Have you decided to start your own business? Congratulations! You have already completed the most challenging part of beginning something new and life-changing. However, as you start researching everything you need to get your new business off the ground, the unending information overload you’ll encounter from business coaches and online entrepreneurs can be overwhelming. When it comes down to it, though, there are only five essential elements you need to build a thriving business from the ground up. If this article is helpful, you can download our FREE Brainstorming Guide to keep all this valuable information in one place and reference it every time you get stuck! As a business owner, this is my simple list of everything you need to get your business started:

Every New Business Needs a Logo

A professional-looking logo is essential if you want to stand out immediately from your competition. A catchy name isn’t always memorable enough to keep your business at the front of people’s minds. But if you have a quality logo, people will recognize your brand with a glance. A logo does the heavy lifting of communicating your brand identity, which can set you apart as a professional and build customer loyalty. If your audience trust that your business is the real deal, higher-paying clients will take you seriously, and you can operate at higher price points. A logo functions as your stamp on the world. Every product, web page, or social media page associated with your business should include your logo so people know it’s you.

Every New Business Needs a Color Palette

Many psychological studies confirm that colors communicate emotions and make us feel something. This is why people describe yellow as happy and blue as melancholy. People tend to purchase based on emotion and rationalize with facts and logic afterward. Using a harmonious color palette in all your marketing is vital if you want to appeal to the part of a customer’s brain that develops the desire to make that purchase. Coolors.co is a great website to build color palettes and try out different colors together. Creating a color palette that communicates the tone and identity of your brand will work seamlessly with your logo to build credibility and increase trust. If you need help finding the right colors, our free downloadable Brainstorming Guide dives deeper into the psychology of color to help you build the palette right for your brand!

Every New Business Needs a Business Card & Letterhead

As you build your new business, networking within your industry and connecting with potential clients is crucial. Some of this will naturally happen online, but if you’re ever out in public and want people to remember you, hand them your business card! A business card has all your contact information so they can remember to connect with you after leaving the event. You never want to be in a scenario where you connect with your ideal client out in the wild and have nothing to give them. There’s a 99% chance they will have forgotten your website name by the time they get home, and there’s nothing more tragic than a missed opportunity like that. Similarly, having a professional-looking letterhead will help you communicate with high-paying clients and land more significant sales.

Every New Business Needs a Brand Guide

A brand guide is a document that helps keep your branding consistent. It will tell you what fonts, colors, and everything makes your brand identity stand out. In addition, having a reference when designing your graphic elements is helpful and keeps you on track. Still, it’s also a great tool if you outsource your marketing to an industry professional. You can send them your brand guide, and they’ll have everything they need to keep your branding professional without needing to start from scratch. In addition, keeping your communication simple and consistent will help potential clients connect with your messaging and view you as an expert.

Every New Business Needs a Website

No business is complete without a professional website. Your website is your business’s primary source of information that can be accessed far and wide, day or night. Much like your logo and branding, your website should convey what your business is about, the product or service(s) you offer, and appeal to your target audience in a sleek, professional, concise manner. How your website looks and functions will set the tone for your business relationship with potential clients. A good user experience and a well-built site will inspire trust and confidence and most likely be the first step in a lasting customer relationship.

You don’t just want to start a new business – you want to create a successful one. The key to standing out from among your competitors, connecting with potential high-paying clients, and bringing in substantial revenue is branding. When you have a professional logo, color palette, business card, brand guide, and website, you will have all the primary building blocks to make your business successful. To help you do this, we’ve created a free downloadable Brainstorming Guide so you can have all the essential information in one place and brainstorm to create a brand that sets you apart. So start brainstorming with the guide today to start your business strong!

Do you want to design a logo for your newest product but have no idea where to start? You might be thinking, “I would love to make my own logos, but I have no technical skills and it would take me forever. Isn’t it just easier to pay an expert?” Or maybe you are thinking, “I don’t have the eye for design to make my logo look good. The colors and fonts are all too confusing and mine end up looking unprofessional.

You are not alone. Many business owners, entrepreneurs, and virtual assistants have had the exact same thoughts. They can’t wait to get their product in front of people and start selling, but they don’t want to risk looking unprofessional. They know designing a great logo is crucial, but they have no idea where to start. They don’t have a big pile of cash to hire a professional every time they release a new product. They want to learn to make a high-quality logo themselves without paying the big bucks!

If you just read that paragraph and said to yourself, “Yes, that’s me!” I’m here to tell you it’s possible! You can get rid of that stuck feeling and give yourself permission to use your creativity so that you can build amazing logos for yourself and your clients in just a few clicks. Beginning the process is as easy as the 5 W’s of Design. By answering these five questions, you’ll be on your way to creating a stellar logo and brand that sets you apart from your competition!

The 5 W’s of Design

Every solid brand needs a solid foundation. The five W’s lay the foundation for your logo. Doing the necessary prep work will make it easier to create a logo that stands out to your ideal customer and creates a lasting connection.

The 5 W’s of Design are:

1. Who is your ideal client?

2. What do you want other people to say about your company?

3. Where will you be using your logo?

4. When you think about your company values, what comes to mind?

5. Why is it important to have a professional logo?

Let’s further look at each of these 5 W’s of Design to understand each of these essential building blocks:

1. Who Are Your Clients?

Who are your clients? Or who do you want them to be? This is a great place to start when creating your logo. First, think about who your current clients are. Or, if you don’t have any clients yet, who your ideal client would be. Write down a list of their attributes, including age, gender, core needs, and interests.

2. What Do You Want People To Say About Your Company?

This one is pretty straightforward. What do you want people to notice about your company? What do you want them to think and feel when they see your logo? Do you want people to consider your business rustic, casual, creative, fun, medical, scientific, unique, or detailed? Take a minute and write it out. Jot down how you envision you’d want someone to describe your business to their friend.

3. Where Will You Be Using Your Logo?

Where will your logo be placed? On a website or sales page, print brochures and flyers, or on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook? Or will you use your logo on company hats, shirts, and merch? Maybe you’ll use your logo on workbooks and course materials. Think about where you want your logo displayed, and keep in mind you’ll want a versatile logo so you can use it in various ways.

4. When You Think About Your Company Values, What Comes To Mind?

Do you have a set of company core values? The shoe company Zappos.com has a great example of company core values that we pulled right off their website,

“Deliver wow through service, embrace and drive change, create fun and a little weirdness, be adventurous, creative, and open-minded, pursue growth and learning, build open and honest relationships with communication, build a positive team and family spirit, do more with less, be passionate and determined, be humble.”

If you don’t have a set of values like this, consider taking a few moments to write out your core company values now.

5. Why Is It Important To Have a Professional Logo?

Have you ever felt imposter syndrome as a business owner, like you’re not qualified or experienced enough to succeed? This mindset can be a knock to your confidence and make it hard to make sales with pride. However, when you have a professional logo you can be proud of, you will become a better seller, naturally increasing revenue. Don’t believe me? Listen to the business owners and entrepreneurs who came to me for help with their branding. Over and over again, they tell me that having a professional-looking logo transforms how they look at their business.

These 5 W’s of Design will lay the foundation you need to connect with your ideal customers and increase revenue. Answering the questions above will help you identify the best logo for your business, so your website looks professional and trustworthy. With this foundation laid, you can design a high-quality logo you can be proud of!

If you’re looking for even more opportunities to learn how to design professional-looking logos yourself, grab our Brainstorming Guide now – it’s my free gift to you and it’s the next step after identifying your 5 W’s!

Starting a new online business is both scary and exciting. It’s a considerable risk that takes a huge personal investment of time and money, but when it becomes successful, there’s no better feeling! If you’re starting a new online business in 2023, We’ve compiled the ultimate business checklist, so you have everything you need to hit the ground running. As an online business owner who has grown subscriber lists, launched e-courses, and run a brick-and-mortar company for over ten years, we have learned all the tips and tricks the hard way so you don’t have to. However, if you want to skip to the end, we’ve included the link to download our Free Brainstorming Guide so you can start planning a successful brand today! Here’s my ultimate business checklist for new business owners:

Business Name

Of course, a business name is essential. Your business needs an identity that goes beyond your first and last name. This gives your business room to grow and allows you to scale your revenue as you find more success. A business name also proclaims what your brand does best and what people can expect from your business.

Core Values

Creating core values is a step that’s easy to skip or push off until later. However, your core values can dictate each action you take as a business owner. Core values help you to know what your brand prioritizes and what you find valuable. Your core values will help customers and clients align with your mission down the road. But at the beginning of establishing your mission, core values are a helpful filter to select the most effective business moves to start with. For example, do you prioritize a solid work-life balance and set hours for work and free time? Or do you prioritize flexibility and integration so that you can work from anywhere? Your values will help you make the business moves to achieve the things you prioritize without getting distracted by irrelevant possibilities.

Business Plan

From the very start of your online business, you need to know what your business does and what it offers. If you sell products, you need to select which companies to partner with and source supplies from. You should have a plan to connect with clients if you provide a service. It helps to have a specific target audience in your business plan, which will help you know how to market yourself. Every business needs funding and a financial plan to ensure you’re increasing revenue and staying out of debt. As you establish your online presence, your business plan will help you curate a marketing strategy that aligns with your vision and goals. Don’t start your business without a firm plan in place!

Market Research

You know your business offers value to the public, but do they? Doing market research will help you understand customers’ core needs, which will help you know how to communicate your offer in a way that resonates with them and convinces them to make a purchase. If you have a fantastic product but don’t know how to communicate its value to the people that need it, your business won’t grow very fast. Research your competitors to understand the market and identify what is working or not working for them. Figure out what sets you apart and what messaging your target market is drawn to. This research will be invaluable to you moving forward.

Elevator Pitch

Once you know how to communicate the value of your offer to your target audience, you need to refine your pitch. You should be able to explain what your business offers concisely and compellingly within only a sentence or two. Think of being stuck in an elevator for 30 seconds with the potential customer of your dreams! How would you take them to the next step in your business in less than a minute? What are the most precise words to explain what you do? What are the most concise words that connect with their felt needs? How can you leave them stepping out of that elevator wanting more?

Business Email

People need to contact you. Most online businesses don’t have a phone number accessible, so establishing a business email address is vital. This will be valuable as you start various business accounts or download software for your business. Ideally, your email address will either be info@YourBusinessName.com or YourBusinessName@domain.com. You can create an email address with your website as the domain if you have a business website. If you can’t do this, you can set up a temporary Gmail to transition to your own environment once everything is set up. Once you have an email account, you can begin connecting with clients through email. You can create an email subscriber opt-in if you have a blog or content on your website. Once they give you their email address, you can send them discounts, downloadable resources, articles, new products, and business updates to help them stay connected.

System for Record-Keeping

Keeping precise records will be your new best friend. Keep track of the time you spend, the money you spend, the revenue you make, and the products you sell, and keep all business and tax documentation in one place. You should have organized financial records for each month, quarter, and year you are in business. You should also keep track of tax information throughout the year, so filing your taxes is simple. If you book appointments, consultations, client calls, or any other meetings, you can find the best calendar to keep track of your time commitments. There is also a myriad of booking software available to make appointments easy to manage on both sides.

Legal Paperwork and Financial Accounts

Depending on your business, you may not need all of the paperwork and accounts that a brick-and-mortar company might. Research the requirements for your state and county. If you register your business, you will need to know whether to set up an LLC, corporation, DBA, or sole proprietorship. In addition, you may need to file for specific business licenses or permits depending on what you sell. Once your business meets all the requirements, you can set up bank accounts to keep your financial transactions in order.

Registered Domain

No official business wants to be running on blogspot.com. You need your own domain to be perceived as professional and trustworthy. You can use dozens of websites to check domain availability, like Google Domains. Purchasing a domain name is usually inexpensive unless you have a common business name with a lot of competition. Once you buy a domain, that will be your website name. You can purchase multiple domains and reroute them to your website if you’d like people to find you in numerous ways.

Website

Once you have a domain, you have to set up a website. This begins by selecting a host. Every website is hosted on a worldwide server, so you must choose a hosting platform like GoDaddy and purchase a basic hosting plan. There are also services like Squarespace and Wix, which will host your website and give you all the design tools you need in one place. If you don’t use an all-in-one service, you can set up a website using WordPress through your hosting platform. If this sounds overwhelming, it might be a good idea to hire a web developer (HINT HINT) to help. Once you have your website started, you’ll need to build your web pages. You should have a home page, an about page, a contact page, and an online shop. Finally, utilize your brand name and colors to make your website look professional and consistent with all your other branding.

Logo

Every professional business needs a logo. With one glance, this critical part of your brand identity tells your potential customers who you are. They will see whether you used an elegant, feminine font, a daring, bold font, a rustic natural font, or a minimalistic timeless font. They will also notice whether you used pastel colors, neon colors, bright colors, muted colors, or neutral colors. The combination of colors you use can communicate the personality of your brand and will draw the eye of your ideal customer. This can be portrayed through your design elements, lines, graphics, and shapes. If you need help brainstorming which fonts and color palettes will best communicate your brand’s identity, download our free Brainstorming Guide.

Brand Guide

Whether you design all your social media graphics and marketing materials yourself or hire a graphic designer or VA to help you, you should have a brand guide. A brand guide lists out the names of each font, the codes for each color, and the core messaging of your brand so that every design and promotional graphic looks consistent. A brand guide will help create web pages, postcards, business cards, letterhead, social media graphics, and promotional flyers. If you haven’t yet selected the colors and fonts that best match your brand, use my brainstorming guide link above to help create a consistent brand identity that grows your credibility within your target market.

Business Card

Even though you’re an online business, face-to-face networking will still happen. If you bump into your ideal customer in real life, you should be equipped with a professional business card to hand them. A business card will include your logo, brand colors, branded fonts, business name, website, and contact info, including your business email. Make sure you have each listed item before making business cards. Some people even like to include a QR code that takes people directly to their website. Then, don’t forget to slip a few business cards into your bag whenever you leave your home or office.

Letterhead

Having official business letterhead is a necessity. It truly takes your brand’s professionalism and credibility to the next level. If you need a graphic designer to create stationery for you, send them your brand guide and logo, and they will have everything they need to get started. You can use your letterhead for any official business correspondence or even invoices.

Blog

Posting consistent content in a blog-like format helps Google know that your website is up-to-date. This will rank your website higher in Google search results and make it easier to find online, which is invaluable for online businesses. For example, you can post business updates, sales, and discounts through your blog and email list if you sell products. You could also post about how to use your product or industry-related articles. If you provide a service, you can publish content to give your clients more information and set yourself apart as a thought leader within your niche market. For example, real estate agents like to post articles about how to find your dream home, the best times to buy a house, and home decorating trends. On the other hand, a natural deodorant company might post articles about hygiene or where to buy non-toxic products. If you’re not a natural writer, you can hire a freelance writer skilled in writing articles optimized for search engine algorithm visibility.

Social Media

As a digital business, part of your online marketing plan should include at least one social media platform. Platforms you can utilize are Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Reddit. Don’t go overboard. Choose only one to three platforms to focus your marketing strategy on. The goal is to post consistently on each platform with information about your products/services, branded content, photos, and graphics. Social media platforms are great ways to connect with new customers and increase online engagement with your brand. Ensure each social media platform is linked to your website and has your contact information.

As you start your new online business, this is the ultimate business checklist to help you have everything you need to be successful. With these accounts and resources in place, you will have all the tools you need to start your business in the best direction. Your potential clients will know just by looking at your website or logo that you are a trustworthy professional. With consistent branding and a credible online presence, it will be easy for potential customers to connect with you, trust you, and purchase from you. As a result, you will increase your revenue and grow your market! If you’re still feeling unsure about your branding or feel like you don’t have an eye for graphic design, you can use our downloadable Brainstorming Guide to give you confidence. This guide was created by graphic design professionals with decades of experience running a successful business. We provide you with all the crucial questions you need to answer before developing scroll-stopping marketing that your customers will love.

Don’t let the overwhelm of starting a business make you feel stuck. With this ultimate business checklist under your belt, you can take it one step at a time until your business is ready to launch! Online businesses are being started and experiencing tremendous success every day. Your business could be next with a bit of grit and a whole lot of passion!

If you’re stuck on your logo design and it’s holding you back from moving forward in your online business, we hope you’ll join us for this FREE workshop designed just for you!

The LogoLab workshop was created by a master designer with over 25 years of experience creating professional logos for hundreds of businesses. By attending the FREE LogoLab Workshop, you’ll learn why your current design isn’t working and how to brainstorm ideas that will elevate your design instantly. You’ll get the exact formula you can put to work in your business to curate a logo that will do the work for you!

There’s nothing more frustrating than when something as small as a logo gets in the way of growing your successful business. But most online business owners don’t know where to start. So if you’ve felt like you could use extra help from someone who knows all the tips and tricks, here are the top three reasons you’ll benefit from attending our LogoLab Workshop.

You Will Establish Credibility.

Nothing screams amateur like a sloppy logo. And these days, with so much online competition, you can’t risk losing customers due to bad design. Today’s consumers crave a polished aesthetic. If they take one glance at your website and want to run away, then there’s no way they will trust you as an expert.

So throw out that clunky logo and trade it for a high-quality design curated for your distinguished customers. As a graphic designer creating hundreds of stunning logos, I have discovered the secret to a design that effortlessly elevates your customer’s trust in you. But I don’t want to keep the secrets to myself – I want to share all my best tips through this workshop so your online business can thrive too!

I’ve seen too many businesses lose credibility with logos that are easy to fix. But, sometimes, a little tweak goes a long way. This is why I’m offering a live Q&A session after the workshop for VIPs (optional upgrade) to get real-time feedback on their logos. You could lose opportunities to connect with your ideal client every day with a bad logo. Workshop attendees can quickly squash that problem and acquire more customers before the month is over.

You Will Gain Confidence.

Running your own business is challenging. And sometimes, the hardest part is believing in the value you have to offer. It’s easy to have imposter syndrome when you have doubts that people will pay for your product. But this is not the time to be telling yourself all the reasons you can’t succeed.

The truth is there are dozens of potential customers who have been looking for an answer to their problems. If your product or service can solve that problem, people will pay big bucks for it. But part of having confidence in your brand requires having graphic design you can be proud of.

Have you ever felt “website shame?” If you cringe every time you send a customer to your link, it’s going to be harder to be confident in the value you have to offer. Building a brand around a professional logo and a polished design will upgrade your confidence and make you proud of what you do.

Potential customers pick up on this confidence. When they see it, they know that your product will be worth every penny. Your confidence will cause them to trust you to lead them and help them solve their problem. Whether you’re selling a product, a service, or a program, a professional logo will represent the confidence you exude. As a business owner who has been in your shoes, I know you care deeply about your customers, and I want your logos to communicate that same care. This workshop is meant to not only upgrade your logo but also empower you to move forward with confidence!

You Will Increase Sales.

What happens when you no longer have an amateur design to undercut your credibility, and you have a design that makes you proud? You get more customers! Every obstacle that might give you doubts about your company or product will be removed. This way, the pipeline from website visitors to repeat customers is simplified.

With increased trust in you as the expert, you will feel confident enough to charge the prices your products are worth! You won’t undersell or underprice, and as a result, people will be willing to pay top-quality prices to get help from an expert. People want to pay for the best service or product on the market. When they have a problem, your confidence and professional design will establish you as the expert they’re looking for. Sometimes a new professional design can help you see yourself as the capable professional you are, so you can assert yourself and convert curious people to customers.

Nothing feels better than seeing the sales pour in. And there’s nothing more satisfying than knowing that you are getting paid what you’re worth. This workshop will help you have the tools to remove every obstacle (including cringe-worthy websites), so your sales can skyrocket. You will learn how to make a logo that looks like you paid the big bucks!

Workshop Details

If you’ve been looking for a workshop like this, you can register here! The LogoLab is a FREE 4-day workshop held LIVE on July 25-28 at 11 am central time. If you cannot attend LIVE, you can check out our other packages that include lifetime access to this content so you can go through it at your own pace.

On day one, you’ll learn the importance of a professional logo and how to get started. Day two will help you brainstorm the perfect logo for your business. On day three, I’ll provide the exact method I’ve used to create hundreds of logos and give you a formula you can replicate. And on day four, we’ll talk about how to put this formula into action so you can establish Credibility, cultivate confidence, and increase sales.

If you’re looking for personal help from a professional, our VIP package includes the workshop PLUS a live Q&A session where you can get personalized feedback on your logo designs from a master designer.

After you register for the FREE live workshop or purchase lifetime access to the LogoLab, you’ll get access to our exclusive Facebook group, where you can ask questions and seek help from other professionals just like you. You’ll find a community of people who have put the formula into action and can help you find the success you’ve been looking for!

Our registration is filling up fast, so if you need a logo that will transform your look and advance your business, click here to join now!

Did you know that bad graphic design could cost your business significantly? Trust, reputation, and dollars – the essential things to build your business – are at stake if you have bad graphic design. Whether it’s on your website, merchandise, print marketing materials, social media channels, or products – bad design can ruin your chances of bringing in customers.

Most online entrepreneurs start off with bad graphic design. We all have to start somewhere. But just as you invest in your website or your training in your niche, you need to invest in better graphic design to continue to scale your business and monetize your content.

What are the most significant ways bad graphic design can jeopardize your success? Here’s our list of the top five.

1. Destroys Your First Impression

Whether they realize it or not, that first look matters. A potential customer will take one glance at your website or print materials and decide whether you are credible or not. They will make split-second judgments about how professional you are, how trustworthy you are, how qualified you are, and how well you fit their needs. Unfortunately, this first glance rarely includes your smiling face or firm handshake. Most people will go to websites or social media platforms to investigate a business or company before ever making contact. So what does your first impression tell potential customers? Will they know within 3 seconds whether they want to hire you or not? Will they instantly connect with your brand identity and decide they like your company more than your competition? If you’re not sure, it’s time to take a deeper look at your graphic design. This post will include a list of the most offputting design errors down below, so you can see what you’re doing wrong.

It’s very common for beginner entrepreneurs and business startups to try doing their own graphic design. It seems easier to do everything yourself or keep it in-house. Whether through YouTube tutorials or your friend’s son who has a knack for computers, these methods do not achieve a professional-quality result. If your graphic design looks amateur, potential customers will think your business is amateur.

Don’t let bad design ruin your reputation! That first impression is worth its weight in gold because it can make all the difference between whether a high-paying client chooses you or someone else. People absolutely judge a book by its cover, so let your cover tell the whole story!

2. It’s Impossible to Establish Your Identity

What do you want your first impression to communicate? Your graphics, colors, fonts, and logo help potential customers capture your brand identity with one glance. They will know who you are, what sets you apart, and what you offer. However, with bad design, it can be challenging to communicate your identity without spelling it out. Bad graphic design works against you.

Some graphics might confuse a customer because your aesthetic is basic/neutral and doesn’t communicate anything about who you are. On the other hand, your graphics might communicate something opposite your identity. As a result, potential customers may leave your website thinking you’re something you aren’t. In this way, bad graphic design is dangerous. There are plenty of things online to distract people from your website – so don’t let it be your graphics!

3. Misrepresents You

Bad graphic design can give people entirely the wrong impression about who you are and what you do. Your goal with a logo, website header, brochure, or webpage design is to tell people what to expect from you. If your graphics give them the wrong impression, it can lead to problematic customer interactions if they’re expecting something different from what you do best.

If an educator has comic sans as the font on their website, people might assume they are a teacher for elementary grades rather than adults because of the juvenile tone of the font. Whether a yoga teacher uses neon colors or pastels will cause their customers to question what kind of teacher they are and whether they emphasize relaxation or cardio. If you own a construction company and your logo includes a skyscraper, people who need help with minor home construction might never call. These graphic design elements can help or hurt you, and it’s your job to find an expert that will help you find the difference.

4. Disproves your Credibility

There are many elements that entrepreneurs utilize to prove their credibility. They may include their educational background, job history, or credentials in their bio. They might list trusted websites their work or product has been featured on. They may include testimonials or reviews. And the goal is that their website aesthetic and design presence agrees with each of these.

However, amateur-looking graphics can make even the most convinced customer doubt your expertise. Like one bad review can make people doubt dozens of good reviews, bad design can make people wonder if you’re actually as professional or qualified as you say. This will lead to customer interactions where you’re left having to prove yourself repeatedly. You don’t want that!

Instead, good graphic design can work together with all these elements to make you stand out as the expert in your niche. People will enter into each interaction, convinced you are the best person to go to and clamoring for your time because they’re sure there’s a line. If they’re confident that you’re the best, or your products are the best, they will tell their friends. And in an age of social media where a post like that can go viral overnight, I’ve seen entire product lines sold out from one convincing “word-of-mouth” testimonial. So good graphic design can contribute to convincing people you’re the best, which can give you more success than you realized.

5. Communicates Unprofessionalism

Professionalism matters. It’s all about how people perceive you. They want to know they can trust you, that you’re dependable, and you will deliver what they paid for. Even if your business practices are up to par, your graphics might cause them to doubt. Though this applies to every industry, it’s especially true for copywriters, coaches, bloggers, marketers, or anyone within the digital content space. Even though you don’t need to be good at graphic design to excel in writing or coaching, people will still view your graphics as an example of the quality of your services.

People online don’t necessarily understand that your graphics require skills you may not personally possess. Instead, they see the look of your website or business card, and they make assumptions about the quality of your work. Your aesthetic should ease these fears because it’s top-quality and professional, just like you!

Why Your Graphics are Offputting

Bad Colors

An out-of-date color palette or bad color combination can give people a bad taste in their mouth, even if they can’t put a finger on why. Bad colors give a terrible impression.

Messy Lines

If your lines are messy or your graphics don’t look clean, it gives an impression of hasty last-minute work or unprofessionalism.

Cluttered Appearance

People get visually overstimulated if your graphics are too cluttered or have too many overlapping elements. This will confuse them about your identity, and they may click off your site because it’s overwhelming.

Doesn’t Match Your Brand

If the words on the page say something different than your graphics communicate, your brand identity will come off as disjointed and disconnected. As a result, people may not understand who you are or what you offer.

Seems Unoriginal

If your graphics seem too basic or look like another popular brand, it will leave a bad taste in their mouths because it looks like you’re copying something that’s already been done. Not only that, but they may confuse the identity of another brand with your brand identity.

How to Avoid All These Mistakes

If you don’t want the bad graphic design to cost your business, it’s best to find an expert to help get it right the first time. This will save you hours of frustration, and the money you spend will be more than repaid as your business grows. Without this, poor color choices, homegrown logos, and amataur layouts will all slowly errode your credibility. Even if customers aren’t thinking it’s a bad design, there is something about it they wont like.

As you work with a professional, it’s essential to communicate your vision clearly. Check out our other posts on this page to learn what you need to know to establish your brand identity. As you communicate with your designer, it’s also important to trust their process. Let them do what they do best so that your website doesn’t fall into the trap of bad graphic design. Here are a few tips to remember as you go through this process:

  • Trust their professional judgment
  • Be clear on what you want
  • Communicate your brand identity plainly
  • Be flexible with exact details
  • Be specific about what you do/don’t like
  • Be open to their feedback and willing to embrace changes
  • Let them do what they do best

Ultimately, working with an expert is a collaborative process. There might be elements on your wishlist that will work against your ultimate goal. A graphic designer will be able to tell you if you’re asking for bad colors or graphics that confuse your brand identity. As you work with an expert, you’ll be able to avoid altogether these top five mistakes that will cost your business. Now, your design can help your business grow like never before!

Since aesthetics mean so much to today’s generation of consumers, even the most low-tech entrepreneur could use a few design tips. We’ve got you covered. As a graphic design company with over 50 years of combined experience designing websites and graphics for entrepreneurs and business owners, we know what it takes to keep up with today’s trends. These are our top ten tips to keep your graphics looking clean and professional in today’s marketplace.

1. Keep It Simple

People often believe that graphics need to be complex to look professional. This simply isn’t true. Keeping your designs minimalistic makes them easier to use in a variety of contexts while maintaining that clean crisp look that draws the eye. Think about the simple shapes, lines, colors, and fonts that your favorite brands use. How can you replicate that simplicity for your brand identity? Stay away from complicated overlays, photographs, and unreadable text or colors that will distract people from who you are and what you offer.

2. Be Consistent with Colors and Fonts

If you could summarize your brand identity in just a few words, what would you say? Is your brand modern, adventurous, rustic, or colorful? Identifying some key adjectives surrounding your identity will help you stay consistent throughout your web presence and print materials. If you run an accounting firm, you probably don’t want to use a childlike crayon font. If you own a sporting goods brand, you want to stay away from scrolling cursive fonts. The same holds true for colors. If you’re marketing to young women, rustic browns probably won’t communicate your identity effectively. Similarly, A baby clothing brand might want to avoid harsh neons. Whatever tone you choose for your branding – be consistent across the board.

3. Don’t Use Too Many Graphics or Icons

When it comes to promoting your company, it’s easy to get overly excited. You could fill a vision board with graphics that fit with your company’s vision. But be careful! If you use too many, people get visually overwhelmed and can’t make sense of what they’re looking at. For a logo, just use one image concept. Don’t try to combine too many or it will no longer make sense. On
your website, keep it simple. You can add some images or graphics that help set the tone, but don’t fill every square inch. People need negative space and simplicity so they keep scrolling and want to learn more.

4. Use Script Fonts Sparingly (and never in all caps)

We like to play around with fancy fonts. It’s just fun. But when you’re establishing a brand identity, you need to prioritize readability. If customers can’t read the words you post, it’s going to be pretty hard to connect with them. One of the most notoriously hard to read font styles is script fonts. These are the fonts that look like handwriting or cursive. They are often thin and have a lot of extra curly wisps at the ends of letters and sentences. Use these fonts very sparingly, if at all. This is not the type of font that you want to use for your main website copy or slogan. And if you use a script font, never use it in all capital letters. These fonts weren’t designed to be in all caps, and it often makes them even harder to read. If you’re using a script font for a main title or heading, make sure you don’t play too much with the letter spacing or distance. This can make it look awkward and minimize the handwriting effect that you were aiming for to begin with.

5. Have Someone Other Than You Critique Your Work

We are our own worst critics, but sometimes we’re also our own worst enablers. We know how much work and passion went into a project, so sometimes it is hard for us to see the flaws that exist. Getting an extra pair of eyes to look at your work and give feedback can help you see your website or brand through a newcomer’s eyes. Maybe the colors you used don’t fit the vibe. Or maybe it’s harder to read the fonts than you realized. Getting an outside opinion can help you cover all your bases so you don’t run into problems later on.

6. Make a Folder of Logos or Brands You Love

Especially when you’re just establishing your brand or going through a rebranding process, it’s easy to get lost in the details. If you find yourself overwhelmed with all the options for colors or fonts to use, take a break. Spend a few minutes collecting the logos, shapes, and colors used by your favorite brands and put them all in one folder. Then spend some time looking them over together. What common themes do you see? Are there similar color schemes? Do they use a similar font design? Are there specific lines or shapes among the logos? This exercise will help you cut through the overwhelming amount of options to identify what you like and what elements your eye is drawn to.

7. Don’t Feel Obligated to Use a Friend of a Friend

If your friend’s son is going to school for graphic design, you shouldn’t feel automatically obligated to use him. This is your professional brand and the quality matters. It’s easy to take shortcuts or cut costs, but you usually get what you pay for. You don’t want your brand to lose credibility with your customers because it looks like an amateur did it. When you’re seeking help
to establish your brand identity and get professional assistance designing your logo, do your research. Look at the portfolio of past projects a designer has done and see if they align with your vision. Find someone who you are confident can deliver the professional results that you want as an established business owner with a reputable brand.

8. Don’t Do It Yourself

Unless you have training in graphic design, trying to achieve your vision by yourself will only result in stress and frustration. It’s easy to have a picture in your head of what you want, but without the skills to achieve it, it’s hard to make your vision a reality without help. As an entrepreneur, your driven can-do attitude has gotten you far. There’s a lot that you’ve done on your own. But graphic design doesn’t need to be just another item on your to-do list to make you feel overwhelmed. All of the best entrepreneurs have learned how and when to delegate or outsource complex tasks. Instead of spending dozens of hours frustrated at your computer, let a designer spend a couple of hours doing it for you. They have the skills to make your vision a reality in just a few clicks!

9. Spend Your Money Where It Counts

As an entrepreneur, you have to prioritize. You have a limited budget and a seemingly unlimited list of things you could spend it on. So how do you decide where to allocate those funds? Prioritize the items that will draw in more patrons and convert them to paying customers. A logo is often the first impression that people have of your brand. If it’s amateur-looking and clunky, they could click off your website without giving it a second glance. If there’s money to be spent drawing in customers, a professional logo design will be one of your greatest assets.

10. Hire a Graphic Designer

Once you’ve thought through all the elements that draw your eye, what colors you prefer, and what tone your brand portrays, hiring a graphic designer is the easiest way to upgrade your web presence almost instantly. There are tons of branding professionals and social media managers that can help with the upkeep once you establish your brand, but you should start with a solid logo and brand guide. A graphic designer can help you get started. Instead of spending the next ten months dreaming of what you want, why not hire a designer today and take real achievable steps towards your goals? As an entrepreneur, making feasible plans to move towards your vision will help you keep building momentum for your business. Turn that vision into a reality by working directly with a designer to receive a logo you can use on all of your web pages, social media posts and merchandise for years to come!

As graphic design professionals, we’ve seen people fall into the same pitfalls over and over. To help you avoid repeating these same mistakes, we compiled this top ten list to give you the easiest next steps to take. Follow these 10 tips and your business can be booming with customers who love your eye-catching brand. Instead of presenting amateur designs and clunky colors that make potential customers doubt your credentials, you can show up every day with graphics that build their trust and increase their confidence. As you navigate the tricky obstacles of running a business and establishing a reputable online presence, let us keep the graphic design process easy so you can focus on the things that matter most! If you have questions about how to get started with a designer, click here.

Being an entrepreneur or business owner isn’t what it used to be. Back in the day, business owners just had to worry about the everyday logistics of keeping the business running. Occasionally an ad might run in the local newspaper, or a sale might bring customers to your brick and mortar storefront. But with the growth of the online marketplace, everything has changed.

In some ways, it has changed for good. Now, people can run businesses remotely from all over the world or connect with clients from the comfort of home. The ease of being an online entrepreneur offers opportunities that didn’t exist fifty years ago. But with all these benefits, some advancements can still feel overwhelming and out of reach. Without any background in web design or social media, it’s hard to keep up with the ever-shifting market trends. And without someone tech-savvy to help, sometimes it can feel like the online marketplace is moving faster than you can keep up with. Sound relatable?

Today’s consumers have come to expect a certain aesthetic and ease of use when they arrive at your website or interact with your brand. If they don’t capture the heart of who you are in just a few clicks, they will go to someone else. Clunky logos and amateur graphic design can be deal-breakers.

We Can Help!

As professionals with over 50 years of combined experience in the graphic design industry, we know the struggle. At Soapbox Studio, Inc. We are passionate about helping brands find their perfect look to HELP and not HURT their company growth. We help brands replace their amateur designs with a professionally curated logo, so their credibility doesn’t crumble.

With decades of experience catalyzing company sales with seamless designs, we have collected all the best tips to answer the right questions about your unique logo and brand identity in our Logo Rx Brainstorming Guide. This free download walks you through every element you need to think about, especially if you don’t know where to start. Through this guide, you can establish a brand identity that is polished and credible enough to draw in your dream customers with a single glance.

So many brands take shortcuts and skimp on budgets that cause their company to suffer. Why hire your friend who has no graphic design training to tackle this problem when industry professionals have free resources just a click away?

What is included in the Logo Rx Brainstorming Guide?

 

How to Make an Excellent First Impression

A first impression is sometimes all the time you have to draw in your ideal customer, so making a good one matters. Within this guide, you’ll find a list of the most important elements to ensure you make the best first impression possible.

Brand Identity Brainstorming Exercises

Do you know the right questions to ask yourself? With this brain dump exercise, you’ll be able to get all your thoughts out on paper, so you know where to start. By brainstorming with some questions from industry professionals, you will be able to dream big about the right things instead of getting lost in the abstract.

Refining Your Company Name

Are you confident that your name draws in the right customers? This segment will help you put your name and all identifying characteristics on paper to make sure your brand identity is being communicated clearly and articulately.

Your Brand Tagline

Do you have a tagline? Do you know the importance of a slogan? This is one of those little details that most people forget but can make a big difference. If you’re creating a logo, your graphic designer will want to create some logo options that include your tagline and some options without, communicating your identity in more ways than one. This provides you with a versatile brand package for any situation that arises, so you don’t have to Photoshop your tagline in as an afterthought.

Your Website

If you have a website set up, that’s a great start. But, depending on your goals, you may want more than a home page. For example, a landing page for your product can help increase sales, and a variety of web pages with more information can build your credibility. In addition, listing all your web pages can help you identify where you want to send potential customers, so they are engaged with your brand from the first click.

Choosing Your Brand Colors

If you don’t yet have brand colors, this exercise will help you research trending palettes to see what options exist. The guide also includes a breakdown of the emotions, connotations, and benefits of using each color. This segment will help you identify which colors express the essence of your brand so that your colors will work with your tagline, title, and logo design instead of against it.

Thinking Through Fonts

Fonts are another small detail that is easy to overlook. This segment will inspire you to research and select the perfect fonts for your headline, tagline, body copy, and other copy on your website or print materials. Instead of getting overwhelmed by all the options, this section of our guide will encourage you to keep it simple.

Finding Your Perfect Logo Design

While you may not be a graphic design guru, you probably know what kinds of logos you like and don’t like. This segment encourages you to copy your favorite logos and put them all in one place so you can see what they have in common. Once you see which logos catch your eye, you’ll have a better idea of what elements you’d like included in your company logo.

With this brainstorming guide in your toolbelt, you’ll be able to communicate what you want so a graphic designer can create precisely the logo your company needs. Then, instead of feeling stumped or overwhelmed, you’ll already have examples to show your favorite options. Download our brainstorming guide HERE to get started.

Or, if you’ve already done your own brainstorming, you can skip right to hiring our designers so you can have your own professional logo in no time! If you feel confident in what you want but don’t have the skills to make your vision a reality, we can help. Hire our designers HERE to catapult your brand’s credibility and help you draw in your dream clients. When it comes to more money in the bank, there’s no reason to wait. In about a week, you can have your logo launched, and your company’s look polished to perfection so that a customer never wants to click over to your competitor’s website again!

Branding requires consistency. When you have a defined identity, communicating that identity clearly every time, is what makes branding important. As fun as it might be to change up your look, it can confuse your customers and make them wonder if they came to the right place. As you’re establishing your brand colors and designs, it’s crucial not to forget the significance of fonts in establishing the tone of your company. If this seems complicated, we’ve compiled all the information you need to know to get started.

If you’re just at the beginning of establishing your brand identity, you’ll need to decide a few things before you find fonts:

  • The name of your brand or company
  • Who your target audience is
  • What you do
  • What sets you apart
  • The tone of your brand
  • Colors that represent what you stand for
  • A logo design that encapsulates this identity

To help you think through these elements, we’ve created a downloadable pdf called Logo RX. This guide will walk you through every question you need to be asking yourself so you don’t miss any crucial details while you establish your company’s brand identity.

The last two items on the list are not necessarily prerequisites to picking a font, but they help you choose elements representing your identity. As you establish the tone of your brand, it’s important not to pick the colors and fonts that you personally prefer. Just because you like the look of a font doesn’t mean it communicates your brand identity well. Of course, your preferences can be a part of your design, as long as they align well with the company’s core values. Combined with a solid logo and website design, the tone of your font can make your branding feel more consistent, streamlined, and clear.

So, do you know what tone communicates your brand identity best?

Some words to choose from might be:

  • Accessible
  • Ambitious
  • Approachable
  • Beauty-centric
  • Bold
  • Bright
  • Calm
  • Casual
  • Cheerful
  • Classic
  • Conservative
  • Contemporary
  • Convenient
  • Cool
  • Creative
  • Cultured
  • Custom
  • Cutting-edge
  • Delicate
  • Delightful
  • Dynamic
  • Easy
  • Efficient
  • Elegant
  • Enduring
  • Energetic
  • Exclusive
  • Familiar
  • Fashion-forward
  • Fearless
  • Flexible
  • Formal
  • Fresh
  • Friendly
  • Fun
  • Functional
  • Generous
  • Gentle
  • Harmonious
  • Helpful
  • Honorable
  • Human
  • Industrious
  • Informal
  • Instinctive
  • Innovative
  • Inviting
  • Knowledgable
  • Lovely
  • Mature
  • Modern
  • Natural
  • Noble
  • No-nonsense
  • Original
  • Peaceful
  • Personable
  • Plain
  • Playful
  • Polished
  • Professional
  • Quirky
  • Reflective
  • Reliable
  • Romantic
  • Rustic
  • Secure
  • Serious
  • Sincere
  • Sleek
  • Sophisticated
  • Spiritual
  • Thoughtful
  • Thrifty
  • Timeless
  • Trendy
  • Trustworthy
  • Unique
  • Unconventional
  • Vivacious
  • Versatile
  • Warm
  • Wise
  • Witty
  • Zany

 

Once you’ve identified a few of these words to describe your brand’s identity, you will want to browse through different fonts to find a type format that communicates this tone. Every brand needs the fonts they choose to be easy-to-read, not too familiar, and operational in all colors.

Easy-to-Read

If you choose a font that is too thin, too thick, too spread apart, too italicized, too swirly, or too artistic, it may not be the best font for your brand. If a font is too hard to read, you will not clearly communicate your identity. You want someone to tell exactly what your wording says, whether it’s plastered on a billboard or written in 10—point font on a business card. To check if a font is easy to read, you can significantly increase and decrease the font size. You may have a different font for headlines or titles than you have for subtitles or slogans. In fact, many brands do. But in either case, you need to find a font that is easy to read.

Not Too Common

Obviously, you don’t need to select a crazy font with a strange look to stand out, but if it’s too common, it might look like a third-grader chose it. Think of the most common fonts like Arial, Calibri, New Times Roman, Georgia, Cambria, Impact, and Comic Sans. These are fonts easily accessible in Word processors and frequently used for education, writing, and everyday purposes. If you select one of these fonts for your brand, you will be perceived as ordinary and uncreative. It may also make people think you are less credible because you used the first font on the list.

Works in All Colors

Some fonts have cutouts or utilize negative space as part of the design. These fonts can look cool but are often designed to be black with a white background. If you change the background color or the font color, are the words still legible? Does the design still look cool? Or is it evident that the font was not created with this purpose in mind? Little details like this can make a difference for your audience. If you make a glaring mistake like this, they may not think you care about the details or can provide a professional-quality product or result.

Why Does Font Impact Credibility?

Your credibility as a company is one of your most valuable assets. There will always be external influences that impact how people view you. These might be out of your control. However, you want to be certain every choice you make improves your credibility. Choosing an appropriate font has the power to do this.

If your company gives people legal advice or helps them produce contracts to minimize liabilities, using comic sans as a font could destroy your credibility. People will think of your company as childish, unprofessional, immature, and unpolished. These words confuse your audience and oppose your company’s core values.

If you own a fashion company that is simple, feminine, modern, and dainty, you should not use a thick or rustic font. Using Impact or Roboto Mono will create the wrong impression. People will take one look at your text and make decisions about whether they like your brand based on text that is giving off the wrong connotations. Similarly, if you are a masculine and rigged brand, using a cursive and curly font will communicate the opposite message.

While these are extreme examples, they do extend to more subtle fonts. In addition, there are different categories of fonts that you can select from, and each carries connotations that can help or hurt your brand.

Serif and Sans Serif Fonts

Serif is a title that refers to the tiny “feet” at the ends of letters. Sans Serif is “without feet” and is the category of fonts we use on this site. A typewriter font is a serif font because it includes these extra strokes. Many Serif fonts are perceived as more formal, classic, and official. Without the extra strokes, Sans serif fonts are viewed as more simple, modern, informal, and elegant. We typically try and stay away from using serif fonts as all caps in headlines because it makes the copy harder to read. If you want to use all caps to capture attention in that way stick with a sans serif font.

Bold or Italicized

While many basic fonts have bold or italicized options, some fonts were created with these features in mind. A bold font gives a strong impression that is perceived as unyielding and confident. On the other hand, an italicized font can be perceived as more fancy, suggestive, quoted copy and elegant. Write out your title or slogan and see how it looks with these different features applied.

Script or Handwritten Fonts

Fonts that were designed to look like handwriting can be a fun addition, but should be used sparingly. These fonts are better to use as accent than a main staple. They are good for logos but not for large amounts of copy. By using a handwriting accent, your brand can be perceived as more creative or eye catching. However, with these kinds of fonts less it more. Never use one with all caps or letter spacing because it makes you look unprofessional.

Boxy or Curvy

For some of the more subtle fonts, you’ll want to pay attention to the lines. Are they straight and boxy, or curved and rounded? Each type of line communicates differently about your brand. Straight lines are more modern and straightforward. Curved fonts are more unique and creative. The boxiest fonts look technical and robotic, while the most rounded fonts mimic handwriting and feel more casual. Try some fonts out and see how your brand title looks in different font styles.

All Caps, Lowercase, Sentence Case, and Title Case

This might not even be something you’ve thought about, but different brands utilize this element to communicate their brand identity all the time. Using all caps is bold, unapologetic, and easy to read. Using all lowercase is a bit unconventional, informal, and casual. It would be best to avoid all lowercase with an older audience. Sentence case, with the first letter capitalized and everything else lowercase, is very standard and classic and commonly used in body copy. Title case is when all words except for articles, conjunctions, and short prepositions are capitalized and most commonly used in longer headlines or sometimes bullet points. In this paragraph, the title “All Caps, Lowercase, Sentence Case, and Title Case” is Title Case and the rest of the paragraph is Sentence Case.

Font Combinations

Most brands utilize more than one font in their brand guidelines. For example, they might use one or two fonts in their logo, and another one or two for their standard font on the website or print materials. You don’t necessarily have to use your logo font on your print material. In fact, many companies do not since their logo is very specialized or sometimes custom created. So the logo font is kept special for the logo. You can work with a graphic designer or brand specialist to help identify what fonts are appropriate for your communications. If you’re curious, try a few different font combinations out and see how they look together. A good rule of thumb is not to use more than two fonts in a logo. If you have one really unique font, you’ll want the others to be simple so that people don’t feel visually overwhelmed.

Your font can be a powerful communicator of your brand identity in combination with your logo design, brand colors, and website design. With the right font choice, you can communicate your company’s tone and establish credibility with your target audience. With one glance, your customers or clients will understand who you are, what you do, and how you can help them. Instead of using fonts and colors that work against you, the right choices will build trust and set you apart from the competition.

If you are stuck selecting fonts, talk with a designer to identify how to tie those fonts in with the colors and designs that your brand is already using. Ultimately, communication is in so much more than the words you use, and a font will build credibility for your brand in more ways than one! For targeted help choosing the elements that will work best for your brand, check out our Logo RX brainstorming guide. This free downloadable guide will help you think through all elements of your logo and brand identity from the colors to the design to the fonts. For more specialized help, check out our Logo Rx program to develop a professional logo and brand design with the help of a professional so you don’t get lost in the details.

Colors shape our understanding of what’s true, what’s valuable, what’s important, and what we like. We have favorite colors. There are colors that make us feel certain emotions. There are colors that remind us of good or bad memories. So naturally, in finding the right colors for your company brand, color choice is important.

Brand Identity

Since a logo design is so integral to establishing your brand identity, colors will play a vital role in the process. As you think about your brand, you should think strategically about which colors may align with the values and essence of your company. Not only do colors have the power to persuade buyers or establish loyalty, but in choosing the wrong color, there is also a potential that your target market may overlook your brand completely.

For example, a friend of mine recently commented on a restaurant she saw. They served fried food and meat, but their main brand color was green. My friend commented on how the color green paired with this type of restaurant felt very unappetizing to her, where it might have felt more appropriate for a salad shop or health food store. In this instance, the brand color repelled her from becoming a customer of that restaurant.

To identify the perfect colors to select for your brand, we have compiled everything you need to know about color theory for company brand guides.

Color Theory

Color theory refers to the study of which colors pair well together, the visual and emotional impact of specific colors or combinations, and the way hues and tones communicate. You may decide that your brand would be best suited in the color red. However, you must specify whether a rustic deep red or a bright vibrant red is more suitable. These questions can feel overwhelming for someone who is not well versed in the graphic design industry, so we’ve included a detailed explanation below to help you know what questions to ask.

The Psychology of Color

We can’t discuss color theory for very long before psychology comes up. Colors have a huge influence on our emotions. Certain colors can be tied to feelings of trust, reliability, affection, or happiness. While other colors may be tied to feelings of boredom, anger, sadness, greed, or panic. Understanding this psychology can help you to establish credibility with your target audience.

Cool Colors vs. Warm Colors

Cool colors tend to be blue, green, purple, neutral, and gray. Warm colors include red, pink, yellow, orange, and brown. However, the tone or hue of each color can have cooler or warmer undertones that can make even a warm color look cool or vice versa. Cool colors tend to give feelings of peace, tranquility, and nature. Warm colors give feelings of affection and excitement or vibrancy (which can incorporate negative things like rage or betrayal), but can also contain much more heightened positive feelings. Do you want your brand identity to feel calm and natural or lively and exciting? A mattress company would want to use relaxing colors while a skydiving company would probably use more vibrant hues.

Red, Orange, and Yellow

The psychology of these warm tones, in general, signifies more energetic feelings, but each color in itself has its own visual effect. Red symbolizes power, confidence, ambition, passion, energy, and warmth. More negatively, it can also symbolize danger, anger, and aggression. If you want to use the color that evokes the strongest emotion, red is the perfect choice. Orange is happy, attention-grabbing, playful, sporty, enthusiastic, and spiritual. Though it can sometimes make people think your products are inexpensive, it can also make people think of sunsets and beautiful lighting. Orange is also a common color used among sports teams. Yellow represents  sun, warmth, energy, cheerfulness, positivity, and alertness. The color can be abrasive, though, and instigate visual frustration or fatigue. Yellow tends to be a color that people either love or hate, so it should be used with intention.

Green & Blue

Green is a very natural color that brings up images of growing trees or plants. It signifies health, balance, growth, money, nature, safety, and clarity. Occasionally it can also make people think of greed, jealousy, envy, or illness. However, especially in the wellness industry, people prefer green packaging because it makes them feel healthier. Blue is calm, productive, stable, peaceful, inspiring, and sincere. It can also denote tones of sadness, loneliness, or gloom. It tends to be one of the most unappetizing colors to use for food companies or restaurant branding. Though it is a great non-threatening color, it also tends to be one of the most popular colors used, so be wary of oversaturation.

Purple & Pink

Purple makes people feel creative, regal, imaginative, brave, courageous, and emphasizes fantasy. This color can also invoke emotions like frustration or sadness, and it can be a polarizing color since some consider it to be more feminine. Pink is similar in its association with the feminine, or the affinity for girly things. However, pink can also be romantic, nurturing, joyful, calming, vibrant, and fresh. It can be seen as childlike or vulnerable but can be very effective with a female audience.

Brown, Black, & White

Neutrals do not always make a big emotional impact, but they are very good to use for contrast or to keep things classic and basic. Brown is natural, earthy, conservative, reliable, serious, and represents security. Black is dark, bold, classic, luxurious, and often used for text. White is light, bright, pure, clean, and can be great to provide negative space. These neutrals are wonderful to use in text, bold and simple lines, or very modern logo styles. Metallics like gold, silver, and bronze can be used as accents to communicate luxury or draw the eye.

Feminine vs. Masculine Colors

There are certain colors and tones that are culturally viewed as feminine or masculine colors. And just the association with gender can form your audience’s view of the product. Feminine things are often more associated with beauty, vulnerability, simplicity, nurturing, fashion, gracefulness, elegance, and resilience. Masculine things are seen as rugged, large, strong, confident, durable, cool, suave, and bold. These stereotypes can work for your brand or against it, but they are important to keep in mind especially if your color palette is going to emphasize one. Is your target audience a specific gender? How can you cater to their needs and interests through your branding? If your target audience isn’t specifically gendered, would it suit your brand to use more neutral colors, or might it be beneficial to create mental connotations tied into these colors?

Colors Suited to Your Industry

As we’ve stated, every color can invoke subconscious impressions. This can be especially true in specific industries. The wellness industry leans heavily on calming colors like blues, greens, or neutrals. However, very passionate invigorating colors like red might not be as popular. Comparatively, shades of red, orange, and yellow would be very popular in the food industry, especially when cooler colors feel unappetizing. Blue tends to be a popular color for travel companies and credit cards. Black is a prevalent color in the automotive industry, the apparel industry, and the entertainment industry. To select the most appropriate colors for your logo, this kind of research for industry specific norms will make all the difference.

The Color Wheel & Complementary Colors

As you’re selecting colors for your logo and branding, it might be helpful to look at an extensive color wheel like this one

Upon first glance, you might be able to tell what colors you’re most drawn to, or most align with your company’s mission. Beyond that, the visual exercise of utilizing this color wheel can help you identify which shades or hues of a specific color might be preferable to you. And since most brands use more than one color, a color wheel can help you see which colors look good together. The colors right next to each other will pair well based on their similar undertones. You can also select complementary colors, which are often opposite each other on the wheel. These colors are different, but pair well together and are pleasing to the eye.

Picking a Palette

As you select multiple palettes, a graphic designer would likely work with you to choose a color palette for your brand. This often includes the main colors in your logo or branding, but can also include lighter, darker, or more neutral shades that you might use on your website or marketing materials. If this process feels foreign to you, there are dozens of tools that can help. One that we find incredibly useful is coolors.co. This website has hundreds of palettes to browse through and also has suggestions to help you see what you like. You can build your own palette or save palettes others have made, so you have something to go back to as you work on your own branding materials.

Overall, while choosing colors for your logo can be overwhelming, having a broader knowledge of color theory can help. If you can identify what you want your target audience to feel about your brand, it can be fairly straightforward which colors will invoke those emotions. With the right colors, your brand will pop, and your customers will be drawn to you. Knowing what you know now, you can utilize the power of color to curate a brand guide that’s unforgettable.

You need a good logo if you’re starting a new business or refining your brand identity. But what makes a logo “good”? Unfortunately, there’s an infinite amount of information on the internet with conflicting messages about this, so it can feel overwhelming. But as graphic design professionals with over 50 combined years of experience creating compelling logos for all industries, we’ve assembled everything you need to know about what makes a successful logo in one place!

Simplistic

The worst thing a logo can be is complicated. A logo is meant to tell your brand’s story at a quick glance. It won’t be effective if someone has to stare at it for more than 30 seconds to understand what it’s saying about your company’s identity. Instead, you need a simple logo. Think of examples like the Nike swoosh or the Taco Bell bell. You can see one image without a single word and know what it symbolizes. It may even get to the point where you can see the McDonald’s M and start craving french fries. That’s the power of an effective logo.

Memorable

You might not be able to instantly remember a company’s tagline, mission, or advertising campaign – but if it’s done right, you should remember its logo. Apple’s logo is unmistakable. You can identify Target’s red circles without a single word. Likewise, it would be effortless if I asked you to remember the Starbucks logo. That’s because these logos are memorable. You need your logo to have its own distinct style so that when people think of your company, they remember your logo.

Identifying

The Burger King logo tells you that you can expect a burger. The YouTube logo indicates that you will be pressing play on a video. Not only do these logos indicate what the brand is about, but they encapsulate the company’s identity. If you want your company to be known as the best option within your industry, your logo can have the power to make people think of you when their specific need arises. For example, when someone wants to watch an engaging football game, they know they can go to the NFL every time.

Timeless

If you want your brand to stand the test of time, you need your logo to be timeless. You don’t want to have to rebrand every five years. Apart from wasting money, that can also confuse customers or clients about your identity. For example, if Superman’s “S” had changed all the time, he wouldn’t seem like such a timeless superhero. Part of a timeless logo is choosing fonts and colors that will not feel outdated in a few years. Our designers are well-versed in color theory and can help you pick a color palette that feels both modern and timeless.

Font Specificity

If every logo was written in Comic Sans, you might not take the brands very seriously. However, if a kid’s crayon or chalk brand was written like that, you would better understand their niche. Choosing your font carefully can help your brand stand out from the rest. When you get a Subway sandwich, you don’t see bread on the sign anywhere. But you know that “Subway” will always be written the same way, so their sign makes you think of a sandwich. Walmart’s identity wouldn’t be the same without its font, either. It is important to use a font that pairs well with your company’s story, whether it feels modern, elegant, colorful, feminine, rustic, or bold.

Color Palette

Choosing a color palette for your logo requires more than just picking a collection of favorite colors. Color theory dictates that different colors can activate different emotions in people. For example, using pale blue communicates something very different from neon blue. And knowing how to combine colors to complement each other and work together is essential, especially in logo design.

Distinction

A good logo communicates your company identity. But it’s a great logo if it sets you apart from your competition. Your logo can show your customers who you are and distinguish your company from others in the industry that provide similar products or services. Not only will it help people think of you as their best option, but it’s a great marketing tool. Think of all the free advertising that could come from a product with your logo. More people buy Adidas clothing when people see others walking around wearing Adidas. When you drive your Toyota truck through the mud, people start to associate the Toyota logo with a durable and dependable product.

Relevance

While you don’t want your logo to look outdated, it must be timeless by appearing relevant to current needs and events. People want to depend on a brand or company that solves their everyday problems. A relevant logo can ensure that they come to you. Creating a logo that feels fresh and modern without sacrificing its timelessness will gain credibility with your customers. If they see a logo design that feels rudimentary or amateur, one glance will tell them that you’re not proficient at what you do and are not equipped to help them fill their needs.

Adaptability

We want your company to grow and change without feeling locked in or limited. A versatile logo can help you do this without rebranding as you grow. We deliver your logo in various formats so you can use it in every form you need. Sometimes you just need the image. You may also want to pair your logo image with your company name or slogan. And if you want it to look less like clip art and more like a professional design, you’ll need a variety of formats to fit your needs.

Professional

To be taken seriously by your customers, you need a professional logo designed well. If you’ve had a picture in your mind of what you want but don’t have the time or skills to design it yourself, Soapbox Studio can help. Rather than resorting to primitive design tools or amateur results, we will work with you to create the logo you’ve been dreaming of without all the frustration of napkin pencil sketches and late-night Google searches. So leave it to us, and we’ll develop everything your company needs to stand out and look professional and credible.

Who Are We?

Soapbox Studio is comprised of two designers, Tracey and Justin. Tracey founded the company in 1997, and together with Justin, they have over 50 years of combined experience producing excellent designs for every demand. When you work with Soapbox, you have the assurance that you will be working directly with the designer from start to finish without going through a middleman. You know your designer’s name, and you’re working with a US-based team you can trust. We prioritize a personalized experience based on collaboration to achieve your vision. Contact us to get started if this experience sounds like what you’ve been looking for. A professionally designed logo will make you look as good as you really are.