Logo cliches are visual design metaphors that everyone and their dog have already used. They’re certainly not the way to express originality and creativity, so you shouldn’t. Neither should your dog..

Yeah, we get it. Your logo features Stars and Stripes because you’re patriotic. You have a globe in your logo because you’re, like global. And yeah, the little tripody figure with the circle for a head represents some dude or another (a whole bunch represents a bunch of dudes working together in tandem). Beams of light radiating from your icon indicates that there’s so much goodness emanating from the portrayed company, it simply can’t be contained within the central graphic and most people will fully understand that replacing a $ for an S in the logo indicates that you’re attempting to portray something to do with finance. Similarly, there’s very few logos where a molar (smiley face logo optional) can be found other than a design for a dentist. Trouble is, Murphy the Molar is used in a lot of designs for dentists. Some others? Trees represent growth. Swooshes represent hi-tech. A light bulb represents an idea. Etc. Etc. Etc..

The first design idea is often the worst idea.

These, folks, are visual clichés, classified as such because they’ve been done, ad nauseam, to death. There’s far too many to list here, but they’re usually the very first thing that pops into your head when conceptualizing a logo for one industry or another. For that very reason, they should be discarded just as quickly. It’s very rare that the very first idea that you (or your designer) will crank out is the best idea (it’s called a logo design process for a reason), and the first idea you have runs a very, very high risk of being a cliché.