Nike, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Target. These well-known brands are all backed by great logos that are memorable and meaningful. Simply seeing the Target bulls-eye, for instance, can remind you that you need to pick up a birthday card, saline solution and a new pair of summer sandals. No matter the size and scope of your business, a logo, which serves to identify your business through a symbol or mark, can be a powerful and effective way to brand and market your company for years to come.
If you are looking to develop a logo for your small business, the following five tips can help you ensure that you’re hitting the bulls-eye in logo design:
While you might get inspiration from others in your industry, it is important to make sure that your logo isn’t a near-replica of your nearest competitor. Your logo should stand out and stand for something that distinguishes your business from others, whether you own a dog-training boot camp, a green dry cleaning company or a computer repair shop. Making a logo unique can include use of colour, shape and image.
Reflect your business
At the same time, your logo should act its age when it comes to representing your business. If you own a law firm, for example, your logo should evoke success and trustworthiness. Even if you prefer wild colours and fantastical designs, the design and balance of your logo should accurately represent and reflect your small business.
While you might want to evoke the latest design trends or new technologies with your logo, think about how it will look in five, 10 or 20 years. You probably wouldn’t want bell bottoms and tie-dye representing your women’s clothing store now, and you might feel the same way about skinny jeans and flats in a few years. A logo should be as timeless as possible, rather than trendy and temporary. The most successful logos, like Pepsi’s, also have room to transform as time progresses.
Even if your target client base is highly educated and intellectual, no one should have to think too hard to understand your logo. Keep it simple and it will resonate with more potential customers; this also means that an easy-to-read font that doesn’t strain the eyes is critical.
Adapt, adapt, adapt
Think about where and how you might use your logo: will it look as great on a t-shirt as it does on your website? Once you have a logo you love, you will want to use it far and wide, so it’s important to ensure that the logo will work across multiple mediums. Likewise, your logo should look crisp and clear in both colour and black and white as well as at different sizes.
Maximising Exposure with Your Logo
Once your logo is developed, designed and delivered, you will want to use it broadly to maximize exposure for your small business. The more places people see and notice your logo, the more they will recognize your business.
Using your logo to build brand awareness can include all of the following and more:
- Ensure your logo is used consistently throughout your website as well as on any blogs and social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc).
- Place your logo on every piece of paper that represents your business: brochures, business cards, flyers, postcards, posters, letterhead and so on.
- Include your logo as part of your email signature.
- Place your logo on invoices, whether you send them via mail or electronically.
- Everyone loves giveaways, so put your logo on items on items such as pens, lighters, t-shirts and more; select merchandise that are consistent with your target audience and will be consistently used in their everyday life for others to see.
- If you serve as a partner or sponsor of a local group or nonprofit, make sure that logo visibility is part of the agreement.
Great logos speak for themselves, working for you even when you’re off the clock. Take the time to ensure that your small business logo gets it right and then ensure that it’s a visible reminder of your products, services and culture.