Last week we posted a note about what your logo should say. Because logos can’t possibly tell a customer everything about a product or business, you should choose a simple concept when you develop yours. You can read that post here.
There are a few things your logo should never include—and yet, we get requests from business owners almost every day to add these things anyway. So in the interest of helping you get the best logo for your business, here’s a simple list of things to leave out of your logo.
#1. The legal phrases Inc., Corp, LLP or LLC. We understand why some customers want to put these legal abbreviations in their logos. They just incorporated their business or formed their partnership. They are excited. Their business is now “for real”. And they want everyone to know it. (We even had one customer tell us his lawyer said he needed to include the LLC in his logo. The lawyer was wrong.) Before you do it, think about the familiar logos of successful companies you see every day. We would bet that none of them include these legal terms. Coca-cola or Pepsi? Nope. Ford or Mercedes? Again, no. Delta Airlines, Marriott Hotels, Avis Car Rentals? No, no, and no. Legal abbreviations are for legal documents and disclaimers in small print. They just mess up logos and confuse your customers. It’s best to leave them off.
#2. Tag lines. This one is a little tricky because so many people are used to seeing tag lines used with logos that they assume their logo must have one. The right tag line can help with your marketing if it’s used correctly. But it doesn’t belong in your logo. Tag lines change. And if you’ve included your tag line in your logo, you’ll need to update signs, business cards, and anything else you’ve printed with your logo, any time you change your tagline. And, adding elements like tag lines to a logo make them more complex and thus more difficult for your customers to remember. Again, think of the logos you see every day. Do they include tag lines? Almost never. Tag lines are for advertisements and marketing materials, not logos.
#3. Addresses, Phone Numbers, and Websites. You might have just signed to ten-year lease on your location, and you have no plans to change your cell phone provider, but trust us, these things change more than you think. If your logo includes your phone number, you’ll have to update it some day. But more importantly, these elements just add clutter to your logo—and remember, the best logos represent a simple idea associated with your product or business. A logo that includes an icon, a business name, a tag line, a phone number, and a web address will look cluttered. The more your customer has to take in when he sees your logo, the less they will remember.