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Designing A Logo? Learn How To Avoid Overused, Generic Logos

by Alice Jackson Tweet - in Logo Design

Generic Logos

When it comes to logo design, creating an original and distinctive design is imperative. Including clichéd elements in logos can give an overall negative impression of the logo design and the underlying company. To avoid generic logos, make sure you can recognize them clearly. A great logo should capture the audience’s attention, which can be achieved with a unique design concept.

Nobody likes to be labeled ‘generic,’ and we’re sure you’re not a generic designer! You have your own ideas and creativity. You create a logo by considering all the suggestions and pointers from the client and your customers.

However, sometimes you may create a logo and receive a response from your client like, ‘Have I seen this before?’ It’s not your fault! Designers have overused certain generic symbols to the point where they’ve become a design staple for a specific industry or organization. However, branding is all about originality, and a logo represents the face of your brand.

A logo is the first impression of your brand. People gauge how seriously you take your business just by looking at your logo design. It’s essential to create a unique and memorable logo that stays in people’s minds. Think of all the top brands, and you’ll remember their logos, such as Nike, Apple, or McDonald’s.

So, how can you create a captivating logo design for your customers? The key is to be aware of some of the most generic, overdone, and clichéd logos in the market while crafting your own logo. But first things first, let’s understand what a generic logo means and how to design a logo.

Here Are Some Tips On How To Avoid Overused Generic Logos

What Does A Generic Logo Mean?

Generic logos are logo designs that have symbols, shapes, or elements that are common and have been used many times before. Even if the idea is original, they don’t bring any originality to the design.

For instance, we are tired of seeing globes representing a brand as a global one. Let’s have a look at the most common concepts of various industries:

Common Logo Design Concepts

01. Real Estate

The world of real estate logos are filled with generic logos designs having sloping roofs, buildings or square windows. There is no uniqueness in such logo designs. Instead, try and create something different.

Real Estate

02. Accounting And Finance

Logos having initials of the name of the company arranged with a geometric shape are quite common. Don’t ever use the concept shown below if you want to have the edge over other designers.

Accounting And Finance logo

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03. Internet, Technology And Communication

Generic Logos for internet and technology companies have one thing in common – a globe with lines that symbolize connectivity or the wi-fi symbol. All these concepts are quite familiar, indeed. Such logos have also become part of social media pages.

Technology And Communication logo

04. Medical, Health And Pharmaceutical

These are the most overused and generic of all the industries, mostly due to the profession. There are certain symbols and shapes whose meanings are known universally, and therefore a designer must use them. However, using symbols such as a plus sign or a heart shape makes it hard for the designers to create something unique.

Health And Pharmaceutical

professional logo

05. Retail

It is not necessary that you have to use a currency symbol or a cart if your designing a logo for a retail company. Retail logos with images of a girl shopping, cart and price tags are the most common ones in ecommerce website design. Avoid using these!

Retail logo

06. Automotive Industry

Most of the automotive logos use shapes of cars in their company logos. Also, you find a lot of logos with the name of the company in the middle with wings on both the sides.

Automotive Industry 

07. Environmental

We all know that environmentalists love trees, leaves earth and want to protect the entire world. But you don’t have to use these images every time you make a logo design related to the environment. I mean, don’t we see such logos since ages? Also, you can try and play with colors. Green is not the ‘only’ option.

Environmental logo

08. Dental

We all know dentists clean teeth! Generic logos from dentistry field has an image of a tooth, always. Search on Google for dental logos, and you’ll find images of tooth everywhere.

Dental logo

Common Logo Design Symbols

Apart from these industries, some logo design concepts/symbols have been used to death! Avoid using these too.

01. The Humanoids

You will find this abstract humanoid type symbol in logos of various sectors and across social media platforms. It is versatile and flexible and can be used to represent anything from innocence, to support and strength to a celebration. Take a glance!

The Humanoids

02. The Globe

The image of the globe has been used way too much. All companies from IT, technology use this image to show that they are global. However, they don’t realize that the logo they have created is an outdated one.

The Globe logo

03. The Graphs

Using a graph that is pointing in the upward right direction in your business logo has become common. It does not show any creativity and is no more a symbol of success.

The Graphs

Consequences Of Using Generic Logos

01. Gives A Negative Impact

Using overused symbols and concepts in your logo design is the biggest mistake of all. Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more common amongst designers. As we discussed earlier, the aim of a logo is to represent a brand or business.

logo design

If it looks same as someone else’s, it has been unsuccessful in that regard. It gives a negative impact of the designer being lazy and not that creative. It might be tempting to go for a globe image for an IT brand, but you need to be original and think out of the box!

02. Legal Hassles

A significant consequence of using a generic logo is that you will not be able to register the logo as your trademark due to its similarity with other logos. Applications for trademark registrations that are too similar to existing logos are denied unless the designs are completely unrelated.

Legal Hassles

03. Not A Good Way Of Branding

Two words that cross your mind when you think of a logo is unique and appealing. However, this won’t apply to design in which you use the overused, cliche humanoids making a globe. The designers should always try and come up with original work, and there is no way that the clients don’t thank them for it.

Good Way Of Branding

Want To Know If Your Design Is Generic or Not?

If you want to know the images that have already been used by your competitors, all you need to do is do a Google image search for your business type + logos. You will find a lot of images (most of them having abstract symbols or universal concepts) in use by various companies.

Avoid using those images. For instance, if you search for burger shop + logos, you will find most of the companies using an image of burger in their logo designs.

Tips For Designing Unique Logos

Now that you know what NOT TO DO while creating a logo for your customer, it’s equally important to know what YOU SHOULD be doing to design a compelling one.

01. Keep It Simple

Simplicity is the key to success, right? A simple design of your logo makes it accessible on any device such as tablets, phones, etc. and across platforms. A simple design with a single image and a plain background is also quite appealing.

Keep It Simple

You don’t have to crowd it with generic symbols and colors. Simplicity is the key to create logo and brand identity of your company. For instance, look at Apple’s logo— so simple yet so elegant.

02. Narrate Your Story

You can share with the world the story of your brand with the design of your logo. Share with designer all the details about your company – how it was formed, how can it help to others, etc.– to create a meaningful logo rather than a generic one. Have a look at this unique tree logo by Zalo Estévez.

Narrate Your Story

03. Generate Curiosity Through Your Logo

Make sure your logo is worth watching so that people look at it for a longer time. For instance, have a look at the Lion Bird logo below. The first look shows a colorful bird with the brand name. However, when you look closer, you’ll see that a lion’s face is visible in the logo.

logo design

So, these are the key points you must consider before you have a logo as your representative in your niche market. Take a look at your logo and see if it has cliché elements.

If you also need a unique logo design for your business, crowdsource the work to Designhill. This platform is a leading crowdsourcing site that is home to hundreds of talented graphic designers.

Their graphic design service are available to you at one low price of your choosing. You will get dozens of new and unique generic logos in short period. If you do not like the logos, Designhill will refund your money under its 100% Money Back Guarantee policy.

Are You Looking for a New Graphic Designer?If Yes, Call Us on +1-855-699-2851 [times for calling 9am to 6pm EST (US)] or Register for a Free Design Consultation


A logo is an important part of any business. Apart from creating an identity for the company, it reflects its ideals and culture. Therefore, as designers, your aim should be to create one that is unique and memorable. So, brace yourself and create some beautiful logos that set you apart from others.

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Alice Jackson is a business consultant, blogger, social media enthusiast, online market analyst, amateur designer and an avid author at Designhill. She has written on several topics including social media marketing, SEO, content marketing, startup strategies and e-commerce. When she’s not writing, she loves spending her time reading romantic novels, Connect with her on Twitter: @jackson_alice1



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