red flags - design

5 Red Flags of a Bad Logo Design

At Design Missoula, we love creating logos. We believe that they are vital part of brand development and that a great logo can be the foundation for all of your business’ other design choices, from your print materials to your website. We’ve also found the designing logos for the companies we work for helps us get to know your business extremely well – giving us a great head start when moving on to other related projects.

Down With Bad Logos!

Just as a truly great logo can help a business grow and prosper, a badly designed logo can harm your brand and your bottom line. Not only that: using a bad logo and then having to switch logos can be very expensive and confusing to your customers. The best strategy is certainly to avoid a bad logo design in the first place.

Here’s our best advice about the types of logos you should say no to at all costs:

  1. A logo that doesn’t transfer well across mediums. It is very important to remember that your logo will be used in a variety of ways and across a number of mediums. While a logo may look great when it is very large and on a designer’s top-of-the-line computer screen, it may not translate that well to a black-and-white pamphlet, a mobile phone screen, or a t-shirt. A good designer will keep this in mind and test your logo in a variety of ways. A bad designer won’t give it a thought (or they’ll hope that you won’t).
  1. A logo that follows all of the latest trends. You want your business to be around in many years – you should want your logo to stick around, too. Beware of trendy fonts, trendy color palettes, and overall trendy designs ideas. Although it can be difficult to tell the difference between something that looks fresh and different and something that will soon be very dated, your designer should be able to steer you clear of design fads. When you’re looking at possible logos, ask yourself if you can imagine it withstanding the test of time. Is it like that traditionally cut black blazer you bought years ago that will never go out of style, or is it like that pair of floral capri pants that were yesterday’s news before you got them home from the store?
  1. A logo that doesn’t embody the company. You can have a great looking logo that is a still a terrible choice for your company. For example, if you are a quirky, cutting-edge start-up that markets to young people, you don’t want a totally conservative and boring logo. And if you are a financial institution that brands itself as trustworthy and no-nonsense, you don’t want a logo with untraditional fonts. To avoid these issues, be sure to communicate with your designer about your company’s mission, philosophy, brand, and clientele before the design process begins.
  1. A logo that is too complicated, abstract, or busy. All good designers know that more is not always better. Bells and whistles often don’t add to a product’s value, and this couldn’t be more true than when it comes to logos. Using multiple fonts, too many colors, or too much distortion will only confuse and repel customers. It can be easy to get too caught up in the logo design process and over-think the final product. One way to avoid this issue is through user testing. 
  1. A logo that relies on clichés. There may be nothing worse than a logo that is tired, overused, or just plain stolen from another company. Your first idea is rarely the best idea – and chances are that someone else with a similar business has already thought of your first idea. Picking a logo that isn’t inspired or unique won’t just fail to make your company distinct, it could also cause trademark and copyright issues that may be expensive, time-consuming, and harmful to your brand.

At Design Missoula, we have seen logos of all shapes and sizes over the years, from the ingenious to the just plain terrible. Luckily, our training and experience has led to a logo design system that helps us avoid all of the above red flags and more. Our logo creation process ensures that your company’s symbol will be appropriate, clear, distinct, and representative of your brand. And it will be designed and formatted to be successful across all mediums.

Ready to learn more? Contact us today by calling (406) 370-6353 or contact us below.


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