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What is a professional logo?

Updated: Jul 21, 2022

Kudos to all of us starting businesses and following our dreams, but lots of us are uneducated on what a logo really is and how they should look! A lot of ‘us’, also don’t realize the difference between a logo and a graphic.

Many new businesses, especially beauty brands, are asking designers for glam, poppin, glittery, decked out logos. Most new graphic designers are producing that type of work. If you’re thinking “I’ve seen your work, and you've had glittery logos too!” You’re right, in the past I have but with more years of practice came more knowledge about brand design and how to design in the direction your brand is going. As a designer, I use to listen to my client and give them what they want, with what I think is best as well. People would come to me, asking for glitter, and I would deliver, but also give my professional opinion and other options as well. This is why I suggest variations and submarks, especially to go with a logo that has a lot going on, but some designers don’t offer that and some new businesses don’t want It. Variations are “extra” logos that work with your main one, but give more simplicity or just give another look.

Think about Nike, they have their main logo, but they also just use the stripe by itself and you still know what It is. That is what a submark is, and yes you should definitely have one!


Now about the GLITTER. The truth is, glitter won’t always be in style, is not seen as professional and It DOES NOT work on all mediums. Picture your logo on something small (Lets say, a pen).... And picture It on something HUGE (A billboard!).. does It look right on both?? Probably not.

Let’s talk about professionalism. Although you like how the glitter looks on a post/social media, think about It in the outside world. This can also depend on where you see your brand.... if you plan to be a social media brand, glitter may work! A social media brand is a businesses that is solely on Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok and maybe have a website, but don’t see themselves being in stores, on a building or with tangible branding/marketing.

If you see your brand in a large, high scale environment, your glitter will look “cheap” and young. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are some brands who have products in a store with a glitter logo, but to a professional designer eye, It doesn’t look as high scale as the rest.

Think of where you want to be.


A clean, simple logo works!!

There is nothing wrong with multiple colors in your logo, BUT, let's make sure the colors make sense and aren't used improperly. I see (and have done) logos where the client wants to see all these different colors. Multi-colored logos generally only work well when the theme or brand correlates with many colors. For example a logo for diversity, LGBTQ, art.

"I want red, purple, pink and gold" on a logo that you want to be on beauty shelves, may look terribly messy.

I suggest to pick one bold color, and if any other colors are needed, let them be a subtle color or a base color (Black or white), OR as a color in the "background"

Purple is bold and red is bold, I can't see them going together very well in one design. If you must have more colors, feel free to use them in marketing and further branding items.

I personally love monotone logos. Even if you do ask me for a multicolored logo, having a solid color variation is ideal. You don’t see many national brands with too much going on. They may have started with that, but when expanding, you see solid colors and simplicity. Don't mistake this section for meaning your logo is trash if it's multicolored, just make sure to invest in variations that allow for more simplicity.

A Graphic versus a LOGO

A lot of businesses have graphics or a picture, not a logo; and unfortunately don't know the difference. A graphic, is more-so an image/decorated file. It usually has a background and a lot going on. A graphic can be used for posting, but It is not a logo.

A background file may have been sent to you for mood/social media purposes, but a real logo has no “background”. You have received a graphic, especially if that designer did not send you a transparent file.

People will come to me with a logo that they already have. It’s busy, usually with shadows, textures and 400 colors - but worst of all, has a BACKGROUND. I ask “Were you sent another file, without a background?”, and they say “No, this is my logo”, a professional logo does not INCLUDE a background ad you should have most definitely received a transparent and vector file.

Characters; Wrong or Right?

Character logos have been around forever. From looking around and from my professional opinion, character logos can work for cooking brands, lifestyle/blogs, restaurants, home-renovating, podcasts, youtube and sports. They also work well when it's an animal or mascot. If you'd like your character to be a detailed drawing/animation of yourself, It will not work well on all mediums. If you do have a logo that's a detailed image of you/someone else, you'll definitely want a variation with just the words. Overall you should stay away from detailed characters.

I do create character logos, but I would not recommend someone to do a character logo unless they are one of the fields above or unless they are using It as a mascot.

Character logos in beauty brands, turn people away. Subconsciously, if you see a character that looks nothing like you, or goes against something that you stand for, you may turn away from It. If you do want a character logo, or you have one, I suggest to get a file without the character as well. This should be done anyways, even if you are in one of those fields, because that character will not look right on everything, if you are looking to expand.

Using Real Images

I cringe. Tish wept.

Logos with real images like below, are not ideal at all. These are graphics, not a logo. Your logo is a memorable (ideally simplistic) mark and should be vector. See image on the left for example of logos with real images, and the example on the right is a better version, which would be seen as more professional.

Mixing real images (The lipstick, the crown), into your logo can be seen as unprofessional. Your logo should be vectorized, which is another subject to explain, but It should not consist of real images. Real images within your logo can not be printed on various mediums, they contrast from the wording. This sort of goes along the lines of It being a graphic and not a logo. Do not ask your designer for these elements.


I personally use to create trendy logos, but as a growing brand focused on expansion, I no longer endorse such aspects that I know can put your business at a lower bar than competitors.

My portfolio has had glitter from past projects or in marketing, and lots of people see what I have done in the past and may requests something similar, but I no longer will create anything that I don't see advancing your brand. My whole focus is to get you to a higher level via aesthetics.

Artish Design is rebranding, and focusing on brand identity rather than being "cute". Make sure your brand can be great on and off of a screen!

I wanna see your brands’ go from this to that

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