Illegible logo design: how to avoid a pointless company logo
The point of your logo is to be the face of your brand. So what is the one fail safe way to guarantee 1) a bad impression or 2) no impression at all?
It is very surprising to see quite how many small business owners don’t check to see how their logo might be perceived by someone who doesn’t know the name of your company. The problem with checking illegibility is that if you know what it says already then it seems obvious to you.
But to an outsider you can have not the foggiest idea what the logo says, or what it is about (or EVEN WORSE – it could be giving out a terrible message that is counterproductive to your aims. Check out Logo design gone wrong: 10 Offbeat examples to see what we mean. It’s truly cringe worthy stuff)
What can cause illegibility?
The wrong colour
Dark writing on a light background is the most legible, but obviously a lot of company logos play with colour in order to bring out their brand personality. But just make sure that you never compromise on legibility, and yellow on a white background is a seriously bad idea.
To do it the right way, check out our logo design colour tips article
The wrong font
Again, experimenting with font is vital to make sure that you have a unique company logo that perfectly suits the personality of your brand. But the more creative you get with font (such as using the letters to create an image or shape – see here for our article onlogo design layouts for more information) then the more careful you have to be that the words are still clear.
Obscuring or overloading your logo
Having too many elements in a logo is distracting and confusing. If the suggested solution for this is to overlap elements then this can also be a very bad idea for legibility.
Remember that the best logos in the world are simple for a good reason. It makes their message clear.
Creating the wrong impression
Can your logo be misinterpreted in a bad way? It is shocking what sorts of logos can get through design and into use when they can be so clearly taken the wrong way. Take a look at these shockers to see what we mean.
The rules of logo design
These simple rules should always be followed when it comes to logo design. For a full recap of our logo design rules click here
A company logo should be:
- Have one clear message
- Be simple
- Have clear colours
Like our tips? Subscribe to our small business and entrepreneur advice blog
Our blog is full of great tips on design and marketing to help you learn how to become a more successful and knowledgeable business owner. Click here to subscribe.