For most small businesses, graphic design is an integral part of the overall marketing strategy from social media posts to website headers to the all-important company logo.

Trouble is, graphic designers are often expensive, so it can be worthwhile exploring if learning the basics and saving money when starting and marketing costs are tight is the right move for you. Aside from the cost-cutting aspect, this will also give you greater creative control over your brand, which could be a priority for your busniess.

Unfortunately, logo design is not quite as simple as putting your company name in purple Comic Sans and calling it a day. Colours and fonts subconsciously say something about your business and poor choices can lead to customers picking your competitors over you. For example, if you own a tween accessories line, then a logo featuring purple Comic Sans is probably fine, but if you’re a law firm, the colour and font do not communicate reliability and seriousness. Plus, a bad logo choice will be something that can follow your brand for the rest of its existence.

Before making the right decisions on what your logo looks like, you need to figure out who your clientele is, what the business should mean to them, and how this can be portrayed. These decisions will form the basis of your style guide and your logo, which is the next thing to tackle.

Font of Knowledge

There are three main styles of font – Serif, Sans Serif, and Script – all with positive and negative attributes, not to mention hundreds of choices of each style. The one you choose will affect the first impressions of your company, so let’s look at them:

• Serif: Typically used for serious things, like textbooks, newspapers, and legal paperwork. It can give an air of authority and encourage trust, but it can seem a little old-fashioned, especially online.

• Sans Serif: The most common font choice online because it’s easy to read, even when small, and feels fresh. The only worry is that if everyone uses it, how will your brand stand out?

• Script: Made to mimic handwriting these are perfect for showing the personality of your brand, running the gambit from elegant calligraphy to decidedly casual. Be warned, some can be difficult to read.

It’s important to choose the right font for your logo, so try out a variety of styles in all different sizes. Check you can read it as well at 8pt as at 80pt because most people won’t see your logo for the first time on your homepage.

Color Commentary

It’s often said that your favorite color says a lot about your personality. While that might not be 100% accurate, colors are associated with certain feelings, meaning they can create a subconscious impression on potential customers. For example, red can signify boldness, while yellow makes people feel optimistic and blue projects dependability. More information on that here.

Uses of the logo for your marketing strategy

One of the most common uses of your logo in your marketing strategy will be on stationary and on promotional items, such as personalised pens, that can promote your business in a different way to adverts and social media posts. Handing out custom pens is an inexpensive way to put your brand out in the world on a practical, day-to-day object. When giving them away you can build brand loyalty because the customer will be constantly re-exposing themselves, and their surroundings, to what is basically an advert for you.

Since in an average business the logo is used on everything from the website, via promotional gifts all the way down to the e-mail signature you’ll sign your mails with, it is safe to say it’s an integral part of your business. Do not take the choice lightly, and when in doubt, invest in professional logo design.