It's Sh*t!

Not every "designer" is a designer. There are 3 pitfalls plaguing our industry; learn about each one and avoid the headaches and costs of having to redo your logo.

Unprintable Colors

Color on screen is created by LED light, but in print color is made with ink. Because of the different way colors are made, some colors that can be made on screen just cannot be printed.

Here's the difference in vibrancy between the RGB (web) Colors above, and the CMYK (print) Colors below:

RGB vs CMYK

Different colors have different associations, and if your chosen color is outside a printable range you will not connect with your target customer.

You may go from friendly and fresh to corporate and established all because the color looks dull when printed.

Certain greens and blues are particularly at risk, and you might only discover that your approved color changed after paying for your new business cards, car wrap, etc.

Preview blues
Printable blues
Green as you'll see it on screen
Closest green you can print

Non-vector

Images can be either raster graphics, where the image is made out of individual pixels, and vector graphics, where the image is made out shapes and rules on how to fill them with color.

Think megapixels in a camera; the more pixels an image has - the larger and more detailed you can print it. Whereas if you don't have enough pixels, the photo will come out blurry when you try to make it larger.

Vector graphics don't have that problem, because there are no individual pixels that have color information. Instead, it's made from shapes and rules.

For example, the tire in the logo below is a white circle in the center of a blue circle that's 58.5% bigger. These proportions stay the same, whether you print it really small on a business card or very large on the side of a trailer.

How you see it
How it's made

There are both vector-based and pixel-based graphic design programs available to designers, and while both can be used to design logos in theory, in practice only the vector based programs should be used, as only they leave you with a logo that's usable everywhere.

You'll probably want to use your logo in several places - website, email signatures, social media, business cards, flyers, signage, uniforms, car wraps, etc. But, if you don't have the right file formats you just won't be able to do that.

You need a designer experienced with vector graphics so you'd have a vector file of your logo (AI, EPS, PDF). If all you have are raster files (JPEG, PNG), you won't be able to resize it without it losing quality. This means you wouldn't be able to place your logo on business cards, signage, uniforms, truck wraps, flyers, etc., without it blurring, and that will look unprofessional.

For example, here's the same logo enlarged as a raster and as a vector. Notice the fuzzy edges of the raster on the left, and the sharp lines of the vector on the right:

If your designer only delivers raster graphics you will have to hire another designer to redraw your logo as a vector graphic - paying twice and losing time.

Sloppy Work

Generally speaking, the above issues are caused by designers that just don't know any better. On the other hand sloppy work is more a product of a poor attitude than of inexperience and can be found at any price point.

Ensuring that everything lines up, that curves are smooth, that horizontal lines are actually horizontal, that spacing is even - it all takes extra time, and is boring non-creative work. Designers that are careless with your business logo think: "It won't be noticeable, so who cares", and most of the time it's true - it won't be noticeable.

Until it is...

The example above looks fine, until you enlarge it (for a vehicle wrap, signage, etc.). Then you'll see some pretty obvious mistakes:

example-of-sloppy-logo-design-work
Arm should extend further
example-of-sloppy-logo-design-work
Stray point
example-of-sloppy-logo-design-work
Shadow not on path
example-of-sloppy-logo-design-work
Curve out of bounds
example-of-sloppy-logo-design-work
Uneven spacing
example-of-sloppy-logo-design-work
Text not justified

When your logo is small, mistakes are hard to see and your customers generally wouldn't notice them. But, when your logo is large (wall decal, car wrap, store signage, etc), and you see sloppy work like that above, you would be justifiably angry. Especially, if your signage / car wrap guys miss or ignore them, and you only discover them after the sign / car wrap is done.

Then you'd be faced with a choice - give the impression to potential customers that your company doesn't care about small details, or pay for a new sign / car wrap. That's a tough choice for a new business.

Conclusion

These three problems are those that clients most often hire us to fix. But, there are also a lot of other smaller issues we've seen (e.g. fonts changing at print, because they weren't turned to objects, white backgrounds needing to be removed, non-vector effects removed, etc.), and even some larger ones (copied/stolen designs).

Your logo is very important. Your customers will recognize your company and identify with it based on the image it portrays. If your logo looks professional, they'll attribute professionalism to your company. If it looks unprofessional you might be taken less seriously.

A good logo designer should deliver an original design made to your preferences, free from the mistakes mentioned above, and ready for web and print-use, and supply you with all the files you would ever need to use your logo everywhere you want.

Among our
not so little clients

We're on vacation until Monday, August 8. Any orders placed now will go into our work queue and will be turned around when we get back. Thanks!

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