Guest Post: Lessons a Small Business Owner Can Learn from a Professional Logo Designer

We’re back with another guest post this week. This one comes from freelance writer Melissa Lang:

No matter what size of business you run, every business needs a company logo. When considering changes or rebranding to your original logo think about what it currently says to customers that have no prior experience with you. The big question is, how likely are you to engage with a brand that had a poorly designed logo?

A small business typically needs a logo more than an established brand. Your branding style has the ability to connect with your customer, and your company logo design is a representation of your brand.

For that reason, a great logo should subconsciously influence consumers to believe that your business sells great products. Show your customers your high standards of business with an enticing, quality logo and it is sure to build a connection quicker.


“Symbolize and summarize.”

Logo Designer, Saul Bass created some of the world’s biggest businesses branding from Kleenex to American Airlines. He believed that a logo should send a message to consumers, even at a glance.

Do you believe that first impressions count? Truthfully, Business owners only really have one chance to make a good first impression and this is why so many rebrand. If you are running a small venture, an impressionable logo design could be a great way to catch your future customer’s eye whereas a poor design could damage your businesses reputation make consumers distrust you from the start.

There is a lot of work behind the logo design process and it should not only look attractive but it should show your business’ personality from just one look. It should also be transferable and useable across multiple mediums. There are lots of things to consider, but firstly have a look at our logo design tips, to gain some inspiration for your design:


Remove all personal connection between you and your business logo design. The colours or images you love may not fit in with your business’s needs. By hiring some assistance, a professional they will be able to tweak the design from your imagination for business use. A professional logo designer’s perspective will take a more systematic approach to your design than an amateur would as they will break the process into:

  • research,
  • sketching
  • conceptualising
  • testing
  • final design



In a study by ColourCom, it was proven that colour can increase a brand’s recognition by a huge 80%. Every colour has a different meaning, by telling your logo a bit more about your brand’s personality they will know exactly which of the following colours to use:

  • Red: signifies passionate, high energy and demands a call to action. Brands who use red: Red Bull and Virgin.
  • Blue: portrays trust and stability, often used by banking and finance brands. Brands who use blue: RBS and Facebook.
  • Yellow: stimulates optimism and positivity. Brand who use yellow: IKEA and Macdonalds.
  • Green: Often used to symbolise nature, recycling, and wildlife. Brands who use green: Whole Foods and Green Peace.
  • Purple: Effective when used for luxury and calm. Brands who use purple: Cadbury and Hallmark.


Has your business evolved and you would like to show this in your logo design? Social media brand Instagram have done just that. In recent years Instagram has expanded and have added several new additions to their brand. They created a new design that would reflect how the diverse way consumers are now telling their stories, not just through text and image but through video and collages.  Ian Spalter, Instagram’s head of design believes that:

“Brands, logos, and products develop deep connections and associations with people, so you don’t just want to change them for the sake of novelty”.

Therefore, it is important to consider the needs and desires of your customers before you rebrand your logo design. Deciding to change your small businesses logo can be risky but changing to a professional logo design could freshen up the appeal of your brand.



“I  strive for two things in design: simplicity and clarity. Great design is born of those two things.”

Lindon Leader, The FedEx Logo Designer hits the nail on the head with this statement. Any professional Designer should know when to close the design and accept that sometimes, less is more. Overworking your design shouldn’t distract you from other elements of your business.

Minimalistic design is becoming more popular for corporate organisations and millennials are starting to declutter their company logos. MasterCard is the most recent example of a brand which has stripped back their logo.

Creative Review claims that their “radically simple design that could only work for a brand as well-known as Mastercard” but there are many benefits of using a simple logo for a smaller business.


Clear: Sometimes a company’s purpose can get lost in a busy logo design. Your small business should create a logo which future customers can associate with your brand. By keeping your logo simple you are keeping it targeted. The message your small business will be sending out will be clean and clear.

Memorable: Think about it this way, what would you find easier to remember – one sentence or one paragraph? The fewer elements there are on your logo design, the easier it will be for your customers to remember, think McDonalds and Coca-Cola! These may be larger organisations but they have barely touched their logo designs – proving that simple can be just as effective.

Understandable: Consumers connect better with designs that they can understand. If a consumer can describe your logo it makes your business more accessible and familiar. This will also be beneficial if your consumer is trying to recommend your brand, as they will be able to describe it.

Convertible Across All Media: The simpler the design they easier it is to publish across different media. Consider how your logo will look on anything from print, web, stamps, material, signs, transfers etc.



Your logo is an extension of your brand just like your e-commerce website or physical business space. It is true that Humans respond better to images than they do to text and can process visuals 60,000 times faster than plain text

This shows the importance to small businesses about having a professional logo design which uses great imagery and typography. A visual identity creates a familiarity between your company and the customer.

Make sure your logo design strengthens your brand and supports your business’ message. There are lots of great logo designer’s out there that can design something that is both eye-catching and unique for your small business.


Melissa Lang is freelance writer from Glasgow, Scotland. She is currently working for Repeat Logo and has a keen eye for all things design.

The Tool That Helps You Define Your Business’ Brand

Today will be a quick post because I’m going to pull from a company called Brand Amplitude and will just give an overview and then send you off to their resources. Brand Amplitude has an awesome tool for helping business owners figure out how they want to brand their businesses and they’ve made it so much more accessible than the original version that they based their tool off of.

That tool is called the Brand Identity Prism and here are the basics:

The prism is a hexagon with 6 pieces that come together to form a rallying cry for your business.

Part one is your capabilities – what your business can do and do well.

Part 2 is your internal values and culture – this is about who are as a company.

Part 3 is your noble purpose – this is why your business does what it does – what impact are you looking to have beyond making money?

Part 4 is personality – this is about your business’ style and how it presents itself and relates to its customers.

Part 5 is shared values and community – this goes beyond your internal values and culture because it’s about which of those values overlap with the values of the customers you serve.

Part 6 is aspirational self image – this is all about what your customers want their use of your brand to say about them.

All of that comes together to inform your rallying cry – the rallying cry often becomes the slogan of a business – it’s what all 6 of the parts add up to and summarizes the core of your brand.

This tool is fabulous to help you define who you are as a company and what that means in terms of how to brand your business – and we all know that a consistent brand is vitally important for you to form a lasting relationship with your customers and to thrive as a business.

Please check out Brand Amplitude’s Slideshare for all of the details. I promise it will be worth your time.

If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, the best thing you can do for yourself is to just get started. Pick up my business planning ebook here to be guided through the whole business planning process for less than $5. More of a video person than a text person? Click here to try my ecourses instead.




Guest Post: 6 Steps to Improve Your Branding Without Spending a Dime

I have a guest post for you all this week and I think you’re really going to like it.

Kelsey Frizzell, Co-Founder of KR Digital Solution, is here to share with us why branding is so incredibly important for entrepreneurs to get right and how you can make improvements to your company’s branding right now, without spending any money. She shares 6 simple (yet not easy) steps that you should take – right away – to make sure that you’re presenting the image you want to be presenting.

Full disclosure: most of the links in this guest post from Kelsey are affiliate links…don’t let that scare you away though, because the tips she gives don’t require any spending; you can implement them yourself, for free, right now. 


With so many businesses on the market today, making yours stand out from the crowd is crucial to success. A strong brand message and visual identity is the key to your voice being heard above the noise.

So what is branding?

To understand what branding is, we first need to understand the meaning of the word brand. By brand I don’t mean the logo or the color scheme of your company; no, the brand is much bigger and more conceptual. The brand is the promise, the big idea, the reputation. It’s the emotional connections your company makes with its clients that inspire a sense of loyalty.

Therefore, the brand is not something we can create; it is created by the public’s perception. Products may be created in the factory, but brands are created in the mind. This is where branding comes in.

Branding is the process of aligning what the public thinks of your brand with what you want them to think. Just take a minute and think about that; it’s a powerful statement!

We may not be able to create the brand, but we can influence it through creating a clear and cohesive visual system that represents the values and mission of your company.

That way when someone sees something from your company, whether it’s an advertisement, social media account, website or product, they will immediately associate it with the values that you have carefully selected to portray in your brand image, such as customer service, eco-friendliness, consistency or tradition, to name a few.

What is a Visual Identity System?

brandThe diagram above shows all of the factors that go into influencing the public’s opinion about your brand. For a strong brand, it’s equally as important to have both strong customer service and product quality as it is to have a consistent visual language that projects clarity, confidence, and unity.

This visual language is the visual identity system, the combination of all the pieces that work together to maintain a singular voice for the brand. It is made up of the logo, color palette, typefaces, image style, website, printed material, signage, and tone of voice.

When done correctly, the customer will be able to identify your brand without needing to see the logo. This is crucial when your client is passing by a shelf full of different products with a variety of packaging, colors, and typography. Being able to know which is yours with a glance gives your product a huge edge on the competition.

How can you improve your brand’s visual identity?

In theory, all of this may seem complicated, but I’ve included some steps below that you can take on your own (and without spending any money!) to improve your business’s brand identity.

  1. Make a list of your company’s guiding attributes

These are the core values of your company, the kind of message or vibe you want your clients to feel towards you. Some examples would be organic or fair trade, trustworthiness, innovation, community involvement, etc.

Brainstorm as many as you can think of and then choose between 5 and 8 of the most important ones. These will form the basis of your brand message.

  1. Evaluate your current brand material against your attributes

Collect some of your current brand materials, such as your logo, advertising materials, social media profile/cover pictures, website (if you have one), product packaging, or any other visual representation of your brand.

Using your new list of guiding attributes, cross reference your collection with your desired brand message. Does your current visual identity support the guiding attributes of your brand? Is there any conflict in the messages you are sending to your clients? If so, what are these conflicting messages?

If you have several different styles conveying different messages, the client may become confused as to what your brand stands for. When it comes to branding, consistency is key.

  1. Create a strategy for your brand’s visual identity

This doesn’t have to mean you design a completely new logo and visual identity; however, in some cases this may be necessary. On a simpler note, it means reevaluating your visual identity by choosing only the styles that match your guiding attributes.

It may mean culling some of your other artwork, but it’s for the best! Try to choose the direction that best fits with your core values, choosing a consistent font, color scheme and image style for all of your future brand materials.

For example if you’ve chosen earthy tones and a handwritten-style font to reflect your company’s all-natural product nature, an advertisement using red and big block letters probably wouldn’t be a good idea!

  1. Develop your tone of voice

Something often overlooked when it comes to branding is the tone of voice, which you can think of as your brand’s personality. If your brand were a person, what kind of things would it say? Would it be funny and witty or more reserved and serious?

Write out some phrases that you think capture this personality. One of these may even become your next tagline!

  1. Draft up a basic mood board of your visual style

This is a great way for you to stay consistent with your future publications. I like to use Pinterest for this since it offers tons of great images and resources at the click of a button, but you can use other websites, magazine clippings, your own photography or anything else!

Make a collection of 8-15 images that reflect your brand’s new visual style that you’ve refined based on your guiding attributes. If you’re familiar with a photo editing software, bring all the pictures in and start arranging. If not, you can always print out the images and do it the old-fashioned way!

Add your color scheme (between 4-8 colors), font selection and your tone of voice phrases. Arrange all of this together as if it were a big scrapbook page.

Your mood board will serve as a great reference for you in the future when you are creating new brand material. Remember to always check to see that something is consistent with your brand values and identity before publishing!

  1. Echo this style through your online platforms

If you have a website, now is the time to evaluate if it fits with your new brand message and visual style. If not, it might be time to consider some improvements – your website is, after all, your most important conversion tool!

This also goes for social media – your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other social media profile pictures and cover photos should be in line with your visual identity.

And there you have it – 6 easy steps to help you improve your brand’s visual identity and message consistency. Your annual reports – and future clients – will thank you!



kelseyKelsey is a graphic designer, developer, and co-founder of KR Digital Solution, a branding, web and online consulting agency. She has worked on a huge range of projects, from local businesses to multinational organizations like Greenpeace.

An entrepreneur that gave up everything to become a digital nomad, she is passionate about helping people turn their dream businesses into reality through beautiful visual identities that tell their brand stories. You can find her on Facebook or on her boutique branding site, Wild Side Design Co.

Business Building Tips Weekly Round-Up: October 17, 2014



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 The One Mistakes That’s Killing Your Business

In this article for Entrepreneur, Alex Banayan explains why focusing on brand building isn’t going to help most small businesses succeed and argues instead that they need to focus on the strategies used by direct marketers. According to Banayan, when marketing a small business you should:

  • Always in include an offer
  • Give a reason to respond right now
  • Give clear instructions
  • Focus on tracking, measurement, and accountability
  • Only do no-cost brand building
  • Always follow up
  • Make it look like mail order advertising
  • Strengthen your copy
  • Focus on results
  • Go on a strict direct marketing diet.

To get all of the details, click the article title above.


Go Guerilla! 5 Unorthodox Ways to Market Your Brand

In this article for Entrepreneur, Mike Trigg discusses some of the most successful guerilla marketing campaigns in recent years and how you can utilize some of their strategies to promote your own business. According to Trigg, you should:

  • Have a hook
  • Be provocative
  • Sell an idea, not a product
  • Make it tangible
  • Take a risk

Click the article title above to get all of the details.

Top Startup Mistakes: Not Properly Handling Money

In this week’s New Venture Mentor article I remind us, yet again, of the importance of properly managing your startup’s or small business’ money if you want to succeed. Click the article title above to see some of the most common money mistakes new entrepreneurs make, so you can avoid them.


The 25 Tools Every Entrepreneur Should Know About

Who doesn’t want to find inexpensive or free tools to make your life as an entrepreneur easier? In this article for Entrepreneur, Sujan Patel shares 25 of his favorites.


The Art of Setting Your Price

Figuring out what to charge for what you have to offer can be one of the most difficult decisions for new entrepreneurs. In this article for Inc., Eric Holtzclaw gives you some pointers for choosing the right price point including:

  • Start with your direct costs
  • Take into account ALL of your costs
  • Ignore your competition
  • Cover your opportunity costs
  • Evaluate prior projects

To get all of the details, click the article title above.


5 Things You Must Do To Successfully Launch a Business

In this article for Entrepreneur, Christopher Hann reminds us of some of the very basics you need to make sure are covered before you can become a successful startup founder:

  • Validate your idea
  • Shore up your plan and budget
  • Build the right team
  • Establish a support system
  • Respond to feedback and refine your model

If you’d like to learn more, click the article title above.