7 Mistakes to Avoid When Creating Your Logo

7 Mistakes to Avoid When Creating Your Logo

What separates an effective logo from an ineffective one? Why have some very simple looking corporate logos managed to become so popular? You probably want your logo to look professional, don't you? What can you do to make sure you create a logo that lives up to your expectations and helps you create a strong brand image? Here are 7 mistakes to avoid when creating your logo.

What is branding in graphic design?

Before we start, let us take a minute to explain what branding is. Branding is much more than a simple logo; it is the visual universe and story of your business. Consequently, when creating your logo, you need to think first about branding and how you want people to feel when they discover your products and services.


What to avoid when designing a logo? 

Top common logo design mistake examples and fails

Whether you are an experienced graphic designer or a freelancer who needs a logo for your brand, no one is immune to mistakes. Even big companies such as Pepsi, GAP, or BP did have some major logo design mistakes over time. Here is a list of seven things you should try to avoid when it is time to design a logo.

Not Knowing Your Company

To start with, you need to take the time to know your company before you start sketching. Your business or your project must be the basis of your inspiration for your logo. It's as simple as that. What do you offer? What are your values? What industry do you work in? What sets you apart from your competitors? Who is your target audience? 

 A logo for a garage will without a doubt be different from a logo for a group of businesswomen. You create a logo for your business and not for someone else's. Not knowing your business enough is a big logo design mistake. The first step of the logo creation process is often to do market research. 

 Not Knowing Your Customers

Another very important point before creating your logo is who you are doing it for. To do this, you need to have an idea of who your customers are, what they like, or what inspires them. Who are your products or services for? 

Certainly, a 20-year-old student will not have the same needs or concerns as a 70-year-old retiree. Your logo must have a purpose and convey the right message to the right people. Your logo must appeal to them! Indeed, you can create something more generic if you wish to have all sorts of customers, but do not underestimate the power of visual language and what it can do for your brand.

Using Too Many or the Wrong Colors

Do you know the meaning of each color? It is not an exact science, but colors are associated with different qualities or emotions. Therefore, what colors represent your company? If you offer luxury products, it would probably be better to use classic colors like black or brown. We also advise not using more than three colors when creating your logo. In addition to helping you reproduce your logo more easily, your brand image will be stronger. One way to do this is to use a main color, an accent color, and a more neutral color. Slack had to change its logo as it originally had more than 10 different shades. Don't make that mistake!

Another important point regarding common logo design mistakes: when creating your logo, make sure that it can also be used in black and white, if necessary. You may have to use this format for printing.

Using Too Many or the Wrong Fonts

As it is for colors, it is important to choose the right font and typography for your logo. Not all logos have writing, but this may be a plus if you are still not well-known. You can put your company name or even your slogan on it if you need to. Don't hesitate to try different fonts to find the one that will be perfect. You can choose a serif font to give a more refined look like the Volvo or Dior logo, or sans serif to look more accessible like the Facebook or Jeep logo. Try to choose a font other than Helvetica, Times New Roman or Arial since they are already widely used and will convey a poor image of you. 

Similarly, it is very important not to use more than two fonts so that you don’t mess with the harmony of your logo. You can choose one font for the name of your company and another more discreet for your slogan, for example. If you decide to create a wordmark or lettermark logo for your brand, pay special attention to typography.

Getting too Much Inspiration from Trends

If you don't want to have to redo your logos every two years, we strongly suggest that you don't rely too heavily on trends. It is another common logo design mistake made by a lot of people. If you create a logo that respects only the trend of the month, it may age badly. Just think of the first AirBnb or Mozilla Firefox logo that reflected the times when they were created. Instead, try to create a timeless logo that will represent your business over time.

Of course, you can take the time to look at logo design trends and inspiration, but you need to remember to select items and elements that represent your business and its values accordingly. Regarding this, a great logo does not need to use Pantone's color of the year to be successful. There is no need to use a popular script typography if it does not fit your brand at all.

Using Too Much Detail

You may have noticed that logos are becoming simpler or more minimalist. This is the case for Starbucks, Mastercard, and Cirque du Soleil. In recent years, several redesigns have removed small details that could unnecessarily weigh down logos or blur them. When creating your logo, keep it simple. It will also be easier to reproduce your logo on different mediums. Indeed, using too much detail and elements would be considered as another logo design mistake by several people.

We would also like to take this opportunity to tell you that it is important that your logo be easily reproducible, which means that it can be used on different platforms. When creating your logo, think about how you'll use it as a favicon or on social media, for example. Vector formats (available in our high-resolution package) can help you create a flexible logo that will be at the top no matter the format!

The Biggest Mistake: Copying Another Logo

Finally, the last mistake to avoid when creating an effective logo is not copying an existing one. Of course, you can draw inspiration from some trending logos when designing yours; however, do not copy them, it would be plagiarism. In addition to damaging your credibility, it will show your lack of professionalism and authenticity. There are thousands of companies like yours and it's important to create something unique that represents you well. It's about your reputation, quite simply!


Reminder: What are 5 rules for creating a good logo design?

We know that logo design can be complicated sometimes. Therefore, what should you keep in mind in order to create a great logo? Whether you are a professional with plenty of experience or a rookie designer, here are the most important characteristics of a good logo:

  • Recognizable: Your potential customers must be able to recognize and memorize your logo or your brand and associate it with your business easily. 
  • Flexible: Whether you decide to create a wordmark or a badge logo, it should remain flexible. It means that you should be able to use it everywhere without any problems.
  • Simple: Your new logo should be simple and minimalist, if possible. More specifically, you should not use too many different brand elements to avoid ending up with something chaotic.
  • Timeless: As mentioned above, trends are important, but it is even more essential to create something that is timeless for your brand. This way, you increase your chances of having a strong brand image that does not require yearly rebrands.
  • Distinctive: A good logo should be different from its competitors. With the slogan and visual elements, we should also have an idea of the values or what is provided.


What are the five characteristics of a bad logo?

On the other hand, what would be the characteristics of a bad logo? What huge mistakes could harm your brand credibility? Let us see which characteristics you should avoid when designing a logo.

  • Ordinary: Creating a logo that is too generic or common is another logo design mistake to avoid. Your logo should be your ambassador; we should be able to feel your values and personality when looking at it.
  • Non-versatile: If you create a logo that cannot be used everywhere, you have worked for nothing. Nowadays, it is essential to design something that can be displayed online and on printed materials.
  • Poorly organized: Using various visual elements in a logo requires structure. We should see the most important components first, and all parts must be clear.
  • Complex: As stated above, it is now recommended to create a simple logo. Indeed, complex and complicated logos can be considered mistakes to avoid in design.
  • Blurry: It is essential to use the right file format to avoid having a blurry logo. If your brand elements do not look perfect, it can greatly harm your professional credibility. To help you with this, try to get vector files for your logo.

Where can I find good logo design ideas and brand examples?

Finding the perfect idea for your logo may be challenging, but here is a few hints. First, remember that your company or product should remain your main inspiration. Second, take a look at the market and your competitors. If all other businesses in your field use one type of logo, it could be relevant to use another one to stand out.  Finally, check the current trends and logo examples on websites like Pinterest. Your can also access thousands of logo templates created by our experts at FreeLogoDesign,


What is the golden rule in logo design?

We believe that according to industry standards nowadays, you should have a logo that is representative and flexible. Your final design should be used everywhere, whether online or on printed documents. Therefore, during the logo design process, keep in mind to create something that is your best ambassador and looks great on smaller sizes or giant posters.


In conclusion, do not hesitate to show your sketches to your entourage to get their feedback. They will surely help you create the perfect logo for your business! Remember that a good logo must be memorable, flexible, simple, timeless and distinctive. Happy creating!  

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