February 21 2011

7 Logo Design Mistakes

… that Global Site Plans Will Never Make

1. Relies on trends

Trends come, go, and ultimately turn into clichés.  A well-designed logo should be timeless and this is achieved by ignoring the latest design tricks and gimmicks.  When Global Site Plans sits down to design your logo, you will always receive a unique logo that fits your company identity.  We will ignore logo trends and focus on a timeless design.

2. Uses raster images

Logo design standard practice is the use of vector graphic software, such as Adobe Illustrator.  A vector graphic is made up of mathematically precise points, which ensures visual consistency across multiple sizes.  The alternative, of course, is the use of raster graphics software, such as Adobe Photoshop.  A raster graphic – or bitmap, consists of pixels.  You can be sure that whether you enlarge the logo that Global Site Plans designs for you into a large format print – for say a billboard – or you reduce the image, it will always be of the highest quality.  Your logo design will always maintain visual consistency.

3. Contains stock art

Your architecture, engineering, environmental non-profit, landscape architecture, or urban planning company logo should be unique and original.  And if you’ve hired a logo designer in the past that has utilize stock art, that was a big mistake.  Global Site Plans guarantees that stock art will never be used and your logo will be as unique as your company.  Chances are that if stock art is used, someone else is also using it in the world, making your logo no longer unique.  In addition, while downloading stock vector imagery from websites is not a crime, incorporating it into a logo that you may eventually copyright, just might be.

4. Too complex

When printed in small sizes, complex design loses its detail.  In some cases, it will look like a smudge, or worse, a mistake.  The more detail a logo has, the more information the viewer has to process.  A logo should be memorable, and one of the best ways to make it memorable is to keep it simple.

5. Relies on color for its effect

This is a common mistake of logo designers.  Some designers cannot wait to add color to a design, while some designers rely on color completely.  Choosing color should be the last decision, so starting in black and white works best.  At one time or another, your company will need to display your logo in one color – black and white – so it’s best to start the design process in black and white.  If color is used to distinguish certain elements in the design, then when that day comes, your logo will look completely different in black and white – one tone.

6. Poor choice of font

Choosing the right font is among the most important design choices Global Site Plans can assist you with making during the logo design process.  And finding the perfect font for your logo design is all about matching the font to the style of the icon, or image.  However, if the match is too close, the icon and font will compete with each other for attention, but if it is opposite then the viewer will not know where to focus.  The key is to find the right balance.

7. Utilizes too many fonts

Along with a poor choice of font, a designer could also use too many fonts within the logo design.  Global Site Plans will always find the perfect balance for your logo.  Using too many fonts is like trying to show someone a whole photo album at once.  Seeing too many fonts at once can cause confusion.  Using a maximum of two fonts of different weights is standard logo design practice.  Legibility and brand recognition is maximized when the number of fonts is restricted to two.

Renée van Staveren

Renée van Staveren is the Founder of Global Site Plans. She holds a M.S. in Urban and Regional Planning from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She also holds a B.S. in Sustainable Community Development from Prescott College. Prior to establishing Global Site Plans and The Grid, Renée van Staveren was an Assistant Planner for A-M-M-A Transit Planning and the Program Director for Planet Green. In June 2014 Renée moved from Istanbul, Turkey, where she'd lived for four years, to return to the beautiful city of San Francisco. She is now a Manager at the Urban Land Institute's San Francisco District Council. You can find her at one of their many events, so pop in and say hello.

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This entry was posted on Monday, February 21st, 2011 at 6:43 pm and is filed under Architecture, Branding, Engineering, Environmental Design, Environmental Non-Profit, Landscape Architecture, Renée van Staveren, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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