logo design

Designing a logo is one of the most critical steps in establishing your dental practice’s brand identity. A well-crafted logo can communicate your values, attract ideal patients, and set you apart from competitors. However, there are several common pitfalls to avoid and best practices to follow. Here, we outline five dos and don’ts to guide you through creating an effective and memorable logo.

The Don’ts of Logo Design

1. Don’t Do What Everyone Does

Avoid Clichés: The dental industry is rife with familiar symbols like teeth, toothbrushes, and dental floss. While these symbols are easily recognizable, they do little to set your practice apart. Strive for originality to ensure your logo stands out in a crowded market.

2. Don’t Overuse Tooth Imagery

Stand Out: Using a tooth in your logo is overdone. If you want to differentiate your practice, think outside the box. Consider symbols that convey care, trust, or a personal touch instead of the ubiquitous tooth icon.

3. Don’t Copy Other Logos

Be Unique: It’s essential to draw Inspiration from successful logos, but copying them can make your brand look original and inspired. Instead, analyze other logos to understand what works and doesn’t, creating something uniquely yours.

4. Don’t Use Overly Complex Designs

Simplicity is Key: Complex logos can be complicated to reproduce and may not be easily recognizable. Aim for a design that is simple yet memorable. Avoid intricate details lost at more minor scales or in different mediums.

5. Don’t Use Inappropriate Fonts

Choose Wisely: Scripted fonts and overly stylized typefaces can be hard to read, especially at a distance or in smaller sizes. Ensure your font choice is legible and complements your brand’s image. A good rule of thumb is to avoid overly decorative fonts that detract from readability.

The Dos of Logo Design

1. Do Establish Your Brand

Build Recognition: Your logo should reflect the essence of your brand. Defining your brand identity and values before starting the design process is essential. An established brand stands out because it communicates a clear and consistent message.

2. Do Use Meaningful Symbols

Be Symbolic: If you incorporate symbols, ensure they have meaning and relevance to your practice. For instance, care, comfort, and trust symbols can be more impactful than generic dental images.

3. Do Research and Brainstorm

Gather Inspiration: Look at other logos to see what resonates with you and your target audience. Create a mood board of elements you like and brainstorm ways to integrate these into your Design. This research phase can help clarify your vision and inspire creativity.

4. Do Prioritize Versatility

Think Flexibility: Your logo should work across various mediums and sizes, from business cards to billboards. A versatile logo is adaptable and maintains its integrity whether printed in black and white, color, or digital platforms.

5. Do Invest in Professional Design

Get Professional Help: Hiring a professional designer can be a worthwhile investment. A skilled designer can translate your vision into a polished logo that communicates your brand’s identity. They can also provide valuable insights and technical expertise.

Fonts: The Silent Communicator

Your font choice plays a crucial role in the effectiveness of your logo. Here are some additional tips on font selection:

1. Match Your Brand’s Tone

Express Your Identity: Choose a font that reflects the personality of your practice. A modern, clean font can convey professionalism and innovation, while a softer, rounded font can suggest a family-friendly, welcoming atmosphere.

2. Ensure Readability

Legibility Matters: The primary function of your logo’s text is to be read. Ensure that your chosen font is legible in all sizes. Test it in different formats and backgrounds to remain clear and readable.

3. Avoid Overused Fonts

Be Unique: Just as with symbols, avoid overused fonts like Comic Sans or Papyrus. These fonts can make your brand look unoriginal. Instead, opt for something distinctive that aligns with your brand’s identity.

4. Combine Fonts Wisely

Complement, Don’t Clash: If you use more than one font, ensure they complement each other. The combination should enhance the overall Design rather than create visual discord. Pairing a simple sans-serif font with a more stylized font can create a balanced look.

5. Consider Scalability

Plan for All Sizes: Your logo should be scalable, meaning it looks good when it’s very large (like on a sign) and very small (like on a business card). Ensure your font choice holds up well at all sizes and maintains its readability.

Creating a Cohesive Brand Experience

Your logo is just one element of your overall branding strategy. It should align with other aspects of your brand to create a cohesive experience for your patients. Here’s how to ensure all elements connect:

1. Patient Experience

Consistent Messaging: Every patient interaction should reflect your logo design and overall branding. From the Design of your waiting room to the tone of your communication, consistency is key to building trust and Recognition.

2. Community Involvement

Active Engagement: Being present and active in your community reinforces your brand’s presence. Sponsor local events, participate in community service, and ensure your brand is visible locally.

3. Marketing Materials

Integrated Design: All marketing materials should incorporate your logo and brand colors, from your website to brochures and social media. This creates a cohesive look and feel that reinforces your brand identity.

4. Patient Communication

Personal Touch: Use personalized communication to connect with your patients. This can include personalized emails, direct mail, and social media interactions. Personalization helps patients feel valued and builds a stronger connection to your brand.


Designing a memorable and effective logo requires careful consideration and a clear understanding of your brand identity. By avoiding common pitfalls and following best practices, you can create a logo design that stands out and communicates the essence of your practice. Remember, your logo design is a crucial element of your overall branding strategy, and it should align with every aspect of your patient’s experience to create a cohesive and compelling brand identity.

About the Author Ben Shaver

For over a decade, I've guided growing dental practices and groups on how to use leadership and communication to build referable teams and memorable brands.

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