A logo is more than just a pretty face next to your business name. Before anyone learns anything about your company, at first glance, your logo is your business. There are many aspects of logo design that businesses fail to consider while either trying to save some money or simply by not knowing the key aspects mentioned in this article. The unintended consequences of this can severely damage your business reputation and cost you thousands of dollars down the run. Before you choose a logo for your business, ask yourself if your logo says these six things about your company.

1. We Take Our Business Seriously

Just as when you are looking for a girl or guy, before you get to know their beautiful personality, there is a moment of shallow perception when it comes to brands. That initial second of seeing your logo for the first time will inevitably help the customer decide whether you are a professional or someone who runs their business out of their mom’s basement. To be a professional, you not only have to be exceptional at your job, but you have to look the part as well. One can’t work without the other. Regardless, whether your logo is for a funeral home or an adult toy company, let your customers know that you take your business seriously.

Here’s a good logo example (done by one of 499Logos.com in-house designers):


It’s simple and immediately conveys the message/ While it is for magic, contains clever elements like the bunny ears for the letter “V” it still manages to stay professional looking

Here’s a bad logo example:


What makes it unprofessional?

  • Rays in the background
  • Tiny buildings at the bottom of the text that will disappear when the logo is shrunk
  • Text is hidden by a generic & poorly-cut skyline
  • Poor gradient effects

2. We Are Unique

While you want to be professional, have some conformity to the overall market, you also want to set yourself apart. A custom logo design is the perfect opportunity to do just that. Why not stand out as soon as someone glances at your company’s name? Yet, so many companies settle on generic logos that will be ignored just like your advice to your best friend on whether he should get back together with his ex-girlfriend. Let’s use real estate as an example again. A house is a good way to represent real estate, but does it have to be the same roof with chimney concept?

Here’s a good logo example (done by one of 499Logos.com in-house designers):


Just like real estate companies, repair companies often use the same generic logos over and over again. Instead here, our designer found a clever way to focus on the simple name and convey the message immediately.

Here’s a bad logo example:


What makes it generic?

  • Aside from the few strangely-shaped slashes on the bottom and middle, it’s the same logo you would picture in your head for any typical real estate company
  • Logo is very hard to look at because it’s not very symmetrical, the line’s don’t make sense and the two words are presented in different ways (all capitals vs first capital) for no good reason
  • This is the type of logo you see and forget immediately

3. We Are Modern and Relevant

A great logo appeals to everybody yet somehow manages to stay ahead of the curve or at least with what’s relevant. How is that possible? K.I.S.S. – keep it simple, stupid. This allows you to make tiny modifications along the way to keep things interesting and keep your brand advancing with time.

Here’s a good example (done by one of 499Logos.com in-house designers):


Round text and simple shapes is what the current trends are like. Even though they may evolve in the future, this logo will always be relevant because of its simplicity. But being simple doesn’t mean it doesn’t stand out.

Here’s a bad logo example:

swan real estate


Why is it outdated?

Crazy Microsoft Word text from the 1990’s, combined with a poorly-drawn clipart image will hardly stay relevant for long.

4. We Are Timeless

At one point, a movement called “web 2.0” swept the web. The logos were filled with gradients, 3D and sparkly effects. Almost every single major company jumped on this trend and in a couple of years their logos were irrelevant. A timeless logo is something that can withstand the test of time. It’s relevant now, but will it be in 5 years?

Here’s a good example (done by one of 499Logos.com in-house designers):


The simplicity of this logo and the professional lettering will allow this logo to stay relevant for a long time. Timeless logos aren’t always boring. The designer here used two gavels to form the letter “m”.

Here’s a bad logo example:


Why isn’t it timeless?

  • Google jumped on the Web 2.0 bandwagon with this logo. While it looked great, it’s hardly relevant now. The 3D and gradient elements were bound to get tiring at some point.
  • It also made it hard for the logo to be used in their corporate identity among other issues.
  • Their current Google Chrome logo is a much better example of a timeless logo.

5. We Know Who We’re Selling Our Product To

Knowing your target audience applies even when it comes to business logo designs. If you are a natural foods company, it wouldn’t make much sense to have a generic shopping cart as your logo. This is why companies like Whole Foods incorporate green colors and a leaf inside their logo. Appeal to your audience. The same applies to companies who have consumers of a very specific age range. For example, if you have an app that targets 6-9 year-olds, you probably don’t want a corporate looking logo or something that teens consider cool.

Here’s a good example (done by one of 499Logos.com in-house designers):


This company knows what their brand stand fors and while they chose not to go for the typical “leaf in the text” logo, the logo still appeals to their audience as it quickly conveys – natural and healthy.

Here’s a bad logo example:


Why is it bad?

The logo is torn between two target audiences. One of travel and another one of shopping for goods. Travelers typically don’t go shopping for tickets with their shopping carts. While a shopping cart can represent buying, it’s irrelevant in this case. If the customer in your industry can’t relate to your logo, it’s not advancing your message.

6. We Know What Our Brand Stands For

This should apply to your entire business, but knowing what your brand and logo stands for is certainly an important aspect as well. A lot of businesses settle for logos that look great. A beautiful logo is certainly important but it fails to address majority of things on this list. Does the logo add, convey or enhance the message behind your business? What if your local dollar store had a stack of $100 bills as their logo? Maybe it looked great, but it would only confuse customers and fail to convey the most important aspect of their business – value.

Here’s a good example (done by one of 499Logos.com in-house designers):


For a creative agency, the most important thing to convey is well, creativity. A launching pencil rocket executed in minimalist form? That will certainly do the trick.

Here’s a bad logo example:


Why is it bad?

While this logo is simple, possibly even clever, it fails to represent the business in the correct way. The halo-like circle where the head is, could have religious connotations, while the two hands holding the body could have an inappropriate suggestion of their own.

Remember these six key points and never have your business lost in a stack of business cards or forgotten like the silver medalists at the Olympics.