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Smashing Logo Design: The Art of Creating Visual Identities by Gareth Hardy

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Chapter 14: Avoiding Common Logo Design Mistakes

In the previous chapters, I’ve outlined the steps to take when designing a logo, and what you need to do in order for your logo to be successful. Not all logo designers follow the same process, but the final product is the same: a logo.

In this chapter, I summarize some common mistakes that logo designers make. Before you get started designing a logo, review this chapter to remind yourself what not to do. After you finish your logo, review this chapter again and assess whether you were successful in side-stepping these potential pitfalls.

Using Raster Graphics

The standard practice when designing a logo is to use vector graphics software, such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw. A vector graphic is made up of mathematically precise points and provides visual consistency at multiple sizes. On the other hand, a raster graphic (or bitmap as they’re commonly called), made with raster graphic software such as Adobe Photoshop, consists of pixels.

The use of raster images in logos can cause problems for reproduction (see Figure 14-1). You can create a high-resolution raster graphic logo, but you don’t know for sure how large that logo will need to be reproduced. If you zoom in on a raster graphic, it will eventually appear pixilated, rendering it impractical. A logo must look the same at all sizes to maintain visual recognition.

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