By Marsha Kelly

The small business logo is the face of your company and the first thing your customers will see. This is why it is important to choose the perfect logo, especially for a small business. A well-made logo should not only represent your brand appropriately, but it should also be affordable.

Basics of Design

When creating a company logo, you can ditch your graphics software, pens, and drawing pads.

Instead of immediately trying to come up with a catchy design, it’s important to consider your company and how you can use the logo to effectively communicate with your audience. This process, called a “creative brief,” is essential to starting your company’s logo design.

Write a few paragraphs about the crucial points your logo needs to make and hand them down to whoever is in charge of your logo. These could be details about your brand, such as luxurious, trusted, trendy, high tech or caring.

Necessary Logo Information

To create an effective company logo, make sure you keep the following in mind.

1. Business Name

Although it may seem obvious to include the name of your business in a logo, many companies get too involved with the design that they overlook this important detail.

Sure, some well known brands have done such a stellar job of branding that they often don’t include their company name — they just use their logo icon. Until you are as well-known as these major companies, I recommend you include your company name.

Use the letters of your company’s name in the logo, which will help to make it memorable for your clients. Keep in mind, however, that if the type of business you have is an LLC, corporation, etc., you don’t have to include this in your company’s logo, as it might confuse your audience by over complicating the logo’s design.

2. Target Customer

Companies often forget the importance of their customers’ design preferences while creating their logo.

The whole purpose of designing a logo, after all, is to communicate a message to your target audience. This is why it’s important to do necessary market research to determine your audience’s demographics, ages, economic status, cultural background, etc. Doing so will help create a logo that better connects with your audience.

3. Consumer Cues

Consumer cues are important words that communicate your brand to the customer. Overall, they’re one- to two-word phrases that describe how people see your company.

However, they can also be used to visually communicate via your logo design. For example, is your company culture serious or funny? Are your products more economical or expensive? These terms can help better define your brand and determine what kind of customers you want to attract.

After going over the all-important logo design brief, you now know how to begin the creation of your logo. So, whether you go with a free online logo creator or hire a graphic designer, you can create the perfect company logo that represents your business culture and beliefs.

Small Business Logos for Every Budget

You can create brand-building logos that don’t harm your business bottom line. Look at the following budget categories to help you decide.

Price Point: Free

When you’re just starting out and have limited funds at your disposal, using a free logo creator is an attractive starting point. While the image may not become your dream logo, there are certainly advantages to using a free logo creator.

At the very least, a free logo can be a temporary solution to represent your brand. This logo might not beam with originality, but it can help to lay the groundwork you can build upon later. Free logos are especially useful for those who desire simplicity and want an easily recognizable representation of their brand.

PROS: The process is quick and simple; you don’t have to spend a dime; and you won’t need to have any special design knowledge beforehand.

CONS: There may be a lack of a professional appearance and an inability to trademark your logo.

Price Point: $50

Finding a decent logo with a $50 budget shouldn’t be too difficult. Even with a smaller budget, you should still have plenty of options for your logo design. You can take advantage of services offered by a junior graphic designer or find an alternative service that offers designs for $50 and below.

It’s best to avoid unprofessional and generic illustrations and graphics. Use your money wisely to spice up the design of your company name, and select a great font and appealing color scheme. The fees for these extra services are usually under $50.

PROS: By investing a maximum of $50 into your logo, you will save money that can be applied to other aspects of your business.

CONS: For putting in only $50, you won’t have the best of the best to choose from.

Price Point: $300

With $300, you certainly have enough cash to purchase a great logo for your company. This amount of dough can afford you a design that can, without a doubt, generate a good ROI, or return on investment.

To elevate yourself from the rest, you will need a logo that is detailed but not extravagant, while still being of great quality. Since your logo is the first impression anyone will get from your company, splurging with some extra funds will put you in the price range for a design that you’ll proudly display on all of your marketing materials. For example, 99designs offers logo designs within this budget.

PROS: A logo in the $300 range will be original and professional looking, without completely breaking the bank.

CONS: Without a bigger budget, you’ll have less designs to choose from and less quality options.

Price Point: $1,000 and Up

When you really want to stand out from the crowd and have a budget of $1,000 or more, you have an abundance of options to choose from when selecting the right logo designer. You can scour the web for graphic designers from all over — and go all-in on an investment for an extraordinary design.

It’s no secret that your logo becomes the foundation of your company, so it needs to have a memorable, intriguing quality to it. Not only does this help build trust and loyalty with customers, but it is something that will stay a part of your company for years to come. Having the right logo, in addition to a strategic marketing plan, can bring about all the right benefits to both your company and brand.

PROS: Professional logo designers will go through a thorough design process of conducting research, conceptualizing, and reflecting before coming up with the outcome of your design. By making this investment, you’re opening yourself up to the best options out there.

CONS: $1,000 is not a trifling sum of money. It may set you back a bit, so make sure you’re ready to pick a design you really love. Otherwise, spending the funds would be a waste.

Photo credit: Logo design on tablet from REDPIXEL.PL/Shutterstock