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Today's startups don't have to hire a professional brand consulting firm to design a logo to match their identity and deploy as a central image on brochures, business cards, postcards, presentation kits and more. In fact, there are many online logo design resources that will help you look professional, credible and inviting for pennies on the dollar - and sometimes even for free. Here's what you need to know if you're going to pass up a pro designer for a more economical logo design solution.
Before you set out to design your own logo, you should write down some concepts on paper to help you decide on a theme. First consider what your company is all about, who you serve, how you serve them, and how you're different from the competition. Keep your tagline, benefits and mission in mind and consider how to visually represent them. Next, take a look at how your competition represents similar themes and brainstorm ways you can differentiate your company. What you want, of course, is to look better than your competition. Finally, visit websites such as designer portfolios, interactive logo makers, and design galleries to discover logo styles that you like (and are appropriate for your type of business) and what colors suit you.
Once you have a good idea for a logo design, grab a pencil and freehand a few concepts on paper. You don't have to be a good designer at this point; all you're doing is playing with your logo elements, positions and styles. Your logo might be a single letter or two, or it might be an animal or a shape. Whatever your logo design is, don't make it too busy - you want your customers to easily recognize it at a glance, so simplicity is important. In addition, keep in mind that there is rarely a good reason for using more than two colors in a logo design.
If you don't have the skills to bring your logo design to life using Illustrator or another professional vector program, you have to decide how to make your concept a reality. You have several options here - the first is to use free or paid clipart to put your logo together in a photo editor. The second is to use an interactive online logo maker. Most of these offer free logos with limited use, with paid options starting at around $50 (which is about 10 to 100 times less than what a professional designer would charge you). Alternatively, you could seek graphic design students from a local college who need to build their portfolios - you might get a professional-quality logo design for cheap or even free if you go this route.
A logo design does you no good if you don't promote it. In order to properly brand your company, your logo should be on your website and vehicles, as well as on all of your printed marketing materials: postcards, business cards, posters, flyers, brochures, catalogs, calendars, letterhead, envelopes, and more.