A logo is supposed to be the symbol of a brand so the worst thing for it to do is to leave a bad impression or no impression at all. The easiest way to do this is by making the logo illegible. This is actually quite a common problem. Business owners do not look for feedback on how their logo would look to people who are unfamiliar with their company. When you know what the logo is supposed to represent or to say, the image is much more obvious to you than it would be to a person unfamiliar with it. To that person, the logo could be complete nonsense or, even worse, it could have a completely different meaning than the one you intended.
The Causes of Illegibility
- Using the wrong colours. The most common and most legible colour combination would be dark writing on a light background. However, it is normal for designers to experiment with colour combos in order to make their logos more distinct. This is ok as long as it does not sacrifice legibility.
- Using the wrong fonts. Like colours, it is normal to try different font combinations in order to get an original look. Also like colours, you need to be very careful when you do this so as not to make your logo illegible.
- Using too many elements. A good logo will always be simple. That is why it is a bad idea to overload your logo with too many elements. It makes it harder to get the complete message and it is even worse if the elements start to overlap each other.
- Being misinterpreted. When you are designing the logo, you have a clear idea in your head and this can make you miss something that would be obvious to other people. You need to make sure that your logo could not suggest anything else than what you want so it will not be misinterpreted by other people.
These are all common mistakes. In order to avoid them, just remember the key characteristics of a good logo: simplicity, legibility, clear colours and a concise message.