Case #MMM015 - Bad Practices In Logo Design - Radiant

The Radiant Blog

I am going to make this post rather simple because the philosophies of design are hard to express verbally and nearly impossible to do in writing. In my more than ten years of designing I have also found that tastes are many and varied. Some people see what they see as good and others see as bad and no one can convince them otherwise. As stated earlier I have been doing this for a long time so I think that gives me some authority to hand out two cents and tell you they can be taken to the bank. So for your consideration, here is a list of things that should never be done when creating a logo.

  1. Never design your logo in Adobe Photoshop. You will be tempted to add too much detail or special effects that don't belong on a logo.
  2. Never design a logo in Microsoft Word.
  3. Drop shadows, bevels, glows and other special effects should not be used. They make your logo too complicated. This hinders reproduction, reducibility and usability.
  4. Never distort typography. (as per last weeks post)
  5. Don't use more than two different typefaces in a logo.
  6. Avoid swooshes and other design items that are trendy.
  7. Never use a stock logo or clip art.
  8. Never steal.
  9. Never commit to a logo before getting feedback from others.
  10. Take care when making symbols into letters.

Now these are ten rules that you could follow but I feel like there is so much more that could be covered. I could follow these ten rules and still make something that looks terrible. So consider these as a place to start designing a logo. Look around for yourself and get a feel for the differences between good logos and bad logos.

A place that I frequent for inspiration or just to get my head into the right space for logo design is LogoPond. There is nothing on that site in the main showcase that is bad, so feel free to get so more education there.

Lastly, I have shared this before but it is so good I am going to share it again. A famous designer by the name of Paul Rand wrote a good piece on logo design. It changed my mind and philosophy on logo design forever.

Feel free to question me on any of the above rules, I'd love to discuss them more with you. If you have a logo you would like me to comment on, I would be happy to help out.