5 Tips for Designing a Business Logo

5 Tips for Designing a Business Logo

Ready to launch your business? Here are a few tips for designing a business logo.

I’ve got a logo for this website. And I’ve got a logo — sort of — that I use for my freelancing website. But I haven’t really sat down and thought about what I want for a logo for my overarching business.

That’s right. I’ve been freelancing for 13 years, I’ve had an LLC for more than a decade, and I don’t actually have a logo for Miranda Marquit Freelancing, LLC. This seems like a gross oversight to me as I rethink my business and life direction, and as I embark on new projects.

So, I’m in the process of looking into logo design. As I do so, I’m keeping the following steps in mind:

1. Know Your Brand

First of, and it seems really obvious, but you need to know your brand. As you begin designing a business logo, you need to understand what you’re about.

I’ve had to think about who I am, what my brand is, and what I offer. In the end, though, it’s really about an idea. What is the idea I’m selling?

We like to think of what products or services we offer, but in many cases, we’re offering ideas. Here at Planting Money Seeds, the idea is that of being able to live the life you want by making the money choices that work for you.

But my umbrella business is about more than just money. And, as I work on where I want to do beyond just writing (voiceover? more podcasting? consulting? speaking?), I need to figure out what I have to offer, and the idea that I’ll be selling.

I need to figure out what my brand is beyond providing content about money.

2. Play Around with Free Logo Makers

As you think about what you want to convey, get an idea of what might capture the look and — more importantly — the feel of your business. Using a free logo maker like Designhill was a lot of fun for me. There were dozens of options to look through after putting in some basic information and choosing some colors and symbols.

While these logos aren’t quite there, they do give me some ideas for possibilities and can help me get closer to what I think might work really well.

Many of these logo generators also offer services that can help you modify the logo, or that can help you by setting up a contest where designers will provide something a little more custom that you can use. Outsourcing the initial logo design makes a lot of sense, especially when you’re struggling with ideas.

Thanks to technology, while designing a business logo isn’t ever easy, it can go a little bit faster — and cost a bit less.

3. Keep it Simple

It’s tempting to start to embellish. However, the reality is that you want to keep a business logo simple. It should be clear and easy to read. Don’t get too crazy with the font. Carefully think about the image you portray, and whether you need other images in the logo.

I’m not quite sure where I’m going with my logo yet. I have some ideas. But I do know that I like things clean and simple. And I want people to be able to see my name clearly and get an idea of what I do.

Simplicity also ties into flexibility when it comes to designing a business logo. Simplicity makes it easy for brands to move beyond what’s on a business card and appear consistent across media. You need your logo to look good on various products, as well as translate well on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Simplicity also means you can make small tweaks to your logo over time, and still have it convey the idea of your brand.

4. Add a Touch of Uniqueness

Your logo also needs to stand out in some way. This can be hard to do while also trying to be flexible and simple. But you do want your logo to have some sort of personality — something that points to your brand.

That’s why designing a business logo can be so difficult. How do you combine all these elements and still be unique?

Logo design can be a time-consuming process, and it’s much harder than it looks. I once designed a logo for a company. It was based off an existing logo and was just an update of a current logo, but it still took longer than I thought it would because it needed to combine simplicity, flexibility, and uniqueness while clearly illustrating the brand’s mission.

5. Be Patient

Designing a business logo won’t happen in an afternoon. At least, a good logo isn’t going to come out of one afternoon’s work. Be patient. Realize that your logo could take weeks  — or months — to get right.

There’s a reason why a major rebrand of a company is a process that can take a year or more. Don’t expect your logo to be perfect with the first iteration. Expect that you’ll need to make tweaks, change things up, and move closer sometimes by inches.

Once you’ve decided on a logo, you might mock it up on a t-shirt, or look at it on a mobile device, and realize it doesn’t quite get the job done. And then it’s time to tweak it some more.

No, it doesn’t have to be perfect before you publicly launch your business logo. However, you also shouldn’t just rush into it. Take some time for thought, get something that simply and clearly captures your brand (even if it takes a few weeks), and you’ll be happier with the result.

And don’t be afraid to pay for it when you get to that point. Some things in business are totally worth paying a little extra for. A business logo is one of those things.

Written by Miranda Marquit

Miranda Marquit is a freelance writer and professional blogger, specializing in personal finance, small business, and investing topics. She writes for a number of financial web sites and blogs, and has been featured in numerous media. Read about life as a freelancer at MirandaMarquit.com and in her book Confessions of a Professional Blogger.

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