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There are many tests that a logo has to pass in order to make it: It has to be unique, memorable, readable, scalable, flexible, understandable, impressionable and the list continues. This is the reason why it’s for the best to get it done by a professional designer or agency.

If your logo looks weak, your business looks weak. Now either you’re a client just wanting to know what to look after, or you’re a designer that got a bit stuck, we’re going to look at the most frequent logo design omissions and how to correct or overcome them, by taking the example of JapanTours, a travel industry company, created especially for this article.

Many times, when looking at a fresh logo during the design process, we feel it’s too crowded, noisy or busy, and this is pretty normal considering that simplicity is quite difficult to achieve, even for experienced designers.

If we take a look at the logo above, which is not bad but certainly not good, we see that it’s trying to convey some information: The airplane — certainly sends us in the traveling zone, the red dot — a well-known symbol for Japan, the bamboo sticks — another reference to Japan, the O replaced with the red dot — a redundant symbol of the icon, the name, JapanTours — explicitly stating all of these elements again. What’s to be done?

1) Split it up
There is indeed reason to include all the elements, however, we have repetition, crowded graphics, and generally too many ideas put together. We don’t have to overkill it. So, let’s split the ideas in several concepts:

We see that each one of the three resulting concepts, is certainly better, but we’re still far from where we should be.

2) Think small
A good logo has to be identifiable from up-close, far away, in extra-large or tiny size in about the same amount of time. It is said that it takes consumers 10 seconds to form a first impression of a brand’s logo, but it takes 5–7 impressions for consumers to recognize the logo. The more complex it is, the more likely it won’t look good when oriented or when reduces in size. The fine lines will blur, the area with little negative space will scale down in the worst possible way.

If we eliminate some of the micro details, like the bamboo leaves, the complexity of the bamboo segments, the imperfect circle shape, and we give it a bit more space in between all the elements, we already have quite the improvement when looking and the scaled down icons.

3) You’re not on social media — you don’t exist
And even worse, if you’re on social media with half a logo as a profile picture, or a stretched or cropped version of it. Everybody understands the importance of all the social media channel out there, and the logo needs to be presentable on all of them!

In our case, we can have the icon alone, or, by moving the text underneath, we have a nice almost-square version that fits well in both a circle and a square, keeping all our info on sight. When designing a logo, we have to always keep the social media aspect in mind. If it’s rectangular, try to square or circle it. If that’s not possible, try to separate an element to create a simple display image with it. Also try to renounce all your redundant elements for nobody appreciates it.

4) L-E-t-T-E-R-S
The font is as important as the icon or symbol. And that’s a fact! For wordmarks (logos composed only of letters or text) on the other hand, the font is everything. There are countless font faces all around the internet, so the font can be a rough step to take, and a hard decision to make. We have to make sure that the font fits in the brand identity while matching the logomark. At just a short glance, we can see that going with a minimalistic approach we are somehow compelled to use a Sans Serif font.

We already feel the change in the look of this design, by just changing the font face. Adding a space between the words and differentiating them by weight, our logo is surely looking airier and clearer. If you’re having trouble choosing the font face in your design, try this Top 10 Minimal Fonts to use in your graphic design projects article to get inspired. Keep in mind that the font has to match the overall brand as well as the direction of your concept.

5) Make it Pop!
We never want it common; we never want it boring; we never want it dull. There are many ways to change the way a logo looks, but we have to know what buttons to push, and color is a great way to achieve the Wow! effect.

By switching to a more vibrant palette, we already have something interesting going on. In our case we don’t have to worry about losing the connection to Japan since it’s already in the name. Color has such a powerful effect on our brains, and often, color is the foundation of the personality, mood and feeling of the brand itself. Keep it trendy — keep it Wow!. But color is not the only thing that can be tweaked: Hidden messages, stand-alone icons, funny aspect or meaning are just a few of the tools we have in order to get it done.

Your logo supports your digital presence, your marketing strategies, your signage, merchandise — just name it. It’s mandatory to keep in mind that the logo serves as the backbone of your brand’s visual identity, so it has to be done properly. In the same time, the logo is not the brand, so even if you have a beautiful logo, make sure it fits the business brand otherwise it will only bring negative impact.

Your weekly dose of logo-knowledge was brought to you by: HIBRIDIUM

Hibridium is a freshly freelancer turned to brand project, aiming to offer, as already stated, “more than design”. What is more than design ? Tailor made ideas and concepts, based on our customer’s insights and our own experience.

HIBRIDIUM lives in a Hybrid world, a mixture of digital marketing fairy tales, custom graphic designed dragons, printing materials for the bear in the forest, and brand identity in shining armor. Check out more on Facebook!