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Picking a Small Business Logo That Stands Out

Picking a Small Business Logo That Stands Out
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You already have the vision of your business down on paper. You know what you want to offer to your customers or clients. You even know how you are going to market your services and/or products. All that’s left is picking the business logo that will represent your small business.

If you’re looking for advice on how to pick a small business logo that best encompasses everything you and your brand is about, keep reading.

Decide what your message will be

The most salient aspect choosing a small business logo is to figure out how you want your business to come across. Your logo should convey this idea within seconds. Do you want to come across as formal? Active? Trendy? Casual? Write down what the personality of your brand will be, and use that as a jumping off point for your logo design.

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Refer to color psychology

Believe it or not, color plays a pivotal role in marketing and customer engagement. The use of color, or even the lack thereof, invokes multiple meanings. As a business owner, it is critical that you keep the basics of color psychology in mind when picking a small business logo. Every color has implications when incorporated into a logo, so you want to ensure these implications line up with the message you want to convey. This is why it’s important to go with a designer who understands how to carefully pick colors that will enhance specific elements of your logo, and make sure your message is adequately conveyed.

While there are exceptions, there are some general guidelines that you may want to keep in mind. Some of these include the fact that muted tones bring out a sense of sophistication, while bright colors are more attention-grabbing. While the muted colors bring about sophistication, they may not be noticed as quickly. Bright colors grab attention, but those that are too bright run the risk of being obnoxious or coming across too strong.

Each color has its own meanings, as well:

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  • Red often gets associated with passion and energy, though it can also be seen as aggressive. It can stimulate appetite, so is great for something food-related.
  • Orange denotes youthful fun, approachability, and affordability. It also gives a sense of innovation. This can be a great color choice for a hip brand that is marketed to a younger demographic.
  • Yellow can stimulate appetite and be seen as happy, but it is also associated with caution and warnings. It’s best to use color in moderation, though a skilled designer will know how to maximize its advantages.
  • Green is associated with growth and freshness. It’s great for financial services, but also for produce.
  • Blue is one of the most common colors people go with when picking a small business logo. Blue gives a sense of professionalism, authority, integrity, sincerity, and serenity. It gives a feeling of success, which is why it’s used in financial institution logos and for logos associated with government bodies.

While there are myriad other colors out there, these are some of the big ones. They are certainly worth keeping in mind as you decide on the color of your small business logo.

Strive for something different

When you pick a small business logo, you have the chance to set your brand apart from everyone else. One of the best ways to do this is to pick one that is sure to be one-of-a-kind. While it’s okay to draw inspiration from something that has already had great success, you will want to strive for a logo that is different, distinct, and easy to recognize.

Achieving a well-designed logo requires hours upon hours of hard work, as well as being up-to-date on the latest trends in graphic design. Your logo establishes your brand identity, and sends out a message to the world when there are no words backing it up. Make sure your logo stands out, so customers and clients will remember your site and keep coming back to take advantage of your services and expertise.

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If you opt for a logo design company, be sure to go with one that keeps abreast of the latest trends and has a solid portfolio for you to look through. Let them know what sort of message you wish to convey, and make sure they work with you until you are completely satisfied. After all, this logo will be the silent voice of your business. Make sure it says what you want it to.

Select your fonts with care

Each font carries a message of its own. Some are strong, some are bold, and some have been turned into memes (here’s looking at you, Comic Sans). The fonts you choose when picking a small business logo will play a huge role in how well your business does. First impressions are crucial, so make sure your business gets a good one. Instead of going with a generic font for your logo, one that anyone could find online and use, switch things up. Find a typeface you like, then alter and adapt it to give it a new look. This will give it character that is parallel to that of your business. It will also give a unique, distinct look that will make your business stand out among the crowd. Remember to keep the number of fonts down to two, though. Using several fonts in one logo can make things look jumbled, confusing, and unprofessional.

Conclusion

When you are picking a small business logo to represent your business, you want one that conveys the message and vision of your brand. Your logo serves as the signature of your brand, which makes it one of the most valuable assets that your company has. It reflects your business, shows who you are as a business owner, and communicates the message of your brand. It needs to be simple, effective, and pack a punch.

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When picking a small business logo, the aforementioned tips are critical for selecting the best logo possible for both you and your business. Opting for a logo design company or graphic designer will ensure that you have a logo encompassing everything you need it to.

Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.imgix.net

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Alexia Bullard

Alexia is a content marketer and writer who shares tips on productivity and success at Lifehack.

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Published on July 27, 2021

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

Put the Pro in Professional

After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

2. Dress the Part

While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

3. Stage Your Workspace

Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

5. Arrive on Time

In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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6. Turn on Your Video

Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

Attend to the Pesky Details

8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

Talking Has a Time and a Place

11. Chat Appropriately

Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

Manage Yourself

14. Minimize Distractions

While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

15. Save Snacking for Later

Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

Final Thoughts

Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

Reference

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