Your logo is the first impression of your business, most of the time. It's the easiest way to recognize your company and distinguish it from others. Therefore, you want it to be successful and look professional. With so many visual communications out there, some good and some not so good, I figured I would point out five common mistakes in logo design.

 1. The file uses raster images. A logo should be designed by using vector software such as Illustrator or Corel Draw. A vector graphic consists of mathematically precise points, which makes sure it can be visually consistent in multiple sizes. The alternative is to use raster graphics software, such as Adobe Photoshop. This kind of image is also referred to as a bitmap image, and consists of pixels.

 2. The artwork has too many details. When viewed in smaller sizes, a logo that is too complex will not be as sharp and recognizable. When a small and complex image is viewed from a distance, those details are lost. Also, visual effects such as shadows, bevels, and glows are more small details a logo should not have.  When it comes to branding your business, simple means memorable. Think of McDonalds and Nike. Those companies have very simple labels that can be easily reproduced at any size.

 3. It is designed by an amateur. Again, your logo should look professional. New business owners often invest a lot of time and money in equipment and other things for their business, but do not match that level of investment in their creative. Often times, the business owner will try to save money by designing the logo themselves, hiring a friend or relative who knows little about graphic design to do it as a favor, or outsourcing the job to an online company that offers really cheap options or requesting the artwork from a local printer, who usually has no expertise in that area.

 4. The image relies on color for its effect. The artwork should always initially be designed in black and white to ensure that the identity is unique enough to not rely on colors. However, logos are usually displayed in color at one time or another, so the designer needs to experiment with the colors in the artwork, to make sure it does not affect the identity.

 5. The logo has too many fonts. Standard practice in logo design is using two different fonts, in different weights, if needed. Every typeface has its own personality and too many different fonts makes a logo less recognizable. Seeing too many fonts at once causes confusion.

 There are so many ways to display a logo, especially with the internet so readily available these days. There is a lot of potential for your logo to be viewed by many individuals so it's important for a business to communicate its message clearly. It's really best to let a professional designer handle the job.