There’s more to branding than logos – but a good logo is still important. It’s your mark.
Choosing the right logo for your business is one of those seemingly small decisions that can make a big difference further down the line.
Choose a bad one, and sooner or later you’ll probably end up wanting to change it – which entails the hassle of trying to communicate that change to your customers.
But choose a good one, and you could create a really valuable asset for your business.
Once upon a time, there were two options on the table for start-ups – pay a pro, or design it yourself from scratch.The first option involved money (which was OK if you had the money). The second usually ended badly – spawning dodgy doodles that looked like your mate sketched them on a beer-mat.
But things have changed. We live in the age of the internet (yay), and a range of specialist logo-generators have entered the market in recent years.
These tools can help entrepreneurs create a credible visual identity for their business at relatively little cost. And with little effort. Take a peek at these three examples for starters…
Believe it or not, this software has been around for more than 10 years, and over 3.5 million small businesses have used it.
The folks at Logomaker say you can generate something cool in less than a minute. Just choose an icon, add your business name and change the colours. Easy.
You can embed your logo into your website for free using a small piece of html code they supply. Or buy the hi-res version – including eps, png, jpg and gif formats – for $49.
Graphic Springs is another popular choice. As well as a custom logo design service, it offers a logo-generating tool on its website.
Again, the company says you can create a smart logo in less than a minute. Just choose one of the templates. Then use the click and drag editor to customise the graphic and text.
When you’re done, you can download it for $19.99.
Famous for its beautiful designs, website platform Squarespace also offers a logo maker.
If you have a paid, active Squarespace site, you can download your hi-res logo for free.
If you don’t, you can download a low-res watermarked version (handy if you want to run the concept past someone), but a hi-res version you can use for commercial purposes will cost you $10.
There are lots of other tools out there and it’s worth looking around.
But before you use any kind of logo generator (including the ones mentioned here), there’s something really important you need to do. Read the service-provider’s terms and conditions. Always.
For example, you want to be clear about whether you’ll own the logo (don’t take it for granted that you will). And be sure you can use it for commercial purposes. And so on.
Basically, don’t use anything unless you understand and feel comfortable with the T&Cs.
Also, exercise due diligence. Do everything you can to make sure your logo won’t infringe any copyright or other third party claims.
If you think it looks a bit too generic or similar to someone else’s branding, it probably is.
DIY and automated design isn’t for everyone. Using a real person can offer lots of benefits, and many designers will create bespoke logos at really competitive prices.
In fact, the internet has made it easier than ever to source design professionals offering really competitive rates.
Try looking on Fiverr for example.
Whatever you do, choose wisely. A good logo can be a huge asset to your business in the long-run.
Get more tips and news - sign-up for email alerts.
Note the prices mentioned in this article reflect those cited on the relevant websites at the time of writing (September 2016).