Creative Ways to Avoid Creating a Similar Logo to Your Competition

similar logo

There’s no such thing as originality.

That’s according to Mark Twain anyway, in his famous letter to Helen Keller (who’d just been accused of plagiarism).

In it, Twain claims that we’re all influenced by old ideas. Anything and everything we produce is recycled and regurgitated.

Anyone who has designed a logo knows there’s truth in this.

It’s surprisingly common for logos developed in totally different places, by totally different people, for totally different purposes, to look exactly alike!

It can be difficult to come up with a unique design for your logo.

But never fear, there are things to do that maximize your chances of originality. Keep reading to learn 8 ways to avoid creating a similar logo to your competition.

8 Ways to Avoid Creating a Similar Logo to Your Competition

Check out these 8 ways to create a unique logo to represent your brand and business.

1. Solid Market Research

Knowing what’s already out there is an important starting point for designing your logo.

You may have great ideas. But in a competitive world, you can almost guarantee that someone else has had the same one.

To avoid needless duplication, put preliminary effort into a research phase of your logo design.

2. Know Your Brand

A strong brand identity is crucial to unique logo making.

Define your brand before you design the logo.

Remember, the logo is the simplest representation you have of your brand and business. You want (and need) it to convey the very core of what you do. It should match your audience, tell your story and show your personality.

Knowing your brand (i.e. who you are) is a great foundation from which to design from. After all, what you do is unique, right?

Give yourself the best chance of avoiding generic logos by knowing exactly how you want to portray yourself in your industry.

If anyone’s lacking ideas, the Three hour Brand Sprint is a good place to start.

3. Think Outside the Box

A tick for a sports company. An apple for a computer company. An arrow from A to Z with a smile in between for a shipping company.

What Nike, Apple, and Amazon have in common is a logo with no tangible connection to what they actually do.

Why not try something similar when you’re creating yours?

Be wary though. This can be a risky strategy. For instance, in the absence of a strong brand identity and/or poor marketing, your customers may be confused at what you actually do.

That said, it’s also a fantastic way to stand out from the crowd.

4. Be Open to Iteration

Did you know the original Apple logo was an image of Isaac Newton sat under an apple tree, reading his book, with ribbons around the outside?

It was a world away from the simple, half-eaten apple we now know and love.

Aside from explaining why the tech giant chose an apple as their logo in the first place, it also demonstrates the importance of being open to change.

Your final logo design will almost certainly differ significantly to the first draft. This is good! It’s this process of alteration that can help you create something truly unique.

5. Trust the Pros

Designing a logo takes skill, flare, and a certain artistic know-how. Consider thinking twice about designing a logo if you aren’t a designer.

The Isaac Newton Apple logo we just mentioned was done by one of the original founders, Ronald Wayne.

And it wasn’t great. It was busy, old-fashioned and overcomplicated. The sleek, simple, silver bitten apple logo we now see emblazoned all over the world was done by a pro.

Sometimes it pays to solicit the skills of professional people and logo tools (like ours!).

6. Avoid Generic Logos

This one might seem obvious.

But if you’re trying to create a unique logo, avoid doing what everybody else does! Think shopping carts for retail shops. Houses and rooves for real estate businesses. Airplanes for travel companies…and so on.

Check out this article for a bunch of generic logo examples. Then do something different!

7. Use Google Reverse Image Search

Try using a reverse image search if you’re in any doubt about your logo.

It’s a useful makeshift logo checker tool that’ll tell you if your image looks like any others on the web.

You can do it directly on Google, or use a tool like this one. In Google, go to Google Images, click the camera icon, and upload your image (or simply drag and drop your image into the search box).

Use this as a screening tool to validate your design. Adjust appropriately if you’ve accidentally copied someone!

8. Ask Yourself If It Matters

This question may seem contentious, but does your logo really need to be completely original?

You want your brand and logo to be unique, where possible. Agreed.

But as we’ve seen, it’s incredibly easy to inadvertently design a logo that’s similar to others out there.

Having put a bunch of work into finding your perfect emblem, this isn’t a fun feeling. But, realistically, it probably isn’t the end of the world either.

If you’re in totally different industries, in completely separate locations, having similar logos mightn’t be so problematic.

Check with someone trained in copyright law first though! You don’t want to do anything illegal.

Time to Wrap Up

It’s been said that there’s no such thing as originality.

But as we’ve seen, there are definite ways to minimize your chances of creating a similar logo to your competition.

Start with solid market research. Know your brand. Employ a pro. Be open to iteration. Avoid generic ideas. Use a logo checker (like Google’s reverse image search). And finally, ask yourself if it really matters that your logo is similar to someone else’s (check with a lawyer if in doubt!).

Follow these rules and you’ll be on to a unique, winning logo in no time.

Now we’d love to hear from you. Do you need to design a logo? Be sure to contact us to see how we can help.