How to create a logo for your business

How to create a logo for your business

Whether you have a large, multi-national corporation or are just thinking about starting a business, creating a logo is one of the definitive keys to establishing a brand and growing your business.  Your logo is generally one of the first things that potential customers interact with and having the right look for your logo can quickly turn a potential customer into a buyer.  On the other hand, if your logo is poorly designed, unclear or just plain ugly, it can easily have the opposite effect.   To help get you moving in the right direction, our expert team has put together the definitive guide to creating a logo for your business.

Step 1: Understand your brand

Because a logo is the quintessential embodiment of your brand, you’re going to need to have a good understanding of your brand position before you even think about hiring a logo designer or creating a logo yourself.  If you’re not really sure what your brand identity is, that’s just fine.  You can check out our Brand Identity Worksheet to get you started.  The key is that you have a good idea how you would answer the following questions:

  • Where do you fit in the marketplace?  Or what is your average price point?
    • Are you priced higher, in the middle or lower than your competition? 
    • There is probably a solid reason behind your pricing strategy and your logo can help reinforce that decision with the right color, image and font choices.
  • What is your brand personality?
    • Is your business more on the fun, eclectic and accessible side, or are you trying to create more of an exclusive, high-end brand? 
    • Wherever you fall on the brand personality spectrum, your jewelry business logo needs to reflect the personality of your business.
    • If you’re not sure how to answer this, check out our Brand Identity Worksheet to help point you in the right direction.

Step 2: Learn some logo basics

Whether you’re hiring a professional logo designer or using logo software to create a logo yourself, you are going to want to understand some logo design fundamentals before you start the design process.  We’ve created the ultimate logo design guide, which you can download totally free.  Before you start the design process, take a few minutes to read through our tips – you’ll probably save yourself a lot of time and money if you do.  For a quick overview, these are the core principles of good logo design:

  • Logo Elements – Almost every business logo will include two things: the company name and an icon or image.  You can opt for an image-free or a name-free logo, but for most businesses, we would not recommend this.  If you have any doubts, make sure you include both your company name and a great image that ties into your industry.
  • Color – Color choice can make or break your business logo.  Most logos should use no more than 2-3 coordinating colors.  Different colors can evoke different emotional responses and you want that emotional response to tie in with your overall brand.  Also consider how your color choices look on a variety of backgrounds – business cards, storefronts, website, invoices, etc.
  • Fonts – Different fonts have the ability to convey the personality of your brand in just a few words.  When designing a logo for your business, choose a font that evokes the right personality and also ties in with your color choice.  You’ll want to make sure that the font you choose is not too thin or flowery so that it can be easily read on everything from your business cards to the front of a store.  Also, try and stick to one font, but if you must use multiple fonts in your logo, limit it to two fonts at the most.
  • Icons and Images – The right image or icon in your jewelry logo has the ability to tie the whole thing together.  When selecting images for your company logo, they should always tie into and reinforce your brand personality.  And above all, the image that you select for your logo should have some tie to your industry.  You don’t have to choose a something obvious – you can absolutely do something abstract.  Just make sure that whatever image you choose helps the consumer understand your brand.
  • Layout – There is no wrong way to lay out a logo – it’s something that you’ll have to play around with until you get the right look and feel.  That being said, when deciding how to position your company name with whatever image you choose, make sure the focal point of the design is the company name.

Step 3: Write down your ideas

Now that you have a basic understanding of the core logo design principles and know what your brand personality is, the fun work can begin!  Start thinking about what you want your jewelry business logo to look like.  We’ve put together logo inspiration galleries by industry if you want to see what’s already out there.  As you look at other logos, take some notes on things that you like and things that you don’t, which is a great way to help focus your design. 

[block border=”5px solid #aacb24″ padding=”10px 15px”]Pro tip: If you’ve got the time, use Pinterest to create a visual board of logos that you like.  As you add to your board, make notes about what you like and don’t like about each logo.  When you start the actual design process, the Pinterest board will be an easy reference point for you to turn to for inspiration.[/block]

During the idea phase, don’t limit yourself.   Include phrases, images and colors that you would like to include in your logo and equally important, write down things that you want to stay away from.  Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • Are there any specific colors that you want to use?
  • Any colors that you definitely do not want to use?
  • Are there any symbols or images that you definitely want to incorporate?
  • Do you want more of a handwritten font or a professional feel?

Once you have your idea list together, comb through everything and ask yourself if the specific idea ties in with your brand personality.  If an idea doesn’t reinforce your brand, then cross that idea off the list.

Step 4: Start designing!

You have a lot of different options when it comes to choosing how to design your logo and making the right decision from the start can help save you a lot of time and a lot of money.  If you’ve read through our guide and downloaded our free logo design eBook, then you already know more about designing a logo than 95% of the population, which means that the design process can begin!

Option 1: Hire a professional logo designer

There are definitely some positives to hiring a professional.  On the plus side, if you do your research and hire the right logo designer, you should get the following:

  • A consultation with the designer where you can lay out what your logo to include
  • A completely unique, professionally designed logo (sometimes several options to choose from)
  • At least 2-3 revisions if you don’t love the initial design concept

A good logo designer will want to ask a lot of questions about your business and what you want in a logo to make sure they deliver what you want.  When the process goes smoothly, a professionally designed logo can help take your business to the next level.

However, there are some downsides to hiring a pro when it comes to logo design and the biggest downside is the cost.  A professional logo designer who provides a full consultation, will work up multiple concepts and who will provide the finished product in all available formats will typically cost at minimum $300 and can cost much, much more depending on who you hire.  Cost aside, if you have the wiggle room in your budget and want a logo that will set you apart, you might very well want to consider hiring a pro.

Option 2: Use a web logo service

If your business is on a tight budget or you just want to test the logo design waters, there are a plethora of simple web apps that will help you design a logo.  These web apps offer a variety of templates for you to choose from and allow you to input your company name.  You can do some customizations like changing the color and the text font, but other than the limited custom options, you really don’t have many options for creating a 100% custom logo.  That being said, there are some pros to using a web app to create your logo:

  • Pre-designed options – Most logo web apps have at least a handful of logo templates for most industries, so if you’re struggling to pin down any concrete ideas for your company’s logo, the templates can be very helpful.
  • It’s easy – Simply select the logo template that you want and plug in your company name and tagline
  • It’s fairly cheap – Most web apps allow you to play around with and design a logo totally free.  Once you want to export and start using the logo, the costs range anywhere from $40-$200 depending on the format.

Using the tools provided, you can probably slap together a pretty decent looking logo and you will definitely save money by opting not to hire a pro.  On the other hand, there are some negatives:

  • Cookie-cutter designs – The limited logo templates and designs offered mean that your logo will likely be very similar to quite a few other logos in the marketplace.
  • Limited customizations – Other than changing the colors or the font and moving the icon around, there aren’t many options for really customizing your logo.
  • Surprise costs – You’ll want to shop around before choosing a web app to design your logo.  Most companies don’t list a price up front and you could get caught by surprise when trying to check out after creating your new logo.

If you’re on a limited budget or need something very simple, this route could probably work well for you – just make sure you do your research and use the right app for your logo.

Option 3: Use logo design software

If hiring a designer is too expensive and you’re not in love with the cookie-cutter look of web app logos, you may want to consider purchasing some logo design software.  If you get the right software, you’re really getting the best of both worlds with a custom look at a great price.  Not all logo design software is created equal though and any software that you choose should absolutely include the following:

  • A variety of industry-specific templates to get you started
  • Customization tools like unique brush strokes, shapes and shading tools
  • Integrated commercial-use fonts for you to play with
  • A set of drawing tools if you want the ability to design something completely from scratch
  • The ability to export your designs in a variety of sizes and formats

On top of all the extra bells and whistles, the right logo design software also allows you to create and export as many logos as you want.

The one big downside of course is that like any software, you will have to download and install logo design software onto your computer, which can eat up your hard drive space.  And while many logo design software titles offer free trials, software doesn’t give you the instant gratification that a web app might.  When it comes down to it though, for the price (starting around $30), you get a lot of bang for your buck when you choose to design your logo with software.

However you choose to create your logo, make sure you do your research, plan ahead and go with the option that best fits your business.