Six Logo Design Mistakes Founders Make

Photo courtesy of Artversion

One of the most important tasks a founder has while building their company is to design a logo. Even established brands like Gap and Microsoft have received criticism over their recently attempted redesigns.  The Gap’s new logo didn’t even last a week. Logos define an organization, their branding, and help clients identify with them. As the founder of Artversion, an interactive design firm, I often see six common mistakes made by startups when designing a logo.

1. Creating a logo that only projects your interests
As a founder, I understand it is easy to choose a logo that only reflects your interests and loses sight of the organization.  It is important to note that although we have created these organizations, the sole purpose is to bring in clients. When designing a logo remember clients of the organization have to identify it with our companies.

2. Creating out dated design
Many large organizations still use the same logos they designed many years ago, and those logos have become timeless and unforgettable.  As a founder, we need to remember that over time those logos have defined the company and though they may have been well designed at the time, times have changed and it is more appropriate to design a logo which is appealing to today’s markets.

3. Creating logos which are appealing but do not reflect your company
When looking for inspiration, I have come across many logo designs that are appealing to the eye and very interesting.  Most of these logos may be exceptional but they may not relate to any aspect that pertains to your organization. You must remember, when creating or choosing a logo design that your logo represents the organization and what it does.

4. Creating logos that are similar to your competitors
Many startups get caught in designing logos similar to their competitors’; this is because we have a tendency to believe that our competitors have clearly done something right and we should therefore copy them. Creating logos similar to your competitors’ logo will actually confuse clients on which organization you are. It is better to design a unique logo, different from your competitors’, which will help you stand out. If you can stand out from the rest, you have a better chance of gaining more attention and business.

5. Creating logos with clip art
When we are in the beginning stages of our startups we want to accomplish everything we can right away, as founders, we might find ourselves doing whatever it takes to get our organizations off the ground as quickly as possible. Many founders feel that they can create their own logos with the use of clip art. Clip art is actually very unappealing to clients and can be seen as rushed and not having taken the time to create something meaningful and lasting. Clients may feel that your organization is not willing to be unique, which is the exact opposite of what your well established startup needs. Having unique designs that are popular and up-to-date will help bring more attention and business to your organization. In today’s world most client bases like new, innovative technology built into the services they are receiving. Keeping up-to-date in today’s world will help you to gain more return on your investments. It is better for a founder to hire an interactive agency to design a detailed and professional logo, which is specific to your needs, unique and understands the industry of your startup.

6. Creating a logo without considering different media
Designing a logo that will accommodate all different media is crucial for your success. When designing a new logo for your startup you may come across certain designs which look amazing on a computer screen but not on printed material. You must remember that your logo needs to look flawless in all different media, such as: websites, business cards, billboards, magazine and newspaper articles, even on the side of your building, company vehicles or other materials you choose to print on. You must also remember that your logo may appear in black and white from time to time when it is being used on different documents, such as: photo copies and faxes. It is best to design a logo that is legible in both color and black and white, making it diverse enough for any media. Avoiding gradients, shadows and intricate designs will help your logo appear clear and crisp on all media, at all sizes. We also need to remember to keep our logos consistent throughout all different types of media. As your business begins to grow you may find yourself designing new up dated logos for your organization. Designing up-to-date logos for your organization is an exceptional way of gaining more business in this fast growing world.  Once you have established your newly designed logo, you must remember to update all forms of media you use. Keeping a consistent logo will ensure that your clients know who you are and immediately identify it with you.

Logos not only define our organizations they also bring our organizations to life. By taking time, and finding the right branding agency, your new startup can design a timeless logo which will be recognized and remembered by many.


Goran Paunovic is the founder of Artversion, an interactive design firm based in Chicago that specializes in web design and content strategy. He recently became a FoundersCard member.