Stand Out from the Crowd! How to Make Your Small Business Logo Pop

Stand Out from the Crowd! How to Make Your Small Business Logo Pop

Do you want your logo to be instantly recognizable by as many potential clients as possible? Here’s how to make your small business logo pop.

How much thought have you put into your small business logo?

Not only is making sure that your logo stands out from the crowd important for catching someone’s eye with your business cards and website but it’s also an essential part of branding.

A strong logo is your leading foot forward with customers, especially those who haven’t seen your website or physical location just yet.

Read on, and we’ll teach you the essential elements of making a great logo.

Keep it Simple…

Think about some of the iconic logos which you might remember. Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Apple, McDonald’s. They all have one big thing in common. They’re relatively simple.

As time has gone on, for instance, the evolution of Apple’s old rainbow logo has led to it being a simple black rendition of their initial logo.

The reason for keeping it simple is, well… simple. When your logo doesn’t have a ton of added complexity it makes it immediately recognizable.

That may not seem like much for a small business, but a standout logo that’s quite simple will greatly aid you as your business seeks to move into the future.

Remember that branding isn’t just a buzzword… and it’s not just for big corporations either. Even a small restaurant will gain a ton of value from putting some serious effort into branding.

For what is possibly the absolute best example of a simple logo design becoming immediately recognizable to everyone around think of the Nike swoosh. It’s actually gone through some changes from the original until it just became the swoosh.

Not only is the swoosh easily recognizable it’s also able to be put on most of their products without becoming too intrusive.

Take a page from some of the biggest corporations in the world, if you have a look at their logos you’ll quickly find out that the vast majority of them have become simpler and simpler with time until they’ve become the easily recognizable symbols we know of today.

…But Not Too Simple

If you get too simple, especially without already having brand recognition in the first place, then you may be dooming yourself just as well as if you went too complex.

Here’s the thing: you don’t want your logo to look generic when you’re putting it out there. You shouldn’t be making a repeat of someone else’s logo.

A bit of incongruity in the design is a great way to keep up recognition. Put something just a touch unexpected, particularly if your logo includes the name of your company.

Just a small touch can get you where you need to go pretty easily, a letter changed into something relevant to your business, for instance, or even just a redesigned letter which stands out.

The goal is to become easily recognized by both new customers and past ones.

Watch the Colors

Try not to use too many colors. This goes hand-in-hand with keeping things simple but isn’t quite the same thing in the end.

In addition to limiting the number of colors you’re using, you may also want to pay attention to how the colors make someone feel.

Applying basic color psychology to your logo’s design is the best way to do things. Be mindful of where you’re marketing too, however, as cultural differences can change quite a few things that Westerners take for granted during the design process.

For instance, if your target market includes China, as well as the United States and Europe then the perception of some colors can be markedly different.

On the other hand, for a small local business cultural differences aren’t much of a concern.

The big thing here is to limit the number of colors you use. If you desire something a little bit more complex, then you may wish to use a gradient instead of single colors, but stark, simple colors with a maximum of three are usually the way to go.

Even if you do choose to use three, then try to keep at least one of them limited in usage.

Displaying Company Values

The truth is that most businesses have some sort of mission statement, even if it hasn’t been formally coded yet. When you’re looking at making a logo “pop” you also want to make sure that you’re displaying what your company does and what they value.

This is especially important for newer businesses. While we all recognize the Nike swoosh and the “byte” out of Apple’s logo the symbols have been around so much they almost look generic.

As a start-up or small business, it’s important that you go a little bit farther. After all, you’re not a household name just yet and that means your logo needs to be able to quickly and easily convey what’s going on.

A cute little sketch of a lightbulb might be a good logo for a company that makes electronics, but it’s not going to do much good for someone who’s selling cooking equipment.

You can display this in various ways, even the font your company’s name is written in should be well thought out.

Speaking of fonts, avoid things like Comic Sans and Papyrus which look a little bit too kitschy to be taken seriously. Instead, you want to focus on the angles and tilt of the font, as well as the way the letters are connected if you’re using a script style font.

For most companies, it’s important to include at least one “symbolic” image in your logo as well.

Leave Room for Evolution

If you clicked the link above you’ll see how far many of these companies have come from their initial logos. These more complex logos were great for brand recognition initially, but you should always leave room to improve upon your logo later.

There’s more to a logo than the present moment in most cases, especially as your business expands.

This is why we recommend making sure you have at least one “iconic” element included in your logo. Taking risks with your logo when just starting out isn’t a bad idea at all since you have a chance to make your logo a bit more memorable and put your best foot forward.

As your brand recognition increases overall you can simplify more and more.

Test, Test, Test

There’s one more crucial factor that a lot of people leave out: they don’t test their logo. Whether it’s brand new or a changed logo from your original you need to take a look at how your consumers are going to react to it.

You may want to come up with a few different designs and use a survey service like Amazon’s mTurk to come up with answers.

Even better, if you’re an existing business offer a small discount to current customers to hold a vote on which one they prefer.

Market testing your logo is a huge part of making sure the new one is going to be successful in the long run. Remember that your customer’s opinion matters much more than your own over time.

For instance, coming back to the Nike swoosh, the original owner of the company didn’t like it much. The exact quote was “I don’t love it, but maybe it will grow on me.”

Today it’s one of the most easily recognizable symbols in the corporate world. It’s all about the consumer’s recognition of your brand in the end.

Testing your wording in different markets can also be a big factor if you’re planning on expanding internationally. There has been some serious faux pas over the years as companies have expanded.

Your Small Business Logo and You

When you’re creating a new small business logo, you need to make sure that you’re paying attention to the small details.

After all, a big part of your business’ initial reception is always going to boil down to your logo. For many people, it will affect the initial perception of your brand.

It’s probably the dominant part of your business cards, it will be splashed across the top of your website, it might even be in your sign for those who are working as a brick and mortar business.

Neglecting to put thought into your design and just saying “this is good enough” isn’t going to cut it in the modern world.

Once you’ve got your logo, however, it’s time to start acting on it. The first step for many people is getting their business cards printed up.

The question is this: are you ready to start your journey towards a recognizable brand? If so, why not start today with a professional design? It might be the best decision you’ve ever made.

Austin Terrill

Austin is the founder and CEO of Print Peppermint. He loves art, graphic design, printing, music, recording gear, synthesizers, and ice cream. He lives in Berlin with his wife and two children.