Company Logo Dos and Don'ts

Company Logo Dos and Don'ts

Your business logo is a crucial identity-marker that can make all the difference in whether people remember your brand. When done right, it builds an instant emotional connection with consumers — a prime example is Coca-Cola and the iconic red suit worn by Father Christmas.

So, the question is, what makes an impactful company logo vs. an easily forgettable one? Let’s look at the most important Dos and Don’ts.

Company Logo Design Dos

If you want your logo to make a strong impact for all the right reasons, these are the key things to remember:

Brand Identity

Before you do anything else, get crystal clear on what you want your brand to represent. What is your business identity? This also ties closely into the main audience type you’ll be targeting, and your USPs (unique selling points). These factors will be your cornerstone not only for the logo, but your customer messaging (tone of voice), illustrations and more.

It all comes down to creating a strong, original voice. Examples are:

  • Cutting-edge and dynamic like a tech startup.
  • Classic and stylish like a high-end jeweler.
  • Fun and energetic like a health drink manufacturer.

Competitor research is really helpful while you’re figuring out your brand identity. What do they do that’s impressive? How can you be impressive too, while distinguishing your company as unique? What do you do better than them?

The best logos instantly make a strong, clear statement explaining your brand. They let you establish a recognisable identity across all your customer touchpoints, which is really important because brand consistency can increase your revenue by up to 23%.

Logo Type

Once you’re clear about your brand personality, you’ll be able to narrow down your logo choices to match it. The three main types of logo designs are:

  1. Abstract Graphic — e.g. the Nike ‘swoosh’ symbol. This approach can be really fresh, but it takes time and budget to plant this ‘identity-cue’ in people’s minds. The symbol needs to have meaning which you continuously affirm, or it can easily become just a meaningless shape that does nothing to enhance your brand.
  2. Font Type — e.g. IBM. With this type of logo the font (style of text) works to communicate your brand identity. For example, sans-serif (without squiggles on each letter) is very clean and modern, but could appear sterile and dull if it isn’t done right. On the other hand, some serif fonts are too hard to read or can quickly end up looking dated and gimmicky. Also be careful that the abbreviated letters of your company don’t replicate a better known brand.
  3. Literal Illustration — e.g. Apple. An image of what you do, along with your abbreviated company name, is a good choice for new brands as it very clearly explains what you’re all about. For example, ‘HRE’ (Home Repair Experts) plus a house illustration. To make it work, you’d want to choose a unique color or two that your main competitors don’t use, and a font that represents the style of your business.
The logo for Nike shoes and apparel
The logo for IBM Computers
The logo for Apple Computers

Company Logo Design Don'ts

These are the main logo pitfalls that many companies have learned the hard way — with loss of brand appeal and even customers feeling like they’ve been betrayed:

Radical Changes

A logo is the core identifier of your brand and gets stronger over time. On the other hand, like anything, logos need to be freshened up every now and then to keep up with the times. You need to find a good balance. And this is also why you’ll want to steer clear of designs that are overly trendy when you create a company logo. This approach gets dated very quickly, meaning you’d need to do a major redesign.

It’s best to make gradual changes so you don’t alienate your brand-loyal customers. Sometimes all you need for a logo facelift are small tweaks. Getting too clever making major logo changes can really backfire. Don’t forget that logos are an investment that gains value over time. Sweeping changes can throw years of identity building out the window.


A logo needs to be scalable, suited to a range of sizes and materials. It must look just as good on a pen as it does on the side of a truck, or on your business Facebook page. That’s why it’s really important to go for a clean design when you create a company logo.

A Coca-Cola can sits next to a screen with the brand Facebook page, showing how logos connect products and marketing

Color Chaos

Bear in mind that while a multi-colour logo may look awesome on your computer, it will be a big added cost further down the road when it comes to printing on stationary, letterheads, uniforms, transport etc. You also want to be careful of clashing colors — there’s a definite science behind harmony. To learn more about the ins and outs of this, read How to Create Awesome Branding Colors.

But you don’t actually need lots of colors to make a great impression. In fact, most major brands use only one or two colors in their logo. You can never go wrong with keeping things clear and simple. Less distraction to the eye makes a logo more easily recognized.


A company logo is one of the main ways people remember and connect with your brand. But logo design can go very wrong if you lose sight of clear brand identity and customer perception. Just imagine if Coca-Cola turned their iconic red branding to purple, and started promoting a Father Christmas dressed in purple too... There would be an outcry.

A final tip: make the most of your logo. Extend your brand far and wide into the marketplace, like business cards and other touchable branding that lets you maximise meeting new people. And ensure your logo is consistently used across every online touchpoint. But with multiple uses in mind, be sure your logo idea translates well to different materials and doesn’t incur needless printing costs with too many colors. This infographic gives you a checklist for where to add your logo.

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