Top 5 Common Logo Mistakes in Brand Identity Design

Today we’re going to be looking at common mistakes in logo design. Now, if I was to ask 10 logo designers what their five biggest bugbears were with logo design, I’m pretty sure we’d all come out with quite a few similar ones. Today I want to talk about the five which I feel affect logo design the most, and can basically make for a very poor logo.


Here’s my number one. Now, how often do I see logos that have been designed because it’s what the business owner likes? I could probably have lost count on how many times I’ve seen that. Now, yes, it’s your business, and you want to like the logo that you have, which is selling your services or your products, but, the logo’s not for you. The logo is to attract new customers. So, your logo should be designed for them, shouldn’t it? Shouldn’t be designed for you.

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So, what you need to do is you need to study who it is you’re targeting. You need to find out where they hang out, what colours do they like, where do they… how do they spend their social time? By building up a picture of your perfect customer then what you can do is you can build a brand identity that specifically targets them. Yes, we want to sell our services to as many people as possible, but, by having a target and being very specific, you’ll have more success with that type of person and you will get residual sales from other people who maybe the logo isn’t specifically targeted at, but by building an audience, then you will start to creep your brand out sideways, out with that audience.

But, by creating a logo which is designed just for you, then it’s precisely that, it’s just for you, it’s not going to help you attract and build a customer base. So, if you’re a designer designing a logo for a customer, or you are hiring a logo designer, make sure that the logo is designed for the audience that it’s aimed at, and not for the business owner.

Designing your logo as a bitmap

Problem number two. Designing your logo as a bitmap. If you design your logo as a bitmap graphic, it’s going to look great at the size it was designed at but if you need to make your logo bigger, say for some signage or for going on the side of a vehicle, you’re going to run into problems, because bitmaps, the bigger you make them, the lower the quality. They start to get all pixelated and blurred. You can go smaller, that’d be fine. But, if you want to go bigger, not going to work, I’m afraid. So, what you need to make sure is that when you have your logo designed, that it’s a vector graphic, so, an eps file, designed in Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw, something like that, because with a vector graphic you can resize it to any size you want, size of the moon, and it would not lose any quality, very, very small, size of a stamp, still going to remain pin sharp and you only need that one file.

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That one file can be sized and saved for whatever you want. With a bitmap graphic, if you want different sizes you’re going to have to create that file at different sizes, so it’s a lot more work as well. So, make sure when you’re having your logo designed that you specify you’d like it to be designed in a vector file format.

Making your logo design far too complex

Problem number three. Making your logo design far too complex. Again, a bit like bitmap graphics,you get your logo designed and it looks great, you’ve got everything you want on there. But, if you want to make your logo quite small, how do think that complex logo’s going to look? It’s going to be really difficult to make out all of that detail at very small sizes. So, ideally your logo should be simple. Look at all the big brands.

Look at Nike. Look at Apple. They’re just so simple. So, you need to think that way too, when you’re having your logo created. Try not to overcomplicate things. Try to boil down your brand identity to its simplest form and then you could always get in the more complex messaging through your marketing. You don’t have to get everything into the logo. It doesn’t have to say exactly what you do, all in one place. Get something which is going to be recognisable, works well on a page or on a screen, and you can build around it.

Using stock images

Number four. Using stock images and clipart in your logo.Now, this isn’t something that aprofessional logo designer would do,well, at least I’d hope not.But, you will find that if you go tothe competition type websites for logo design,or cheaper ones like Fiverr, you run the riskof the designer, and I say that loosely,using stock clipart or stock images for your logo design.

They’ll pull them off, they’ll add some text, and they will pass it on to you, and you’re none the wiser. You’re happy, you love it, you think it looks great, and you go and start using it. The problem is stock images have very tight guidelines and one of those guidelines is that you cannot use stock photography as part of a logo to trade off of. So, please double check that when you’re having your logo designed, that the designer is creating your logo from scratch. Now, even from scratch you want to make sure that they’re not copying someone else’s artwork, or a piece of stock, ’cause that’s just as illegal, it’s going against copyright, if they have that trademarked you’re in serious trouble and you could end up being fined for an awful lot of money. So, make sure when your logo is being designed, that it is completely, 100% original.

DIY logos

Number five, DIY logos. If your tooth hurts you go to the dentist. If you have the need for surgery, you go to hospital and you have surgery done by a surgeon. If you need something designed, use a professional designer. It’s what we’re trained for. You may think you’ve got, you know, you have Microsoft Word and you can knock together a design and that will do. Really, you don’t value your brand at all by doing that. Yes, it may be quick, yes, it will certainly be cheaper,but, you’re just shooting yourself in the foot. You should really be taking the advice and services of a professional designer, who will make sure that what you end up with is exactly what you need. Now, there’s a difference between wants and needs, but they will make sure they give you what you need for your brand. Please don’t be tempted to tinker away yourself if it’s not your professional career.

Read Also: Why A Logo is Important for your Business

I’d say the same as well by using places like Fiverr, and competition websites. Those tend to be populated by amateur designers and you will run into some of the problems which I’ve already mentioned in this video, because they’re not entirely up to the grade of creating a professional logo design. So, please just think carefully before you jump in and try and create your own logo or go down the cheaper route of something like Fiverr. Reach out, contact a professional designer, they’ll be more than happy to have a chat with you, find out what it is you’re looking for, and you know, give you a quote and let you know what the benefits are of using them as opposed to someone who doesn’t quite know what they’re doing. So that’s my top five common mistakes in logo and brand identity design.

There are a lot of others, and I’m sure I’ll touch on those in future videos as we go through and really explore the world of logo and brand design. But, if you steer clear of those five issues that I’ve mentioned today, you’re off to a really good start, and your brand identity is going to look spot on. I hope you found the video useful today, if you have make sure you give it a like, subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already and I’d love if you could share it with your friends on social. It really helps me to build that audience that I’m trying to achieve.



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