A few days ago, we wrote about three things you should never include in your logo. You can read that entry here. Of course, there are more than three things to avoid when you are working on your logo. Here are two more:
#1 Avoid using too many colors in your logo. When it comes to helping your customers remember your company and visual identity, simplicity is the key. The best brands choose a single color (in some cases two) to represent their business. Coke uses red—and only red. It’s not likely you’ll ever see a blue Coca-cola logo (but Pepsi uses blue). Prudential Financial uses blue. Starbucks uses green. And all of these brands have a version of their logo in black and white that is just as recognizable as the color version.
Over time, colors help customers easily recognize brands. We read color and shape before we read the information in those shapes, so your brain recognizes a Coke can before you can even read the name printed on it. Your logo deserves no less.
In addition, if you ever need to embroider your logo onto a uniform, promotional give-away, or materials in a retail store or office, having a logo with just one or two colors will help make it possible. Gradients and multiple colors make it far more difficult and in some cases impossible to create these products. The same is true if you need to print your logo in a small area, a simple one color logo will make the job much easier.
#2 Avoid using too many fonts in your logo. How many is too many? In most cases, two fonts would be too many. Once again, it’s all about creating a simple mark and avoiding anything that can make reading it more confusing or complex. Unless you have a very compelling reason to do otherwise, one font should be enough for your logo. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, make your mark as simple as possible. Choose fonts that are easily readable and represent what your company stands for.
Of course there are exceptions to every rule. There are logos that effectively use more than one color—the discontinued rainbow Apple logo is an example. (Although Apple had a single color version to use when necessary, which has since become their “official” logo.) And there are logos that effectively use more than one font, but usually one font is the mark, and the second font is a simple descriptor to help give context to the mark.
Bottom line: keep it simple.
Read about more things to avoid when creating your logo, here.