Think of the biggest brands in the world and you picture their logos: the Nike swoosh on a pair of trainers, the much-copied interlocking Cs of Chanel or the Apple logo with a bite taken out of it. The McDonald’s logo is so well known, even the company is known as the Golden Arches due to its ubiquitous yellow M. You don’t need the name of the company.

Even the Beatles understood the importance of branding. They were inspired by French painter Magritte to use the perfect green apple to be their Apple Records logo.

A logo is important

Your logo is the very first impression your business makes. It’s how people identify your brand and can elicit strong emotions without using any words.

What does your logo say about you?

You want your logo to communicate your brand’s personality. And in order to do that, you first need to understand what your brand’s core personality is:

  • Why did you start this business?
  • Which beliefs and values are important to you as a company?
  • What do you do better than anyone else?
  • What makes you special?
  • If you could describe your brand in three words, what would they be?
  • What three words would you like customers to use about you?

Brainstorming ideas

It’s tempting as a new business owner to want to do everything yourself. Get everybody involved, friends and family, your accountant or your solicitor. You never know who will spark a great idea, and the best idea wins, right? Some years ago, friends of mine were opening an art gallery in the docklands area of Wapping. We all got roped in to help name the business. My contribution was pretty derivative, to be honest. Another team member, looking out of the window, said she was reminded of the Otis Redding song Sitting On the Dock of the Bay and so the company was named Otis Gallery. Genius.

What makes a good logo?

A good logo is immediately recognisable, reflects your brand’s message and makes you stand out. An effective logo looks professional and seamlessly fits in with a brand’s identity. A great logo also needs to work at any size and anywhere you want to use your logo.

A good logo should be:

  • Unique and distinctive
  • Memorable
  • Work in any medium
  • Reflect your brand identity
  • Timeless

Be consistent with your logo

Because your logo is such an essential part of your brand, ensure your brand is on all your materials, from your website to your packaging and your emails. A great professional logo design makes the right first impression, helps you stand out from the competition and communicates what you stand for.

Ultimately your logo is your visual elevator pitch, so make sure it strikes the right mood, tone, and vibe about your brand. It should create a clear sense of connection with anybody who comes into contact with you, your employees and your customers.

Small business logos we really love

These small business logos we really love cover the playful and fun (Avila.Diana, HOP Interiors, Yogahood), the authoritive (Clearplay, Rutland Partners), the artisanal (Faraj’s Kitchen) and even 70s retro (Whitley Bay Skate Club).

Leaf through these small business logos we really love and see if any of them inspire you to design your own iconic brand.

Further reading

8 Premier League footballers who’ve turned entrepreneur