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How NOT to Design a Logo

The creation of your business logo is one of the most exciting aspects of the brand development process. Your new logo will put a face to your new business and allow you to build consistency throughout your products and marketing material. In previous articles we have discussed what makes a great logo and reviewed some logo design trends of this year. Today we want to look at some common logo design mistakes and point out what not to do.

Say no to bitmap

The first and perhaps biggest mistake business owners make is not receiving the proper and useable files of the logo they created. Since your logo will be used in a variety of formats you need to ensure you have the correct files for every purpose. We are approached by many clients looking for custom logo design or touch-ups with only a single file of their logo available. Often designers will send you a rasterized version of your logo without providing a vector based file. This will be a certain headache down the road as other designers will not be able to incorporate your logo into other material without losing quality. You will not be able to use the logo for T-shirt printing, flash animations, large printing etc. Be sure to obtain the following files: high res jpeg, PNG and a vector based file (.AI, .EPS or .SVG).

Stick to Guidelines

While not every small business or boot-strapped start-up has the budget to write a booklet on customized branding guidelines it is important to understand the application of your logo. Guidelines on how your logo should be used will help you maintain consistency in your logos appearance. This is something you can do for yourself. Simply write out a few basic guidelines marketers need to keep in mind when using your logo. For example, use your logo only on white backgrounds, ensure the logo does not overlap with other design elements, use only one or two specific fonts in your marketing material. Jacob Cass once said \"The worst logo applied well is better than the best logo applied poorly\". Unfortunately, many small business owners do a poor job of applying their logos. Avoid that by creating and following your own guidelines.

Don't smother your logo

Simplicity in logo design is a topic that is discussed often but it is a point that cannot be stressed enough. The most common mistake we see in logo design is people wanting to do too much. We can understand the urge to create a special logo that sticks out from the crowd and leaves an impact with intricate designs and effects. Unfortunately, this often backfires and results in a logo which is difficult to remember and a headache when it comes to application. Be kind to your logo and let it breath! In Leonardo Da Vinci\'s words \"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication\"

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