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Designing A Logo For Startups

If you are just starting your business you may have done a search and read some articles about designing a logo for startups.

The "advice" is varied to say the least, ranging from do-it-yourself, to get one done for next to nothing on fiverr, to hiring an expensive design expert because you really need the best!

Some logo design "experts" certainly fall in the expensive category - back in 2004 it was reported that Unilever spent £6.7 million on a redesigned logo. You might, therefore, be tempted to think that you couldn't possibly think about paying for a logo for your startup business.

Each of those potential "solutions" has probably done nothing but add to your confusion as to what is right for you.

In addition it could be you are at the stage that most startups reach where you've hit a brick wall because of the overwhelming number of things still left to do. Or maybe the initial pot of money you had available has run dry and you still have a load of things to do that require funding.

And just maybe, getting a logo for your business is one of those tasks outstanding and it's caused you to grind to a halt elsewhere because you "need" that logo for so many things:

  • Your website
  • Your business cards
  • Your stationery
  • Your social media profiles

Very often when I'm approached to create a website for a startup it's assumed that a logo will be thrown in or it's a simple thing that can be knocked together in a matter of minutes.

I took a business decision many years back that I wouldn't offer anything more than a simple "text based" logo for the simple reason creating a logo is a discipline in itself, can be time consuming and would be a distraction from what I'm good at and want to spend my time doing.

But that decision not to get involved in designing a logo for startups caused me a problem.

I have always been "solution" focused and rather than a blunt "I don't do that" response I would prefer to make some positive suggestions. (see my Brilliant Resources page for examples of solutions) That, however, often ended up with me spending a disproportionate amount of time explaining the options and why a particular course might be better for a particular client. (I've now found a great resource that does that explaining for me! https://logojoy.com/how-to-make-a-logo/ )

Regardless of which route the client felt was better for them - no cost do-it-yourself / low cost logo-creator / high end designer, the starting point in designing a logo for startups is always the inspiration.

The do-it-yourself option leaves that ball firmly in the court of the client and is often way outside of their comfort zone resulting in no progress being made at all.

The low cost option rarely has scope to include much of an exploration and you are left with a choice to be made between 2 or 3 ideas presented. Any more options required and the costs soon start to ratchet upwards.

If funds are available, then the high end option is appropriate because the initial call or meeting will involve the designer spending considerable time getting to understand the business, the product and the brand.

Recently, however, a fantastic mid-point option has evolved whereby for a low fixed price ($65, about £50 currently) an online service will help you design your own logo - without you doing anything more than making some selections! It uses artificial intelligence to present options based on various choices made from ideas presented on screen.

The first step is inspiration

You are presented with a page of logos from which you are asked to select a minimum of 5 that appeal to you that will form the basis of the suggestions shown to you.

You then select some colours and any icons you think are relevant

Next you sign up (it's still free at this stage) 

You are then shown a number of examples from which you can select your favourites before being shown controls for changing the fonts, font size, colours, layouts and icons

When you are happy you advance to buy and the final logo is produced along with various social media banners etc - all in the correct sizes.

Of course, this isn't quite the same as employing a top-end designer but it is a great way for startups to get a low cost logo very quickly.

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