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Picking a Small Business Logo That Stands Out

Picking a Small Business Logo That Stands Out

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 November 12, 2020

5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

What’s the most draining, miserable job you’ve ever had? Maybe you had a supervisor with unrealistic demands about your work output and schedule. Or perhaps, you worked under a bullying boss who frequently lost his temper with you and your colleagues, creating a toxic work environment.

Chances are, though, your terrible job experience was more all-encompassing than a negative experience with just one person. That’s because, in general, toxicity at work breeds an entire culture. Research shows abusive behavior by leaders can and often quickly spread through an entire organization.[1]

Unfortunately, working in a toxic environment doesn’t just make it miserable to show up to the office (or a Zoom meeting). This type of culture can have lasting negative effects, taking a toll on mental and physical health and even affecting workers’ personal lives and relationships.[2]

While it’s often all-encompassing, toxic culture isn’t always as blatant or clear-cut as abuse. Some of the evidence is more subtle—but it still warrants concern and action.

Have a feeling that your workplace is a toxic environment? Here are 5 surefire signs to look for.

1. People Often Say (or Imply) “That’s Not My Job”

When I first launched my company, I had a very small team. And back then, we all wore a lot of hats, simply because we had to. My colleagues and I worked tirelessly together to build, troubleshoot, and market our product, and nobody complained (at least most of the time).

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Because we were all in it together, with the same shared vision in mind, cooperation mattered so much more than job titles. Unfortunately, it’s not always that way.

In some workplaces, people adhere to their job descriptions to a fault:

  • Need help with an accounting problem? Sorry, that’s not my job.
  • Oh, you spilled your coffee in the break room? Too bad, I’m working.
  • Can’t figure out the new software? Ask IT.

While everyone has their own skillset—and time is often at a premium—cooperation is important in any workplace. An “it’s not my job” attitude is a sign of a toxic environment because it’s inherently selfish. It implies “I only care about me and what I have to get done” and that people aren’t concerned about the collective good or overall vision.[3] That type of perspective is not only bound to drain individual relationships; it also drains overall morale and productivity.

2. There’s a Lack of Diversity

Diversity is a vital part of a healthy work environment. We need the opinions and ideas of people who don’t see the world like us to move ahead. So, when leaders don’t prioritize diversity—or worse, they actively avoid it—I’m always suspicious about their character and values.

Limiting your workforce to one type of person is bound to prevent organizations from growing healthily. But even if your work environment is diverse in general, the management might prevent diverse individuals from rising to leadership positions, which only misses the point of having a diverse work environment in the first place.

Look around you. Who’s in leadership at your company? Who gets promotions and rewards most often? If the same type of people gets ahead while other individuals consistently get left behind, you might be working in a toxic environment.

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However it manifests in your workplace, keep in mind that a lack of diversity is a tell-tale sign that “bias is rampant and the wrong things are valued.”[4]

3. Feedback Isn’t Allowed

Just as individual growth hinges on being open to criticism, an organization’s well-being depends on workers’ ability to air their concerns and ideas. If management actively stifles feedback from employees, you’re probably working in a toxic environment.

But that definitely doesn’t mean nobody will air their feelings. One of the telltale signs of toxic leadership is when employees vent on the sidelines, out of management’s earshot. When I worked in a toxic environment, coworkers would often complain about higher-ups and company policies during work in private chats or after work hours.

It’s normal to get frustrated at work. That’s just a part of having a job. What isn’t normal is when dissent isn’t a part of or discouraged in the workplace. A workplace culture that suppresses constructive feedback will not be successful in the long run. It’s a sign that leadership isn’t open to new ideas, and that they’re more concerned about their own well-being than the health of the organization as a whole.

4. Quantifiable Measures Take Priority

Sales numbers, timelines, bottom lines—these metrics are, of course, important signs of how things are going in any business. But great leaders know that true success isn’t always measurable or quantifiable. More meaningful factors like workplace satisfaction, teamwork, and personal growth all contribute to and sustain these metrics.

Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, and they shouldn’t be the only concern. Measure-taking should always take a backseat to meaning-making—working together to contribute to a vision that improves people’s lives. If your workplace zones in on quantifiable measures of success, it’s probably not prioritizing what truly matters. And it’s probably also instilling a fear of failure among employees, which paralyzes employees instead of motivating them.

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5. The Policies and Rules Are Inconsistent

Every organization has its own set of unique policies and procedures. But often, unhealthy workplaces have inconsistent, unspoken “rules” that apply differently to different people. When one person gets in trouble for the same type of behavior that promotes another person, workers will feel like management plays favorites—which isn’t just unethical but also a quick way to drain morale and fuel tension in the office.[5] It only shows how incompetent the leadership is and indicates a toxic workplace.

For example, maybe there’s no “set” rule about work hours, but your manager expects certain people or departments to show up at 8 am while other individuals tend to roll in at 9 or 10 am with no real consequences. If that’s the case, then it’s likely that your organization’s leadership is more concerned with controlling people and exerting power rather than the overall good of their employees.

How to Deal With a Toxic Work Environment

The first thing to know if you’re stuck in a toxic work environment is that you’re not stuck. While it’s ultimately the company’s responsibility to make positive changes that prevent harmful actions to employees, you also have an opportunity to speak up about your concerns—or, if necessary, depart the role altogether.

If you suspect that you’re working in a toxic environment, think about how you can advocate for yourself. Start by raising your grievances about the culture in an appropriate setting, like a scheduled, one-on-one meeting with your supervisor.

Can’t imagine sitting down with your supervisor to air those problems on your own? Form some solidarity with like-minded colleagues. Approaching management might feel less overwhelming when you have a “team” who shares your views.

It doesn’t have to be an overtly confrontational discussion. Do your best to frame your concerns in a positive way by sharing with your supervisor that you want to be more productive at work, but certain problems sometimes get in the way.

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Final Thoughts

If your supervisor truly cares about the well-being of the organization, they will take your concerns seriously and actively take part in changing the toxic work environment into something more conducive to productivity.

If not, then it might be time to consider the cost of the job on your well-being and personal life. Is it worth staying just for your resume’s sake? Or could you consider a “bridge” job that allows you to exhale for a bit, even if it doesn’t “move you ahead” the way you planned?

It might not be the ideal situation, but your mental health and well-being are too important to ignore. And when you have the opportunity to refuel, you’ll be a far more valuable asset at whatever amazing job you land next.

More Tips on Dealing With a Toxic Work Environment

Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

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