How to Design a Highly Professional Logo for Your Small Business in 7 Easy Steps

Creating a logo for your small business can be both an exciting and daunting task. On the one hand, you want to create something that accurately reflects the values of your organization and stands out from the competition. On the other hand, knowing where to start can be overwhelming.

Logo design is an important aspect of small business strategy

Fortunately, there are seven simple steps you can take to ensure that you create a highly professional logo for your business. From researching Upwork for creative designers to providing examples of logos that appeal or repel you – these tips will help guide you through creating a logo that is tailored specifically towards your brand and vision!

1. Define the purpose of your logo

Understanding the purpose of your logo is essential for creating a successful design that accurately represents your business. It’s important to consider what message you want to convey with your logo, as well as any long-term goals or plans you may have for it.

A good logo should be simple, memorable, and recognizable. It should also capture the essence of what your business is about, reflect your core values and brand identity, as well as differentiate you from competitors in order to attract more customers.

Start by asking yourself why you need a logo. Is your business highly creative? Or more professional and conservative? Defining the purpose and writing a short creative brief is the first step in the development process. We recommend you write down 2-3 versions and share with your colleagues and network for feedback before proceeding to step 2.

2. Describe your business and its values

Once you have an outline of your logo purpose, it’s time to start describing your business and its values. This is an important step in the process as it will help inform the design of your logo. Provide a brief overview of what makes up your company, such as its mission statement, services or products offered, target audience, etc.

Additionally, explain any core values that should be reflected in the logo design such as trustworthiness, innovation, or modernity. Be sure to share any examples of logos that you do like or dislike so the designer has an idea of what direction you want them to go in when creating drafts for your logo.

3. Be clear about what you want in the design

By taking the time up front to provide clear instructions on what you want from your logo project will save you and the person you hire time and money. Not all logo projects are created equal, and there is a big difference in budget between creating a unique artistic logo concept versus a quick graphical image or font that represents your business. The spectrum of approach will depend on your business and what you want to accomplish.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you anticipate re-branding or re-designing your logo in the future when you have more budget?
  • How important is branding within your market? For example, a highly consumer focused business like a Pizza Shop will have a much higher value in a logo vs. a law firm.
  • Do you want a simple JPEG for your website or social media? Or do you anticipate purchasing signage and billboard space to promote your business? The larger the graphic, the more you will want to consider paying for a “lossless” file such as a vector graphic of your logo.

4. Provide examples of logos that you like or dislike

There is nothing more important for guiding your artist than providing examples of logos that you do or don’t like. Not only will you save valuable time in revisions down the road, but you will give your artist a visual set of guidance that will help them envision your future logo. And make sure you are thinking about this in the context of your business! Don’t just pick your favorite brands logo, think about examples that convey the tone and style you want to embody.

With collaboration between yourself and your graphic designer, together you can define 4-5 logos that will serve as your blueprint and guide. And you can also provide examples of logos you do not like for additional design input.

5. Research Upwork to find a creative designer

Once you have a clear idea of the purpose and message of your logo, it’s time to start researching to find the best possible freelancer to get the job done. We highly suggest using Upwork.com for a creative designer who can bring your vision to life. Upwork offers freelance professionals across the globe at a variety of budgets. You can get a logo for as cheap as $50 or spend several thousands of dollars for a highly qualified creative professional. As with anything in business, you get what you pay for! (Emphasis again on step 2 – what is your goal!)

You should look through Upwork’s portfolio of designers and read customer reviews to find someone with experience in designing logos that match your business identity.

Narrow your list down to 5-10 professionals and start the vetting process for hiring your designer. Typically I ask the freelancer to provide a portfolio sample of work, to assess my selected favorite logos and non-favorites, and ask for a budgeted breakdown with a few milestones. It’s always important to have an initial milestone when hiring a freelancer, because you can weed out non-performers without locking yourself into a committed budget.

Here is a simple breakdown you can follow:

  1. Initial Logo Concept Design (2-4 draft concepts for direction) – 25% of budget
  2. Expanded Logo Concept (1-2 designs from step 1 with more details) – 50% of budget
  3. Final edits and file delivery – 25% of budget

For each step above, you define a milestone that triggers payment. IE – Once you provide 2-4 conceptual logo concepts for feedback, I’ll pay you 25% of your quote. I also highly recommend you do NOT pay your freelancer hourly, because this type of project can be difficult to assess in time and you want the freelancer to focus on the outcomes you need (which is a great logo!)

6. Work with the designer to create drafts of the logo and make revisions as needed

Once you’ve pulled the trigger and hired your designer, the fun part begins! Since you defined a careful set of milestones in step 5, and did your homework on steps 1-4, this should be a seamless process. Your designer should have a clear direction and initial deliverable, and I find that when a lot of information is presented up front, they can turn around artwork very quickly. You might even get a great draft or design within a day or two!

A few tips to keep in mind working with your freelancer:

  • It is highly encouraged to keep tabs on their progress. If you don’t hear anything or get an update on a weekly basis, check in with them and see if everything is ok. (Unless of course they committed to a longer timeline in Step 5)
  • If you find the freelancer disappears, contact Upwork sooner than later to let them know. Typically, you can cancel a project without a fee or fine, but it depends on how you structure the project. If a freelancer absolutely fails to perform the job, you can usually get your money back through the Upwork support team.

7. Finalize your logo design and download it for use on all platforms

If you’ve made it to this step, I hope you have a beautiful and brilliant logo! The final milestone working with your freelancer should include delivery of files and artwork, which at minimum should include the following:

  • Logo development file – Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop are two common tools
  • A high-resolution version of the file – PDF, TIFF, Vector
  • A low-resolution version of the file – JPEG
  • A transparent version of the file – PNG
  • And fonts used in the logo

The final tip of this article is you should always make sure to leave a great review for your freelancer when the job is done. Working for yourself is hard as many readers of this blog know. Even if you had some friction in the process, at least thank them for their work and give them a 4- or 5-star review. I always do this unless the freelancer is terrible or rude, but in those cases the job is rarely finished anyway because I fire early in the process.

In Conclusion

Overall, the process of working with a designer to create your logo can be an exciting and fulfilling experience. By understanding the purpose of your logo, researching Upwork for creative designers, describing your business values and providing examples of logos you like or dislike – you are well on your way to creating a unique design that truly reflects who you are as a brand. Don’t forget to collaborate closely with the designer during every step-in order to ensure that all parties involved feel great about the final product! With these tips in mind, there is no limit when it comes to designing an unforgettable logo for your business.