In your business, sometimes funds can run short, especially when you are just starting out. If your business is brand new, you may not be able to make the investment into a professional logo design and full branding process. While I will never negate the importance of having a professional logo designed, in some instances you may have to go for the next best thing, a DIY logo.
In a perfect world, everyone would be able to afford the logo of their dreams. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. If having a professional and polished logo is something really important to you, you should begin saving for it immediately so that you can prepare to make the investment a little further down the road. In the meantime, a DIY logo may be your only option. Here’s a few pro tips for creating a logo that is both attractive and usable.
1. Remember your goal.
The number one thing you should focus on when creating your logo is communicating to your ideal audience. While your logo is representative of your business, it should be visually appealing to your customers most importantly, not just to you. To help you stay focused before creating your logo you should…
- Define your business mission, goals and specific services
- Do research on your target client’s preferences, habits and behaviors
- Select fonts and colors based on your research that communicate what your business does
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2. Keep it simple
When it comes to logo design, less is more. You want to include the least amount of information that still communicates what you do in an engaging way. While some designers can pull off an ornate logo design, if you are doing it yourself, it’s better to keep things simple and focus on what’s important (see Tip #1)
- Add graphics and extra design elements only if necessary to reinforce your brand messaging
- Use fonts that are easily readable. A simple type treatment with a well-chosen font can be an elegant logo all by itself.
- Be mindful of the proportion of elements. (Your logo should be easily distinguishable at various sizes)
3. Get outside opinions
As a designer, I know from experience it’s easy to get attached to your own creations, but when you are creating your own logo this is something you want to avoid. Once you’ve created a first draft of your logo, you should seek to get the honest opinion of at least 2-3 other people, even more if you can. Ideally, these opinions will come from people who match the profile of your target audience and not just random family members or people you have convenient access to. Don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board or make changes based on their feedback. Here are a few questions you may want to prompt them with:
- Based on the logo alone, what kind of services do you think my business offers?
- How does this logo make you feel or what does it remind you of?
- How could I make things more clear or simple?
Even if you aren’t a professional designer, if you stick to these three guidelines you should be able to come up with a DIY logo that is at least usable for the time being. Just as businesses go through phases and evolve, so can your logo and your brand. Since you are just starting out, try to think of this as only the first evolution of your brand and plan to revisit and improve on it as your business grows.
Related Post: The Real Cost of a $5 Logo
A Final Note:
Before going the DIY logo route it’s important to know the added value a brand designer can bring to your business. A professional logo designer will be well-versed in best practices when it comes to creating your logo and will also bring years of experience to the table. In addition to providing their trained eye and perspective on everything from colors, fonts and style, a designer can be a wealth of information. Here are just a few questions a designer can help you answer when creating your logo:
- Will you need PMS colors or will CMYK values be sufficient?
- What logo file formats will you need for printing and for using on the web?
- Does your logo meet important criteria to be able to trademark or copyright?
If you’re on the fence about investing in a logo or creating a DIY logo, talk to K Design Co. to learn about more how you can create a lovable brand that catches your audience’s attention.
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Kristin Pruis • November 27, 2017