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The Dos and Don’ts of Company Logo Design

Julia RichardsDecember 2020
The Dos and Don’ts of Company Logo Design

If successful logo design was only about making something that looks “pretty” or “cute”, an entire industry would not have sprung up around it.

Knowing how to design a successful logo requires an in-depth knowledge of multiple design elements and how to put them all together to create something that is not only appealing but also conveys your brand’s message and ethos.


The don’ts of company logo design

1. Constantly changing your company’s logo

The reason some people change their logos so often is that they didn’t do it right the first time.

That’s why it’s vital to spend the time (and sometimes the money) in getting a logo done correctly the first time.

Changing your logo too often means you cannot build up any awareness for your brand. It confuses people and is just generally lousy marketing.


2. Splashing a gazillion colours into it

Too much colour in a logo can be confusing for people.

If your logo doesn’t look good when you look at it as a small image, then something is wrong with it.

Usually what’s wrong is that you’ve gone overboard on the colours.

Stick to only a few colours, and ensure they follow the basic rules of the colour wheel.


3. Crazy amounts of detail!

Take it easy on the detail when designing your logo.

Remember the golden rule: If it doesn’t look good when shrunk, something is wrong with it.

Use lines and shapes to convey simple concepts, not elaborate details that would do better on a billboard.

Using drop shadows is also a bad idea because it makes the overall design more complicated than it should be.


4. Overdoing the fonts

The subject of fonts is enormous. It takes years of practice and dozens (if not hundreds) of hours of study to learn the subject thoroughly.

A common mistake a lot of beginners make is:

  • Using too many fonts in one design
  • Using the wrong font in a design

You should aim for no more than two fonts in your logo design.

The wrong font can also make something illegible.

Too many fonts in a small makes it look terribly cluttered.


5. Wingdings

If you’re not a professional designer, you might be tempted to use some funky font to get images from — like Microsoft’s wingdings.

This is a fundamentally bad design error on many levels, but if you need some reasons, here are two:

  • The design won’t be original, and that’s an awful idea when building a brand.
  • Fonts are copyrighted. Using a font as a main design element might lead to a legal grey area.

The dos of successful company logo design

successful company logo design

1. Understand your target market

When designing anything for your brand, you must, must, must understand your target market.

To completely understand your target market might require conducting independent research. It is a crucial element to getting a logo design that will resonate with potential buyers.

Not conducting proper market research might even lead to a logo that offends your target market.


2. Test the logo in multiple sizes

Unlike banner images and other brand identity items, your logo will go everywhere.

It needs to look good, both as a large design, and a tiny one.

Test the logo at various sizes in order to ensure that the design works at all scales.


3. Ensure people can read it

If your logo incorporates text into it, be sure that the text is legible.

This isn’t only a matter of logo size, although that plays a role in it as well.

This also has to do with the type of font chosen.

Sometimes, fonts look different when printed as compared to when they are viewed on a screen. People tend to prefer sans serif fonts on a screen as opposed to serif fonts when reading something that has been printed.

Does your chosen font look good both in printed and digital form?

Colour contrast also plays a role here. Which brings us to point number 4.


4. Use good contrast

Make sure that the font or design contrasts correctly with the background.

It isn’t only visually impaired people who might have difficulty viewing your logo if its contrast is not correct.

Try multiple variations in colour to ensure good contrast.


5. Survey the completed logo

Great! You finished your logo!

Now it’s time to test it.

If you’ve been bent over a design for weeks or months, you can end up a little blind to its flaws.

It’s time to survey your logo.

The survey needs to be extensive. Ask people all the following questions:

  • Do they like the logo?
  • What is the first thing they think about when they see it?
  • Would they consider buying from your company if they saw that logo?
  • What didn’t they like about it, if anything?
  • What was their overall first impression?

Also, be sure to survey only people in your target market. A millennial might have different opinions on a logo than a typical baby boomer.


Hiring a professional to design your company logo

Hiring a professional to design your company logo

Too many people make the error of thinking that, because a logo is small, that it doesn’t require a professional company logo design service to create it.

Actually, the opposite is true. The smaller the design, the more skill is required to create it. Because it can look pretty messy if it doesn’t scale properly.


About author
Julia Richards
Julia Richards

Our head of content, Julia has spent the past 20 years assisting entrepreneurs with all aspects of business launch and growth strategies in various industries around the globe.

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