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What’s in a logo? The first steps in designing your small business's new look

If you’re wanting to expand your business, then you’ll need something that’s going to help you stand out from the crowd. Perhaps that something will be a new logo?

There are lots of small businesses who function without a logo, will you? A logo is the symbol for your businesses; it’s what sets you apart from other competitors and defines who you are as a brand.

Images and icons are everywhere now! Proof of that can be found in the average smartphone messaging app. How many of us use emoticons day after day for communication? Images are incredibly powerful and it makes sense that we should use them to reach out.

 What’s in a logo? The first steps in designing your small business's new look

How do I go about designing a logo?

There are a couple of routes that you can take when it comes to creating a logo.

• Graphic Designer – the most obvious and perhaps the easiest solution. I can be expensive, but having someone design your logo is a great way to ensure the finished product has been well thought out and appears professional. 

A top tip here: if you know somebody who has studied or is currently studying graphic design, ask them to create a design for you. It offers work experience for them and perhaps a bargain for you!

• DIY – You can design a logo by yourself! Be prepared to put in the time and effort. Just be sure that you know what you want before doing so, or the process can become confusing and overwhelming. Perhaps you could put together a mood board that explores your business, ideal for inspiration.

• Online Companies – There are online companies out there who will design a logo for you or offer software that will for a relatively low price. There are both positives and negatives here, quality can’t always be assured but if you’re working with a low budget it might be the perfect solution.

What should I consider when it comes to a logo?

Firstly, you should consider who you are as a business. The logo you choose will have a great impact on the future business relationships you have, it’s the first thing employees, connections and potential clients will see. 

Think about your positioning, message and what you’re offering. There’s nothing wrong with taking a look at the logo of your competitor(s) – after all, it’s what you’re going up against.

Does your business have a mission statement? If so, try to incorporate this into the branding. 

Secondly, think about the type of logo you want. Do you want text? An image? Really think about this carefully and don’t rush the process, you need to be happy with the finished product.

Thirdly, colour! One piece of advice: keep it to a minimum. Use a couple of colours but don’t go overboard. The main reason for this is that it will come back to bite you during any printing process. There’s a chance that the price of business cards, flyers, banners or any other artwork will increase with extra colours.

Look at some of the most recognisable logos out there, the majority are one or two colours.

Protection

You’ve now got a vibrant and attractive logo and you’re branding is proving popular, but what stops someone from stealing it? You can protect your brand by trade marking it, this can cover logos, colours and words.

If you’re going into business, we suggest you visit this webpage which contains plenty of useful information for small business owners who are thinking of applying for a trade mark. 

Use

Once you’ve successfully protected your brand begin to make the most of it. Start off by using it on flyers, leaflets, business cards, social media accounts and emails. 

If you see an opportunity for brand exposure, take it!

We’d love to know how you came up with your small business logo, get in touch via yourstories@fsb.org.uk or tweet @FSB_Voice.

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