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The top 5 logo mistakes to watch out for – by TWG designer, Amanda Barnhart | The Winn Group

The top 5 logo mistakes to watch out for – by TWG designer, Amanda Barnhart

What’s in a logo?  An image?  Does the graphic representation of ALL that your group stands for really matter?  The answer: your logo is priceless!  Not only is it priceless but it is the biggest megaphone your group has to promote its message.  So, if you want your nonprofit to grow and achieve success, sometimes what you DON’T do matters more than what you do.  Think about these “Do Nots” when designing your logo.

1. Do not follow current trends.

Trends are ever changing, but your brand is not. When you invest in creating a mark that will represent your organization for the long haul–it is important not to focus on what everyone else is doing at the moment. According to Smashing Magazine “A well-designed logo should be timeless, and this can be achieved by ignoring the latest design tricks and gimmicks.” Even if it looks great today, will it still be doing wonders for your company in 10 years?

2. Do not rasterize a logo.

What is a Raster graphic? It’s more commonly defined as a “Bitmap”, or an image comprised of pixels. The problem with pixels is they do not “scale” well. In other words, you won’t be able to resize the image without losing quality. This creates countless problems when dealing with a logo. Your logo won’t be easy to edit and it won’t be compatible with todays media formats.  So really, why even go there?

3.  Do not count on color to achieve the look.

As a designer, my #1 goal is to make sure a logo looks good in black and white. Why? Because at some point, your group’s logo will be displayed in black and white. Trust me. Whether it’s a poster for a charity event – that you didn’t design – or a rushed, low cost print job, you will see your logo without color. In these situations, if your logo needs color to work…it’s an immediate failure. Color should be the last feature picked and stay focused on the mark itself.

4.  Do not make the logo complex.

A good logo is simple. Your logo has 1 second to leave an impression on the minds of the viewer.  If your logo has multiple and complex elements, people won’t be able to decode all it is saying in that 1 second. Target is a bullseye, NBC is a peacock and Nike is a check. Force yourself to include the fewest elements as possible to get your message across and you will always win.

5.  Do not be ignorant of your market

Is your group web based?  Will you use print pieces? Billboards? Business Cards? Or maybe just websites and social networks to promote your message? If you are ignorant of your market, you won’t know what message moves your target audience to action.  Your logo is the one element that represents all that your company stands for.  Make sure it’s translating the right message.  Do some research, find out who your competitors are and rising above what everyone else is doing.

Now that you know what not to do – go get started doing.  Keep your logo timeless, simple, compatible to modern media formats and relevant to your target.  Do this and you’re image will succeed every time.