Small Business Branding How To: Creating an Effective Logo
Businesses are never too small to brand themselves. Especially today, in the era of social media, simple branding efforts like creating a logo can go a long way to attract the eyes of potential customers. Slip-ups in design, however, can confuse or even offend consumers. Following these steps will avoid these issues and ensure your logo expertly represents your business:
The logo must embody the personality and goals of the business. When considering designs, owners should idealize their business – imagine themselves on their best day – then consider how to reflect it graphically.
Deciding what font or typeface to use is an important step. Each font has its own personality that changes how words are perceived. Depending on the font, consumers will associate different values with the business. For example, when written in Helvetica, business names feel modern and efficient; Comic Sans feels more quirky and fun. Graphics and other visual elements should also be scrutinized for the effect they convey. Simple shapes can make a business seem bold and rational, while a more elaborate design can add elegance.
Owners should see the effect for themselves by typing out many different fonts next to graphics or images and determine which pair conveys the best message.
Showing the logo to colleagues and friends is a good idea to test for issues, but the best feedback will come from a diverse set of clients. Businesses should test their logo to people who adequately represent the customer base – including a span of ages, races/ethnicities, and locations.
The reason is a logo that appears attractive to one person could be offensive to somebody else. Such a story came from a software company based in Philadelphia, Pa. The company, RJMetrics, started receiving questions from their U.K. customers about why their recently unveiled logo was a pair of underwear briefs. After issuing a survey, the company discovered that their abstract geometric logo appeared as briefs to U.K. customers. Though amused, the company was concerned the association would hurt their reputation and quickly altered the logo to appear more abstract.
Detailing the incident in a blog post, the company recommends that businesses test out their imagery and terminology across cultures, to be certain there are no alternative interpretations that could hurt a business.
Stick with it
Unless major issues appear, it’s important to stick with a design once it is settled. Changing a logo too often can be confusing to customers, especially if the mood or feel are altered. For example, if an antique shop changes their elegant calligraphy logo to a simple modern font, customers may perceive the shop as colder and less welcoming. Similarly, a modern clothing store adopting a hand-drawn logo rather than a sleek design could result in customers perceiving a downgrade in quality.
On the other hand, sticking with your logo lets it do what it does best – imprint and recall the memory of consumers.
For the best results, a professional designer should be consulted. A graphic designer can ensure your logo is unique and adds a professional touch that will carry onto your business. Owners who are unsure about fitting a consultant into their budget can consider alternative financing. National funding, a small business lender, has a variety of fast and simple financing option. By avoiding the hassle of a bank, business owners can invest quickly and move onto the tasks they perform best.