7 Deadly Sins of Logo Design

Have you ever asked yourself whether or not your company logo is up to par with its competition? Better yet, is it in line with the most successful companies in the world?

Put it to the test by going through these 7 Deadly Sins of Logo Design:

1. Self-Designed (if you're not a professional designer).

Just stop right there. If you designed your logo yourself, no need to further investigate. Case closed - your logo is due for an update.

Simply having an opinion about what you like and don’t like is not enough to create an impactful and lasting logo design.

2. Stock usage.

Sure, stock logos were likely made by graphic designers, but grabbing something for $15 (or even free!) off of a stock site isn’t doing your business any favors. Why? Anyone else could buy the same thing and put their own name with it! Plus if it’s generic enough to be on a stock site, it’s not original nor specific enough for your business.

3. Cliché concepts.

There are so many generic logos that are just repeats of other logos! Search “logo people tree” images on the internet and see how many you can find. Or how about Real Estate logos? Search that and you’ll find almost every logo has a few rooftops with a “swooshy” line and the company name below it. You are never going to stand out this way, even if there are differences! Let’s just say if it was the first thing you thought of, it’s probably cliché.

4. Outdated trends.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that if a logo is old it’s “outdated”. There are plenty of old logos that aren’t outdated at all. Why? Because they use classic design principles, not trendy ones. Going with trends is always going backfire a few decades later, just like fashion trends. Looking back you’ll realize that 3D effect and drop shadow were the bell-bottoms of logo design.

5. Relying on color.

A good logo design is flexible. If your logo loses its recognizability when the color is taken away, it’s time to update! There’s nothing wrong with adding color to your logo, but first check it out in black and white to see if it works well.6. Too much detail.

6. Too Much Detail

Again, because logos are used in so many ways they have to be flexible. If you can’t put your logo design on a pen without losing important detail, you’ll know it’s going to have to be simplified. A well-designed logo will not limit your company in any way, which leaves you the liberty to go for anything you want. 

7. Shallow or meaningless

Having a recognizable object in your logo does not give it any significant meaning.

If you are a tech company, simply putting a computer screen says nothing about you as a business. For example, Amazon could have used a grocery cart icon to imply online purchases, but that would be meaningless. Instead their logo points from A to Z, showing the wide range of products they sell (don’t forget that little grin too, reminding us about their attention to making the customer happy).  


If your company logo is committing one or more of these 7 Deadly Sins of Logo Design, it's time to kick it to the curb and get a fresh image. Great companies always maintain a great image for themselves, starting with a classic and impactful logo.

Check out the infographic for this article here.

Thinking your company could use a new logo? Get a jumpstart by winning a logo redesign package. Enter the bad logo contest here and submit an image of your current logo for review. If your logo is chosen, you'll win a professional logo design package worth $2,000!

Heather Avery