By Tara Ingalls, Owner
I was recently interviewed and asked to describe something that frustrates me in my job. That was a tough one. I had to actually think long and hard because I really love what I do and there are very few things that stress me out.
I think the most common design faux pas is when I’m asked to add too many details to my client’s logo design. To explain further, let’s first breakdown the three areas of branding:
1. Logo Icon (think Nike’s swoosh or Target’s red target)
2. Company Name
3. Company Branding (all the photos, messages, graphics, colors, etc.)
I think clients have a hard time differentiating between the company logo, which should be very simplistic, and the company brand. They want to add all kinds of graphics and colors that often take away from the appeal and memorability of the logo itself. The logo should be something the client can build their branding around.
The best advice I can give my clients is “Keep It Simple Silly” and follow these three cardinal rules:
1. No photos. You want the icon of your logo to be eye-catching in one and two color for things like signage, clothing and promotional items like mugs. Adding a photo to your logo turns it into 4-color making it expensive to reproduce.
2. Choose two fonts. This dates back to the ‘ol “no more than two-three fonts in a layout” rule I learned in school. Keep your font choices to a maximum of two so that you can add additional fonts to the rest of the branding theme.
3. Keep it Scalable. You want to be able to scale down your logo for items like pens and have it still be legible. Be sure to communicate to your designer which words are most important in your company’s name as well so they’re enhanced in the layout.
It’s important to realize that your logo is your company’s first impression when reaching potential clients. It will appear on everything you design from your business cards to your website. Take a look at your logo … does its design break my three cardinal rules?