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By Sophie Haren

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Here are five signs that you've got a terrible logo on your hands.

In the age of design DIYers and online businesses, the amount of logo crimes being committed is out of control. Even I can't condone it.

 

Many great things come with self-taught design, but some things will always fall through the cracks. Today I'm here to correct that.

1. You can't read it

You don't have to look far to find a font with an illegible font in a logo.

 

I think about 70% of the script and handwriting fonts out there should be banned from being in a logo.

 

If people have to stop and stare at your logo to try and figure out what it says? Sorry, but you're looking at a bad logo.

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2. The logo relies on a texture

I'm going to hurt some feelings here. But it has to be said. Watercolor, gold-embossing, or glitter does not a logo make.

 

If your logo is dependant on one of these textures in ANY way, you're in trouble my friend.

 

A logo should be boiled down to a stark black and white logo and still communicate what it needs to.

 

If your logo didn't have it's the watercolor background, would it still be a logo? Or would it just be a black blob with an illegible script font cut out of it?

 

This also rules out having photographs as part of your logo.

 

You can add textures and emboss your logo after, but those are treatments of your logo. It's not your logo itself.

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3. You can't scale it

You've probably downloaded 833 podcasts about scaling your business...but can you scale your logo?

 

Your logo should look good, really big, and really small.

 

If you've hired a designer and they didn't give you a vector/eps version of your logo...I consider that a criminal offense on their part. You should be able to use your logo at any scale and for any reason and to ensure that, it needs to be vector.

 

Do you know what can't be a vector? Textures and photographs. See my last point.

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4. It's trying to tell the entire story of the business with the logo

Your logo is a flirtatious wink, not a monologue or a drunken heart-to-heart.

 

It should catch attention and hopefully make enough of an impression that it sticks in their mind. It does not and SHOULD NOT have 800 symbols in it indicating every aspect of your business.

 

If you're an SEO expert for eco-friendly financial institutions, you don't need to have a tree, money signs, a computer, a magnifying glass, and your face included in your logo.

 

In fact, I'd rather just it be the name of your company in a black Helvetica font. I'm dead serious.

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 5. It's spacing is all out of whack

This one is a little more technical, but it's like a knife in my gut every time I see it. And I see it a lot.

 

Pay attention to the spacing between letters (kerning) and if it has stacked words, the space between those words (line-height).

 

Many people think that just typing it out is enough because they figure the font designer put the perfect amount of space between everything. But oftentimes if you look closely, you'll see that it doesn't look quite right. Fix it! You won't be sorry.

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