8 Of The Biggest Mistakes You Make On Your DIY Logo
1. Too busy.
Test to see if your logo is too busy: make your logo itsy-bitsy. About the size of a stamp. Can you still clearly recognize all parts of the logo? Including the words? If it seems hard to create a simple logo, it is.
2. Too many colors.
Test to see if you have too many colors: convert your logo into black and white. Does your design still work? The black and white test is also useful for keeping your design simple.
3. The font is not legible.
Under no circumstances use Comic Sans or Papyrus...just don't! To test your font, do the itsy-bitsy test. For font inspiration, check out DaFont http://www.dafont.com/. Free fonts!
4. Avoid gradients.
This one is controversial. Some designers love it; some don't. I'm in the "don't" camp. By gradients I mean, colors that fade from black to white, or yellow to orange. Logos that fade from one color to the next is more expensive to print, look bad in a .png file, and are dated...Hello? The 90's are calling, and they want their graded logo back.
5. Wrong format.
Create your logo in a vector file. A vector file is one that can scale really really large or really really small and NOT lose clarity. To test if your logo is in a vector file, enlarge your logo as big as you can. If it looks the same, you're good. If it's pixelated, it's not a vector. Vector files are usually: .ai, .eps, .pdf. I use Adobe Illustrator to make logos, but it's pricey. Use Inkscape https://inkscape.org/en/ it's free!
6. You ask the wrong people what they think of your design.
You can ask your Mom...if you are trying to sign your mom as a client. You can ask your coaching colleagues...if you are trying to sign them as a customer. Ask a professional designer, then ask your ideal client. The pro can direct you in design principles, and your idea customer can interpret your message.
7. Limiting your creative process narrows your options.
Use images, paintings, sculpture, people, shapes, color for inspiration. Avoid looking at other logos for motivation. PROTIP: Create 5 DIFFERENT logos, get feedback on those (see #6). Then, pick the top 2 and create variations of just those 2. Variations include, color, scale, different fonts, etc. PS Your logo does NOT have to be accompanied by an icon.
8. Create a style guide.
Keep your logo consistent. Establish exactly what color are you using, how much space between the letters or icon, what color background should your logo be on. Include the Hexadecimal, RGB, CMYK, and Pantone colors in your style guide.
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