What Makes a Bad Logo?

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Can a bad logo design ruin your brand’s image? Yes, it most certainly can. People are fairly observant and rarely do any details skip their observation.

A logo is the face of the brand, and as the saying goes, a first impression can most often be the only one you get to make. It is, therefore, all the more important to avoid logo fails that can dissuade your potential audience from interacting with your brand.

Unfortunately, you will find the internet ripe with bad logo examples. As much as brands want to sway the target demographic with their logos, they end up doing just the opposite solely because of wrong choices and techniques.

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What Makes a Bad Logo?

The easiest definition of a good logo is that it has a crispness and an image that etches itself in the memory of people with a single glance. It should be a logo that captures the brand’s image and is somehow reflective of the story of building that brand.

A bad logo design has multiple unpleasant features. For example, it is a depiction that is unclear. Murky to look at, hardly recognizable, or just plain senseless. A great logo is one that shows without words what the product is all about it, such as the Nike swoosh.

Fans of Nike can figure simply by its logo that the brand is all about high quality and comfort and that swoosh symbolizes it. You can take any good vs bad logo design and compare how the two make you feel. One motivates you to buy from the brand right away, while the other, not so much.

Another clear indication of inappropriate logos is when it is too bright, too confusing, or even too loud. It often reflects how the designers behind it became over competent and merged ideas that did not blend well. You will see a lot of gaudy, eye-hurting colors, poor font choice, bad spacing and placement of symbols, and poor textures in them.

In short, bad logos are the ones people forget from memory as soon as they have looked at them, while terrible logos are ones that they actively try to avoid.

What Makes a Bad Logo

1. Too Many Details

Sometimes, people infuse too many lines and tiny details into a logo that makes it difficult for people to see. They’re the most unpleasant logos to look at.

We’re not implying that detailed logos are a totally bad idea; it’s just that too much intricacy means they’re not scalable. If you’re considering putting those up on vehicle wraps, murals, billboards, etc., then detailed logos might still work.

But if you’re planning to put your logo more on harder-to-see or smaller surfaces, then you can envision how a detailed logo would not fit it well.

2. Too Outdated

A bad logo design is also often the result of using outdated techniques, effects, and visuals. Some logos, which are truly not that old, end up looking like something from decades ago and not in an appealing way.

If you feel your logo looks outdated, then perhaps you can redesign it and incorporate more 21st century details. A logo design software will be highly helpful for this. Yes, retro designs are back in trend but if you want to give your logo a retro vibe, then ensure that you only use design elements that have come back in style. A good example here is Spruce’s hand-drawn vintage logo.

3. Inappropriate Imagery

A bad company logo is the one where designers badly match the elements. Perhaps the logos are not bad themselves; it’s just their irrelevancy from the brand they are representing. If your logo does not echo the feeling of your organization, it will hardly be an effective company face, nor will it build customer loyalty successfully.

An example is the big red V in mega Telecommunications Company because it looks out of place.

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4. Conflicting Themes

Remember, your logo must set the mood of your brand. If your business is catering to serious-minded people, then you would do well with muted colors and angular shapes to appear more professional. Suppose you’re a tech company that wants to look futuristic to people: the best imagery for you would be astral girds, wire circuits, and such design elements to communicate that.

5. Unclear and Vague

Many brands often come up with a good logo but fail to communicate to the audience what they are all about. If your logo looks good visually but fails to say anything about the brand at all, then count it as one of the worst logos ever.

The primary goal of the logo must be to show others who you are and what your business is about. The best solution for this is using a logo maker for the perfect logo for your company.

50 Famous Logos Then And Now | Bored Panda

6. Generic Logo

A bad logo design is also one that is more generic than specific. Adopting a logo that perhaps looks good but is generic is another big mistake. Logos are effective when they’re unique and memorable. If it is one that perpetuates the same styles and trends as the others, then there is hardly anything in it to show your brand’s exclusivity and innovation.

Final Thoughts

A bad logo design could ruin the very image you may be trying to build for your brand. Logos are the first contact people have with your business, and it is often the only clue they have of your quality, services, and professionalism. It is highly important to ensure you have just the perfect design elements, from relevancy to being dated, to make it a memorable and effective logo for your company. There are lots of bad logo examples, now you no what to look for and what to avoid.


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