Getting the right look for your business can be a difficult thing to master. The look of a business determines its motives, its abilities and the overall feeling consumers have about your company. Would you trust a large corporation whose logo appears to have been hastily designed with a variety of fonts from Microsoft Office? It can be almost irritating- you want a particular type of branding (and a logo in particular) that makes the right statement about your business, yet you also don’t want to spend a lot of money; indeed, you might not have a lot of money to spend, particularly if you’re starting a small business. But this is OK- money most definitely doesn’t guarantee success when it comes to designing a logo. Consider the logo of the 2012 London Olympics: designed by the renowned Wolff Olins for a reported $615,000, the logo (a pair of indistinctive pink cartoonish shapes) was met with much derision, and the frenetically shaking animated version actually prompted warnings from various epilepsy groups that prolonged viewing could in fact trigger seizures. Naturally, you don’t have a spare $615,000 to design a logo for your new enterprise, but not to worry- there are some far easier ways to create a logo that creates the right feeling for your new enterprise.
The Importance Of The Logo
A good logo is instantly recognizable- just a glimpse of the logo creates an immediate association with the service or product in question. The iconic apple logo (with a small bite) is glowing from the back of the Apple MacBook Pro on which this article is being written. White ribbons on a red background automatically means Coca Cola, and while you might not be able to achieve this level of recognition with your company logo, with a little trial and error you can certainly end up with an emblem that sums up your business, and the subsequent reaction that’s impressed upon your customers. Brainstorming is key- if you already have a staff or business partners, bounce ideas off each other, even if you lack the artistic skills to realize said idea. If you’re a sole trader without business partners who requires a logo, then ask friends and family members for feedback.
Why You Might Need Outside Help
No matter what the size of your business, you should always allocate a certain amount in development and setup costs. This might seem like an unnecessary extravagance, but it’s more or less mandatory to bring your business from conception to an operational (and profitable) enterprise. These development/setup costs will include things like logo design. While you may be a talented illustrator and feel perfectly comfortable attempting to design the logo yourself, remember that a professional graphic designer is perhaps a sensible investment. They’re skilled at intuiting your desired goal for the logo and can present you with a number of options. Not only do they present you with a completed logo, but it’s also delivered in a variety of electronic formats, easily transposed onto business cards, websites, outdoor vinyl banners or whatever you may need.
Outside Help On A Budget
If your new baby of a business is opening on a very limited budget (and of course this is a common occurrence), you want to seem bigger than you are, and you want to do things cheaply, without it actually appearing as such. When it comes to branding and logo design, if you’re not able to afford the services of a professional graphic designer, consider a talented student. Consult a local college or design academy and put a notice on campus, or on their website (if they have one). At a greatly reduced rate, you can hire a student to design your company logo, meaning that you’ll get a professional product without breaking the bank (although this might require a number of additional consultations- something you will be unlikely to have to do with an experienced graphic designer). The student will be grateful for the payment, as well as the opportunity to add something to their design portfolio. Just ensure that you have a solid agreement with the student, so that they have no future claim on the design.
You want to create a brand that sums up your company and lodges itself in the public’s collective mind, without being irritating. The trick is to not do it by yourself: consultation is the key, whether it’s with business partners, friends/family or a graphic designer. Your brilliant idea might not seem so straightforward when you attempt to explain it to other people…
This is a guest post by Kate Simmons, a freelance writer on topics related to business development and small business marketing.