One thing we’ve been telling people over and over again is that your ideas matter, so be deliberate about which ideas you’re making public. If you’re a consultant, your ideas are your currency. And your ideas are reflected in everything you do, in every choice you make.
That includes your design, and in particular the design of your logo.
Let me lay my ulterior motive on the table here — my company wants to sell you design services, among other things. I’m proud of the work we do, so I don’t mind being up front about it.
But a lot of people are going to to go it alone, especially when they’re first starting out, and they don’t have, or don’t believe they have, the money to spend on a professional logo.
I understand. If you must go it alone, here are some mistake I’ve seen that I’m hoping you avoid:
Mistake #1: You designed it yourself in MS Word
Microsoft Word is a very good program for word processing. You can make images in word, but, really, don’t. Just don’t. It’s an inferior tool for design work, and if you use poor tools for any job, the outcome will be predictable.
Mistake #2: You need a magnifying glass to see all the detail
Sometimes people design their own logos and just go to town on the details. Intricate, abstract shapes — strange serifs in the typography… Your logo should look good both large and small, because it will be printed on your business card (small) and on the top of your web page on someones wide-screen, high-resolution monitor (large).
Mistake #3: It’s too literal
You don’t need to spell out what you do using graphics in your logo. Think of it this way, some of the best logos out there (FedEx, Xerox, BMW, Dell, McDonalds…and the list goes on) don’t depict the products or services offered. What they do is make an impression. Here’s an example of what being extra-literal might look like to your audience.
Mistake #4: It looks like everyone else’s
With the rise of creative crowdsourcing sites (great logos for just $99!) more consultants have logos that look the same as everyone else’s. You know what kind of sites I’m talking about. Again, I don’t begrudge you if you’re motivated by price. But take a look at what you’re getting and make sure it’s not just a retread of what all your competitors are doing. In the long run it won’t be worth it to you to blandly blend in.