Should You Invest in a Logo for Your Small Business?

If you’re updating your website or creating a new one, you’ve probably wondered whether you should invest in a professionally designed logo. When you’re a small business professional, you’re watching every dollar and may not have the means, or may think you don’t have the means, to invest in branding.


And, what’s the point, anyway? You’re not Nike or Starbucks.

Consider this: You don’t have to see the name of either of those brands to connect the swash with great athletic shoes or the sea maiden with great coffee.

A Professionally Designed Logo is a Competitive Advantage
Your logo is a mnemonic device that helps potential customers think of your business and pick you out from the crowd. It’s also a visual expression of who you are and what distinguishes your product or service. The Nike swash, like a jazzy checkmark, embodies speed and choice. The Starbucks siren, with her open arms and smile, conveys a sense of welcome and intrigue, as well as Starbuck’s Seattle maritime roots.

Capturing your brand’s essence in a memorable visual is a complex design challenge. That’s why big businesses pay big bucks for their logos. You undoubtedly can’t afford a million dollar design team, but you should think carefully about a logo and visual branding and consider investing in quality, to the best of your ability. With logos, you get what you pay for.

Here are six factors to keep in mind as you evaluate logos for your business:

1) Clean and Simple
The less visual clutter, the better. Don’t mix a lot of colors and typefaces. Your logo may be paired with a tag line, but it should be able to stand on its own to convey your unique brand identity. Think of Apple’s logo—simple, sleek (like their products), inviting—as easy and pleasurable to use as biting an apple.

2) Memorable
Just because you’re a lawyer, don’t feel you need to include the scales of justice in your logo. Avoid visual clichés and strive for a design that is precise and unique, as well as conceptually easy to grasp. Pair it with a typeface that expresses your values and personal aesthetics.

3) Works in Black-and-White
You may utilize print marketing strategies that don’t use color, such as newspaper ads or business-card-sized ads in a program book. Be sure that your logo works in all print formats.

4) Scaleable
Your logo needs to look good as a small thumbprint as well as on an outdoor sign, if you have one. Understand how your logo will be used and be sure that it works in all visual formats, electronic and print.

5) Necessary
Sometimes, a good type treatment of your business name can be as effective as a logo. Not all businesses require a logo. If you go the type treatment route, as I have for Herwitz Associates, pick distinctive, quality typefaces that express the essence of your business. For me, the red cursive typeface in Herwitz Associates projects the elegance and personal touch that I bring to all my projects.

6) Professional
We respond to quality design, whether we recognize it or not. Chances are, if you have a well-designed logo and your competitor does not, a potential client choosing between you will lean toward your business. When you look like a professional, your engender trust. When you look like you just slapped some visual elements together, you raise questions about how serious you are in your work.

Once again, with logos and visual design for your website and other business collateral, you get what you pay for. Here are a few more resources about best practices in logo design, to help you make an informed decision:

The Fundamentals & Best Practices of Logo Design Mashable Tech

Vital Tips for Effective Logo Design Smashing Magazine

Creating or Updating Your Logo? Learn These Five Fundamentals Before You Start Sixty Second Marketer

Marketing consultant Evelyn Herwitz loves to help you tell a great story about your great work. She specializes in search-optimized web content that positions you as an approachable expert in your field and helps you grow your business. Contact Evelyn for a free half-hour consult for new clients.

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