Skip to main content

12 Unacceptable Mistakes Designing a Logo

I want to tell you about the 12 most common mistakes that amateur designers can fall prey.

One of the most accessible ways to distinguish your company from the mass of others is to develop a unique and memorable logo for it, but creating a unique and memorable logo is not as easy a task as it may seem at first glance. I want to tell you about the 12 most common mistakes that amateur designers can fall prey.


Choosing the right font decides the fate of the logo design, so it is extremely important to have a good command of the basics of font design. The logo should be as simple as possible and at the same time give a certain meaning. To achieve this, the designer must take into account all aspects related to the design of the logo fonts.


As I wrote in the previous paragraph, the choice of font decides the fate of the entire design. Font selection can sometimes take as much time as creating the logo image itself and haste is not justified here.

Also, do not forget that the logo font should fit into the entire range of brand identity and be combined with other fonts and drawings.


Simple logos are easily remembered, because they are easier to recognize. However, only those logos that have some unique properties, but are not overloaded with unnecessary details, are well remembered and differ from others.


Thanks to the simplicity of execution, the logo becomes not only memorable, but also multifunctional, retaining all its functions when used on various information resources, materials and means. For example, the logo should remain effective both on a medium the size of a postage stamp and on a medium the size of an advertising stand. It is also not worth making the logo excessively abstract.



If a logo needs color or special effects to be effective, then this is not an effective logo. To avoid this trap, first make the logo in black and white and only then add effects or color. This will make it possible to concentrate on the form and meaning, and not on the effects. It is not necessary to use a falling shadow, relief and other layer styles to "gloss" the logo – a good logo will attract attention by itself. You can also work out different versions of the logo to make sure that it looks equally effective in both color and neutral gray scale.


When creating a logo, you should use programs for working with vector images, such as Adobe Illustrator, so that further, if necessary, the logo can be resized without loss of quality and used on various information resources. Since a vector image consists of mathematical points, it remains accurate and unchanged regardless of where and in what size it is used. Bitmap image (consisting of pixels, such as images in Adobe Photoshop) it is not scaled, which means that it cannot be used to apply a large image. For this reason, to create logos, I recommend using programs for working with vector images.

Scroll to Continue


Another common mistake of amateur designers is an attempt to create a monogram from the initial letters of the company name (for example, they will try to enter B and H into the logo of Bob's Hardware). Although such a solution may seem like a good option at first glance, in fact it turns out that it is not so easy to build a trusting relationship with the audience or convey the desired meaning through the initial letters of words. Of course, nothing prevents you from trying this approach, but do not stop at it, unless you manage to create a truly original, creative and memorable image that reflects the mission of the company.

You should also not try to create an acronym by shortening the company name; exceptions may be situations when such an abbreviated name has already been used for some time or if it is in accordance with the company's goals. The company names HP, FedEx, IBM, GM were not originally acronyms, they began to be used in abbreviated form only after many years of work and gaining a stable reputation.


The images of a light bulb with the meaning "idea to emphasize the dynamics, and others are the first to come to mind during brainstorming, but they are the ones and for this reason it is necessary to discard in the first place. How can you expect uniqueness from your design if there are a lot of logos with similar ideas around. Stay away from such clichéd images. It is necessary to invent something original.


This practice has become widespread: after seeing a good idea in someone else's logo, the designer quickly mirrored it, changed colors or words and gave it out for his own development. It's not just unethical, illegal and insanely stupid, you'll get caught on it sooner or later. I also do not recommend using stock photos and clip art, because the whole point of the logo is to be unique and original.


The client pays you, a professional designer, to develop a suitable logo, so it is you who should lead the client to the most optimal solution. The best way to achieve this alignment of forces is your offer of your professional competence, and not allowing the client to lead the process (completely). If the customer asks to make a change with incorrect information or knowledge, explain to him why this is an unsuitable option and offer an alternative. If that doesn't help, send him your design version along with the one he suggested. Often in such a situation, the client realizes that his decision, perhaps, wasn’t really the best. However, you, the designer, should be able to admit that you may be wrong, so why not give a chance to the client's proposal. Who knows what might come of this?


In a way, this point, presenting too many concepts to the client, is related to the previous one. This means that the client will get too much right to vote on the direction of the project. If you present 10 concepts to a client, then they are most likely to choose the one that you yourself consider the worst design option. Experience shows that it is optimal to send the customer from one to three concepts that will be effective for his company, in your personal opinion. Of course, the number of concepts presented varies from project to project, but when you are confident in your professional competence, one of the three concepts always hits the spot.


The logo files that you send to the client must be absolutely free from any defects. Minimize the related milestones, make the bends as smooth as possible, without overlaps. The shapes should fit together; if the logo is symmetrical, then the symmetry should be perfect. Everything in the sent file should be perfect and kept to a minimum. Imagine that the customer will need to enlarge the logo to put it on the side of the truck: if there are any mistakes in the logo, in this case they will become obvious. Make everything perfect.


If you send the necessary files to the client, then most likely, he will not contact you again with a request to fix or change something. This also means that the logo will look great under any circumstances, which should find support in the design style guide.


Theoretically, these recommendations should help you as a designer to become better professionally, but it is important to clarify that, although such lists serve as a good starting point, they should not hold you back. Make rough sketches, experiment, create!

© 2021 Anastasia

Related Articles