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Grow Your Business Sales & Marketing

9 Mistakes to Avoid When Designing A Company Logo

branding . / Credit: Brand Image via Shutterstock

If you want your brand to stand out from its competitors, a memorable company logo is critical.

Since your logo isan integral component of your brand and frequently the first thing a customer sees, designing one that resonates needs to be a top priority.

Before starting to create a logo, LogoGarden, a Web and logo design company, advises businesses to create a logo that projects a brand image that matches the expectations of their customer.

To help in that process, LogoGarden offers the following mistakes to avoid when designing a logo for your business.

  • Different sizes: Don't create a logo that looks good only when it is blown up in size. The logo you design should look good when it is both big and small. Be sure to testyour design to make sure it is scalable, since it will appear in many different sizes throughout its life cycle.
  • Over-techniqueing:Avoid going overboard when designing a new logo. Gradient, shadowing and embossing can look pretty on the page, but they are difficult to reproduce on different materials. A simple logo design guarantees easy reproduction.
  • Invest enough time: Whether you are hiring a designer or doing it yourself, start planning early. Creating a logo is like peeling back an onion. You have to get to the bottom layer and home in on who your target audience will be. Your taste may be immaculate, your vision innovative, but your logo isn't about you, it is about reaching your audience. Do it right the first time by mapping it out and don't be afraid to start over if it isn't working.

Editor’s Note: Considering hiring a firm to design your logo? If you’re looking for information to help you choose the one that’s right for you, use the questionnaire below to get information from a variety of vendors for free.

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  • Avoid chaos:  Your logo should be as simple as possible while conveying your brand message. If you step back and say to yourself, "Is this too much?" chances are that it is. Tweak your font choices, and tone down overwhelming color. When it comes to logo design, less is more. Too many fonts, too many colors, too many words all lead to the same outcome: alienating your audience. Choose a design that is easily remembered, stands out from competitors, and relates to your brand. Think clean, appealing and appropriate.
  • Don't copy competitors: Your competitors may be successful but what works for them might not work for you. Originality will score integrity points and get you noticed. Scoping out the competition is an important step in evaluating your brand but to position yourself as the better option, you can't blend, you have to stand alone. Find a logo that, when placed next to your competitors, sets you apart. This may be as simple as a color choice or opposing symbol, but the effects will be everlasting. Originality will give you an edge.
  • Don't just settle for initials: Using your company's initials is most people's first reaction. You may have an emotional attachment to your company's name or your family's initials, but just because they resonate with you does not mean it will with your target audience. Initials are easy, monogramming can be appealing, but you need to step out of your comfort zone and play around with the other end of the spectrum before you settle for the obvious. Even if your company is based on generations of ingenuity that was passed down, there are still abstract ways to symbolize that tradition beyond letters.
  • Don't ignore your brand voice: When Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Who you are speaks so loudly I can't hear what you're saying," he must have had branding on the brain.  Do you want your brand to look aggressive, edgy and spontaneous? Or would you like it to convey subdued, patient and assured? You can have your business perfectly formulated, know exactly what message you want to display, but without correlating your logo to this message, it simply won't register.
  • Consider different media: Often the problem with logo creation is that people settle for what looks good on paper without taking into consideration the different media that your logo will be viewed on. Your logo isn't just a symbol that is going to go on your website; it will potentially be printed in varying sizes and viewed on smartphones, tablets and whatever else is yet to come. It needs to be consistent regardless of where it appears.  
  • Think about the future: Make sure to create a logo for the long haul. That isn't to say you can't make changes and tweaks down the road -- successful companies almost always do. When you see the final product of your logo, you want it to be something that you can envision with your brand for the life of your business.

Business News Daily contributor Chad Brooks, also contributed to this story.

Dave Mielach

Dave started writing for Business News Daily as a freelancer, and worked as a staff writer from 2011 to 2013. He graduated from Marist College with a B.A. in Communication and a business minor. Prior to writing for Business News Daily, he interned at The Poughkeepsie Journal and two Marist College publications.