In this 6-minute read:
- Best practices for logo design and branding
- Where to start
- Options for your logo creation
Your logo is an important part of your brand and your business. It’s how people gain brand recognition and sometimes even what attracts them to your business in the first place.
Whether you are creating a logo for the first time or it’s time for a refresh of your current logo, this guide will help you explore the different options of logo design for small businesses.
Logo and branding best practices
First, let’s discuss some best practices for creating (or re-creating) your logo. Whether you do it yourself or work with a designer, these key principles are good to keep in mind.
Don’t rush your decision
Don’t pick the first logo design you like—unless it really is the one. You shouldn’t settle for a logo you don’t love and you shouldn’t rush the process.
Good design takes time and refinement. Keep going until you feel that your logo is just right.
Keep it simple
Keep it “legible.” Don’t over complicate your logo with tons of intricate details or clever inside jokes that only you understand.
Simpler logos are easier to use on print materials and other branded items like hats, jackets, vehicle wraps, pens, and more.
Make sure any messages you are trying to convey with the design are actually coming through… and make double sure that you aren’t conveying something you don’t intend to.
Consistent brand messaging
Think about the message that your brand sends. Your new logo should align 100% with that. If your brand is high-end, luxury quality products, your logo shouldn’t seem cheap, budget-friendly, or tacky.
Variety of uses
Your logo should be designed in such a way that it is versatile in how you use it. You should be able to create different versions of it, with different color schemes and fills, for different purposes while still keeping it the same recognizable logo.
Examples of what we mean here:
- Square logo for social media profiles
- Horizontal logo for website headers and swag like pens and lanyards
- An all-white (or single-color) version for subtle branding accents
- Perhaps a no-fill, outline only version for transparent uses
Think about the different places that you’ll want your logo to be and how well it will fit.
Where to start getting a logo designed
As you’re getting started, whether you are using a professional designer or creating the logo yourself, there are a couple of steps you should take.
First, take some time to research and find inspiration for your logo. What’s the vision that you have and what is already being done well?
Check other brands and Pinterest for logos that are similar to what you want. This will help you gain inspiration and steer clear of creating an exact copy of a logo that already exists.
Check the competition
What do your competitors’ logos look like? For one, you definitely don’t want to mimic their logos and get into any kind of legal battle with them. This will also help you to create something completely unique that sets you apart from the competition.
Let’s say you’re in valley where every other medical practice is using the nearby mountain range in their logo. Set yourself apart by steering clear of those mountains and doing something different than everyone else. Consumers will notice and it might just be what draws them in.
Options for designing your logo
There are several options out there for you to create the perfect company logo. From low-cost DIY options to finding a professional agency to do everything for you, we’ve outlined the options and some of the costs associated with them.
The do-it-yourself method
If you have an eye for design and you decide to create your logo yourself, that’s great. No one knows your brand better than you. Just make sure to follow the logo best practices from earlier on in this article and do a little more research on different ways that you can create a logo yourself.
You can find many tools to help you design your logo yourself too. Here’s a couple that we like:
- Canva (free, unless you upgrade to Pro for $9.95/month)
- Adobe Illustrator ($239.88/year, free trial available)
- Affinity Designer ($49.99 one-time cost)
Go deeper: How to create and build an effective brand
Another option is finding an online logo builder. With these resources, you can input your industry, design preferences, colors you like, and other factors to help the program generate different logos for you.
Here are a few different options to try:
Canva Logo Maker – This free logo maker asks for your company name, industry, and styles that you like in other logos. Then it generates a logo for you which you can edit further or choose to use as it.
Tailor Brands – This option starts at $4.99/month but includes lots of different features. It walks you through different styles to learn what you like in a logo and then provides assets for business cards, presentations, social media, printed merchandise, and more. The best part is, you can see the logos before paying for anything.
Placeit – Placeit asks for your brand name, industry, colors, and a graphic that you like and then provides several designs to choose from. When you select a design you like, you can edit it further, see how it looks on different assets, and purchase the design when you’re happy with it. The cost is about $39.95 per logo, or you can get a subscription for $14.95/month and access all templates and designs.
Contests and crowdsourcing
Crowdsourcing and contest sites are a popular and relatively inexpensive way to go when looking for a new logo. With these options, you provide specifications for your logo and then several designers in connection with the site you use will mock-up logos for you. You select the logo you like best and pay for the design you like.
Popular crowdsourcing and contest sites for logos:
- 99designs.com – Starts at $299
- Crowdspring.com – Starts at $299
- Designcrowd.com – Cost varies by design, starting at $100
- Logoarena.com – Cost varies by design, starting at $249
Freelancers and agencies
If you want to sit down with a professional designer and really talk through the process of your logo design, then you’ll want to look at hiring a freelance graphic designer or design agency. This is definitely the most expensive option, but for good reason.
Experienced graphic designers will be able to provide valuable feedback as you talk through how you want your logo to look and feel. They’ll have ideas to present to you and adapt with you as you provide your feedback on their designs.
If you want the high-end feel with good customer service, then this is the way to go.
The cost can vary greatly depending on the freelancer or agency. Generally, agencies are going to cost more and charge an hourly rate whereas a freelancer just out of college may only charge a flat rate per design.
The range can start at $50 and go up to thousands of dollars. Research the designers in your area to get the best rates and experience.
Remember: the most important aspect of your logo is that it should be LEGIBLE. We’ve seen dozens of examples of professionally designed logos that may please the eye but don’t actually communicate the name or brand of the business, which defeats the entire point.
So don’t get talked into an “edgy” design that seems supercool but actually is hard to read or understand.
Enhance your marketing with small business software
As you revamp your marketing with a new brand logo, be sure to look at other ways to increase customer acquisition. Your online reputation is huge and the way your brand looks is only a part of it.
With reputation management software you can improve your management of all your online reviews and start seeing an increase in your customers and revenue.
Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!