You want a logo for your business. My recommendation, hire a professional graphic designer. Of course, if you were going to do that you wouldn’t be reading this. If you’re like me, or a lot of other small business owners, you don’t have the cash to hire help so you’re going to try to do it yourself.  I’m warning you, even professionals have a hard time designing their own logo.  Doing it for someone else is one thing, doing your own is whole different story.

Kerry's Headshot

So I’m going to give you a real handy bit of advice. Don’t worry about a logo until you can afford to get professional help.  You don’t really need a logo getting started.  Your business name is enough.  Your business name and a photograph will take care of almost all of your marketing media needs.

For the photograph, use your headshot.  These days the face shot is more the norm, so use your face shot. (That’s a close up head shot).   Not a picture of your product, not a cool picture of a peaceful landscape, a picture of you.

Why use your picture?  You’re trying to build a business. You want people to buy something from you – from YOU. So put yourself out there and let your potential customers see who you are.  Who knows? You might get to be famous and strangers will recognize you in public. That should be good for business.

If you absolutely MUST create a logo, then keep these points in mind.

  • Keep it simple.
  • Don’t use clip art! If you can’t be unique, wait until you can afford to hire professional help.
  • Design it in black and white first. Now reverse the colors. Does it still work?
  • Once it looks good in black and white, then add color. Once you’ve added color, convert it to grayscale, print it out and look at it from across the room. It you can’t read it, re-do it until you can.
  • Be practical.  Keep the special effects to a minimum. No drop shadows, neon glows, or layers. One good test is, will it covert to a reasonable favicon?

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention. Make sure you’re designing your logo to appeal to your ideal customer. If you’re a Goth skateboarder selling a product to a stay-at-home-mom, chances are the graffiti font and grunge background aren’t going to work for her.