Small Business Tips

How to create a logo for your small business

Lisa Steinmann

Logos are visual representations of your brand. They support your business’ marketing efforts. Small business owners need logos for business cards, packaging, and social media.

The following logo design tips will help you create a logo for your small business.

How do you design a logo for a small business?

Focus on your current needs when you design a logo for your business. High-fashion luxury brand Hermès began as a maker of saddlery. Marriott sold root beer. It’s not possible to imagine all potential forms of your business. Create a logo that makes sense for your business today.

How will you use your logo?

Do you need a logo for marketing, packaging, or social media sites? Think about what you need today and for the next 18–24 months.

Are you selling your logo?

Lacoste puts their crocodile up front and center on their products. If your logo is part of the appeal of your products, consider every way you plan to use it. Can you embroider it on a shirt? Can you read or identify it in the formats you have in mind?

How important is a logo to a small business?

You need a logo if you do marketing online. Most sites need a graphic representation of your brand.

Logos are visual messengers. They show clients you provide the services they need. A well-designed logo shows you understand your customer’s needs.

Be stable

A trustworthy tone is appropriate to sell homes or manage money. Stable subjects are common in financial-service logos. Banks and insurance companies favor logos with mountains and oceans.

Show your creativity

Forget the static mountains favored by banks if you are a creative pro. Instead, show a dynamic graphic like an erupting volcano. Your logo should stand out through bold graphics, colors or illustrations.

Prove you are a local

Include a cue from your area so customers know your business is local. A wet dog shaking his coat is the perfect image for a dog groomer in a water-recreation-centered town. The groomer will know how to bathe a muddy Labradoodle.

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How do you get a business logo?

You can:

  • Hire a professional graphic designer. Hire local whenever possible. Support your small-business community. Network with other small-business owners.
  • Source an AIGA designer. AIGA is the largest professional membership organization for design.
  • Find independent designers on a freelance platform like Upwork, Freelancer or Fiverr.
  • Use a crowd-sourced platform like DesignCrowd. DesignCrowd’s designers compete to create logos for you. Only buy logos you like.
  • Buy a stock logo template from a commercial site. Search many sites at once at Everypixel.com.
  • Create a logo with “free” online, logo-generating software. Like all “free” online companies, each has its own revenue model. They charge you to download your design, print it or may attempt to sell you graphic design support.
  • Design your own logo using software like Logo Maker.
  • Use Microsoft Office Templates to design business cards, flyers, and brochures.

Logo Design Tips

Create a logo you’re proud of and avoid common mistakes using these design tips.

Fonts

  • Use a readable, common font. A small business with a limited budget should use a proven font. A font you can change and reproduce in various sizes.
  • Use fonts like:
  • Arial
  • Courier
  • Garamond
  • Georgia
  • Helvetica
  • Impact
  • Palatino
  • Tahoma
  • Times New Roman
  • Verdana
  • Test and compare font choices using a pangram. A pangram is a sentence with all the letters in the alphabet. Famously: “A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

Colors

  • Select colors from Pantone®. Pantone® standardizes colors with digital formulas.
  • Choose exact colors. Select Caribbean-blue color Pantone® 637 C and Pantone® Cool Gray 4 C for an aqua and gray logo. A good printer can match colors defined by the Pantone® codes.
  • Test any logo designs in grayscale. Color perception varies, and some lose color awareness with age. Color blindness affects an estimated 8% of the population. Color-blind people have difficulty perceiving red, green, and blue light.
  • Be like Target and Coca-Cola. They use red and white logos without worrying they will lose 8% of the market. Their iconic logos work because white and red are a high-contrast pairing. It’s readable without any color perception.
  • Choose colors that flatter a variety of skin tones. Sooner or later you’ll have hats or t-shirts for your business. Color experts suggest navy, red, teal, and eggplant.

Illustrations

  • Make illustrations realistic. If you bake cakes, show us a cake. A well-established brand like Mercedes can use a mysterious three-spokes-in-a-circle logo.

Review famous logos before you create your own. Do it online or look at products around your home or office. Examine your feelings and reactions to the logos you like.

Why do you like them? How are they special?

When you consider new logo designs for your business, look for that same reaction. You’ll be seeing that logo all around you. Choose something that inspires you.

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