Your logo is the first thing most people know about your brand. As such, it provides prospective customers with a first impression that has the potential to make or break a future lead.
When you think of it that way, it’s easy to understand why so many marketers and businesses throw resources at crafting the most creative logo money can buy. But ‘creative logo’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘good logo.’ Even a well-intentioned graphic designer can get carried away with fonts, shapes, and colors, creating a tacky behemoth that won’t look good no matter how many T-shirts you stick it on. When beginning the logo-building process, make sure to steer clear of these potential pitfalls for a logo that’s clean, appealing, and on-brand.
The Accidentally Offensive Logo
This is one of the oldest marketing pitfalls in the book: Designers working on the project get so consumed with the task at hand that they remove themselves from being able to see the bigger picture. There is no shortage of cases throughout history in which a logo or slogan seemed optimal to the creative minds who did the designing, but was revealed to be less than ideal when the work was released to the world. Take, for instance, the 2012 London Olympics logo. This logo was quickly associated with offensive imagery and other negative symbolism, despite its more than a half a million dollar price tag. Moral of the story: It pays to have an extra sets of eyes (or ten) on your creative logo before you set it free into the outside world.
The Hyperactive Logo
A creative logo is great, but if nobody can read the words or letters that comprise the design, it’s not really doing its part to help your company make a name for itself. Don’t let the creative juices outdo the work that your company is doing to brand itself. Plays on letters, shapes, and even colors can be incredibly effective branding and marketing tools, but when objects are smooshed together without an eye for spacing, they can result in blobs and lines that have no real meaning to the viewer.
The Static Logo
A great creative logo design has its place on your website, but eventually, you’ll need it for a lot more. Make sure your logo is scalable so it can handle being airbrushed, screenprinted, bought, and sold on multiple types of mediums. Think about how your new design will look on your business cards, for example. Will it work well on T-shirts and promo items such as cups, mugs, and other trinkets? As long as your lines and font are adaptable to the elements of change, you should be in good shape.
The Cliche Logo
Of course, it’s easier said than done, but individuality is the last essential piece of the creative logo puzzle. Overused themes are easily identifiable, and today’s intelligent consumer will likely block out branding that contains ultra-common designs. If your company is in the mountains, for example, keep in mind that your neighbors’ businesses may also try to incorporate some kind of mountain ridge design into their logos. Despite the variation of industry, it can be difficult for consumers to distinguish between two different logos if they use similar elements. Avoid the cliched, obvious choice in favor of original ideas and designs to ensure your logo sticks out from the pack.