Why Most Logos Make Me Cringe

Updated: Nov 16, 2020

Logo Talk. Will yours make It far?

I’m just going to be blunt... most logos nowadays make me cringe. 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.

Most new businesses, especially beauty brands, are asking designers for these glam, poppin, glittery, decked out logos. Most new graphic designers are producing only that type of work. You’re probably thinking “Well I’ve seen your work, and you have glittery logos too!” And you’re right! As a designer, I listen to my client and give them what they want, with what I think is best as well.people do come to me, asking for glitter, and I will deliver but will 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. It’s cute, sure. (Well, sometimes). And it’s trendy right now (Clearly), but the truth is, glitter won’t always be in style, 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.

Aside from your logo on print items, let’s talk about professionalism. Although the glitter can work for your logo and gives It a cute look on your phone or computer, think about It in the outside world. I guess this part depends on where you see your brand.... if you plan to only be a social media brand, glitter may work! A social media brand is what I’m going to call businesses that only are on Instagram, Facebook and maybe have a website, but don’t see themselves being in stores or on a building.

If you see your brand in a large, high scale environment, your glitter just might look a bit “cheap”.. 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). Purple is bold and red is bold, I can't see them going together very well.

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.

That is a Graphic, Not a Logo

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

I see this SO much. People will come to me with a logo that they already have. It’s busy, usually not clean, shadows, textures everywhere 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”.. Ma’am or Sir, a professional logo does not INCLUDE a background.

Characters; Wrong or Right?

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

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 some 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. Teshia wept.

Logos like the following examples, are not ideal when branding.

Mixing real images (The hair, the crown), into your logo can be seen as unprofessional and tacky. 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, real images within your logo 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 this. If your logo has a real image, You should have also received a file of just the text, to help print with ease and give a simpler and more professional variation.

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 does have glitter, and lots of people see what I have done in the past and may requests something similar. I have no problem doing It, but I definitely make sure that 1 or 2 of the proofs being received are ones that I feel are best and more professional. I even include multiple variations of a proof within the concepts, to show how It looks in different ways. My suggestion, is that with whatever logo that you have created, you get variations and solid color variations.

Artish Design is rebranding, and focusing MORE on brand identity rather than being cute and blingy. 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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