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Designing a Small Business Logo 101


Now that you have a and a for your business, it’s time to figure out how you want to represent your brand visually. Logo design can be fun, but make sure not to rush it; a logo is forever! (Unless you re- later…but who wants to do that.)

The Process:
First thing’s first: start by doing your research. Look at the other brands in your industry who you may be in competition with and see what they are doing. This serves 3 purposes; seeing what’s working for successful brands, avoiding the mistakes of unsuccessful brands, and making sure that the mark you create is distinctive in your arena.

Next, define your goals. What do you want your logo to convey? You’ve already by this point, so think about what is important to them and what they might find appealing. During this phase, bear in mind the words of famed designer Paul Rand: “A logo does not sell, it identifies.” Your logo does not need to include all kinds of information about your business and what it does, its purpose is to identify your brand and create recognition.

Now that you have idea of where you’re heading, it’s time to decide how you’re going to get there. Be honest with yourself about your own technical skill level and ability to execute what you need. If you have some artistic ability and the software to create a vector (re-sizeable high quality) image, by all means proceed on your own. But if you are lacking in those areas, considering working with a professional designer. Your logo is a crucial part of your brand, and well worth investing in.

Once you’ve come up with a design you’re happy with, you will want to consider . While this is not required, it is something you’ll want to look into and decide if it’s worthwhile for you.

The Design
The graphic below from Smashing Magazine does a great job of summarizing the qualities of a successful logo. Come up with some designs you like and run them all past this test. If you have something that passes all 5 criteria, you might just have a winner on your hands.

You will also want to decide what type of graphic you want:

Icon or Symbol:
 Logotype or Wordmark:

 Combination Mark:

Whatever you choose, make sure you love it. It’s helpful to consider industry standards and best practices, but the most important criterion is that you are excited about your logo and look forward to using it to represent your business in the future.

Already have a logo you love on your ? Share a link below – we’d love to see it!

More posts in this Setting Up Your Business series:

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