As business owners, we all have this vision of making our own company logo from scratch using Adobe Indesign. In reality, what we end up with is a logo design that looks as if it was created in Microsoft Paint and resembles something you drew when you were twelve. Let’s face it, we’re not all going to be the next Van Gogh or Leonardo DaVinci or – in this case – Carolyn Davidson (the woman who designed the Nike logo).
If you’ve found yourself staring at your finished logo wondering why something just seems “off” about it, chances are your gut feeling is correct. Customers can be fickle and if a business logo doesn’t catch their eye or resonate with them immediately, they will move on. It’s essential to have a well-designed business logo not only to attract customers but also to improve your brand’s reputation and reach. Take a good hard look at the logo you’re unsatisfied with (whether you made it or a graphic designer did) and ask yourself a few questions:
- Does this design represent the most important aspects of my company?
- Will the design be obsolete or outdated in the next 10 years?
- Do the colors in the logo resonate with the rest of the branding image?
- Is the spacing of each design element too large or small?
- Will this design look good across all types of online and offline marketing platforms?
If you don’t like your answers to any of these questions, then it’s time to head back to the drawing board to determine whether or not you can salvage any part of your logo design. Below are a few tips to help you make a few quick fixes to your company logo.
Quick Fixes To Improve A Bad Logo Design
- Fix the logo style. If you’re unsatisfied with the overall appearance of the logo but like the font and colors, then chances are you don’t like the particular style. Not all logo styles will look appropriate for every business. For example, tech companies and online apps may want to avoid badge logos and instead opt for initial or wordmark logos. Restaurants, bars, and salons, on the other hand, tend to deviate towards retro badge logos or combination mark logos.
Fixing the style of your business logo will move each of the elements around in a way that might be more appealing. If you’ve opted for a combination logo style (image and text), then try testing your design with the image to the left, right, top or bottom of your company name and business slogan. Switching from a combination mark logo to an emblem or seal logo will move remove the image and arrange your business name and slogan around the emblem. It’s all about creating the right amount of space between each element.
- Change the font. Logo styles and colors are the big focal points when designing a logo. Logo designers will often ask business owners what type of color scheme they like best, and will often gloss over the font. Fonts are crucial in helping customers gather information about your business. Set the tone of your brand with the appropriate typography by making small changes to the font until you are satisfied with the appearance. If you own an upscale restaurant, you may want to select a cursive-style font or a font with thin lettering. If you run a daycare center, choose a fun bubble font.
No matter what industry you’re in, just be sure that the typography is legible. Customers should be able to read the font from a reasonable distance on their mobile phones, computers, promotional products, and your storefront. Don’t forget that not all fonts look best in all colors, so be sure to play around with the color of the font as well before making a final decision. One of the biggest mistakes made during the logo design process is using two or more different font styles. It’s best to stay consistent with one font that is unique to your business.
- Swap out colors. The psychology behind colors and how they can control emotions has been heavily researched over the past few decades. Red is often found in fast food chain logos, orange is found in travel or fitness business logos, green or blue is often associated with education, banking, and law, whereas black, white and gray tones are associated with fashion and technology.
A color palette that clashes can easily dissuade customers from entering your storefront. You could have the most minimalist logo design, but if you have more than 3 or 4 colors in your logo, it can start looking busy and jumbled. Take your initial logo design and change the colors to black and white for starters. If your logo looks more presentable in black and white, then this may be the only aspect you need to change in your logo design. If the logo still looks out of sorts, slowly start introducing colors into the design while keeping some elements black and white. Some logo designers will often use a focal color. For example, the business name may be in black lettering, while the icon is red or blue.
- Take out design elements. Have you ever looked at a patterned shirt and said: “that’s not for me”? Chances are some customers may be thinking the same thing about your business if they find your logo to be too busy. The logo design trend these days is to have a minimalist logo in order to not overwhelm the customer. Why use five words in your business slogan when three will get the same message across? Take the time to strip out unnecessary elements such as words, shapes, and colors.
One of the most common logo design mistakes is adding too many design elements that surround the business name. Icons such as stars, circles, or dashes on the perimeter of your logo may be doing more harm than good. Try removing these elements first and see if the appearance is more to your liking. While some brands will often try to fit icons cleverly into the font, it’s best to leave this type of logo style to the professional logo designers (trust us, this is difficult to do!). If you feel you’ve stripped your logo design down to the bones, then chances are you may need to experiment with different font styles.
- Add an icon or focal point. While on the topic of minimalist logo designs, it’s important to note that not all businesses will be able to pull the minimalist, text-only logo look off with success. Many of these businesses are in the clothing and fashion, restaurant, or technology industry. For small businesses who are trying to make a name for themselves, the first successful iteration of their logo almost always includes an icon of some kind. Think about businesses such as Air BnB, Starbucks, Twitter, and Target — all of whom started off with a logo that had both an icon and a business name. A logo icon should help enhance your business name or slogan and tell customers a little more about your business.
A focal point doesn’t always have to be an icon, though. If you are set on having a wordmark logo, then there are clever ways to spice up your logo design. Bring different font colors into the mix. Google’s multi-colored wordmark logo is iconic and recognizable by almost anyone; it’s a simple concept that was made unique through the use of color. Try changing the first letter of your business name to a different color. You can also switch up the font size to create a focal point within your business logo. For example, if you have a double initial logo, make the first letter larger than the second, or capitalize the first letter and leave the second lowercase. There are plenty of options!
If you’re still having trouble designing a logo for your business, you can either enlist in the help from a professional logo designer, or you can create one using an online logo maker. Both options will provide you with a beautiful looking business logo that is well worth the investment.