Top DIY Logo Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


Your logo is a big piece of your brand puzzle, often giving people their first impression of how serious your business is. When you are just starting out in business, the funds can be tight and hiring a brand designer may not be the first thing you do. And that is OKAY. But before you think that means your business image does not matter, read on.

I always tell my clients that they need to have worked with some people first to really understand who they are, what their business model is and who they love to serve. Before you are clear on all of that, we cannot really create an intentional brand for you that attracts the right people. Cause you don’t even know for sure who those people are yet! Hiring a Branding Strategist is best done when your business is established and you are ready to uplevel it. You are ready to swim with the big fish and be taken seriously. But it is a catch 22. Cause branding and website design can make sure that you actually GET those clients that you need so badly in your first steps of business.

So how can you look professional without hiring a branding specialist too early on??

You feel like you have no creative bone in your body and everything you set out to create looks wonky. Just for you, I’ve put together a list of the top mistakes I see in DIY logos for you to help avoid them.

Mistake 1: Your Logo Has NO Whitespace

Whitespace is crucial in all design. It creates breathing room and allows design elements to stand on their own. Without ample white space in and around the logo itself, the logo can be hard to read and confusing.

Simple logos work best. It allows you rebrand later on down the road when it is time to hire someone. Remember your logo is just a small piece of your brand so as you add design elements and colors, it can really begin to shape the style of your business.


Mistake 2: Your Logo is Too Busy

This goes along with the whitespace point. If you have too many colors, fonts and elements in your logo, it starts to look overwhelming.

Logos are meant to be simple pictures of your business that give hints into what your business does and it’s values. It is not meant to tell the WHOLE story.They are simple emblems that can be used wherever you show up.

Your logo will not just be used at the top of your website so it needs to work across all places and platforms. For example, perhaps it will show up on merchandise tags, window store fronts, banners, your social media accounts, business stationary and envelopes, etc.

Stick to 1 or 2 fonts for your logo. If you are not sure how to pair fonts correctly, check out this post here.

Logos should only use 2-3 colors to make sure it is kept simple and easily understood.


Mistake 3: Your Logo is Too Trendy

Logos are one of the first things that people see in your business. If it looks like everyone else's, AKA trendy, it is going to be super forgettable because it will look almost identical to everyone else's.

Your logo needs to be unique to your business. Trendy logos end up needing to be redone 5 years later anyways because they become outdated that quickly! Settle on a timeless look that only needs to be refreshed every 10 years or so.

Mistake 4: Your Logo is Too Hard to Read

Remember how we said logos are used on many different places and platforms? All those different platforms and logos require a different size of your logo and even a different composition.

Some platforms need a stacked logo design and others work best with a horizontal composition. Make sure your logo can work both ways.

You will also need to have an all white version of your logo, called a watermark. This will  work the best when your logo needs to appear on top of images or colored backgrounds.

The fonts and colors you chose are also crucial to make sure your logo is able to be read. Yellow and other pale colors are not the best choice.

Also be aware of your logo font choices. Script fonts and thin fonts are not going to be very readable on places where your logo needs to show up small.

Making a Good First Impression is crucial to organically growing your business. Your logo is a big part of that.

What things you struggle with when it comes to building your brand? Let me know in the comments.


Mistake 5: No Intention Behind Design

Pretty looking logos are just that. Pretty. But that is not going to grow your business. Having a strategic and cohesive brand is. That is the only way you will be able to attract those dream clients of yours.

Branding is meant to get inside the head of your target market and draw them in with compelling and great design that speaks to them specifically. There are many ways that we can do that but the choices you make in your logo design is going to be the foundation for this.

Make sure to choose colors that attract your ideal client and also work well with what you sell. For example, Walmart uses Blue and Yellow. They are known for having low prices that you can trust. Blue is known as a trusting color and yellow is known as a happy color. See what they did there? They used that knowledge to intentionally design their logo.

Every design element that goes into your logo should be created with the ideal client in mind.

Melissa McKenzieComment