Avoiding Clichés in Logo Design

One of the most important aspects of logo design is the creation of a concept. Whether you choose to be clever or smart, sophisticated or fun, building your logo around a concept or idea gives it a purpose. It helps to send your company off in the right direction, saying “This is who we are and this is what we stand for.” One problem that logo designers run into is using clichés in logo design. Let’s take a look at common clichés and how to avoid them.



Common Clichés in Logo Design

Clichés in logo design are common, especially for industry related logos. You can probably imagine lightning bolts for electricians. When you think of plumbers, you might imagine logos with graphics of pipes, or the lettering itself may be formed from piping. If your business is centered around being innovation or intelligent, you might expect a brain or a light bulb to represent thought. Lawn care services typically feature grass or lawn equipment. Tree trimmers typically use a logo that consists of a nice looking tree.

Why Clichés Are So Bad

The whole point of a killer logo for your business is to create something unexpected. You’ve probably seen a thousand electrician logos in your life, but do you remember any of them? I doubt it, because I sure don’t. What’s the reason? They were probably utilizing a cliché, or something that you expected. In other words, they blended in with every other electrician’s logo out there. If there were ever an electrician’s logo design that was clever, it would stick out in your mind. You would remember it, because it’s unique, distinct, and swims against the current.

How to Avoid Clichés in Logo Design

The best way to avoid clichés in logo design is to come up with a killer concept. I’m not talking about a straightforward concept. I’m talking about developing a concept that is unexpected and unique. That’s where the challenge lies.

Avoid Clichés in Logo Design

So how do you do that? You make connections. You can either have a brainstorming session, where you write down ideas, or you can do a word association exercise. Sometimes it boils down to sketching. That’s why thumbnails sketches are so popular. They’re supposed to help you work through your ideas, weeding out the mediocre ones, until you reach a solution that really stands out.

Through word association, connections and sketches, we come up with unique concepts that tie ideas together. That is where clichés are thrown to the wayside and we really dive deep into an area of design that resonates with people. Being clever and serving up the unexpected in a beautiful design solution is what gets you noticed. Tie that in with professional marketing services, and that’s how you really build a successful brand.


What are the worst of the worst clichés in logo design? I’d love to hear the stereotypical logos that you’ve seen, despise, and how you’d put your ow twist on the concept to make it unique and stand out. Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.