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5 Easy Ways To Avoid A Bad Logo Design

Great logos are easy to recognize.

Think about Nike, Apple, or Google. They’re recognizable, easy to read, and adapt easily to whatever materials they’re printed on.

Good logos should be interesting and crisp. They should represent the brand in all ways and should be easy to identify. But what about bad logos?

How do you determine what is a bad logo or what makes a bad logo...bad?

Bad logos are often too bright, too loud, or too confusing. They simply don’t make sense and don’t fit with the quality of the brand.

In this blog, we’ll tell you how to avoid a bad logo design, how to identify your logo pain points, and examples to help you create the logo of your dreams!

What Makes a Bad Logo Design

There’s no concrete element or ‘thing’ that makes a bad logo, “bad.” It’s usually a mixture of things that cause the logo to go from easily understandable to confusing to look at.

Here are the 8 biggest mistakes when it comes to bad logo design:

  • Too detailed

  • Too vague

  • Too bright

  • Isn't unique

  • Tries to say too much

  • Poor font usage

  • Generic

  • Doesn't have the audience in mind

As discussed in a previous blog post, one of the best examples of a bad logo design is the London 2012 Olympics logo.

london 2012 olympic logo

After the 2012 Olympics logo was revealed, a petition was circulated in Great Britain to have the logo scrapped and redesigned - Over 48,000 citizens signed it.

Many felt the logo didn't represent London at all and that it was too radical for their city. It was hard to read, hard to understand, and overall just...not right.

The designers never considered the audience they were creating this logo for and the city surrounding the event.

How to Avoid a Bad Logo Design

One of the best to way avoid a bad logo design is to hire a professional.

Your visual identity is what separates you from your competitors and allows you to build long-lasting relationships with your consumers. Professional designers have the knowledge and expertise to provide you with a logo that targets your audience and conveys to them that your business is well-built and reliable.

However, this isn’t always an option.

Whether it’s due to budget restraints, time restraints, availability, or something else - we’ll teach you five easy ways to ensure your logo is top-notch.

5 ways to avoid a bad logo

Choose the Right Font and Colors

Your font and color pairing should be indicative of who your audience is and what your brand offers them. You wouldn't use comic sans or neon green if you’re a luxury handbag designer, right?

Not many people take into consideration the psychology of colors and how they make your audience feel.

Depending on your brand, your audience, and your message, the colors you might be thinking about using may actually be the wrong choice.

color psychology chart

Avoiding a bad logo design can be as simple as switching up your colors!

Use Icons That Represent Your Brand

Your logo will never be used the exact same way each time.

Depending on the material, the size, the type of marketing, the platform, the medium, and more, your icon will need at least 2-4 different variants that can be used.

Because of this, if your logo involves icons, or uses an icon in the stripped away version, it's imperative to have one that is recognizable to your audience.

Keep Things Simple

Your logo doesn’t need to have your business name, slogan, phone number, website, or address. All it needs to be is a small representation of your brand.

Look at these two famous logos below:

tiffany & co logo
nike logo

What do you notice about them? How simple they are, right?

Now what do you notice about these bad logo design examples:

sun king logo
pearls & primates logo

While there’s no denying that graphically they are well done, the logo themselves are hard to read, hard to understand, and slightly strain your eyes.

When designing your logo, make sure you keep it simple to avoid over-complication.

Make Sure It Works in Greyscale

Your logo shouldn't be so dependent on its color that it doesn't make sense in black and white. After all, not all marketing materials are created the same.

If your logo is printed in greyscale, does it still make sense? Will the brand name be hard to read? Does part of your logo disappear when it's all the same color?

Using colors and gradients in a logo is fine, but a logo that relies on its colors lacks the versatility to be used in all of the ways a logo is typically used.

A logo needs to work just as well without color as it does with color.

Don’t Hyper-Focus on Trends

Design trends may look great today, but they’ll probably look like a mullet or sweater vest 10myears from now.

Bold colors and fonts are in right now, but that doesn't mean they'll be "in" in a few years - or even a few months!

Designing your logo around trends can limit your reach and cause a rebrand.

Logos are most effective when they’re memorable, while generic logos, or perpetuating the same trends and styles as everyone else, have the opposite effect.

Do what everyone else is doing, and there’s a good chance someone will confuse your brand with another.


Kellyann Doyle is a Content Marketing Writer at Zoek, an SEO, Web Design, and Digital Marketing Agency that assists small and medium-sized businesses with their online footprint. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in 2013 from the University of Houston with a Major in Communications and a Minor in Marketing and has been working in the Digital Marketing world ever since. When not working, you can find Kellyann trying new recipes, enjoying a good nap, or watching Friends for the 500th time.


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