer will ask about you and your business, the history (even if you are a start-up business), when and why you started, your vision and your future plans for your business to ensure your logo encapsulates all of this.
Your logo should mirror your values and culture, your business vision and communicate what your products and services are about to your target audience. It’s the foundation of your visual brand and how you present your business to the world, it is the centrepiece of every visual communication you will ever create.
Business cards, email signatures, websites, signage, flyers, uniforms… everything has your logo design. These will eventually be a part of your business. Creating a “good enough” logo at the beginning, may become an expensive exercise down the track or cause you to be stuck with “good enough” forever.
There is more planning and strategy behind logo design than you may think, a professional graphic designer can help you create an effective logo design for your business. They will ask about you and your business, the history (even if you are a start-up business), when and why you started, your vision and your future plans for your business to ensure your logo design encapsulates all of this.