In the web development industry, logo design is one of the trickiest part. Making a website logo takes no talent; however creating a good one requires plenty of patience, artistic skill and insight. Too often web designers rush into logo design too fast and come up with something so overused that it is downright cringe-worthy.
From online branding perspective, logo is the graphical representation of your website. When people think about “Facebook” as an online entity, they instantly see a white “F” inside a blue square. The same could be said of popular online brands such as Google and Twitter. The reason we remember these brands so vividly is that they are unique and online establishments want to viciously defend these logo. Anytime a website gets anywhere near these logos, their lawyers will quickly unleash a barrage of lawsuits.
If many online companies are willing to spend so much money into their unique identity, it means they see brands as important parts of their success. Often, the biggest threat doesn’t come from competitors but from those actually working on the brand itself. Web designers have more power to ruin a long-held view on the brand and cause a pile of bad press for the company. In recent years, we have seen long established online brands attempting to update its visuals only to receive public outcry and many negative feedbacks that forced them to revert to their original design. Web designers wield an immense power over the success of a brand. They owe it to their clients and audience, to provide unique and rich identity that won’t fail to stand out among thousands of other similar websites. With this knowledge in mind, these are a number of outdated website logo designs you should avoid:
- Chat bubble: Many social media websites use chat bubble on their logo and again there’s nothing inherently wrong with it. A chat bubble looks perfect for websites that involve social interaction between users. Also, for web designers, it feels good when they land on something that nicely relates to their concept. But although it is easy to leverage, chat bubble is no longer a unique brand identifier. If your client insists on using chat bubble, take the time to experiment and see whether you can take the overused logo design to a new place.
- Helvetica: If you have been designing website logo for a few years, without doubt, you have used it, so don’t bother denying. Many times, a designer typed out the website name in Helvetica and found that it resembled a logo. Unfortunately, many lose sight completely of what a website logo is all about. Attractiveness isn’t the only indicator of a good logo. Helvetica is one of the best typefaces in web design. It is versatile and clean, but without caution, you can get the most clichéd website logo imaginable. Helvetica is still usable in website logo design, but when you do that just make sure to back it up with unique visuals. Remember that Helvetica is not the only risky typeface; some typefaces can even give you worse results.
- Random colored dots: This style has been used a lot by logo designers lately. Experts consider it unappealing and unattractive, which looks like a lazy attempt to represent variety. Some logo designers get a bit creative and arrange those dots into symmetrical patterns, but often the result still feels uninspired and generic. In essence, it is no longer possible to get around an idea that have been used by thousands other websites. Rather than using Illustrator to create simple vector shapes, you should spend a solid hour with a pencil and paper to sketch out better ideas than this.
- Arc over the top: You may see this type of website logo many times. Actually, the concept isn’t a bad one. Logo designers used arc to indicate soaring over the competition, movement and progress. However, it is so badly overused that you can no longer hold onto any semblance of a unique online identity and incorporate something new. If your client asks to use an arc over the website logo, find ways to drastically alter its visual translation. Tell the client that there many ways to represent progress. Designers of website logo should tie complex concepts into relatable and attractive visuals, instead of rehashing ideas that users have seen millions times.
- Double letter overlap: While website logo with chat bubbles is quite recent, double letter overlap dates back many years ago. Long before the Internet became popular, logo designers used this design style for any company name with double letters in it. Back then, if you see an old logo with double “L” in it, you can bet good money that it uses double letter overlap technique. A web designer should avoid being too generic and stay away from ideas that countless other designers have chosen. Given that it’s something you do for a living, you can afford spending more time to come up with something better.
We can easily notice something similar about these logo styles. That is, they are very easy to replicate. Unfortunately, many website logos looks unappealing, not that web designers aren’t capable of developing great designs, it’s that they tend to choose ideas that are the quickest to bust out or they are simply too lazy. Successful websites often have logo that is truly unique and a bit quirky. They incorporate beautiful symmetry that’s anything but cliché. Ripping off popular logos would only take minutes to complete, but mimicking the level of creativity is much more difficult. During a web development project, allocate separate time into logo design; odds are the more you put more effort refining and tweaking your idea, the more unique your logo will become.