5 signs Sucky Logo Syndrome is affecting your business negatively

At the base of every strong brand is a quality logo.

Yet alas, many business owners still suffer from Sucky Logo Syndrome and are unable to achieve strength and memorability with their brands as a direct result.

It is my ultimate goal to cure the business world of Sucky Logo Syndrome, but I can’t do it alone. Together, we can work towards better understanding this syndrome and how to overcome it.

What is a sucky logo? Here are 5 things to look for:

1 | Heavily illustrated/super heavy drop shadows Modern branding calls for extremely simple, graphically focused designs. Check out Olive Garden’s recent brand redesign for an example of this at work. If your logo is overly illustrated and includes lots of heavy drop shadows (like Olive Garden’s old logo), you may be suffering from Sucky Logo Syndrome.

2 | More than two different fonts/inappropriate fonts for business No logo should utilize more than two different fonts. Doing this convolutes your message and makes your logo look unprofessional. Further, your fonts should relate to your business. Sans serif fonts are appropriate for tech and aerospace companies, where serif fonts may be more appropriate for financial planners and lawyers. If your logo utilizes Comic Sans, Curlz, or Papyrus, you are definitely suffering from Sucky Logo Syndrome and should consult your local graphic designer immediately.

3 | Zero flexibility A quality logo can be easily rolled out on to other applications like your letterhead, website, newsletters, and more. Some of these applications may call for a horizontal design, where others may call for a vertical design, where others may call for a squared design. A quality logo includes alternate versions that are strategically created in anticipation of different branding applications. Often, the icon and the type to be used independently; this allows for a broader roll out of the whole brand. Take the Squarespace logo, for example. The type and icon can be used together, but the icon can also be used alone. You may have Sucky Logo Syndrome if your logo does not include pre-planned and strategically designed alternate versions.

4 | Zero scalability If your logo becomes distorted or is not legible when shrunk or expanded, you may have Sucky Logo Syndrome. Again, since your logo will be used on a variety of different marketing platforms, it should easily scale up or down without losing integrity. It’s important to understand when to use what file type to avoid unnecessary Sucky Logo Syndrome (as a general rule of thumb, use .PDF for print and .PNG for web).

5 | Not able to convert to one color or grayscale without losing integrity A quality logo holds up when converted to one color and to grayscale. Check out the Hearthfire Creative brand — it maintains its integrity in one color and grayscale. If your logo loses its integrity when converted to one of these methods, it may be a result of Sucky Logo Syndrome.


Are you ready to overcome Sucky Logo Syndrome?

Here are 3 steps to take:

1 | Request a graphics standards manual from your graphic designer and learn how to use it A professional graphic designer will provide their client with a document containing brand style guides that should be used. It will include brand fonts and color swatches that you are encouraged to use in order to achieve brand consistency. Tip: forward along the graphics standards manual anytime you have a marketing piece printed so the printer can match your brand colors exactly. If you’re not sure what to do, a simple email to your graphic designer to elicit feedback is recommended.

The style guide may be as simple as this! Be sure to install the fonts from the manual on your machine.

2 | Mark your calendar once every 3 years and hire a professional graphic designer to touch up your logo While it is the goal of every professional designer to create a timeless logo, we can’t help that the times change. With changing times come changing trends. Your logo should be regularly updated so that your business doesn’t look like a dinosaur.

3 | Request a free brand evaluation from me! I'd be happy to offer some guidance and recommendations for immediate action and/or action in the future to ensure you’re never the victim of Sucky Logo Syndrome ever, ever again.


Want to get my take on your brand position?

Branding TipsLexi Steele