• Design

How To Create A Brand Logo For Your Small Business

  • Faviola Publico
  • 9 min read
How To Create A Brand Logo For Your Small Business

Intro

Here’s a simple exercise: Think of a popular brand you know. It could be any brand, like McDonalds or Nike or Apple. Chances are, the first thing that popped into your mind is their logo. And if a brand’s logo quickly jumped in your mind, it means they did their branding right.

Your logo can make or break your business. After all, it’s the first thing that your customers see of you, and is what they associate with your product or service. Having a distinctive and well-designed logo can definitely give you an edge over your competitors, which is especially needed for a small business that is already competing over bigger names.

But what exactly makes an effective brand logo? What separates a great logo from the rest? And how can you create one for your small business, especially with your limited resources? Let’s dive in to find out more.

What makes a great logo design?

Before you start creating your own logo, you need to understand first the five principles of great logo design. The same principles apply to all businesses, whether they are a small business or not.

1. Simple

An average human’s attention span is now down to eight seconds. Having a simple and easily recognizable logo is still the best since it can easily catch a consumer’s dwindling attention.

Think of McDonald’s logo. It’s a simple design, using the letter M. But with the combination of a recognizable typeface and purposeful color choice, that letter M is now strongly associated with them that even three-year-olds can recognize their logo.

McDonalds (Source)

2. Memorable

An effective logo is simple enough to remember the first time you see it, but still unique and impactful enough that it’ll stand out from the rest.

One example is the Starbucks logo. It doesn’t have any obvious connections to coffee, yet we associate the green siren with one of the biggest coffee chains in the world. According to the Starbucks owners, they used the siren to symbolize that their coffee is so irresistible that people would be lured to it. The logo smartly has ties to their history as well, as their hometown was a port.

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Starbucks (Source)

By assigning a unique “mascot” for their brand, and combining it with a vibrant color choice yet minimalistic design, Starbucks struck the perfect balance and created one of the most memorable brand logos of all time.

3. Timeless

An effective logo should stand the test of time. It is not imbued with current trends that will go out of style. By using a timeless logo, it will save you the resources and effort of rebranding your logo every few years.

A great example is Coca-Cola. This logo was created way back in 1886 by Frank M Robinson. He used a flowy script, and two C’s since according to him, “the two Cs would look well in advertising”. The result is a timeless, recognizable logo that is still used till today. While Coca-Cola went through multiple rebrands, they retained the iconic script, only making slight changes like the color or adding a rectangular frame.

4. Versatile

A logo should be considered in an overall branding strategy, and not just in isolation. Will the logo work in different color schemes, and in black and white? How about in different media? Will it look good printed on a small business card, or splashed in your storefront?

Let’s take a look at Google’s logo. They used a sans-serif typeface, which is easier to rescale and adapt to different sizes. They also have such a distinctive color scheme that even if they restyle it to their different products (Gmail, Maps), they are all still easily identifiable as under the Google brand.

Google (Source)

5. Appropriate

Lastly, an effective logo is relevant and appropriate to the company’s value, image, and product/service. It should communicate your brand voice and identity, as well as match your target audience.

An example is Baskin Robbins. They also used a vibrant pink and blue color scheme to fit their fun, childlike branding. Very fitting since they sell ice cream, and their target audience skews younger. In contrast, Cartier, a luxury brand, kept their logo simple and elegant with its clean cursive script. This was done to convey their brand identity, which for them is elegance and sophistication.

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By designing your logo based on these principles, you’ll make a successful logo for your small business that will catch your customer’s eye.

How to create a logo for your small business

Now that you know the basics of a good logo design, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of actually creating the logo.

1. Understand your audience

The first thing you should do is figure out your ideal customer or your target market to better understand what kind of logo to create. After all, your logo should appeal to your customers. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you targeting a male or female audience?
  • What is the age range of my customers?
  • What social media platforms do they use, and when do they usually use it?
  • What kind of content do they consume?
  • How do they spend their time?
  • What factors affect their buying decisions (ex. price, quality, trend)?
  • Which brands do they usually buy from?

2. Take a deeper look at your brand

You should also have a clear idea of what your brand is all about and what kind of identity you want to convey before you start creating your logo design. Look back at why you started your small business, and what values are important to you. Go through your business plan as well. You should also think of adjectives that can describe your brand and use that as a starting point as well. Do you want to be seen as friendly and approachable? Professional and authoritative? Edgy and tough? Knowing all of this will help you make informed decisions when creating your logo.

3. Research your competitors

Analyze your competitor’s logos and take note of their choice of design, color, font, symbols, and layout. These will help you create a logo that you know works for your industry, or alternatively, create a different design to stand out among them.

4. Choose your design style

Based on the research that you have done on the previous steps, you should have a good idea of what kind of logo will work for your business. Now, you can choose a design style and a logotype. Will an icon-based logo or a wordmark logo suit you? Should you go for a minimalist and modern design, or will a retro and vintage look work better? Maybe you can even go for a bold graffiti logo style? This will all depend on the brand identity that you want to convey.

You should also consider other design elements. Will you use a symbol? Can you play around with the negative space?

5. Choose your color

Believe it or not, color plays a huge factor in the success of your logo design. How your customers perceive your business, and what kind of emotion they associate with you, will depend on the color you choose.

For example, red can incite hunger, which is why food chains usually use the color red in their branding. Blue, on the other hand, can make a person feel stable and secure when they see the color. This is why banks, pharmaceutical brands, and government agencies use the color blue in their design. Take time to research color psychology to wisely pick the color for your logo design.

6. Choose your font

Just like the color, the font you use will have a huge influence on how your customers perceive your business. A clean and rounded sans-serif font will suit you if you are going for a modern, minimalist feel for your business. On the other hand, a flowy, cursive script might be better if you want a more luxurious image. A bold and thick font is suited for you if you have a younger and more playful image.

One tip for small businesses. If you can avoid it, try not to use classic fonts such as Helvetica or Arial for your logo design. Because these are famous and common fonts, they won’t give your small business a unique and memorable look. Instead, take a look at newer fonts or less-used fonts. And if you can’t avoid it, remember that you can still make your logo unique by changing up the spacing and positioning of the text (for example, you can slant your text sideways or upwards).

7. Get sketching

Now that you are armed with all this information, you can now start sketching! Don’t worry if you don’t have any artistic skills, the important thing is that you should be able to visualize the overall look of your logo. You can also create a moodboard with all your chosen color or color scheme, as well as the font of your choice. You can also include logos that you liked and use that as inspiration, but make sure not to copy them.

8. Refine your design

You should at least create three different variations of your logo design and then get feedback about it. Ask your friends, family, or business partners what they think about it, and if they have suggestions or recommendations for you. From there you can further refine your design and finalize which one is your winning logo design.

Where to create your logo design

Now that you already have a design, it’s time for the final step — the actual creation of it. As a small business, you probably don’t have a huge budget or a marketing agency at your fingertips, so you can explore various options below that will work for your limited resources.

1. Create your own design

The first option is to use graphic design software such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. This option is the cheapest since you’ll be doing it yourself, but might be difficult if you do not have any prior design or editing skills. It will also take some time since you are the one doing the design, and the quality of the end product will again have to depend on your editing skill.

2. Online logo makers

There are tons of paid and free logo makers out there, where you can browse premade logo templates and use the one that you like the most. This is a good option if you do not have the design skill or the money to have a logo professionally made for you. This also takes the least amount of time, since the design is already done, which is great if you need a logo quickly.

However, since it is premade, the design is not unique to you, which is not really recommended for a small business that is looking to stand out. The available templates might not fit your vision 100% as well. But these logo makers do have the option for customization, so you can still personalize it to some degree to better suit your business and style preference.

3. Outsource to a freelance graphic designer

The best and most recommended option is still to have a professional graphic designer create the logo for you. This ensures that your logo is well-designed and in line with your vision.

Since you do not have a huge budget, one thing you can do is outsource it to a freelance designer instead. There are tons of freelancers out there on sites like Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr that offer logo design services. They usually come with a more affordable price tag compared to a marketing or branding agency. Take a look at your options and choose someone that has the right skill and experience, and comes at a reasonable price for you.

Remember though that you do get what you pay for. As much as possible, do not cheap out on your logo as it is an integral part of your business and brand identity.

Now that you have your logo, where do you use it? As a small business, you probably don’t have a budget for billboards or huge signages. But you can still make use of it in various ways.

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For example, on your website. Aside from ensuring that your website is well-optimized for SEO, you also need to make sure that your branding shines through on the site. Use your brand colors, and feature your logo in prominent places.

You should also use it on your social media pages. Marketing through social media is easier and less expensive compared to traditional advertising, and you can easily connect to your audience through your posts. Having consistent branding on your pages will help you build a brand identity for your business.

Aside from those, you can also use your logo in your posters, flyers, menus, business cards, email signatures, invoices, product packaging, or promotional merchandise.

Final thoughts

Your logo has a huge effect on how your small business is perceived by your customers. Especially since you are starting out and are not established unlike other bigger businesses, you need to make sure your logo looks professional, credible, well-designed, and can easily communicate to your audience what your business is all about.

Your logo is the first step towards building a brand identity for your business. Make sure to take the time and effort in designing it. We hope the tips above will help you in creating your very own logo for your small business.

Faviola Publico

Faviola Publico

SEO Content Writer, BrandCrowd

Faviola Publico has been in the digital marketing industry for six years and is currently an SEO Content Writer at BrandCrowd, an online logo design and branding marketplace. She specializes in branding and content marketing strategies for B2B and B2C companies.

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