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So You Think You Know How to Design a Logo?

As a small business owner your website, business card, head shot photography, and logo can be the first thing your clients and customers see that represents your business’ products, services or even values, so it’s important to not take logo design lightly. What are some reasons why new businesses go cheap on logo design?

  1. They don’t know the value of good design and the research that goes into building a visual representation of their business
  2. They think this is the one place they can skimp (we’ll do a better one later)
  3. Their friend Joe found a guy, who knew someone who isn’t a designer but can draw real well.
  4. They think logos only take a couple of hours and are easy to do churn out
  5. They already know what they want and that’s the end of it
  6. Small starting budget for everything, not just logo design

Over the years, I’ve come to notice several commonalities when discussing logos with other small businesses.  What is the number one thing that I hear when it comes to logo design?  “I don’t want anything major” and “I don’t have a lot of money.”

MARKETING is the one aspect of your business that brings in new clients. So, if the one thing that your business depends on to generate sales, you skimp on, what does that say your level of commitment is to the success of your business?  With that being said, your cheap logo that looks cheap or is not well designed will be the one reason you gain customers that do not value you because you didn’t value you.  That means that you are going to constantly have to prove your worth.

After not being valued and feeling stuck, just plan to redesign and rebrand. Rebranding means you are going to have to buy new everything. You don’t want to rebrand in less than seven years though.  It’s as if someone gave a small business owner and said here is this easy checklist, and just get each item’s box checked off and you are good to go.

Have I shone businesses where to get cheaper stock logos?  YES.  Why did I do that, because they needed an answer to the check box and they A. didn’t have the funds to get a custom logo made and B. didn’t want anything major.  I do tell clients that get that type of logo that the logo they find can be used by anyone else and that it’s just to be a temporary fix to their immediate need.  The decision is ultimately yours and as long as you know the Pro’s and Con’s to your decision then like anyone, we do what we can with what we have to make everything work out at that time.

Now for the DYK’s

Did you know that a logo is to be as simple of a shape as possible? That means that if you have a farm,  and you picture an image with a running hills of crops, surrounded by the real fresh veggies you grow, under a rainbow, with a blue sky…that IS NOT a logo, it’s could be a great graphic for a sign.

Did you know that color theory plays into designing a well-thought logo?  Color theory means that the colors you select have a perceived intellectual and emotional value for your potential client.

Did you know that a logo is 1-3 colors, but really only two MAX. You should also get your logo designed in black and white version, grayscale version, on both white and black backgrounds.

Did you know that your business name typed out is NOT typically part of the shape of a logo?  Ask me why in the comments.

Did you know that a tag line is an added marketing line? Not usually added in with the cost of designing a logo.

Did you know that the type of font you select has emotional value?

Did you know that colors that are graduated do not print well when printing a logo? What’s the solution? Ask me in the comments.

Did you know that brand identity is represented in your logo design?

Did you know that brand identity is created visually through color theory and shape which are tied to psychological factors based on case studies and mood?

Getting even deeper, did you create a marketing plan? In your marketing plan did you create your target client? Did you know that your logo should talk to your target client and/or represent your business’ values and what you do? If you need help, start with Monique Melton – a savvy brand strategist. Get your brand identity and marketing plan all worked out then come to me to get it visually represented.

So, what’s my process for designing a logo?

  • First I ask that you fill out a questionnaire, so that I can get crystal clear on your idea surrounding your logo.
  • Then, we create a Pinterest mood board (Who doesn’t love Pinterest?).
  • After that I start researching and brainstorming ideas.
  • Land down a sketch of shape in black and white.  I had a great designer intern (who went on to win in her class at the senior art show in college) at one time and she taught me something awesome….design always in black, white, and gray first. Why?  Because color is next and that adds another element of awesome to the process.
  • Add the colors in
  • Then we talk font and typeface that will go next to your logo.
  • Then we create black and white versions or grayscale versions on both white and black backgrounds.

If you want revisions, that’s fine, we will change the design up to three times as part of your first proposed fee. Lastly if you have a tagline, we’ll tack in on the graphic.

What do you get in the end?  I put all the information used to create the logo on a Logo Study PDF. This goes over the fonts used, the colors used for both print and web.  I also include all the files you need for vector printing and using the logo online.

Logo design is a process that is custom to you and your vision for your business.  Don’t take it lightly, do your business a favor and start in the right direction towards marketing your small business.