logo design

Where to start with logo design for your start-up business

So you’ve got your business name and you’ve purchased your domain name. Now nothing is standing in the way of launching your business except one thing, you haven’t got a brand or visual identity.

The bottom line is that unless you’re a professional designer, you’re going to need help in creating your visual identity and developing your brand.

It’s often tempting to at least start the process on your own to lower the costs of employing a design agency. This is good practice, assuming you’re focused on the constructive aspects of your brand.

In order to help you prepare for this process, we’ve devised some pointers for you to consider before briefing your agency:

Things to consider when planning your logo

Think long term. Take into account your 5 year plan. Your identity should represent where your business is heading, not where it is on day 1. If you know your business will develop a certain way over time, plan for that evolution. It’s not uncommon for smaller businesses to re brand to something more relevant every 5-10 years when the business or industry undergoes a lot of change.

Determine who your most important customers are and think about how you want them to feel when they think of your brand. Think about your brand values, they will come in handy and provide clarity when you review design proposals.

Creating a brief for your agency

Concentrate on the concept of the logo. Often the  simple solution is best. Think about what the concept means. If you can summarise it in one short sentence then you’re in a good concept space.

Collate as much information about your business aims, values and objectives as you can. The more your agency understand your goals, audience and USP, the better.

Brand Values List

It’s very important that you prioritise things. A common mistake is to try to make your visual identity work too hard and do too much. It’s safer to aim for one clear simple purpose than 2 or 3 simultaneous ideas could conflict.

Determine how much you want from your agency in terms of ideas and revisions as this can affect your budget.

When reviewing designs from your agency

Be open-minded. Many people have an idea of what they’re expecting before they review ideas and this can influence your reaction.

Whilst you own your brand and know your business this doesn’t make you an expert in how your perceived by customers. More often than not an impartial observer’s immediate reaction from a relevant audience is a valuable point-of-view. Use this to your advantage and show as many people as you can, but don’t feel like you need to discuss the design with them. You’re looking for reactions, as they provide the most useful feedback.

Make sure you’re happy with your branding on a personal level. Remember, you need to believe in your own brand in order to sell it!

Consider the multitude of applications for your visual identity.

You need to ensure the design will still maintain its integrity when photocopied, faxed or very small in black and white print.

At Shapeshifter we always base the core on silhouettes and then think about colour versions later.

logo design

logo design

Things to watch out for: Don’t…

…assume your logo needs to inform your client base about your product or service. Although your identity can do this its usually not the most important thing. Just look at Apple, Virgin, McDonald’s and Google to name a few.

…get caught up with trends. Your brand must look current, but fashions regularly change and look outdated…a good brand should stand the test of time.

Further reading links:


Create your colour palette here:


If you need help creating a brand for your business start-up or related services please contact us now.

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