Tips for Designing A Great Shop Logo

One of the most important decisions you will make as a business owner is the design of your shop logo. It communicates who you are and what you do as a business in a visual format. It is the first impression visitors get when entering your shop for the first time and will often determine if they will stay or leave. With the right elements your logo can inform the public of your online business personality, the focus of your business and a message you wish to convey.

A logo is a key marketing tool and is essential to branding your business. It appears in your online shop and on most printed materials such as business cards, invoices, shipping materials and within social media networks.

Often shop owners in a rush to get their new shop open for business, or because they feel their business is too small to warrant a well-made logo, will hurry through the design of their logo or skip it altogether. They will opt instead to use a photo of a favorite pet or other personal photos or a special graphic, none of which inform the visitor as to what the shop sells or if they specialize in one particular product. This is a mistake. First time visitors - potential buyers - need to feel confident in order to make a purchase from you and your logo is an indication of how serious you are about your business. It lends credibility.

Simple is good. A logo does not need to be visually complicated with various color combinations and graphic elements all competing for center stage to be attractive and communicate the nature of your business. Overly elaborate logos seldom translate well when a small thumbnail representation of your logo is required. Complex logos will increase the cost of any printed materials for your business, an unnecessary expense. Two to three elements are all that is required to create a visually pleasing logo. It can be as simple as your name or your shop name on a white or colored background, in an interesting font.

Which is better, a photo or graphic? Although the right photo can convey to the shopper what your business is about, it often does not translate well to printed materials should you need them. The photo may become fuzzy or indecipherable when enlarged or reduced. A well-designed colored graphic can inform the reader instantly of who you are and what you do. And one that converts to black-and-white will be easy to reproduce for any print ads, photocopies, and/or faxes. Choose a look that sets you apart from the crowd.

Fonts and color matter. It is always better to stay with standard style fonts and a basic color palette. Using multiple style fonts and a rainbow of colors can ruin a great design. One or two style fonts and two to three colors is all that is necessary to create a memorable logo.

Is it logical? The graphic for your logo should be logical, it should relate to your business. Pick an appropriate image that visually informs your potential customers of what type of business you engage in, and enhances or adds emphasis to your business shop name.

Is your logo scalable? If you want the option to use promotional materials in the future, design your logo so it scales easily. If you decide to take your marketing to a larger audience by putting your logo on pens, t-shirts, totes and other marketing products then you will be prepared to do so if you factor this into your design up front.

Shape. For most online use, a logo should be approximately square. But, it is best to check out the various Internet sites where you plan to display your logo to determine each site's size requirement. With this information in hand you can design your logo so it can easily be adjusted to accommodate  different size specifications.

Copyright. Remember that most images on the web are copyright protected and in most cases it is illegal to use an image that you find on the web without the express permission of the owner or proper licensing. Finding an image and adding a few tweaks is not an acceptable practice and will not protect you from copyright infringement.

If you feel you are not equipped to create your own logo either because you lack the necessary tools or you feel your creative side is limited, there are many websites with free tools to help you make a logo or that offer photos or graphics you can buy for your use. You can also purchase a pre-made logo, some as inexpensive as $10, and there are sites that specialize in logo design and will work closely with you to create a personalized logo.  

On Logo Search, visitors can purchase a single logo or they can purchase a subscription allowing them to download an unlimited number of logos for a specified length of time.

Logo Stick is a web based tool that allows users to access logo templates and design software, to create custom individualized logos.

Logo Maid contains a large selection of unique and non-unique logos. Logos are sold individually and vary in price.

GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

Get Paint.NET is a free image and photo editing software with a variety useful and powerful tools for creating graphics and logo designs.

iStockphoto - A web source for royalty-free stock images, media and design elements.

Shutterstock - Also a royalty-free stock image site.

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