Graphic design is an ever changing, ever evolving arena. Every year pushes the boundaries of creativity and imagination a few steps further. Some become trend setters and introduce new concepts to the world, while others fall into a design trap and end up learning the hard way.
Let’s go through some of these traps to help novice logo designers (and even experienced ones) in becoming safe practitioners of this art and avoid making graphic design mistakes. Designers become victims of these design traps as a result of too much experimentation and imagination, or the lack thereof. While logo designers are always encouraged to be creative and try new things, it should never be done at the cost of losing basic fundamentals.
Design Trap #1 – Redefining the Predefined
This translates to slightly editing a pre-existing logo, created by someone else, with a few unique touches and calling it your own. Some designers create derivative concepts and steal ideas in order to save time.
There are no short cuts in graphic design. The entire concept of creating something unique depends on the designer’s ability. Don’t be remembered for work that was already done by someone else.
Design Trap #2 – Using Graphic Symbols
This is one of the easiest traps to fall into. If you have used any graphic design software, you have come across graphic symbols. These are free tools that come with the design programs. While the software itself is licensed the symbols aren’t, which means that every symbol uses the same brushes. This leaves the window of trademark infringement wide open.
Bottom line – Create your own logo designs and symbols.
Design Trap #3 – Opting For Graphic Brushes
Just like symbols, graphic brushes are tools embedded in most modern day graphic design software. Unlike graphic symbols, logo designers can get away with using graphic brushes if they are applied carefully and are only used as a supporting element.
Never base your designs on these brushes, too many uses can lead to trademark infringement. A good logo designer should only rely on his/her creative instinct to come up with new concepts.
Design Trap #4 – Choosing RGB & CMYK Color Standards
Versatility is one attribute that clients will not hesitate to reward you for. Using RGB or CMYK color schemes, when at times seems like a good option, there limitations. If a client receives a design in RGB or CMYK and wants to change the medium of their design, they will run into issues. The client will either have the designer redo everything from scratch or be forced to pay someone to adjust it.
Using the Pantone color scheme will give the client flexibility to print their logo designs on any medium they see fit. Similarly sending in raster files is a big no-no. You should send your client vector files as these are easily scalable.
Design Trap #5 – Adding Special Effects
Some new logo designers think that adding special effects will make their logo look extra special; this is not the case. Special effects generally make a logo appear childish and cheap. Avoid these effects, unless specifically requested by the client.
If you want to establish yourself as a serious logo designer, you need to stop making these easily overlooked graphic design mistakes. Protect your reputation and don’t fall for a design trap!