Article by Jane Tweedy, Business Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre
Following on from choosing your business name, the next step is typically choosing a logo, brand colours, and possibly brand assets for your business. Should you spend a lot or a little? This topic can be controversial, so these tips are for your consideration.
Tip 1 Getting started or permanent branding?
Some people argue your branding is your most important asset, and therefore you should spend up large from the start, and choose something that will grow with you. The extremely simple looking Business Connect logo and blue colour way took six months to design. Others argue get started quickly and affordably, and evolve your assets over time. When looking at big business you will see a mixture of approaches. Brands like Coke evolve gradually over time. So either way do what feels right for you.
Tip 2 How will you use your logo?
Before commencing design, consider where and how you might use your logo. Obviously most people will use on their website, business cards and branded collateral, but will you also embroider on shirts, use on car signage? This will affect sizing, colour space, and often highly stylised or gradient graphics won’t work. Always ask for your logo to be available as a vector file (can be scaled to any size without becoming pixelated), and should be in CMYK colour space for printing (rather than RGB). It’s important to consider contrast, so if you plan on having a dark shirt, will your logo work and be visible or do you need a reverse colour option?
Tip 3 Colours and shapes have hidden meanings
We all know that green can be associated with jealousy (the green eyed monster) but is also associated with freshness, nature and growth. The reason business advisor colours are blue, is because it is associated with trust, calm and honesty. Yellow is seen as playful and optimistic. There is a great Entrepreneur article/infographic about colours and shapes. For your website and other collateral consider what colours complement your main brand colours, and which contrast to use for buttons. Adobe has a Color Wheel you can use to help you with colours.
Tip 4 The simplest logo
Word logos are the simplest to create and can be created by anyone. That said, there is still a great deal of thought that can go behind what appears as being very simple. A Design Inc. article suggests how to make your own logo in 5 minutes. This could be an option as a placeholder until you get your designed logo.
Tip 5 Trademarking your logo
Whether using the simple logo, a tool like Canva or a graphic designer, be very clear if you’re considering trademarking your logo. There are restrictions about what you can trademark, as each element is copyright to its creator. If you commission a new creation then you can obtain the copyright to enable you to trademark both the logo and wording. This can strengthen your trademark application, but in this situation you really need a logo you will stick with. Note some graphic designers will buy elements from places like Creative Market, so make sure you know what you’re getting.
Tip 6 Giving the designer a brief
To get a great logo, be clear with the designer about what you like and don’t like, and importantly about what your business is about and who it targets. This is where using Canva or similar to do your own mock-up can work well, to help guide where your initial thoughts are. If you don’t already have a preconceived idea, then give the graphic designer more leeway.
Tip 7 Extend the logo to brand assets
The logo is only one piece of the brand. Make sure you get the RGB values of the colours, so you can continue the colours into your website and other marketing materials. You may also want a business card, master presentation slides, social media frames and other collateral created. Create an overall look and feel for your brand including the photography utilised. Map Your Brand has a workbook allowing you to flesh out these brand assets.
Getting your image right is an important part of starting a business. If you get stuck please get in touch with an advisor. Western Sydney Business Centre, offers 4 hours business advice at NO COST with a NSW Government funded Business Connect Advisor. We can talk about understanding your business so you can guide your design brief and connect you with graphic designers. Please book here now!